Reusable unit process life cycle inventory for manufacturing: stereolithography

Timothy Simon, Yiran Yang, Wo Jae Lee, Jing Zhao, Lin Li, Fu Zhao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Additive manufacturing technologies have been implemented in a variety of industries such as aerospace, automotive, healthcare, and military. The increasing application is owing to the unique capability of AM for fabricating parts layer by layer. Compared to traditional manufacturing processes, AM can achieve enhanced design and manufacturing complexity. In addition, it has been argued that AM could also reduce the environmental footprint of a product. However, recent studies reveal that AM processes may cause environmental consequences. Characterization of manufacturing processes for their environmental performance can be achieved by evaluating input and output material and energy flows. The unit process life cycle inventory methodology is a promising approach to develop reusable models and tools to calculate these flows. The unit process life cycle inventory models can be connected to estimate the total material/energy consumption of and emissions from product manufacturing based on a process plan. In this paper, we develop a unit process life cycle inventory model for one of the most widely used additive manufacturing processes i.e., Stereolithography, which fabricates parts by using ultraviolet light to solidify the photosensitive liquid resin in a matter of seconds layer by layer. The model is constructed with the knowledge of physical and chemical principles and is based on production information and equipment specifications. A case study is provided to demonstrate how to use the unit process life cyle inventory model on Stereolithography.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)675-684
Number of pages10
JournalProduction Engineering
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering

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