Adding product value through additive manufacturing

2013-12-12T12:19:50Z (GMT) by Ian Campbell H. Jee Y.S. Kim
The term additive manufacturing (AM) refers to layer-based material addition technologies that have extended the approach of rapid prototyping (RP) technologies to end-use products and components. The application of AM technologies for this purpose is still rather limited at present but there are a few widely publicised examples. The authors believe that the wider use of AM is being inhibited by the inability of most designers to fully appreciate the contribution that AM can make to E3 (economic, ecological and experience) product value. Research at (removed for anonymity) has indicated that AM can contribute in each of these areas. This paper defines E3 value and then gives some examples of AM products that demonstrate different means of improving value. The conclusions drawn are that AM has an important role to play in adding E3 value to many products but that designers must be better informed as to how to integrate this added value into their designs.