There are three aspects to the economics of additive manufacturing. The first involves measuring the size of additive manufacturing. This includes measuring the value of the goods produced using this technology in the context of the total economy. The second aspect involves measuring the costs and benefits of using this technology. It includes understanding when additive manufacturing is more cost effective than traditional manufacturing and why it is more cost effective. It also involves understanding other advantages such as new products that might not be possible with traditional manufacturing. The last aspect of additive manufacturing economics is the adoption and diffusion of this technology. Additive manufacturing is significantly different from traditional methods; thus, determining when and how to take advantage of the benefits of additive manufacturing is a challenge in and of itself. Manufacturers have to invest resources into understanding whether additive manufacturing makes sense for their business. If they adopt this technology, they will have to train or hire employees who are able to utilize it. This chapter is not intended to be a comprehensive review of these issues, but rather it provides an introduction into each of the topics.
Laser-Based Additive Manufacturing of Metal Parts
Taylor and Francis, New York, NY