Life Cycle Cost Analysis of Additive and Traditional Manufacturing: A Comparative Case Study

Abstract: Additive manufacturing has received considerable research attention as a potential alternative manufacturing strategy in addition to traditional manufacturing. Numerous efforts have been contributed to additive manufacturing technology advancement, and these efforts have shown that the cost performance in both the process and life cycle perspective is critical as it can restrict the applicability of additive manufacturing in different industries. This study aims to provide a comprehensive cost analysis to compare the life cycle cost of using additive manufacturing in comparison with traditional manufacturing in the case of fuel nozzle fabrication. Specifically, in the case study, the same fuel nozzle will be fabricated using Direct Metal Laser Sintering as well as traditional metal casting, in order to compare the life cycle cost using these two processes. The results confirmed the advantage of additive manufacturing in reducing the need for expensive tooling and/or assembly processes for cost saving; on the other hand, traditional manufacturing provides a better solution for large-volume production.

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