Relating additive and subtractive processes in a teleological and modular approach

Victoria Townsend (University of Windsor, Windsor, Canada)
Jill Urbanic (University of Windsor, Windsor, Canada)

Rapid Prototyping Journal

ISSN: 1355-2546

Publication date: 8 June 2012



The purpose of this paper is to relate additive manufacturing (AM) and machining (CNC) synergistically in a modular approach in the design and manufacturing domains, to generate value for end‐users and manufacturers (a teleological system).


The research methodology decomposes a part into modules, by employing a teleological systems theory approach paired with principles of modular design. Modules are manufactured with either additive manufacturing (fused deposition modeling, FDM) or machining (CNC). Process selection is determined by a decision‐making framework that quantifies strength and weakness comparisons of FDM and CNC machining processes, accomplished using the analytic hierarchy process (AHP).


The developed methodology and decision‐making framework is successfully applied to the design and manufacturing of a large, complex V6 engine section sand casting pattern. This case study highlights the merits of the research.

Research limitations/implications

The research assumes that the processes being considered are capable of meeting the product functional requirements. The proposed methodology can be extended to evaluate additional processes.

Practical implications

Value is assessed in this research relative to: time and cost opportunities, managing knowledge limitations of a process by leveraging hybrid options, and aligning design and manufacturing to create a product that accomplishes the goals of the end‐user (teleological effectiveness).


Utilizing the AHP process and a teleological perspective are new, and proven effective, approaches in relating additive and subtractive processes in a hybrid approach with end‐user perspectives. The research demonstrates a systematic methodology to quantify additive and subtractive process selection.



Townsend, V. and Urbanic, J. (2012), "Relating additive and subtractive processes in a teleological and modular approach", Rapid Prototyping Journal, Vol. 18 No. 4, pp. 324-338.

Download as .RIS



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2012, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Please note you might not have access to this content

You may be able to access this content by login via Shibboleth, Open Athens or with your Emerald account.
If you would like to contact us about accessing this content, click the button and fill out the form.
To rent this content from Deepdyve, please click the button.