Design for Manufacture (DFM) within Professional Practice and its Relationship to Design Education

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Tom Page


This research set out to assess the importance of Design for Manufacture (DFM) within the industrial design process, understanding how it is taught, and comparing this to the requirements of professional practice.  A mixed methods approach was applied in, collecting a combination of both quantitative and qualitative data through two questionnaires.  The first questionnaire was directed at current and graduate students from the Industrial Design (ID) and Product Design (PD) courses at Loughborough Design School.  The second questionnaire targeted design companies that had previously employed Loughborough students in either placement or graduate roles.  The results of the two questionnaires were then analysed individually before comparing a selection of directly corresponding results.

The results from the primary research showed that both students and companies agreed that DFM was a key skill utilised within professional practice.  In both cases, DFM was regarded as more important than sketching and sketch rendering, supporting findings within the literature review that the role of the designer has changed.  It was discovered that the main benefit of a professional designer implicating DFM during the design process was an overall reduction in cost.  It may be concluded that, although the teaching of DFM at Loughborough Design School supplied the students with some knowledge, it does not entirely meet the requirements for professional design practice.

Keywords Design for Manufacture, Professional Practice, Design Education.

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How to Cite
PAGE, Tom. Design for Manufacture (DFM) within Professional Practice and its Relationship to Design Education. Design and Technology Education: an International Journal, [S.l.], v. 23, n. 3, p. 96-116, nov. 2018. ISSN 1360-1431. Available at: <>. Date accessed: 22 mar. 2023.