A review of Industry 4.0 and additive manufacturing synergy

Mahyar Khorasani, Jennifer Loy, Amir Hossein Ghasemi*, Elmira Sharabian, Martin Leary, Hamed Mirafzal, Peter Cochrane, Bernard Rolfe, Ian Gibson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleAcademicpeer-review

42 Citations (Scopus)
136 Downloads (Pure)


Purpose: This paper reviews the synergy of Industry 4.0 and additive manufacturing (AM) and discusses the integration of data-driven manufacturing systems and product service systems as a key component of the Industry 4.0 revolution. This paper aims to highlight the potential effects of Industry 4.0 on AM via tools such as digitalisation, data transfer, tagging technology, information in Industry 4.0 and intelligent features. Design/methodology/approach: In successive phases of industrialisation, there has been a rise in the use of, and dependence on, data in manufacturing. In this review of Industry 4.0 and AM, the five pillars of success that could see the Internet of Things (IoT), artificial intelligence, robotics and materials science enabling new levels of interactivity and interdependence between suppliers, producers and users are discussed. The unique effects of AM capabilities, in particular mass customisation and light-weighting, combined with the integration of data and IoT in Industry 4.0, are studied for their potential to support higher efficiencies, greater utility and more ecologically friendly production. This research also illustrates how the digitalisation of manufacturing for Industry 4.0, through the use of IoT and AM, enables new business models and production practices. Findings: The discussion illustrates the potential of combining IoT and AM to provide an escape from the constraints and limitations of conventional mass production whilst achieving economic and ecological savings. It should also be noted that this extends to the agile design and fabrication of increasingly complex parts enabled by simulations of complex production processes and operating systems. This paper also discusses the relationship between Industry 4.0 and AM with respect to improving the quality and robustness of product outcomes, based on real-time data/feedback. Originality/value: This research shows how a combined approach to research into IoT and AM can create a step change in practice that alters the production and supply paradigm, potentially reducing the ecological impact of industrial systems and product life cycle. This paper demonstrates how the integration of Industry 4.0 and AM could reshape the future of manufacturing and discusses the challenges involved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1462-1475
Number of pages14
JournalRapid prototyping journal
Issue number8
Early online date19 Apr 2022
Publication statusPublished - 2 Aug 2022


  • Additive manufacturing
  • Agile production
  • Digital integration
  • Energy storage
  • Industrial revolution
  • Industry 4.0
  • Internet of Things
  • Mass customisation
  • Product service systems
  • 2023 OA procedure


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