The Tailored Traveller: Exploring digital vehicle data and large-scale FDM 3D printing to produce a luxury sleeping space
This research is focused towards the use of large-scale FDM 3D printing within the automotive industry, specifically to design a bespoke habitable sleeping environment attached to a Range Rover Sport. 3D printing has risen as a viable form of manufacturing in comparison with conventional methods. Allowing the designer to capitalise on digital data, enabling specific tailored designs to any vehicle model. This thesis asks the question “Can design use the properties of digital vehicle data in conjunction with large-scale FDM 3D printing to sustainably produce bespoke habitable sleeping environments for an automotive context?” Further to this, FDM 3D printing at a large-scale has so far not been explored extensively within the automotive industry. FDM 3D printing is an emerging technology that possesses the ability to revolutionise the automotive industry, through expansion of functionality, customisation and aesthetic that is currently limited by traditional manufacturing methods. Presently, vehicle models are digitally mapped, creating an opportunity for customisation and automatic adaption through computer aided drawing (CAD). This thesis takes advantage of the digitisation of the automotive industry through 3D modelling and renders as a design and development tool. This project explored a variety of methods to demonstrate a vision of a 3D printed habitable sleeping environment. The primary methodologies employed in this research project are Research for Design (RfD) and Research through Design (RtD). These methodologies work in conjunction to combine design theory and practice as a genuine method of inquiry. The combination of theory and design practice has ensued in the concepts being analysed, reflected and discussed according to a reflective analysis design approach. The design solution resulted in an innovative and luxury bespoke habitable sleeping space to be FDM 3D printed. Through the use of digitisation, the sleeping capsule was cohesively tailored to the unique design language of the Range Rover Sport. This thesis resulted in various final outputs including a 1:1 digital model, high quality renders, accompanied by small scale prototypes, photographs and sketch models.