A decentralized 3D printing service framework based on Gale-Shapley matching
With the increasing availability of mid-to-low price 3D printers, it is increasingly possible for individuals and medium-sized enterprises to own such machines. However, these owners rarely utilize the full capacity of these machines. The excess capacity can be made available to interested designers who would like to get their designs printed but do not own these resources. This has resulted in an emergence of cloud-based portals where machine owners can register and advertise their printing resources, and designers can avail these resources to choose the machine that best suits their needs. Presently a first-come-first-serve approach is used to match the designers with machine owners. The primary limitations of this approach are that (a) the capacity of the machines is highly under-utilized and (b) the matching is based solely on the designers' preferences while ignoring the machine owners' preferences. To address these limitations, this thesis proposes the use of the Gale-Shapley matching algorithm after applying the utility theory to obtain the designer and machine owner preferences for each other. The use of the Gale-Shapley matching algorithm is evaluated and compared with the first-come-first-serve approach. The results of the study indicate that the approach based on Gale-Shapley matching improves the total social welfare over the present first-come-first-serve approach. While this method is slightly biased in favor of either the designers or the machine owners, given the limitations of the algorithm, both sides have a highly improved utility. In addition, an implementation of the algorithm through a web-based platform is presented for implementation of the theoretical framework to practical applications.^
Jitesh H. Panchal, Purdue University.
Economics|Economic theory|Mechanical engineering