3D Printing in the Context of Cloud Manufacturing

Jin Cui, Lei Ren, Jingeng Mai, Pai Zheng, Lin Zhang

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)


3D printing has drawn tremendous attention in Industry 4.0. Nowadays, with the ever-increasing consumers’ requests for 3D printing services, there lies a big challenge to eliminate the unbalanced demands and supplies of 3D printing resources in a geographically distributed environment. Cloud manufacturing, as a newly emerged service-oriented manufacturing paradigm, provides a promising way to overcome the challenge by integrating 3D printing into the cloud-based context, which may flourish the development of smart networks of virtual 3D printing cloud and also promote a novel 3D printing service business model to achieve mass customization. This paper presents a comprehensive study of 3D printing in cloud manufacturing environment. Two typical models of 3D printing, i.e. primary 3D printing cloud model and advanced 3D printing cloud model are presented and compared. The system architecture design of a 3D printing cloud platform is proposed to support the latter model. Furthermore, a series of key enabling technologies are presented based on the proposed system architecture. Finally, a prototype of 3D printing cloud platform is deployed with a case study of an aircraft engine part. The research will provide valuable theoretical and practical references to the future development of 3D printing clouds.

Original languageEnglish
Article number102256
JournalRobotics and Computer-Integrated Manufacturing
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2022


  • 3D Printing
  • Cloud Manufacturing
  • Cyber Physical Systems
  • Industry 4.0

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Software
  • General Mathematics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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