How will the diffusion of additive manufacturing impact the raw material supply chain process?

Maximilian Kunovjanek, Gerald Reiner

Publication: Scientific journalJournal articlepeer-review


This study investigates the potential of additive manufacturing (i.e. 3D printing) to alter established manufacturing and sup-ply chain processes, complementing previous research work that deals with additive manufacturing and rapid prototyping.Additive manufacturing is a manufacturing technique, which allows the direct fabrication of three-dimensional design mod-els using an additive approach by adding layer after layer. As additive manufacturing is inherently less wasteful and onlyapplies raw material where needed, it constitutes a chance to reduce materials usage and related inventories. Even thoughthe technology has faced considerable hype, its adoption still does not match the high expectations. The aim of this study isto overcome limitations of state-of-the-art impact assessments by integrating the potential reduction of materials inventoriesthrough the adoption of additive manufacturing in manufacturing and to point out possible implications for supply chainprocesses. For this purpose, a dynamic evaluation model was developed analysing the adoption of additive manufactur-ing by integrating the Bass Diffusion Model to provide interesting and novel results for both practitioners and researchers.The study shows that additive manufacturing can indeed reduce raw materials inventory by approximately 4% and that thediffusion rate is likely to be affected by the utility of the technology.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1540 - 1554
JournalInternational Journal of Production Research
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Austrian Classification of Fields of Science and Technology (ÖFOS)

  • 102009 Computer simulation
  • 502052 Business administration
  • 502012 Industrial management
  • 211
  • 502017 Logistics
  • 502032 Quality management

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