South African Journal of Industrial Engineering
On-line version ISSN 1012-277X
CAMPBELL, R.I. et al. Additive manufacturing as an enabler for enhanced consumer involvement. S. Afr. J. Ind. Eng. [online]. 2014, vol.25, n.2, pp. 67-74. ISSN 1012-277X.
This paper draws on previous work by the authors that aimed to use functional prototypes, produced using additive manufacturing (AM), as a means to draw customer input and preferences into the development of new products. This technique is referred to as Customer Interaction through Functional Prototypes (CIFP). The CIFP philosophy has been proven in both consumer and medical products. In recent years, the authors have developed further concepts of AM-enabled enhanced consumer involvement within their respective research teams. This paper discusses the extended use of CIFP to develop innovative new product concepts in the Vaal University of Technology, to support grant-holders of the Industrial Development's Corporation (IDC) Support Programme for Industrial Innovation (SPII) and the Technology and Innovation Agency (TIA). The paper goes on to discuss a novel method of consumer interaction developed at Loughborough University, referred to as a Computer-aided Consumer Design (CaCODE). This technique allows non-designers to take an existing product design (e.g., a pen) and modify its shape in real time, in order to create a customised version of the product that meets their needs. The modification is limited within pre-defined parameters to make sure that any final design is functional and can be produced using AM.