Tools for sustainable product design: additive manufacturing
The advent of additive manufacturing technologies presents a number of opportunities that have the potential to greatly benefit designers, and contribute to the sustainability of products. Additive manufacturing technologies have removed many of the manufacturing restrictions that may previously have compromised a designer’s ability to make the product they imagined. Products can also be extensively customized to the user thus, once again, potentially increasing their desirability, pleasure and attachment and therefore their longevity. As additive manufacturing technologies evolve, and more new materials become available, and multiple material technologies are further developed, the field of product design has the potential to greatly change. This paper examines how aspects of additive manufacturing, from a sustainable design perspective, could become a useful tool in the arsenal to bring about the sustainable design of consumer products.