chapter  72
Is 3D printing the answer to a sustainable supply chain: A look at localised consumer 3D printing
WithL. Le Merlus, R.A. Chudasama
Pages 5

In recent years, 3D printing has been the subject of extensive discussion. A common claim is that 3D printing encourages a more sustainable supply chain. The argument being that 3D printing enables manufacturing at the point of use, thus reducing the carbon footprint that would naturally occur due to part transportation. Another argument is that 3D printing is a low waste process, requiring less raw material compared to subtractive manufacturing methods. A search of the literature has produced a limited number of studies accounting for the entire life cycle of 3D printed parts. The paper aims to provide insight on carbon footprint contributions using a consumer 3D printer against mass manufactured parts. The study will provide a comparison of the life cycle of a mass manufactured injection moulded part produced in China and a locally 3D printed part can be made.