Experimental Prototyping Toolkit to Facilitate Rapid Prototyping
In this thesis, we explore the use of mini-fabrication exercises to help students understand design for rapid prototyping. To this end, we conduct mini-fabrication exercises in an undergraduate design course at Purdue University, to provide the students hands-on exposure to design for rapid prototyping principles using simplified design problems. Further, we seek to understand the influence of these exercises on the performance of the students' final fabrication projects. Based on our observation and learning from this study, we developed a toolkit comprising of 3D printed connectors to improve the process of prototyping by removing barriers faced during the initial design period. Past studies indicate that learning through iterations is an essential part of product development; design, technology integration and manufacturing. Our 3D printed connectors kit simplifies the prototyping cycle by providing a set of different types of static/kinematic joints and allowing for faster iterations. Through a combination of questionnaire responses, observations, connector prototypes and a preliminary user study, this prototyping toolkit has shown to reduce prototyping time in developing low-fidelity early design prototypes. Additionally, we also investigate the possibilities of enabling users to quickly transform everyday objects into fun, interactive and smart objects. It aims at adding an extra dimension to the already existing art of developing paper circuits and looks to build this artwork in developing smart, interactive objects. Our design pipeline allows users to augment everyday objects by drawing circuits on the surface and mounting electronic components using specially designed flexible housings.
Ramani, Purdue University.
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