Now published: additive manufacturing and sustainability article

We’re pleased to announce that after two rounds of reviews, Simon Ford and Mélanie Despeisse’s paper “Additive manufacturing and sustainability: an exploratory study of the advantages and challenges” has been accepted and is in press in the Journal of Cleaner Production. The In Press version of the paper can now be accessed on ScienceDirect, while a pre-publication copy of the article is available from ResearchGate.

Here’s the abstract to give you a taste of what the paper covers.

Abstract

The emergence of advanced manufacturing technologies, coupled with consumer demands for more customised products and services, are causing shifts in the scale and distribution of manufacturing. In this paper, consideration is given to the role of one such advanced manufacturing process technology: additive manufacturing. The consequences of adopting this novel production technology on industrial sustainability are not well understood and this exploratory study draws on publically available data to provide insights into the impacts of additive manufacturing on sustainability. Benefits are found to exist across the product and material life cycles through product and process redesign, improvements to material input processing, make-to-order component and product manufacturing, and closing the loop. As an immature technology, there are substantial challenges to these benefits being realised at each stage of the life cycle. This paper summarises these advantages and challenges, and discusses the implications of additive manufacturing on sustainability in terms of the sources of innovation, business models, and the configuration of value chains.

[Image source: Mélanie Despeisse]

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