Approaches to Digital Manufacturing: Designing Through Materials

  • Caterina DastoliEmail author
  • Patrizia Bolzan
  • Massimo Bianchini
  • Barbara Del Curto
  • Stefano Maffei
Conference paper
Part of the Advances in Intelligent Systems and Computing book series (AISC, volume 903)


Until a few years ago designing through materials has always referred to fully consolidated manufacturing technologies, despite the increasing development and democratization of digital manufacturing. This article reports on an investigation into the second edition of the experimental crash course “Design, digital fabrication and 3D printing”. The educational experience was held at Polifactory, Fab Lab and makerspace of Politecnico di Milano, and has focused on the role that additive manufacturing plays in concept development when engineering thermoplastics are given as a design constraint. Therefore, design students experienced materials and digital technology issues by working in team and practicing the design creative process. The results indicate that additive manufacturing plays a competitive role over the design process when engineering thermoplastic materials are used. In addition, students’ motivation and capability in managing both technical and design thinking skills over a project development confirmed the effectiveness of the teaching method adopted.


3D printing FDM technology Direct digital manufacturing Engineering thermoplastics Design course Design teaching 



This research was supported by Polifactory, Fab Lab and Makerspace of Politecnico di Milano.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Caterina Dastoli
    • 1
    Email author
  • Patrizia Bolzan
    • 1
  • Massimo Bianchini
    • 1
  • Barbara Del Curto
    • 2
  • Stefano Maffei
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of DesignPolitecnico Di MilanoMilanItaly
  2. 2.Department of Chemistry, Materials and Chemical Engineering “Giulio Natta”Politecnico Di MilanoMilanItaly

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