Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering (MSME)

Degree Level



Mechanical Engineering


David C. Jensen

Committee Member

Zhenghui Sha

Second Committee Member

Wenchao Zhou


Additive Manufacturing, Customization, Engineering Design


In the realm of additive manufacturing there is an increasing trend among makers to create designs that allow for end-users to alter them prior to printing an artifact. Online design repositories have tools that facilitate the creation of such artifacts. There are currently no rules for how to create a good customizable design or a way to measure the degree of customization within a design. This work defines three types of customizations found in additive manufacturing and presents three metrics to measure the degree of customization within designs based on the three types of customization. The goal of this work is to ultimately provide a consistent basis for which a customizable design can be evaluated in order to assist makers in the creation of new customizable designs that can better serve end-user. The types of customization were defined by doing a search of Thingiverse’s online data base of customizable designs and evaluating commonalities between designs. The three types of customization defined by this work are surface, structure, and personal customization. The associated metrics are used to quantify the adjustability of a set of online designs which are then plot against the daily use rate and each other on separate graphs. The use rate data used in this study is naturally biased towards hobbyists due to where the designs used to create the data resides. A preliminary analysis is done on the metrics to evaluate their correlation with design use rate as well as the dependency of the metrics in relation to each other. The trends between the metrics are examined for an idea of how best to provide customizable designs. This work provides a basis for measuring the degree of customization within additive manufacturing design and provides an initial framework for evaluating the usability of designs based on the measured degree of customization relative to the three types of defined customizations.