Additive Manufacturing - Viability in Full Scale Production : A Model for Cost Comparison with Traditional Manufacturing
Abstract: Additive manufacturing as a technology is rapidly improving. As of now the technology is seldom used in full scale manufacturing but rather for small batches and prototype work. This paper examines the variables that drive costs in additive manufacturing, milling and die-casting. These variables are then used to create a model that allows a designer to identify the most economically viable manufacturing method based on part criteria, choice of material and batch size. It also allows us to draw some conclusions about the current state of the additive manufacturing-technology, such as that part geometry can be a large contributor to build time. The model is made in such a way that it will be easily adapted to faster printers or bigger chambers with a goal to provide an easy to use tool that enables designers unfamiliar with 3D printing to identify when the technology should be used.
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