Special Issue: Environmental Dimensions of Additive Manufacturing and 3D Printing

29 February, 2016

Deadline for submissions EXTENDED: February 29, 2016

Journal of Industrial Ecology

Call for Papers:

Special Issue:

Environmental Dimensions of Additive Manufacturing and 3D Printing


The Journal of Industrial Ecology invites you to submit articles for a special issue on Environmental Impacts of Additive Manufacturing and 3D Printing by February 29, 2016.[1] A relatively recent approach to the manufacture of end-use products, additive manufacturing (also known as 3D Printing) is based on creating parts and products directly from raw material in powder, liquid, sheet or filament form and digital 3D design data. The underlying processes operate by depositing material, usually layer-by-layer, without the need for molds, tools or dies. One of the promises of additive manufacturing is that it allows the efficient manufacture of geometrically and functionally complex product designs within a single process step. This may provide an opportunity for the realization of highly efficient product designs.  It also holds out the potential for advances in supply chain sustainability including reduced energy consumption, localized production, increased opportunities for repair and remanufacturing, and changes in sourcing of raw materials.

Used by industry since the 1980s to build prototypes of parts or products, additive manufacturing served initially as an important tool in speeding up product innovation. Since then, two additional developments have attracted significant attention: firstly, additive manufacturing technology aimed at industrial users is increasingly being adopted to create final products for specialist applications. Secondly, inexpensive 3D printing technology designed for personal use has attracted a large base of private users. As yet, however, limited research has been undertaken to systematically assess the overall environmental benefits and impacts of additive manufacturing technology and the resulting products.

Developing an accurate understanding of the environmental dimensions of additive manufacturing adoption, and through it the potential mitigation of the impacts of conventional manufacturing processes, requires an understanding of the linkages between various elements within the product life cycle and supply chains. It will also necessitate an extended set of tools able to capture the environmental implications of novel aspects introduced by additive manufacturing, including functional consolidation and integration of designs, extensive product personalization, computational design methodologies, previously unavailable materials and material combinations, localized production, and product reparability.

Martin Baumers, University of Nottingham, Bill Flanagan, General Electric Company, and Tim Gutowski, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Joost Duflou of KU Leuven will serve as co-editors of the special issue.

The Journal of Industrial Ecology is an international peer-reviewed bimonthly, owned by Yale University, headquartered at the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies and published by Wiley-Blackwell. Support for this special issue is provided by the Lounsbery Foundation and the Advanced Manufacturing Office, US Department of Energy. Articles published in this special issue will be freely downloadable from the Journal's website.

Suggested Topics for the Special Issue

It is the ambition of this special issue to provide a forum for multiple aspects of additive manufacturing including methodologies for comparison of lifecycle impact, inventory analysis for additive technology (on the platform, system and aggregate levels), material flow analysis, risk management and occupational exposure assessment, integrated impact assessment, emerging possibilities for ecodesign, and sustainable supply chain innovation. The scope of this special issue explicitly spans the entire product lifecycle, ranging from raw material generation through to end-of-life logistics and recycling.

Appropriate topics include  

  • Theorizing, describing and analyzing the resource consumption patterns and environmental impacts associated with additive manufacturing technology on the machine, supply chain and aggregate levels.
  • Assessing the impact of novel supply chain configurations and of the availability of new generations of products resulting from innovative design approaches, for example based on optimization methods or personalization.
  • Assessment of occupational health issues including toxicology of emissions, exposure control approaches and exposure assessment including risks arising from manufacturing in non-traditional settings (home, hobbyist, and maker settings)
  • Investigation of the potential for and barriers to increased repair and remanufacturing arising from additive manufacturing.
  • Establishing robust environmental indicators (e.g. carbon emissions, water consumption, land use and pollution) and economic indicators (e.g. value added, employment, inequality) for comparison with conventional manufacturing routes.
  • Environmental, social science, economic/business, and engineering analysis of the implications of localized and highly customized production enabled by additive manufacturing.
  • Collating datasets that allow an exploration of the trade-offs occurring across additive manufacturing supply chains.
  • Analyzing the environmental performance of the latest developments within additive manufacturing technology, including systems capable of depositing multiple materials and high-productivity platforms.

Ancillary data relevant to articles can be posted on the journal's web site in the form of supporting information. Reviews of relevant recent books and reports, including policy studies, are also sought to enrich the special issue. Reviews of web sites and electronic services will be considered. The special issue is intended to be relevant to diverse audiences—academics, policymakers, business people and environmental advocates—and submissions should be written with that in mind.  Articles from technical specialists should make the implications of their research accessible to non-specialists.  Please contact the editors with any questions about the fit of a contribution for this issue.

How to Submit

Manuscripts should be original, previously unpublished, in English, and between 3,500 and 6,000 words in length excluding references and tables. Submission implies that the manuscript has not been submitted for publication elsewhere and that it will not be submitted elsewhere while the review process is underway. Papers should be submitted electronically via Manuscript Central at <http://mc.manuscriptcentral.com/jie>, indicating that they are intended for the special issue on “Additive Manufacturing.” Details about the preparation of the manuscript can be obtained from the Journal's home page <http://jie.yale.edu/author_resources> or from the editor.  All submissions will be peer-reviewed in a single blind process using at least two reviewers.

[1] Papers completing the review process prior to the release of the special issue will be posted online as soon as they are accepted for publication and typeset.