Title

3D Printing Applications in the Business World

Major

Supply Chain Management

Second Major

Political Science

Advisor

Gamache-Griffiths, Donna

Advisor Department

General Business

Date

5-2018

Keywords

Additive manufacturing; Manufacturing; 3D printing; business; technology; innovation

Abstract

Originally developed in 1981, additive manufacturing, better known as 3-D printing technology, has revolutionized engineering and industry. The process involves melting material into a molten state that is layered and linked together as it cools. The process results in the creation of a three dimensional object. 3-D printer technology has gone through substantial innovations over the past few decades. The software allows for more complex calculations and shapes. The time in which printers can create 3-D objects has decreased tremendously. The list of materials that can be used has increased tenfold in the last few years. Furthermore, there is still a great amount of room for improvement.

Currently, the technology is sufficient to create 3-D printed objects but it could be even better. Still, the most advanced 3-D printers on the market require several hours to complete simple objects. We are at a junction of either the precipice of a new technological revolution or at the very least, the creation of a new activity for hobby enthusiasts.

The focus of my project is on the applications 3-D printing technology has for the business world at this time, and what remains in store for the future. Some have speculated it will create a manufacturing revolution in industry but also at home. I dug myself into the literature on 3-D printing technology and indulged in an extensive research process. My goal is to create a business strategy report on 3-D printing technology investment for various industries and sizes of businesses. I also investigate the ease of use for an average consumer who may or may not have the proper experience or skills in product design. This is one technological innovation I want to focus on as I move forward in my career in supply chain management.

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