The Emergence of Additive Manufacturing – special issue of TFSC published

We’re delighted to announced that the special issue of Technological Forecasting & Social Change that we’ve been co-ordinating has now been published online.

As part of a double-header special issue, our section features the seven papers previously announced and an introduction from myself and my fellow guest co-editors Letizia Mortara and Tim Minshall. In the introduction we provide an overview of the domain and summarise the contributions of each of the papers. Drawing on the findings of the papers and our own research, we go on to identify future research questions that could be explored. These questions are summarised in the table below.

We hope that you’ll read and share these papers with your colleagues working in the AM/3DP world, along with anyone else who’s interested in this fascinating technology.


Table 1. Potential research questions relating to additive manufacturing (Ford, Mortara and Minshall, 2016)

Category Sub-categories Potential research questions
Value context Market trends & drivers
  • What are the effects of AM on global manufacturing systems?
  • What are the implications of AM on industrial sustainability?
  • How does the emergence of AM intersect with other political, economic, social, technological, legal and environmental?
Government policy
  • What types of public policy are effective at supporting the emergence of AM?
  • What policies are necessary to ensure that sufficient AM skills are acquired within the workforce?
  • How can the distributed nature of AM support regional regeneration?
Regulations & standards
  • How is the transition being made to the 3MF file format?
  • How are proprietary and open material standards affecting AM adoption?
  • How are quality standards defined and upheld in a distributed AM landscape?
  • Who has liability for AM-produced goods?
Industrial dynamics & competition
  • Who are the actors that are creating and capturing value and where in the AM ecosystem are they doing so?
  • When and how have new entrants disrupted established industries through AM?
  • In what circumstances have established companies maintained their competitive position through AM?
  • How is AM enabling greater customer involvement in the manufacturing process?
  • What are the different characteristics of AM prosumers and how are such prosumers using AM?
Value capture Business models & strategies
  • What types of business models are being adopted in the AM ecosystem and which of these are proving more successful?
  • When and how does AM enable product-service business models?
  • How are companies responding to intellectual property rights disputes caused by AM?
  • Under what circumstances does AM lower the barrier to market entry?
Applications, product & services
  • What new products and services will be possible through AM?
  • How have been/is being /will be customisation and personalisation applied through AM?
Support services
  • How can AM be used for maintenance, repair, spare part and remanufacturing activities?
  • How can the use of AM extend the life of products and components?
Sales & marketing
  • What are customer perceptions of AM and how are they changing?
  • Where in the hype cycle are different categories of AM?
  • What price premiums can be achieved through the use of AM for personalisation?
  • How is AM changing mechanisms of distribution?
  • How are retailers incorporating AM applications into their business models?
  • How are online AM platforms and communities evolving?
  • What are the challenges to integrating AM into existing operations?
  • How is the automation of AM improving its cost efficiency?
  • How is AM being integrated into hybrid manufacturing systems?
Supply networks
  • How is the application of AM changing the structure and complexity of supply networks?
  • What types of suppliers are being disintermediated through the application of AM?
Value creation Design
  • What is design for AM and how can it be integrated with other design principles?
  • What types of applications are being redesigned to take advantage of AM design freedoms and why?
  • How are designers’ attitudes to AM changing?
  • How are engineers developing understanding of AM principles?
  • What factors determine whether companies should make or buy AM components and products?
  • What effect will a greater understanding of material properties and the development of new materials have on the adoption of AM?
  • What processes should companies use to certify AM components in specific sectors?
  • Why are some organisations making the transition to AM and not others?
  • How is the adoption of AM changing the constellation of relationships within industrial ecosystems?
  • How is trust established in a distributed AM landscape?
  • What skills are needed to effectively use AM and how are they being acquired?
  • How successful have crowdfunding-backed 3D printing companies been?

[Image source]

Launch of CUH Media Studio 3D printing services

On 11th December, the Media Studio at Cambridge University Hospitals (CUH) will officially launch its 3D printing services. There will be talks about the new service at 13:00-14:00, while the 3D print lab will be open to visitors from 10:00-16:00. Further information is available on their website.

[Image source]