- COST AND DIFFICULTY: The cost and difficulty of maintaining manufacturing to the same quality at several sites, of control of transport and delivery to end-user act as significant barriers.
- SCALE-UP: A significant challenge of distributed manufacturing is the ability to up-scale whilst retaining the value that the model aims to create through personalization, localization, and inclusivity.
- SECURITY: Challenges concerning business-to-business and business-to-consumer data sharing, governance, ownership, and security are key barriers to adoption.
- DESIGNER CONSTRAINTS: Designers must understand the constraints of the production tools that are geographically located far away. Designers also face a risk of unpredictable financial returns, as they only earn (a percentage of the total product price) each time a design is sold online.
- OTHER: Other Challenges include 3D modeling for AM, modular products; material supply chain issues; standards (including file formats), compatibility, regulation, and certification; the absence of software and conceptual infrastructure; the ability of organizations to create and capture value; ownership issues; and business model uncertainty
- Development of IP policing for the prevention of copyright infringement for design and development work.
- Development of data-sharing protocols within a digitally connected supply chain.
- Digitalization of product design, production control, demand, and supply integration, that enable effective quality control at multiple and remote locations.
- Investigation of products and production systems for which DM looks most promising.
- Investigation on design rule with modularity for additive manufacturing.