Additive manufacturing in bespoke interactive devices-a thematic analysis

Farrugia, Philip and Cassar, Glenn and Vella, Pierre and Abela, Edward and Wodehouse, Andrew and Tamburrino, Francesco (2023) Additive manufacturing in bespoke interactive devices-a thematic analysis. Applied Sciences, 13 (11). 6627. ISSN 2076-3417 (

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Additive Manufacturing (AM) facilitates product development due to the various native advantages of AM when compared to traditional manufacturing processes. Efficiency, customisation, innovation, and ease of product modifications are a few advantages of AM. This manufacturing process can therefore be applied to fabricate customisable devices, such as bespoke interactive devices for rehabilitation purposes. In this context, a two-day workshop titled Design for Additive Manufacturing: Future Interactive Devices (DEFINED) was held to discuss the design for AM issues encountered in the development of an innovative bespoke controller and supporting platform, in a Virtual Reality (VR)-based environment, intended for people with limited dexterity in their hands. The workshop sessions were transcribed, and a thematic analysis was carried out to identify the main topics discussed. The themes were Additive Manufacturing, Generative Design Algorithms, User-Centred Design, Measurement Devices for Data Acquisition, Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, and Haptics. These themes were then discussed in relation to the available literature. The main conclusion of this workshop was that a coherent design for AM tools is needed by designers to take AM considerations throughout the design process, since they lack the AM knowledge required to develop bespoke interactive devices.


Farrugia, Philip, Cassar, Glenn, Vella, Pierre, Abela, Edward, Wodehouse, Andrew ORCID logoORCID: and Tamburrino, Francesco;