The disruptive impact of additive manufacturing on supply chains: A literature study, conceptual framework and research agenda

Victor Verboeket*, Harold Krikke

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Additive Manufacturing (AM) is one of the advanced computer technologies that digitizes supply chains (SCs). This article presents a structured literature review on the impact of AM on SC design based on 67 peer-reviewed articles. We address the business settings in which AM operates, AM SC design choices, and AM SC performance outputs. We use the SCOR model to structure this article.
Our results show that while AM is currently used for many applications it is mainly used for small, low demand and geometrically complex products. SC design involves making choices related to SC configurations, supplier relationships, AM production, installation of a return channel, IT system requirements and human resources. The main SC performance outputs influenced by AM are (reduced) SC cost and (improved) SC responsiveness. Many bottlenecks prevent AM being used to its full potential.
This article contributes to the AM SC design knowledge base by developing a conceptual framework, including 18 propositions, and a research agenda identifying relevant AM SC design research themes. Moreover, a roadmap is presented describing the steps to a full roll-out of AM for manufacturing purposes, in which bottlenecks (serving as thresholds) need to be eliminated in order to trigger a series of disrupting SC effects. We expect that AM will eventually lead to SC disruption, and has the potential to largely replace conventional manufacturing for mainstream products.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)91-107
Number of pages17
JournalComputers in Industry
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2019


  • Additive manufacturing
  • Supply chain design
  • Literature review
  • Research agenda
  • Propositions
  • Roadmap

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