Additive manufacturing technologies are nowadays employed in industry and prototype production in a range of different fields. A number of investigations have shown potential reductions of environmental impacts through the use of redesigned 3d printed products, although accurate information about the production phase is often missing. Despite the wide diffusion of stereolithography, reliable and updated data quantifying impacts of this technology are not available. In particular, this kind of information is lacking for desktop-scale stereolithography, whose market is increasing rapidly. This paper proposes a cradle-to-gate life cycle assessment of bottom-up desktop stereolithography. The analysed system includes the phases of material production, transportation, transformation and post-processing. The functional unit of the assessment regards one printed part. To efficiently quantify the actual impacts, the study introduces as parameters the mass of the product to be manufactured, the mass of its supporting structures and the building time. This parametrisation allows for an easy inte- gration of the proposed investigation for an extended cradle-to-grave life cycle assessment of the manufactured part. The life-cycle model was developed for a bottom-up desktop stereolithography apparatus located in Italy. Analyses and evaluations of the role of the different life-cycle phases in the environmental impact have been carried out in a specific case study.

Life cycle impact assessment of desktop stereolithography

Mele, Mattia
;
Campana, Giampaolo;D’Avino, Giulia
2020

Abstract

Additive manufacturing technologies are nowadays employed in industry and prototype production in a range of different fields. A number of investigations have shown potential reductions of environmental impacts through the use of redesigned 3d printed products, although accurate information about the production phase is often missing. Despite the wide diffusion of stereolithography, reliable and updated data quantifying impacts of this technology are not available. In particular, this kind of information is lacking for desktop-scale stereolithography, whose market is increasing rapidly. This paper proposes a cradle-to-gate life cycle assessment of bottom-up desktop stereolithography. The analysed system includes the phases of material production, transportation, transformation and post-processing. The functional unit of the assessment regards one printed part. To efficiently quantify the actual impacts, the study introduces as parameters the mass of the product to be manufactured, the mass of its supporting structures and the building time. This parametrisation allows for an easy inte- gration of the proposed investigation for an extended cradle-to-grave life cycle assessment of the manufactured part. The life-cycle model was developed for a bottom-up desktop stereolithography apparatus located in Italy. Analyses and evaluations of the role of the different life-cycle phases in the environmental impact have been carried out in a specific case study.
Mele, Mattia; Campana, Giampaolo; D’Avino, Giulia
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11585/702433
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