Design School


Yudhi Ariadi

PhD student

Yudhi has successfully finished his PhD and recently began working as a Research Assistant at the Institute for Innovation in Sustainable Engineering, University of Derby

"Loughborough University not only gave me the best education but also best life experience I have ever had"

What was your PhD in?

Facilitating consumer involvement in design for additive manufacturing / 3D printing products


I was exploring the possibility to create a system which allows general public, without any designer or engineering background, to design a product to be manufactured by a 3D printer.

What was the outcome / result / impact / discovery of your PhD?

The result suggested a way how general public can interact easily with a 3D computer model. The study also indicated the potential of general public designing their own product provided that they have an appropriate design software which is easy to be operated by layperson without any design and/or engineering background.

Was your PhD funded or self-funded – if funded, who funded it?

My PhD was funded by Loughborough University

What dates did you do your PhD from & to?

1st  December 2010 to 30th November 2015

Who were your supervisors?

Dr Mark Evans and Dr Ian Campbell

Do you have an extract or piece explaining your PhD?

My research on creating an easy design system is a development from the consumers’ potential to actively designing their own desired products and thereby empowering them to manufacture the products independently using an 3D printer. Recent developments in the field of 3D printing (cheaper machines and new materials) have led to a renewed interest from the general public in manufacturing customised products. Although these technologies can enhance the understanding of non-technology compliant consumers and bring the manufacturing process closer to them, they need to be able to create 3D Computer Aided Design (CAD) models as an input, which in normal circumstances would require a lengthy period of specialist training. Consequently, to make 3D printing more reliable and easier to operate by consumers, design tools need to be developed to be as simple as possible to be operated, in the same manner as entry-level 3D printing technologies. This study suggests Computer Aided Consumer Design (CaCODE) systems as user friendly design tools which can simplify the CAD stages needed to produce the 3D model data required for 3D printing processes. 

How would you describe your experience of studying at Loughborough?

Loughborough University not only gave me best education but also best life experience I have ever had. The University equipped me with high quality facilities. I had my own desk in PhD room which very nice, quiet and very conducive. It helped me to do my research and write my thesis with full concentration.  Both of my supportive  supervisors were consistently attended supervisory meetings. Thus, I could  have a guarantee to have one clear direction from them. I had two-weekly regular meetings and my supervisors always challenged atau  constructively criticised my opinion and made me learn how to structuring, questioning and suggesting my research results. The University via the Loughborough Doctoral College also provided wide range of courses to support my research activities, including run events to disseminate my findings, which was very useful to  gather feedbacks and improve my public speaking skill.

How would you describe the support you received for your PhD?

The integrated supports from Design School, Student Advice and Support Centre, Graduate School, Research Student Office and Career & Employability Centre were limitless and countless,. I have  used all of their facilities and experienced supportive and helpful service from their staffs. For instance, when I need help from Student Support a couple of times, the staff really helped to solve my problems either academic or about student’s daily life such as language support, learning difficulties, visa’s issue and consumer’s problem. From Career and Employability Centre, I learnt how to write a CV, cover letter and the most important thing, I did a mock interview with them. Those services were absolutely useful as I finally could manage to get a full time research job at University of Derby before I finished my PhD.

What is your favourite memory while studying for your PhD?

The viva-voce examination. Although for me it was the most ‘scary’ stage in my PhD, but I really enjoyed the exam. Apart of my viva, I have not had any opportunity to discuss my research with external experts in very deep and comprehensive way.  Both of my examiners posed very challenging (but engaging) questions, opinions and feedback. Moreover, I really felt proud when I confidently can answer all of the questions from the experts in my area, as well as receiving very valuable feedback. All of the effort I made in the last five years certainly paid off.

Why did you decide to do a PhD?

I have changed my career from industry to academia after 11 years working in manufacturing. I was learning by doing how to make a product from concept to manufacturing, so it was a time to add my hands on skills with research abilities. PhD is the best way to learn how to research.

Why did you decide to study at Loughborough?

Through my previous studies, as I did my master’s degree by research in 3D printing, I have read many books and journals which gave me an impression that Loughborough University has very wide and intensive researches in the areas of my interest in design, CAD and additive manufacturing / 3D printing. 

What are you hoping the future holds for you?

As I mentioned before, I have changed my career from industry to academia, so with both skills from experience and PhD I can be an excellent researcher in product design and manufacturing.

Would you recommend doing a PhD at the Design School? If so, why?

Definitely yes. Loughborough has complete supports for studies, not only because of the learning facilities (laboratory, courses for research, language support), but also for student life experience (Student Support, Career & Employability Centre) as I have explained above.