Purpose – This paper aims to present a pilot study’s aims to identify opportunities and limits deriving from the use of low-cost 3D printing (3DP), fused deposition modelling (FDM), open-source technologies in co-design and co-production processes involving persons with rheumatic diseases (RDs). Design/methodology/approach – In the paper, the authors outline why the use of low-cost, entry-level FDM can be meaningful for this scenario, implying a complete sharing of the design and the production phases of small assistive devices. The +TUO process is composed of several stages, among which the generative session represents the core. Findings – This study highlights as the introduction of this low-cost technology in co-generative processes with people with RDs is a real challenge that can lead to new products and solutions, and that can sustain a social and local manufacturing approach for people facing a specific disablement. Research limitations/implications – This research is a first step of a broader research, new researches are going to explore further details related with the technology and of the adopted method. Practical implications – Involving actively, the end user during the creation process can bring advantages such as meeting more precisely their needs and create innovative products, as shown in the text. Social implications – For people living with RDs, an occupation is important to sustain a process of empowerment. Adopting assistive devices supports daily activities and facilitates the occupation. Originality/value – +TUO is a pilot study that explore a topic already discussed in the scientific arena, without focusing on the specific use of low-cost 3DP technologies.
Rapid Prototyping Journal – Emerald Publishing
Published: Aug 17, 2015
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