Factors for metal additive manufacturing technology selection

Vladimir C.M. Sobota*, Geerten van de Kaa, Toni Luomaranta, Miia Martinsuo, J. Roland Ortt

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)
65 Downloads (Pure)


Purpose: This paper addresses the most important factors for the selection of additive manufacturing (AM) technology as a method of production of metal parts. AM creates objects by adding material layer by layer based on 3D models. At present, interest in AM is high as it is hoped that AM contributes to the competitiveness of Western manufacturing industries. Design/methodology/approach: A literature study is conducted to identify the factors that affect the selection of AM technology. Expert interviews and the best–worst method are used to prioritize these factors based on relative factor weights. Findings: Technology, demand, environment and supply-related factors are categorized and further mapped to offer a holistic picture of AM technology selection. According to expert assessments, market demand was ranked highest, although market demand is currently lacking. Research limitations/implications: The composition and size of the expert panel and the framing of some of the factors in light of previous literature cause validity limitations. Further research is encouraged to differentiate the selection factors for different AM implementation projects. Originality/value: The paper presents a more complete framework of factors for innovation selection in general and the selection of AM technology specifically. This framework can serve as a basis for future studies on technology selection in the (additive) manufacturing sector and beyond. In addition to AM-specific factor weights, the paper explains why specific factors are important, reducing uncertainty for managers that have to choose between alternative manufacturing technologies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)26-47
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Manufacturing Technology Management
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • 3D printing
  • Additive manufacturing
  • Best–worst method
  • BWM
  • Metal additive manufacturing
  • Technology selection


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