How Universal Design Principles can Enhance the Interface of 3D Printing Programs

DS 78: Proceedings of the 16th International conference on Engineering and Product Design Education (E&PDE14), Design Education and Human Technology Relations, University of Twente, The Netherlands, 04-05.09.2014

Year: 2014
Editor: Erik Bohemia, Arthur Eger, Wouter Eggink, Ahmed Kovacevic, Brian Parkinson, Wessel Wits
Author: Steen-Hansen, Linn; Gine Lundh, Maud Veronica; Chen, Weiqin
Series: E&PDE
Institution: Department of Computer Science, Faculty of Technology, Art and Design, Oslo and Akershus University College of Applied Sciences, Oslo, Norway
Section: Using Technology in Teaching
Page(s): 123-128
ISBN: 978-1-904670-56-8


Experts have predicted that 3D technologies will take on a growing importance in the economy. Results from a previous research in a Norwegian College indicate that the use of 3D modelling programs and how intuitive students in Product Design feel they are depend on the students’ previous IT knowledge. It also showed that teachers and students are interested in using 3D printing in Product Design education. The study presented in this paper focuses on how Universal Design (UD) and usability principles can enhance the interface of 3D printing programs. A heuristic evaluation has been conducted on a 3D modelling program, Rhino, using a set of guidelines based on theories from usability, universal design and product design process. The evaluation uncovered serious issues in the interface. The study concludes that UD and usability principles can contribute to creating more intuitive and user friendly interfaces in 3D modelling programs and enhancing the effectiveness of rapid prototyping which leads to more iterations and flexibility during the design process.

Keywords: 3D printing, universal design, heuristic evaluation, Product Design education


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