The industry sector has high carbon emissions with a large contribution stemming from metals manufacturing. There is an increasing interest in additive manufacturing (AM) as a manufacturing technique for lean manufacturing and circular economy (CE), but can it become environmentally sustainable? We propose a holistic framework to investigate future resource-use efficiency and environmental impact potentials of AM for metal object production and demonstrate it on an industrial case. The framework has shown potential in highlighting trade-offs in choosing the best CE strategies and manufacturing technology. The most promising CE strategies, in this case, were improved propulsive efficiency and closed-loop recycling.
Bibliographical noteThis research was carried out within the project “Grade2XL– Functionally Graded Materials for Extra Large Structures”, which has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme, under grant agreement No 862017. This publication reflects only the author's view and the Commission is not responsible for any use that may be made of the information it contains.
- Additive manufacturing