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date: 17 June 2024

Additive Manufacturing Technologylocked

Additive Manufacturing Technologylocked

  • Christina ÖbergChristina ÖbergCTF Service Research Center, Karlstad University

Summary

Additive manufacturing, or three-dimensional (3D) printing, refers to a layer-based production technology. A product is created through layers that are melted together. The layer-based manufacturing means that new surfaces can be shaped with complex forms created and combined in a single manufacturing process. It leads to components or entire products being printed locally. As a technology, it infers extensive changes for (a) product and production design, (b) supply chain options, and (c) business models. It does so because additive manufacturing opens opportunities not only for new product designs but also for firm operations and offerings. More specifically, additive manufacturing enables advanced organic designs manufactured as one piece, local on-demand printing of spare parts, and the printing of full-scaled prototypes to fit and test with final solutions. Movable parts can be printed as one single product and through one single production process. The local manufacturing reduces the need for transportations and subsuppliers. New business models include firms specializing in additive manufacturing for others, such as fab labs and printing houses. Through these changes, additive manufacturing challenges manufacturers of tools and parts as well as demand for logistics solutions. Customization, higher product precision, and increased sustainability are positive consequences of additive manufacturing. Meanwhile, additive manufacturing raises concerns about who owns the product design and who carries responsibilities for the product. Additive manufacturing affects product and production design, supply chains, and business models, and businesses face several ethical dilemmas regarding this new technology. Examples are provided to illustrate additive manufacturing practices.

Subjects

  • Marketing
  • Operations Management
  • Problem Solving and Creativity
  • Technology and Innovation Management

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