3D modeling for the 99% - Joe MacLeod-Iredale - Masters Thesis.docx (3.23 MB)

3D modelling for the 99%: Enabling the public to benefit from 3d printing and modelling

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posted on 03.03.2020 by Joe MacLeod-Iredale
This thesis is a development of an earlier piece of research by the author entitled ‘Barriers to participation in 3d print making’ (MacLeod-Iredale, 2015). The earlier paper identified 3d computer modelling as the most significant barrier to participation in 3d printing for non-designers (other than the socio-economic causes of disenfranchisement and disadvantage). This research will develop and test an approach to introducing the layperson to generating 3d digital content. Until very recently, 3d content has been the exclusive remit of professional designers and dedicated amateur enthusiasts. The public are beginning to have access to the much-vaunted technology (Kirkby 2015), with the nascent democratisation of 3d printing via organisations including the FabLab movement, libraries and schools (Compton and Walker 2014, Chung 2014, Griffey 2014, Moorefield-Lang 2014). Others can debate exactly how 3d printing may affect the public (Chan and Smith 2013, Flanders 2011), it is clear however, that it has the potential to provide a plethora of opportunities, especially for those with needs poorly served by mass manufacturing (Manyika et al 2013; NASA 2014; McCue 2015). If the public are to benefit from these opportunities, then they must be able generate 3d content confidently; this project introduces complete novices to 3d modelling. In a short period of time the project aims to equip these neophyte designers with the basic skills and the confidence to enable them to develop their own ideas independently.

The aim of this project was to engagingly introduce lay-people (the ‘99%’ who are not professional designers) to 3d modelling for printing. The primary objective to achieving this aim was to develop a short, introductory workshop-based course. This was delivered to small groups to train and inspire the attendees to develop these skills so they can harness 3d printing technology for practical or expressive purposes.

Funding

AH/M006026/1

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