Setting Up and Then Redistributing a 3D Printing Operation: Evidence from the Industry

  • Andrew LahyEmail author
  • Mike Wilson
  • Daniel Eyers


3D printing allows firms that would not traditionally engage in manufacturing to become an integral part of this value-adding activity. In this chapter we examine how these new players can enter the 3D printing market, drawing on the experiences of a major logistics service provider. A new framework for 3D printing implementation is presented, with insights from a case study highlighting the challenges of setting up a new production facility, managing growth, and geographically redistributing manufacturing.


  1. Anderson, C. (2012). Makers: The New Industrial Revolution. Random House Business.Google Scholar
  2. Attaran, M. (2017). The rise of 3-D printing: The advantages of additive manufacturing over traditional manufacturing. Business Horizons, 60(5), 677–688.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Fisher, M., Hammond, J., Obermeyer, W., & Raman, A. (1997). Configuring a supply chain to reduce the cost of demand uncertainty. Production and Operations Management, 6(3), 211–225.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Gibbs, S. (2013). First metal 3D printed gun is capable of firing 50 shots. The Guardian, November 8.Google Scholar
  5. Handal, R. (2017). An implementation framework for additive manufacturing in supply chains. Journal of Operations and Supply Chain Management, 10(2), 18–31.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Holmström, J., & Partanen, J. (2014). Digital manufacturing-driven transformations of service supply chains for complex products. Supply Chain Management: An International Journal, 19(4), 421–430.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Huang, S. H., Liu, P., Mokasdar, A., & Hou, L. (2013). Additive manufacturing and its societal impact: A literature review. The International Journal of Advanced Manufacturing Technology, 67(5–8), 1191–1203.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Lahy, A., Li, A. Q., Found, P., Syntetos, A., Wilson, M., & Ayiomamitou, N. (2018). Developing a product–service system through a productisation strategy: A case from the 3PL industry. International Journal of Production Research, 56(6), 2233–2249.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Mellor, S., Hao, L., & Zhang, D. (2014). Additive manufacturing: A framework for implementation. International Journal of Production Economics, 149, 194–201.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. OECD. (2017). OECD Data Bank. Retrieved from
  11. Oliva, R., & Kallenberg, R. (2003). Managing the transition from products to services. International Journal of Service Industry Management, 14(2), 160–172.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Panalpina Newsdesk. (2016). Panalpina and shapeways enter into strategic partnership for 3D printing. Retrieved from
  13. Potstada, M., & Zybura, J. (2014). The role of context in science fiction prototyping: The digital industrial revolution. Technological Forecasting and Social Change, 84(May), 101–114.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Ryan, M. J., Eyers, D. R., Potter, A. T., Purvis, L., & Gosling, J. (2017). 3D printing the future: Scenarios for supply chains reviewed. International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management, 47(10), 992–1014.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Buckingham Business SchoolThe University of BuckinghamBuckinghamUK
  2. 2.Panalpina Centre for Manufacturing and Logistics ResearchCardiff UniversityCardiffUK
  3. 3.Logistics Manufacturing Services, Panalpina World Transport LtdBaselSwitzerland
  4. 4.Cardiff Business SchoolCardiff UniversityCardiffUK

Personalised recommendations