Cost Analysis of Automated Additive Printer Farms

Schmidt, C. and Finsterwalder, F. and Griesbaum, R. and Sehrt, J.T.

Volume: 1048 Pages:
DOI: 10.1088/1755-1315/1048/1/012008
Published: 2022

Automated additive printer farms, which operate several printers in parallel and thus increase the productivity, are an efficient way to realize a fully flexible mass production, as has been shown by a number of examples. By means of a specifically developed calculation method and virtual representations of various printer farm concepts in a simulation environment, various farm concepts are analyzed regarding the cost structure and the productivity. Also, an automated farm consisting of several low-cost printers is compared to an industrial printer. Subsequently, future scenarios are set up taking into account economic and technological trends allowing an estimation of the impact on the manufacturing costs of automated additive printer farms. In this paper, the analysis is based upon the Fused Layer Modeling (FLM) process, but to a large extent the findings can be transferred to other additive manufacturing processes, for example stereolithography (SL) or digital light processing (DLP). © 2022 Published under licence by IOP Publishing Ltd.

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