Within the broader additive manufacturing market, the question of sustainability is an interesting and multifaceted one. On the one hand, AM technologies can be understood as inherently more sustainable than many traditional manufacturing processes—due to their additive rather than subtractive nature, which reduces material consumption and waste. Tied to that, is the fact that digital fabrication processes are enabling localized, distributed production, which can benefit the environment by limiting the need for complex logistics and transportation.
On the other hand, sustainability in AM also raises many questions. As a manufacturing industry that consumes materials (for both its systems and output), there are ecological quandaries. For example, the extraction of metals can be an extremely polluting process, and petroleum-based plastics used in AM are derived from environmentally taxing oil extraction and cannot be easily disposed of. In addition to materials, 3D printers also consume energy. All these issues and more bring up questions that the industry must contend with. Fortunately, these issues are not occurring in a void, and many leading AM players are active in improving the environmental footprint of our industry.
This eBook opens up a focused dialogue within the industry by presenting insights from some of those seeking to understand the ecological implications of AM, like the newly founded Additive Manufacturer Green Trade Association (AMGTA), and companies that are setting an example within the industry. The eBook also presents an in depth analysis of AM in the energy sector, as well as a series of projects happening across industry, academia and design that show the versatile ways that sustainability and additive manufacturing are linked.
3dpbm’s eBook can be viewed by scrolling through the document above or downloaded for viewing on your favorite mobile device. In our effort to maintain an open discourse and open access to AM news, the publication is free to access. We at 3dpbm have been eagerly following the progress of sustainability in additive manufacturing for years, and are pleased to put the segment in the spotlight in a new, reader-friendly way.
You can find some of our recent eBook editions below:
- Advanced Materials Focus 2020 eBook
- Consumer AM Focus 2020 eBook
- Medical AM Focus 2020 eBook
- Automotive AM Focus 2020 eBook
All editions can be found here.
Interested in being featured in a future AM Focus 2020 eBook? Get in touch to discuss collaboration opportunities.