A five-year scientometric analysis of the environmental effects of 3D printing

J. Nyika, F. M. Mwema*, Rasheedat Modupe Mahamood, E. T. Akinlabi, Tien-Chien Jen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Additive manufacturing use is on a rising trend and is set to revolutionise contemporary industrialisation activities. The technology uses a variety of materials with unique mechanical and chemical properties making production faster, customised and easier compared to conventional manufacturing approaches. The 3D printing technology results to environmental impacts such as release of emissions and particulate matter, energy inefficiencies and production of recalcitrant wastes. The qualitative and quantitative assessment the impacts is not well understood. To bridge this gap, this research conducted a scientometric analyses on research done regarding the environmental impacts of additive manufacturing using the VOSviewer software and data derived from the Web of Science database. Findings indicated exponential growth in publications with the Journal of Cleaner Production being the best publisher on the topic. Research and publication was scarce in developing countries due to limited financial and human capacity. Developed countries such the USA, Italy and China were lead publishers. The study emphasised the need to expand collaborative research on the environmental effects of 3D printing technology globally owing to its role in enhancing industrialisation and the need to adapt and mitigate climate change.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)564-574
Number of pages11
JournalAdvances in Materials and Processing Technologies
Issue numbersup2
Early online date2 Jul 2021
Publication statusPublished - 30 Sept 2022
Externally publishedYes

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