Research Framework of Sustainability in Additive Manufacturing: A Case of Fused Deposition Modeling

  • Tao PengEmail author
Part of the Materials Forming, Machining and Tribology book series (MFMT)


Additive manufacturing (AM) has taken off for a steadily fast development, as it enables design flexibility and capability of increasingly complex, highly personalized products with enhanced performance and functionality. More importantly, it is claimed to hold great potentials in improving sustainability. However, how to fulfill such potentials is weakly supported by the scattered research. To better outline, connect, and coordinate the efforts toward a sustainable future of additive manufacturing, a research framework with six successive parts is proposed. Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) is a relatively mature and widely applied process. Considering its scale, the sustainability issues in FDM are first attended. To demonstrate how the proposed research framework is utilized, a life cycle energy analysis of FDM processes has been conducted, including filament production, FDM printing, post-processing, and auxiliary services. Three research projects are presented and performed with the guidance of research framework. The common motivation is to understand the energy characteristics, key influential factors, and energy-saving opportunities in the FDM printing processes. The topics are (1) how the key parameters influence the process energy consumption; (2) the relation between energy consumption and surface roughness using different printers; and (3) how to minimize the overall printing time, correspondingly printing energy, of a multi-component complex part. It is hoped that with the proposed research framework, the future studies on sustainability in additive manufacturing can be consistent and comparable, and the data integration and cross-disciplinary data analysis can be facilitated.


Additive manufacturing Energy consumption Environmental impact Fused deposition modeling Life cycle Sustainable manufacturing 



This research is supported by National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 51505423), Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities (Grant No. 2016QNA4002), Education Department of Zhejiang Province (No. N20150229), and Director Funds of the State Key Laboratory of Fluid Power Transmission and Control (Grant No. SKLoFP_ZR_1603). The author would like to thank former group members, Mr. Hong Zhang, Mr. Hao Chen, Ms. Fei Yan, Mr. Jingxiong Ye, for their experimental works, and the anonymous reviewers for their valuable comments in improving this chapter.


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.State Key Laboratory of Fluid Power and Mechatronic Systems, Key Laboratory of 3D Printing Process and Equipment of Zhejiang ProvinceZhejiang UniversityHangzhouChina
  2. 2.Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering, School of Mechanical EngineeringZhejiang UniversityHangzhouChina

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