Title: Realised levels of geometric complexity in additive manufacturing

Authors: Martin Baumers, Chris Tuck, Richard Hague

Addresses: Wolfson School of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering, Loughborough University, LE11 3TU, UK. ' Wolfson School of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering, Loughborough University, LE11 3TU, UK. ' Wolfson School of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering, Loughborough University, LE11 3TU, UK

Abstract: The emergence of Additive Manufacturing (AM) is seen by many as a promising addition to the existing spectrum of manufacturing technology. Assessing a sample of 43 AM produced components, this paper investigates features of complex part geometry. It is found that the measured levels of geometric complexity approximate the normal distribution. Results indicate several factors promoting complexity: membership of the medical industry, organisational stability and the utilisation of powder bed or polymer vat AM technology. The current paper provides some empirical evidence that AM adoption may lead to advances in product performance for a wide range of applications.

Keywords: additive manufacturing; layered manufacturing; geometric complexity; part complexity; ordinal probit; product performance; product development; complex parts.

DOI: 10.1504/IJPD.2011.040268

International Journal of Product Development, 2011 Vol.13 No.3, pp.222 - 244

Received: 13 Jan 2010
Accepted: 04 Nov 2010

Published online: 27 Feb 2015 *

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