Monday, June 5, 2017

Cost Reduction - Industrial Engineering Applications of 3D Printers and 3D Printed Parts


The use of 3D printing in the manufacturing of low-cost satellites can ensure a reduction in manufacturing time, overall cost association, and wastage of materials.

Low cost 3D SLS Printer to be available in Spring 2018

3D Printer manufacturer Formlabs announced a scaled down SLS system that fits on a tabletop and costs 20 times less than the presently available comparable printers.

Dubbed the Fuse 1, this SLS 3D printer starts at $10,000. At $20k,  Formlabs will provide additinally a post-processing station, an extra build piston, and the Nylon PA 12 material. The  machine is designed for professional-scale production.


In 2011, the world produced approximately $11.3 trillion in manufacturing value added, according to United Nations Statistics Division (UNSD) data.

Globally, an estimated $967 million in revenue was collected for additive manufactured goods with the U.S. accounting for an estimated $367 million or 38 % of global production in 2013.

Approximately 62.8% of all commercial/industrial units sold in 2011 were made by the top three producers of additive manufacturing systems: Stratasys, Z Corporation, and 3D Systems based out of the United States. Approximately 64.4 % of all systems were made by companies based in the United States.

Provided below are the categories of 3D printing/Additive manufacturing prcesses  and the adapted definitions of these processes re from the ASTM F2792 standard:

Binder Jetting: This process uses liquid bonding agent deposited using an inkjet-print head to join powder materials in a powder bed.

Directed Energy Deposition: This process utilizes thermal energy, typically from a laser, to fuse materials by melting them as they are deposited.

Material Extrusion: These machines push material, typically a thermoplastic filament, through a nozzle onto a platform that moves in horizontal and vertical directions.

Material Jetting: This process, typically, utilizes a moving inkjet-print head to deposit material across a build area.

Powder Bed Fusion: This process uses thermal energy from a laser or electron beam to selectively fuse powder in a powder bed.

Sheet Lamination: This process uses sheets of material bonded to form a three-dimensional object.
Vat Photopolymerization: These machines selectively cure a liquid photopolymer in a vat using light.

Lindemann C., U. Jahnke, M. Moi, and R. Koch. “Analyzing Product Lifecycle Costs for a Better

Understanding of Cost Drivers in Additive Manufacturing.” Proceedings of the 2012 Solid Freeform Fabrication Symposium. <>

Baumers, Martin. “Economic Aspects of Additive Manufacturing: Benefits, Costs, and Energy Consumption.” 2012. Doctoral Thesis. Loughborough University.

Stoneman, Paul. The Economics of Technological Diffusion. 2002. Oxford: Blackwell.

Atzeni, Eleonora, Luca Iuliano, Paolo Minetola, and Alessandro Salmi. 2010. “Redesign and Cost Estimation of Rapid Manufactured Plastic Parts.” Rapid Prototyping Journal 16 (5): 308–17.

Hopkinson, Neil, and Phill M. Dickens. “Analysis of Rapid Manufacturing – Using Layer Manufacturing Processes for Production.” Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part C : Journal of Mechanical Engineering Science. 2003. 217(C1): 31-39. <>

Ruffo, M, Christopher Tuck, Richard J.M. Hague. “Cost Estimation for Rapid Manufacturing – Laser Sintering Production for Low to Medium Volumes.” Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part B: Journal of Engineering Manufacture. 2006. 1417-1427. <>

Updated 7 June 2017, 11 March 2016

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