A study of fabrication methods and design outcome on student perspective in an academic industrial design studio
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The construction of models is an important component in the innovation and final production phase of a design project. They are the key to testing a concept to identify and correct design or usability problems. Models at each stage of the design process should accurately represent the concept and so it is important to choose fabrication methods that are appropriate for the goals of the model. The focus of this paper is to examine the relationship between the fabrication methods used for model construction during the design process and the perceived success of the final design outcome. Sixty industrial design students, both undergraduate and graduate, were surveyed about the methods used to fabricate models during the early conceptual stage and the late testing phase of an assigned design project. Their comments regarding the purpose for choosing each method and the level of contribution to the final design outcome were collected. Results from the survey are presented and potential steps for guiding students to utilize the most effective fabrication method for the design scenario are discussed.