Additive Manufacturing and Spare Parts: Literature Review and Future Perspectives
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The use of Additive Manufacturing (AM) for spare parts management has increasingly gained interest in the last years, thanks to the possibility provided by AM technologies to print-on-demand. In such a way, the high spare parts inventory level necessary with Conventional Manufacturing (CM) techniques could be reduced due to a faster responsiveness of AM. Recently, some researchers have investigated the profitability of the transition from CM to AM for the spare parts management, and these contributions are herein reviewed, highlighting the main novelties and limitations of these studies. Based on the output of the literature review and on interviews with experts and industrial partners, future research perspectives have been reported. Four main research areas have been identified, and a multidisciplinary approach is suggested to accomplish them all.