Additive manufacturing (AM) of metal parts combined with part redesign has a positive repercussion on cost saving. In fact, a remarkable cost reduction can be obtained if the component shape is modified to exploit AM potentialities. This paper deals with the evaluation of the production volume for which AM techniques result competitive with respect to conventional processes for the production of end-usable metal parts. For this purpose, a comparison between two different technologies for metal part fabrication, the traditional high-pressure die-casting and the direct metal laser sintering additive technique, is done with consideration of both the geometric possibilities of AM and the economic point of view. A design for additive manufacturing approach is adopted. Costs models of both processes are identified and then applied to an aeronautical component selected as case study. This research evidences that currently additive techniques can be economically convenient and competitive to traditional processes for small to medium batch production of metal parts.
This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.
Buy single article
Instant access to the full article PDF.
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.
Subscribe to journal
Immediate online access to all issues from 2019. Subscription will auto renew annually.
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.
Hopkinson N, Hague RJM, Dickens PM (2006) Rapid manufacturing: an industrial revolution for the digital age. Wiley, New York
Violante MG, Iuliano L, Minetola P (2007) Design and production of fixtures for free-form components using selective laser sintering. Rapid Prototyp J 13(1):30–37
Atzeni E, Ippolito R, Iuliano L, Gatto A (2003) Selective laser sintering: an evaluation of the performances of sand sintered components. Proceeding of the 6th AITeM Conference–Enhancing the Science of Manufacturing 492–505
Ippolito R, Iuliano L, Gatto A (1995) Benchmarking of rapid prototyping techniques in terms of dimensional accuracy and surface finish. CIRP Ann–Manuf Technol 44(1):157–160
Gatto A, Iuliano L (2003) Impact of time compression techniques on spotlight production. In: Bartolo et al (eds) Advanced research in virtual and rapid prototyping, vol 1. pp 51–57
Bassoli E, Gatto A, Iuliano L, Violante MG (2007) 3D printing technique applied to rapid casting. Rapid Prototyp J 13(3):148–155
(2001) Survey: the solid future of rapid prototyping. The Economist 358(8214):49–51
Walter M, Holmström J, Tuomi H Rapid manufacturing and its impact on supply chain management. In: Proceedings of the Logistics Research Network Annual Conference, Dublin, Ireland September 9–10 2002.
(1999) Selective laser sintered parts used directly in spacecraft production. Rapid Prototyping Report 9(11)
Hopkinson N, Dickens P (2001) Rapid prototyping for direct manufacture. Rapid Prototyp J 7(4):197–202
Griffiths A (2002) Rapid manufacturing—the next industrial revolution. Mater World 10(12):34–35
Atzeni E, Iuliano L, Minetola P, Salmi A (2010) Redesign and cost estimation of rapid manufactured plastic parts. Rapid Prototyp J 16(5):308–317. doi:10.1108/13552541011065704
Becker R, Grzesiak A, Henning A (2005) Rethink assembly design. Assem Autom 25(4):262–266
Cormier D, Harrysson O, Mahale T (2003) Rapid manufacturing in the 21st century. J Chin Inst Ind Eng 20(3):193–201
Rochus P, Plesseria JY, Van Elsen M, Kruth JP, Carrus R, Dormal T (2007) New applications of rapid prototyping and rapid manufacturing (RP/RM) technologies for space instrumentation. Acta Astronaut 61(1–6):352–359
King D, Tansey T (2003) Rapid tooling: selective laser sintering injection tooling. J Mater Process Technol 132(1–3):42–48. doi:10.1016/s0924-0136(02)00257-1
Ding Y, Lan H, Hong J, Wu D (2004) An integrated manufacturing system for rapid tooling based on rapid prototyping. Robot Comput-Integr Manuf 20(4):281–288. doi:10.1016/j.rcim.2003.10.010
Munguía J, Ciurana J, Riba C (2009) Neural-network-based model for build-time estimation in selective laser sintering. Proc Inst Mech Eng Part B: J Eng Manuf 223(8):995–1003
Hänninen J (2001) DMLS moves from rapid tooling to rapid manufacturing. Met Powder Rep 56(9):24–24. doi:10.1016/s0026-0657(01)80515-4
Santos EC, Shiomi M, Osakada K, Laoui T (2006) Rapid manufacturing of metal components by laser forming. Int J Mach Tools Manuf 46(12–13):1459–1468
Kumar S (2010) Selective laser sintering: Recent advances. In: 4th Pacific International Conference on Applications of Lasers and Optics, PICALO 2010 Wuhan, China.
Yang J, Ouyang H, Wang Y (2010) Direct metal laser fabrication: Machine development and experimental work. Int J Adv Manuf Technol 46(9–12):1133–1143
Hague R, Campbell I, Dickens P (2003) Implications on design of rapid manufacturing. Proc Inst Mech Eng Part C: J Mech Eng Sci 217(1):25–30
Hague R, Mansour S, Saleh N (2003) Design opportunities with rapid manufacturing. Assem Autom 23(4):346–356
Gibson I, Rosen DW, Stucker B (2010) Design for Additive Manufacturing. In: Additive Manufacturing Technologies. Springer US, pp 283-316. doi:10.1007/978-1-4419-1120-9_11
Wohlers T (2011) Additive Manufacturing State of the Industry. In: Wohlers T (ed) Wohlers Report 2010, Wohlers Associates, Fort Collins, Colorado
Hague R, Campbell I, Dickens P (2001) Reeves P Integration of solid freeform fabrication in design. In: Bourell DL, Beaman JJ, Wood KL, Crawford RH, Marcus HL, Barlow JW (eds) Solid Freeform Fabrication Symposium Proceeding. Mechanical Engineering Department, University of Texas at Austin, pp 619–627
Ruffo M, Tuck C, Hague R (2006) Cost estimation for rapid manufacturing - Laser sintering production for low to medium volumes. Proc Inst Mech Eng Part B: J Eng Manuf 220(9):1417–1427
Ruffo M, Tuck C, Hague R (2007) Make or buy analysis for rapid manufacturing. Rapid Prototyp J 13(1):23–29
Tuck C, Hague R (2006) The pivotal role of rapid manufacturing in the production, of cost-effective customised products. Int J Mass Cust 1(2–3):360–373
About this article
Cite this article
Atzeni, E., Salmi, A. Economics of additive manufacturing for end-usable metal parts. Int J Adv Manuf Technol 62, 1147–1155 (2012). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00170-011-3878-1
- Additive manufacturing
- Design for additive manufacturing
- Metal parts
- Cost analysis