Sustainable Prototyping Life Cycle for Digital Fabrication



2020 – Eldy S. Lazaro Vasquez, Hao-Chuan Wang, and Katia Vega. 2020. Introducing the Sustainable Prototyping Life Cycle for Digital Fabrication to Designers. In Proceedings of the 2020 ACM Designing Interactive Systems Conference DIS ’20, July 6–10, 2020, Eindhoven, Netherlands. DOI:

[Best Demo Honorable Mention at DIS’20]

PDF – DemoVideo presentation

This paper introduces the Sustainable Prototyping Life Cycle for Digital Fabrication, an adaptation from the Life Cycle Assessment method that presents the environmental impact of digital fabrication in every phase of prototyping. The cycle has four phases: raw materials acquisition, manufacturing and distribution, use, and end of life. It presents designers as manufacturers of their own materials for digital fabrication, and bio-based materials are used as an alternative and sustainable prototyping material. We interviewed ten experts in digital fabrication and introduced the use of bio-based materials such as mycelium-composite for prototyping with digital fabrication.Using experts' reflections, we conducted a workshop about the environmental impact of prototyping with 22 design students. We reported their decisions on materials used for prototyping and their perception of using mycelium-composite within the Sustainable Prototyping Life Cycle. Our aim is to increase environmental awareness in prototyping and highlight the importance of designers' decision-making through the cycle.


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