University of Oulu

Soomro, S.A.; Casakin, H.; Georgiev, G.V. Sustainable Design and Prototyping Using Digital Fabrication Tools for Education. Sustainability 2021, 13, 1196.

Sustainable design and prototyping using digital fabrication tools for education

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Author: Soomro, Sohail Ahmed1,2; Casakin, Hernan3; Georgiev, Georgi V.1
Organizations: 1Center for Ubiquitous Computing, University of Oulu, 90570 Oulu, Finland
2Department of Electrical Engineering, Sukkur IBA University, Sukkur 65200, Pakistan
3School of Architecture, Ariel University, Ariel 44837, Israel
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 1.3 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute, 2021
Publish Date: 2021-04-19


Prototyping physical artifacts is a fundamental activity for both product development in industrial and engineering design domains and the development of digital fabrication skills. Prototyping is also essential for human-centric problem-solving in design education. Digital fabrication assists in rapid prototype development through computer-aided design and manufacturing tools. Due to the spread of makerspaces like fabrication laboratories (FabLabs) around the world, the use of digital fabrication tools for prototyping in educational institutes is becoming increasingly common. Studies on the social, environmental, and economic sustainability of digital fabrication have been carried out. However, none of them focus on sustainability and prototyping-based digital fabrication tools or design education. To bridge this research gap, a conceptual framework for sustainable prototyping based on a five-stage design thinking model is proposed. The framework, which is based on a comprehensive literature review of social, economic, and environmental sustainability factors of digital fabrication, is applied to evaluate a prototyping process that took place in a FabLab in an education context aimed at enhancing sustainability. Three case studies are used to evaluate the proposed framework. Based on the findings, recommendations are presented for sustainable prototyping using digital fabrication tools.

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Series: Sustainability
ISSN: 2071-1050
ISSN-E: 2071-1050
ISSN-L: 2071-1050
Volume: 13
Issue: 3
Article number: 1196
DOI: 10.3390/su13031196
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 213 Electronic, automation and communications engineering, electronics
516 Educational sciences
Funding: This research was funded by Academy of Finland 6Genesis Flagship grant number 318927.
Academy of Finland Grant Number: 318927
Detailed Information: 318927 (Academy of Finland Funding decision)
Copyright information: © The Authors 2021. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.