While much of the really valuable information for how to think in terms of “design for manufacturing” for 3D printing is only preserved as local “trade knowledge” in any of the hackerspaces, online desktop 3D printing communities, and individual home user’s workshops, taking a look at the history of model building and prototyping using other techniques is tremendously helpful for developing an eye for the best approaches for various types of 3D Printers. Thanks to Andrew Plumb (@Clothbot) for sharing this tip with me last fall for Bjarki Hallgrimsson’s excellent Prototyping and Modelmaking for Product Design.
One particular strength to this book is its emphasis on shop safety to help you prepare how to understand all of these vastly different methods of prototyping/model building! Also, many of the finishing techniques and filling techniques, while designed for other materials, have informed my approaches to finishing 3D printed projects.
From the publisher’s description:
Building prototypes and models is an essential component of any design activity. Modern product development is a multi-disciplinary effort that relies on prototyping in order to explore new ideas and test them sufficiently before they become actual products.
Prototyping and Modelmaking for Product Design illustrates how prototypes are used to help designers understand problems better, explore more imaginative solutions, investigate human interaction more fully and test functionality so as to de-risk the design process. Following an introduction on the purpose of prototyping, specific materials, tools and techniques are examined in detail, with step-by-step tutorials and industry examples of real and successful products illustrating how prototypes are used to help solve design problems. Workflow is also discussed, using a mixture of hands-on and digital tools.
A comprehensive modern prototyping approach is crucial to making informed design decisions, and forms a strategic part of a successful designer’s toolkit.
About the Author
Bjarki Hallgrimsson is a practising product development consultant and an Associate Professor at the School of Industrial Design, Carleton University, Ottawa.