Quality control issues in 3D-printing manufacturing: a review

Hsin Chieh Wu*, Tin-Chih Chen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Purpose: This study aims to investigate issues of quality and quality control (QC) in three-dimensional (3D) printing by reviewing past work and current practices. Possible future developments are also discussed. Design/methodology/approach: After a discussion of the major quality dimensions of 3D-printed objects, the applications of some QC techniques at various stages of the product life cycle (including product design, process planning, incoming QC, in-process QC and outgoing QC) are introduced. Findings: The application of QC techniques to 3D printing is not uncommon. Some techniques (e.g. cause-and-effect analysis) have been applied extensively; others, such as design of experiments, have not been used accurately and completely and therefore cannot optimize quality. Taguchi’s method and control charts can enhance the quality of 3D-printed objects; however, these techniques require repetitive experimentation, which may not fit the work flow of 3D printing. Originality/value: Because quality issues may discourage customers from buying 3D-printed products, enhancing 3D printing quality is imperative. In addition, 3D printing can be used to manufacture diverse products with a reduced investment in machines, tools, assembly and materials. Production economics issues can be addressed by successfully implementing QC.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)607-614
Number of pages8
JournalRapid Prototyping Journal
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2018


  • 3D printing
  • Quality
  • Quality control

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