The Role of Additive Manufacturing in Improving Resource Efficiency and Sustainability
Paper in proceeding, 2015

Additive manufacturing is heralded as a revolutionary process technology. While it has yet to cause a dramatic transformation of the manufacturing system, there are early signs of how the characteristics of this novel production process can improve resource efficiency and other sustainability aspects. In this paper, we draw on examples from a wide range of products and industries to understand the role of additive manufacturing in sustainable industrial systems. We identify four main areas in which the adoption of additive manufacturing is leading to improved resource efficiency: (1) product and process design; (2) material input processing; (3) make-to-order product and component manufacturing; and (4) closing the loop.

3D printing


Additive manufacturing


Mélanie Despeisse

University of Cambridge

Simon J. Ford

University of Cambridge

IFIP Advances in Information and Communication Technology

1868-4238 (ISSN) 1868-422X (eISSN)

Vol. 460 129-136
978-3-319-22759-7 (ISBN)

Advances in Production Management Systems
Tokyo, Japan,

Subject Categories

Mechanical Engineering

Materials Engineering

Environmental Engineering

Economics and Business

Driving Forces

Sustainable development

Innovation and entrepreneurship

Areas of Advance




More information

Latest update