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3D-printed medical models supply chain: barriers modeling and analysis

Virendra Kumar Verma (Department of Operations and Supply Chain Management, National Institute of Industrial Engineering, Mumbai, India)
Sachin S. Kamble (Strategy (Operations and SCM), EDHEC Business School, Nice, France)
L. Ganapathy (Department of Operations and Supply Chain Management, National Institute of Industrial Engineering, Mumbai, India)

Rapid Prototyping Journal

ISSN: 1355-2546

Article publication date: 29 July 2022

Issue publication date: 27 January 2023




This study aims to identify 3D-printed medical model (3DPMM) supply chain barriers that affect the supply chain of 3DPMM in the Indian context and investigate the interdependencies between the barriers to establish hierarchical relations between them to improve the supply chain.


The methodology used interpretive structural modeling (ISM) and a decision-making trial and evaluation laboratory (DEMATEL) to identify the hierarchical and contextual relations among the barriers to the 3DPMM supply chain.


A total of 15 3DPMM supply chain barriers were identified in this study. The analysis identified limited materials options, slow production speed, manual post-processing, high-skilled data analyst, design and customization expert and simulation accuracy as the significant driving barriers for the medical models supply chain for hospitals. In addition, the authors identified linkage and dependent barriers. The present study findings would help to improve the 3DPMM supply chain.

Research limitations/implications

There were no experts from other nations, so this study might have missed a few 3DPMM supply chain barriers that would have been significant from another nation’s perspective.

Practical implications

ISM would help practitioners minimize 3DPMM supply chain barriers, while DEMATEL allows practitioners to emphasize the causal effects of 3DPMM supply chain barriers.


This study minimizes the 3DPMM supply chain barriers for medical applications through a hybrid ISM and DEMATEL methodology that has not been investigated in the literature.



Virendra Kumar Verma is thankful to the National Institute of Industrial Engineering (NITIE), Mumbai, India, for providing Ph.D. fellowship for this research work.


Verma, V.K., Kamble, S.S. and Ganapathy, L. (2023), "3D-printed medical models supply chain: barriers modeling and analysis", Rapid Prototyping Journal, Vol. 29 No. 2, pp. 288-311.



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