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Additive Manufacturing: A Trans-disciplinary Experience



Paul W. Witherell, Albert W. Jones, Yan Lu


Traditional manufacturing has long permitted disciplines to operate in isolation: with designers, material suppliers, and manufactures often able to function independently towards the singular goal of creating a product. As products have become increasingly complex, and manufacture has progressed from intradisciplinary to multidisciplinary to interdisciplinary, the emergence of additive manufacturing has made the creation of a part a trans-disciplinary experience. In concert with advancements in manufacturing, the maker movement has empowered the general public with the ability to not only interact with, but embrace these disciplines. Additive manufacturing is transforming how we understand the manufacture of a product. The areas of design, materials, and processes can no longer be segregated. Systems approaches are inherently necessary for the successful creation of a part. The manufacture of design features is no longer restricted by parametric representations. Material properties can be digitally manufactured. To take advantage of these advanced manufacturing options, large amounts of data must be captured, stored, and systematically deployed. The users of this data may range from engineers, to warfighters, to the general public. For this reason, careful consideration must be put into how information is structured, shared, accessed. This chapter will review the detailed knowledge required from different disciplines to successfully manufacture a part. We will discuss emerging opportunities, from the manufacture of assemblies to the printing of electronics. We will explore the trans-disciplinary nature of additive manufacturing. We discuss how additive technologies have transcended the reach of traditional manufacturing and brought design and manufacture directly to the consumer. Finally, we will explore information barriers in additive manufacturing, and discuss how systems applications can help open new doors.
Trans-Disciplinary Systems Complexity Book
Publisher Info
Springer, New York, NY


Additive Manufacturing, Systems Integration, 3D Printing Maker Movement


Witherell, P. , Jones, A. and Lu, Y. (2016), Additive Manufacturing: A Trans-disciplinary Experience, Trans-Disciplinary Systems Complexity Book, Springer, New York, NY (Accessed April 21, 2024)
Created July 20, 2016, Updated February 19, 2017