Document Type


Date of Award

Fall 2017

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Industrial Engineering - (Ph.D.)


Mechanical and Industrial Engineering

First Advisor

Wenbo Cai

Second Advisor

Layek Abdel-Malek

Third Advisor

Sanchoy K. Das

Fourth Advisor

Athanassios K. Bladikas

Fifth Advisor

Junmin Shi


As additive manufacturing technology becomes more responsive to consumers’ demand, one important question for the retailers is whether they should provide 3D printing services in their brick-and-mortar store in addition to the traditional off-the-shelf product? If so, what should be the retailers pricing scheme to achieve a higher profit? What should be the optimal inventory level of off-the-shelf products? What is the optimal capacity of 3D printers? In this study, stochastic models are examined to capture the joint optimal 3D product price and capacity of 3D printers to maximize retailer’s expected profit while considering consumer product choices. Moreover, a stochastic model is developed to capture joint optimal pre-made inventory level and 3D product price to maximize retailer’s expected profit considering 3D services are offered in the off-the-shelf stock-out situations as a one-way substitution. Utilizing the Markov Decision Process, a framework for queuing systems is developed to examine the performance of various production/inventory strategies that optimize the system’s performance. Here, four strategies are developed: (i) providing only off-the-shelf products, (ii) providing only 3D printed products, (iii) substituting the shortage of the off-the-shelf products by 3D printed products, and (iv) providing consumers the options of selecting either the off-the-shelf product or the customized product produced by additive manufacturing. In essence, this approach assists decision makers in both capacity planning and inventory management. For all models, analytical results and numerical examples are given in order to demonstrate managerial insights.



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.