InImpact: The Journal of Innovation Impact

Publisher Future Technology Press
Vol. 8 No. 2 KES Transactions on SDM II - Sustainable Design and Manufacturing 2015
Volume Editors KES International
Journal ISSN 2051-6002
Article TitleThe Issues & Challenges of 3D Managed Print Services: Towards a Support Tool for 3D Managed Print Services
Primary AuthorJames Gopsill, University of Bristol
Other Author(s) Ben Hicks
Pages 478 - 489
Article ID sdm15-017
Publication Date 02-May-16

Extrusion 3D printing has seen a rapid growth across many engineering sectors and is expected to triple in market value over the next decade. This is partly due to a step change in capability and increase in demand for the technology, and is leading to a requirement for 3D Managed Print Services (3D MPSs). This is where queues of prints are being received from multiple users and sent to multiple 3D printers. Examples of this include, Universities, where printers are being increasingly used in teaching, and the growing industry commonly referred to as Fabrication Laboratories (FabLabs).

Given the above situation, this paper argues that gaps exist in the capability of current software and support tools to offer appropriate support for 3D MPSs. To begin to address this, this paper discusses the key issues and challenges introduced by 3D MPSs, which continues into a proposition for a support tool for 3DMPSs. The paper then demonstrates the current development of this tool with the current focus of maximising 3D printer productivity. Through the application of this tool, it is proposed that a substantial gain in productivity can be achieved.

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Remarks Paper presented at KES International Conference on Sustainable Design and Manufacturing, 12-14 April 2015
First date of publication in InImpact: 1 December 2015