Sustainable frugal design using 3D printing

Ian Gibson*, Abhijeet Shukla

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterAcademicpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


This chapter describes and discusses achieving sustainable solutions through the fusion of 3D printing with frugal approaches in design and engineering. Sustainability has various definitions, however. According to the widely accepted Bruntland Report (World Commission on Environment and Development in Our common future. Oxford University Press, Oxford, p. 27, 1987) [1] for the World Commission on Environment and Development (1992), sustainability can be defined as ‘Development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs’. We can use this definition when we are dealing with product design to ensure the design functions correctly without causing a severe impact on available resources. For the chapter we consider sustainability as obtaining viable and tangible solutions for a given design problem which are environmentally friendly and economically advantageous for end users and society. 3D printing (3DP) is often regarded as a ‘disruptive’ technology that has forced many to rethink how we design and make things and how to turn this into new business models. It is also often considered as a ‘liberating’ technology that is easier to use, enabling us to transfer ideas generated in a digital format into physical forms with minimal fuss and cost. This chapter explores the product design and development process in relation to frugal and sustainable concepts and how 3D printing and related technologies can influence them.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHandbook of Sustainability in Additive Manufacturing Volume 2
Number of pages16
Publication statusPublished - 2016
Externally publishedYes

Publication series

NameEnvironmental Footprints and Eco-Design of Products and Processes
ISSN (Print)2345-7651
ISSN (Electronic)2345-766X


  • 3D printing
  • Energy
  • Material utilization
  • Sustainable frugal design
  • Tool design


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