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Innovation in a box: exploring creativity in design for additive manufacturing in a regulated industry
Luleå University of Technology, Department of Social Sciences, Technology and Arts, Humans and Technology.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-8760-9139
Luleå University of Technology, Department of Social Sciences, Technology and Arts, Humans and Technology. GKN Aerospace Engine Systems, Trollhättan, Sweden.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-3086-9140
Luleå University of Technology, Department of Social Sciences, Technology and Arts, Humans and Technology.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-9592-3809
Luleå University of Technology, Department of Social Sciences, Technology and Arts, Humans and Technology.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-7108-6356
2022 (English)In: Journal of engineering design (Print), ISSN 0954-4828, E-ISSN 1466-1837, Vol. 33, no 8-9, p. 567-586Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Additive Manufacturing (AM) is often considered to increase opportunities for creativity in design compared to traditional manufacturing methods. At the same time, it is suggested that regulated work can have a negative effect on engineers’ creative abilities, which are linked to three components of creativity (expertise, motivation, and creative thinking skills). Due to the ‘newness’ of AM, engineers need to broaden their expertise to fully exploit their creative potential while using AM. Previous research has presented support tools to assist engineers to understand the complexity of AM. A majority of such studies focus on novice engineers, rather than providing an understanding of how AM is involved in industrial practices. This paper follows three case studies from the space industry, a regulated industry, that aims to re-design a product for AM over a 21-month time period. The purpose is to explore how restrictions affect engineers’ opportunities to build AM expertise for creativity in a regulated industry. Results show the importance that case-specific aspects have on an engineer’s learning path for adopting AM. Engineers find themselves in a complex situation, with a conflict between being ‘safe’ or innovative, where innovation within such regulated industries is often compared to innovating ‘in a box’.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Taylor & Francis, 2022. Vol. 33, no 8-9, p. 567-586
Keywords [en]
DfAM, design for space, AM knowledge, design restictions
National Category
Other Mechanical Engineering
Research subject
Product Innovation
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-94188DOI: 10.1080/09544828.2022.2139967ISI: 000889546700001Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85142430987OAI: oai:DiVA.org:ltu-94188DiVA, id: diva2:1712269
Funder
European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), 20201811Swedish National Space BoardLuleå University of Technology, Graduate School of Space Technology
Note

Validerad;2022;Nivå 2;2022-12-02 (sofila);

Funder: EU, project RIT (Space for Innovation and Growth)

Available from: 2022-11-21 Created: 2022-11-21 Last updated: 2024-03-23Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Creativity in Design for Additive Manufacturing
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Creativity in Design for Additive Manufacturing
2023 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Additive Manufacturing (AM) brings opportunities to create designs with complex geometries that would be impossible or very difficult to produce using conventional manufacturing technologies. While AM is widely seen as a means to increase the creativity of designers and thus innovation within organisations, there is a lack of understanding of how designers can manage their creativity while working with Design for Additive Manufacturing (DfAM). In this thesis, designers are suggested to engage in individual creativity management, which refers to a system of practices and methods for managing creativity in design practices. Ultimately, designers may need to adopt a new set of practices and methods when designing for AM. Although it is often argued that AM brings a higher degree of design freedom that allows them to ‘think outside the box’, this freedom is not limitless as AM comes with its own set of boundaries in design. It can also be difficult for designers to grasp the new limitations and possibilities offered by this manufacturing technology and to incorporate them into their design work. There are a wide range of DfAM tools, methods and frameworks available, all with different emphases, making it difficult for designers to discern directions for managing their creative work. The purpose of the research presented in this thesis is to advance the understanding of creativity in DfAM. This thesis adopts an iterative approach to qualitative research based on empirical data and literature studies. Empirical data comes from five cases across the three studies reported in the six appended papers. The majority of the collected empirical data has been gathered through semi-structured interviews designed to capture the experiences and viewpoints of designers working creatively in DfAM. Three of the cases have also been studied in a longitudinal study, providing an in-depth understanding of the progress of DfAM for each design.

Based on the studies, a framework for creativity in DfAM is proposed. This framework is intended to assist designers in nurturing their creative abilities while adapting to working with AM. Initially, three important components of creativity in DfAM were identified: motivation, creative thinking, and expertise. Furthermore, three key characteristics that influence the designer in managing their creativity were then identified for each of these components. AM motivation concerns the individual designer’s goals and values in adopting AM, as well as the influence of the incentive to adopt AM within the design team, the organisation, and the industry as a whole. Three key characteristics of creativity management related to motivation were derived: collaboration, freedom for learning and defining DfAM boundaries. AM creative thinking concerns the need to reach a creative solution fit for AM. Here, the three key characteristics the visionary, realistic and analytic perspectives are derived. AM expertise is covered by both AM knowledge and AM experience. Here, the three key characteristics were identified as the knowledge domains: materials, machine and process and design.

The framework presented in this thesis highlights key characteristics of creativity in DfAM and is intended to assist designers in managing their own creativity when working in additive manufacturing. The framework may help individual designers to reach their full creative potential during the adoption of AM. The identification of key characteristics also contributes to the research areas product development in engineering design, design for additive manufacturing (DfAM), and creativity in design. All three of these research areas may well benefit from the results presented in this thesis, providing a greater understanding of creativity when applied to design for additive manufacturing.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Luleå: Luleå University of Technology, 2023
Series
Doctoral thesis / Luleå University of Technology 1 jan 1997 → …, ISSN 1402-1544
Keywords
DfAM, Creativity in Design, AM
National Category
Production Engineering, Human Work Science and Ergonomics
Research subject
Product Innovation
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-95640 (URN)978-91-8048-268-4 (ISBN)978-91-8048-269-1 (ISBN)
Public defence
2023-04-21, A109, Luleå tekniska universitet, Luleå, 09:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2023-02-16 Created: 2023-02-16 Last updated: 2024-04-21Bibliographically approved

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Lindwall, AngelicaDordlofva, ChristoÖhrwall Rönnbäck, AnnaTörlind, Peter

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