Automating the production planning of a 3D printing factory

I.J.B.F. Adan, A.Y. Pogromskiy, J.P.N. Freens, H. Ploegmakers

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionAcademicpeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)
6 Downloads (Pure)


To increase a 3D printer's throughput and decrease the print objects' lead times, composing good batches for 3D printers in high-volume 3D printing environments is of great importance. Since manual planners cannot oversee the whole production planning, they tend to make sub-optimal decisions. This paper presents a two-stage procedure that automatically generates batches for multiple 3D printers. The first stage consists of allocating objects to a batch. This problem is an extension of the classical one-dimensional bin packing problem by including lateness and object size mixture requirements. In the second stage, the positions of the print objects in a tray are determined by using third party three-dimensional packing software. By simulating the production planning of Shapeways, a popular 3D printing marketplace, model parameters are calibrated and the performance of the two-stage procedure is evaluated. The results show an increase of the throughput of the 3D-printers by approximately 10% in comparison with manually created batches.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationWSC '15 Proceedings of the 2015 Winter Simulation Conference
EditorsL. Yilmaz, W.K.V. Chan, I. Moon, T.M.K. Roeder, C. Macal, M.D. Rossetti
Place of PublicationPiscataway
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers
Number of pages12
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-4673-9741-4
Publication statusPublished - 2015


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