Service levels in make-to-order production: 3D printing applications


Consumer 3D printing services offering to print customer’s models on demand must achieve high service with the available capacity. While the bulk of production tends to come from in-house capacity, overtime is also viable for managing demand peaks. This chapter shows how 3D printers can manage their order book releases to deliver on time, while keeping production costs low. Applying order book smoothing to a numerical case reveals a cost service trade-off that is not convex, as typically seen in inventory models, but of sigmoid type. This results in two attractive configurations: Atrocious service at a minimal cost, or near-perfect service at a higher cost.

In Managing 3D Printing: Operations Management for Additive Manufacturing, edited by D.R Eyers, Palgrave Macmillan, UK, 12 pages. ISBN: 3030233227