Title: The pivotal role of rapid manufacturing in the production of cost-effective customised products

Authors: Christopher Tuck, Richard Hague

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

Abstract: The concept of rapid manufacturing is emerging from the so-called rapid prototyping technologies where additive rather than subtractive techniques will be used to make parts or even completed assemblies. As no tooling is required, one of the main benefits of rapid manufacturing will be the ability to make cost-effective custom products that could all be entirely individualised to a particular consumer or user. Thus, rapid manufacturing is the enabling technology for true cost-effective custom manufacturing and has the potential to revolutionise the design and manufacturing worlds. This paper will introduce results from a current research project that is being undertaken at Loughborough University looking into the effects that will occur to the logistics and supply chain infrastructure with the advent of rapid manufacturing.

Keywords: rapid manufacturing; lean manufacturing; agile manufacturing; supply chain management; SCM; mass customisation; additive manufacturing; rapid prototyping; logistics; supply chain infrastructure.

DOI: 10.1504/IJMASSC.2006.008630

International Journal of Mass Customisation, 2006 Vol.1 No.2/3, pp.360 - 373

Available online: 12 Jan 2006 *

Full-text access for editors Access for subscribers Purchase this article Comment on this article