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Title:A study in digital prototyping and multidisciplinary design team collaboration
Author(s):Batmunkh, Baigalmaa
Advisor(s):Leake, James M
Contributor(s):Kim, Harrison M
Department / Program:Industrial&Enterprise Sys Eng
Discipline:Industrial Engineering
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Multidisciplinary design collaboration
Engineering design
Design thinking
Reflective practice
3D Computer-aided design (CAD)
3D printing
3D scanning
Physical prototyping
Abstract:This thesis presents results of work that: (1) examined collaboration between engineering and industrial design students in solving biomedical design tasks, as well as gathering information on student perceptions of the relative usefulness of digital prototyping tools employed in the development of the design projects, and (2) reviewed the design literature while focusing on areas related to a computer-aided product realization course curriculum, namely: reflective practice in design, design thinking, computer-aided design (CAD) and creativity, prototyping, 3D printing, and next generation CAD. In the fall of 2015 twenty-three students were enrolled in a testbed computer-aided product design course. In the first half of the semester these students were familiarized with a common set of 3D CAD and digital prototyping (i.e., 3D printing, 3D scanning) tools. The second half of the semester was devoted to biomedical device design project tasks, where course participants were assigned to six teams in order to solve a specific design problem. Each team included members from bioengineering, industrial design, and either systems or mechanical engineering, or both. There were two main course instructors, one from engineering and one from industrial design. The course also included a teaching professor from bioengineering, a graduate research assistant, as well as a graduate teaching assistant. We hypothesized that ready access to 3D printing aids in successful design outcomes and addressed the following research questions: (1) what activities do multidisciplinary student teams pursue in the early stages of design?, (2) what benefits and challenges with regard to multidisciplinary design collaboration do students frequently note?, (3) what are the students’ perceived understandings of the effectiveness of cloud-based 3D CAD tools on both team collaboration and design concept development?, and (4) what are the students’ perceptions of the use of 3D printing for developing design solutions? A combination of methods, including audio recordings, reflection journals and surveys were employed to answer these research questions. The results of this work showed that course participants had positive views of the multidisciplinary composition of the design teams. Another finding was that the use of the digital prototyping tools, in particular the use of the cloud-based 3D CAD tool and 3D printing was helpful in supporting collaboration as well as in improving the likelihood of successful design outcomes. Another key finding from reviewing design literature was the role and importance of reflection in design education and practice. The results of this study have implications for promoting design team collaboration across disciplines, in particular among engineering and design students, and for contributing to effective teaching, learning and exploitation of new 3D CAD digital prototyping tools in engineering design education. Finally, based on the overall results of this thesis, recommendations aimed at improving the course curriculum are discussed.
Issue Date:2016-12-09
Rights Information:Copyright 2016 Baigalmaa Batmunkh
Date Available in IDEALS:2017-03-01
Date Deposited:2016-12

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