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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
+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.
The authors thank all the participants of +TUO, this research was made possible because of their support, creativity and enthusiasm in participating to it. We also have to acknowledge the support of Susanna De Biagi and Bianca Petrucci: Occupational Therapists; and Tiziano Berti, Chiara Capuzzo, Francesco Pacelli and Federico Riva: Designers of +LAB. Furthermore, the authors need to thank for their crucial organizational contribution Silvia Ostuzzi (communication and projects ALOMAR) responsible and co-ideator of +TUO Project, Maria Grazia Pisu (President of ALOMAR) and ALOMAR for the support in connecting us with all the participants.
Ostuzzi, F., Rognoli, V., Saldien, J. and Levi, M. (2015), "+TUO project: low cost 3D printers as helpful tool for small communities with rheumatic diseases", Rapid Prototyping Journal, Vol. 21 No. 5, pp. 491-505. https://doi.org/10.1108/RPJ-09-2014-0111Download as .RIS
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