Additive manufacturing has become one of the most innovative technologies in manufacturing. In comparison to conventional manufacturing, it can be more cost and time efficient, especially for small-scale production and customized products. Furthermore, this technology shows high sustainable potential. This study compares the environmental impacts of conventional and additive manufacturing of mold cores, which are used in the CFRP production. For this purpose, four LCA for manufacturing processes of mold cores were realized, regarding casting with low-melting alloy, milling from plaster-like material Aquapour, additive manufacturing with High Impact Polystyrene (HIPS) and additive manufacturing with powder materials like salt. For all four processes a cradle to grave LCA was made. The results show that the additive manufacturing processes have a lower environmental impact than the conventional manufacturing processes. Especially the damage caused by resources can be dramatically reduced.
Kafara, M., Süchting, M., Kemnitzer, J., Westermann, H. H., & Steinhilper, R. (2017). Comparative Life Cycle Assessment of Conventional and Additive Manufacturing in Mold Core Making for CFRP Production. Procedia Manufacturing, 8, 223–230. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.promfg.2017.02.028