Special Issue "Innovations in 3-D Printing"

A special issue of Inventions (ISSN 2411-5134). This special issue belongs to the section "Inventions and innovation in Advanced Manufacturing".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 November 2017)

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Joshua M. Pearce

Department of Materials Science and Engineering and Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering, Michigan Technological University, Houghton, MI 49931,USA
Website | E-Mail
Interests: applied sustainability; renewable energy; solar photovoltaic materials; devices and systems; energy policy

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

3-D printing has been growing aggressively, and diverse thought leaders agree that additive manufacturing (AM) technology will provide a new industrial revolution, fundamentally changing the way products are made. Innovation in the 3-D printing intellectual space is observed in a gold rush for 3-D printing related patents throughout the globe [1]. In addition, the open-source self-replicating rapid prototyper (RepRap) project has created a tidal wave of innovation from hundreds of developers working together over the web. This has resulted in radically reduced costs of 3-D printers, rapid prototyping and low-volume production and popularized the idea of 3-D printing with dozens of new companies forming. Conventional patenting and production as well as mining of expired or abandoned patents [2] or direct open source innovation have all combined to provide a new approach to the manufacture of end-use products: Distributed manufacturing [3], where raw material (filament, powder, liquid, or sheets) is directly transformed into objects from digital 3-D design files (millions of which are freely shared on the web). 3-D printing allows the efficient manufacture of geometrically and functionally complex products within a single process step, which provides enormous opportunity for more efficient product design, custom products and rapid innovation in the product cycle. 3-D printing also holds out the potential for advances in global value chains [4] as well as manufacturing sustainability including reduced energy consumption, increased materials efficiency, localized production (even in one's own home), increased opportunities for repair and life cycle upgrading. All of this opportunity will only be realized with continued invention and innovation. That is why I invite you to submit an article for Inventions for this Special Issue on “Innovations in 3-D Printing”. Inventions is open access and all papers will be readable by everyone, free of charge.

Suitable topics include, but are not limited to:

  • Innovation to reduce 3-D printing time, materials, energy use, environmental impact, cost, or complexity
  • Innovative 3-D printer software (firmware, controller, slicers, CAD, web interfaces, quality control, monitoring, and integration)
  • Innovative 3-D printer hardware
  • Innovative processing techniques that enable 3-D printing both conventional (FFF/FDM, SLS, SLA, DLP, SLM, EBM, BJ, LOM, etc.), as well as those processes beyond common techniques
  • Innovative 3-D printing materials and multi-material printing
  • Innovation that would lead to volumetric 3-D printing rather than layer-by-layer
  • Innovative 3-D printing at different scales (nano to building sized)
  • Innovation impact from open source communities (e.g., the RepRap project)
  • Innovative open source business models applied to 3-D printing
  • Innovation to reduce cost of 3-D printers
  • Innovations to encourage distributed manufacturing
  • Innovative consumer applications that can be 3-D printed at home
  • Innovative intellectual property approaches to 3-D printing and distributed manufacturing

The journal Inventions is an international, peer-reviewed journal that publishes original scientific research of significance concerning innovation/invention, or patent-based/extended/reviewed research papers in all fields of science, engineering and product development processes.

I look forward to reading your innovations in the exiting and rapidly growing 3-D printing space.

Best regards,
Prof. Dr. Joshua M. Pearce
Guest Editor

[1] Wee, H. The “gold rush” for 3-D printing patents. CNBC. 2013. http://www.cnbc.com/id/100942655

[2] Nilsiam, Y., Pearce, J.M. Open Source Database and Website to Provide Free and Open Access to Inactive US Patents in the Public Domain. Inventions 2016, 1, 24.

[3] Wittbrodt, B., et al. Life-cycle economic analysis of distributed manufacturing with open-source 3-D printers. Mechatronics 2013, 23, 713–726

[4]. Laplume, A.O., et al. Global value chains from a 3D printing perspective. Journal of International Business Studies 2016, 47, 595–609

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Inventions is an international peer-reviewed open access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) is waived for well-prepared manuscripts submitted to this issue. Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • 3-D printing
  • 3-D printers
  • additive manufacturing
  • distributed manufacturing
  • digital manufacturing
  • home manufacturing
  • DIY
  • RepRap
  • fused filament fabrication
  • fused deposition modeling
  • stereolithography
  • digital light processing
  • selective laser sintering
  • selective laser melting
  • electron beam melting
  • laminated object manufacturing
  • binder jetting
  • material jetting
  • gas metal arc weld 3-D printing

Published Papers

This special issue is now open for submission.
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