The BSc Product Design course continues to embrace digital technologies in the development of product proposals. Students use industry standard software (SolidWorks) to develop sketch concepts into realistic design data representing the form and function of innovative ideas. However, for a product to be realised, it has to move from the digital environment to the physical environment, after all its users will be physical.
Over reliance on a purely digital design process can result in poor ergonomic and functional design. To avoid this, our students use 3D printers installed in the design studio to check the success of progressive design iterations. These print directly from 3D computer files and bridge the gap between digital and physical environments, allowing the student to experience how the digital file will operate and feel like in the real world. Vital design experience and user feedback can then be used to inform and develop the digital data.