University education in Additive Manufacturing and the need to boost design aspects

DS 94: Proceedings of the Design Society: 22nd International Conference on Engineering Design (ICED19)

Year: 2019
Editor: Wartzack, Sandro; Schleich, Benjamin; Gon
Author: Borgianni, Yuri (1); Maccioni, Lorenzo (1); Russo Spena, Pasquale (1); Shunmugavel, ManikandaKumar (1,2)
Series: ICED
Institution: Free University of Bolzano-Bozen
Section: Design Education
DOI number:
ISSN: 2220-4342


Additive Manufacturing (AM) is a potentially revolutionary technique in industry with claims of high skills shortage in the recent days. It is assumed that full exploitation of AM capabilities can be made possible by a paradigm shift steered by engineering design. Future generations of engineers might benefit from Design for Additive Manufacturing (DfAM), which targets AM potential and enables design freedoms. In this context, the paper investigates AM education for a better understanding of the main AM-related subjects taught in universities. To this scope, the authors gathered 52 syllabi of courses taught in highly-ranked technical universities worldwide that relate to AM. From the investigation, it emerges that AM is the core discipline of the course in 42 out of 52 cases and considered widely as an independent domain to date. As for taught subjects, it was found that design aspects in AM and DfAM are poorly focused on, while manufacturing and process areas are the most popular. This poses a challenge especially to the design community, as the current situation might limit the exploitation of AM capabilities.

Keywords: Design for Additive Manufacturing (DfAM), Design education, Computer Aided Design (CAD), Additive Manufacturing


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