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Article
Publication date: 5 September 2016

Harm-Jan Steenhuis and Leon Pretorius

The purpose of this paper is to explore what underlies the development of the consumer 3D printing industry and gain insight into future developments and its potentially…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore what underlies the development of the consumer 3D printing industry and gain insight into future developments and its potentially disruptive impact on the existing manufacturing industry.

Design/methodology/approach

A combination of approaches was followed. Initially a consumer 3D printer was purchased to gain first-hand experience as part of a practical research case study. Results were discussed with manufacturers and additional information was sought, and triangulated, via a survey and an exploratory bibliometric study.

Findings

Many characteristics are in place to identify consumer 3D printing as a potential disruptive technology for the manufacturing industry. For example, the cost of consumer 3D printing is lower than for traditional manufacturing. However, the current adoption rate is low and the user friendliness and technological capabilities need to improve.

Research limitations/implications

The main limitation is the exploratory nature of the study which does not allow generalizations.

Practical implications

If developments and adoption patterns continue, then traditional manufacturing industries, distribution channels and the transportation sector may become threatened.

Social implications

Technological advances in consumer manufacturing can potentially threaten several economic sectors, which can lead to loss of jobs and affect budgets of states of countries that depend on sales tax.

Originality/value

One of the first studies to employ experiments in combination with other methods to gain insight into adoption patterns and the disruptive nature of consumer 3D printers specifically, rather than industrial 3D printers or new business models as a result of 3D printing technology.

Details

Journal of Manufacturing Technology Management, vol. 27 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1741-038X

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Case study
Publication date: 20 May 2019

Robert F. Gallagher, Rosemond Desir and Lumina S. Albert

It is recommended that students apply the arguments of resource-based theory to analyze the potential strategic partnership that the case focuses on. The resource-based…

Abstract

Theoretical basis

It is recommended that students apply the arguments of resource-based theory to analyze the potential strategic partnership that the case focuses on. The resource-based view suggests that strategic partnerships between firms have the potential to create value when resources are pooled together. Scott Crump faces a decision-making situation wherein he analyses the value-creation potential of the original equipment manufacturer partnership with Hewlett-Packard (HP). In addition, contrasting the cultural environments within both organizations would bring in greater complexity and depth to the reflections, analyses and discussions. Often research experts explore these concepts in isolated streams of research. However, in real-world scenarios, these aspects must be integrated for a more comprehensive decision making to take place. It is also recommended for students to analyze how founder characteristics and resources imprint organizations with certain enduring “imprints” that determine strategic outcomes for the firm in unique ways.

Research methodology

For the development of this case, the authors interviewed the top management at Stratasys including Scott Crump, Founder and CEO. The authors also interviewed former and current employees of Stratasys, HP, other experts in the printing industry and existing customers in the 3D printing industry. The company made internal documents available to the authors including financial statements, internal meeting presentations, company forecasts and assessment tools. All interviews were recorded and analyzed to obtain and include multiple perspectives from various stakeholders. The authors also conducted extensive online research on the 3D printing industry and utilized data from news articles, interviews and other relevant press materials.

Case overview/synopsis

Scott Crump, Founder of Stratasys, a company that developed and sold 3D printers, had always envisioned a future when it would be commonplace for a 3D printer to be on the desk of every engineer. HP approached him with a proposal that had the potential to make that dream come true. Crump knew that Stratasys did not need to partner with HP for a financial reason, but he loved the idea of the technology becoming a standard method for creating parts universally. The case highlights a true-life account of a firm’s founder considering an important strategic alliance and analyzing the ramifications of taking on or refusing this partnership.

Complexity academic level

This case has applications in strategic management and small business management courses at both undergraduate and graduate levels. It also contains critical areas of decision making relevant to an advanced strategic management course that focuses on manufacturing strategy or strategic alliance decision making. This case would be relevant to MBA, Executive MBA or Masters of Science in Accountancy level students as well. Specifically, it is intended for use in courses involving topics such as mergers and strategic partnerships, negotiation and leadership, risk analysis, financial statement analysis, financial modeling and market analysis.

Details

The CASE Journal, vol. 15 no. 2
Type: Case Study
ISSN: 1544-9106

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Article
Publication date: 14 April 2014

Ariel Calderon, James Griffin and Juan Cristóbal Zagal

The democratization of invention is a long lasting desire for the advancement of society. Having access to education and the means of production appears as the major…

Abstract

Purpose

The democratization of invention is a long lasting desire for the advancement of society. Having access to education and the means of production appears as the major factors for the implementation of this goal. 3D printing is a revolutionary technology that has the potential to bring digital manufacturing to everyone. However, the rise of personal fabrication requires an increase in printing quality, a reduction on machine cost and an increase in knowledge shared by the open hardware community. The purpose of this paper is to explore the development of a new Open Hardware printer project to address these points.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors have designed and constructed a low-cost photopolymer-based 3D printer called BeamMaker. The printer is connected to a host computer and a digital-light-processing projector. This work details the design process and how improvements were implemented to reach good printing quality. The authors provide public access to the instructions, software, source code, parts list, user manual and STL and CAD files.

Findings

The BeamMaker printer can build objects with a high surface quality that is comparable to the quality obtained by industrial photopolymer-based 3D printers. When testing the ability to print a sample cylinder, the printer shows higher accuracy when compared to other personal 3D printers. These findings are encouraging considering the low cost of the system.

Research limitations/implications

The printing failure rate of the system has not been measured to date. The system requires some improvements to produce large objects.

Practical implications

The printer cost is just USD380. This is five to eight times less expensive than popular personal 3D printers available today. The cost is 30 times less expensive than a personal photopolymer 3D printer produced by a main commercial company and yet producing results of similar quality. The authors expect good avenues for collaboration from the open-source community to continue improving these systems.

Social implications

The high cost of current personal 3D printers prevents users from developing countries from entering into the open hardware trend. A dramatic reduction in printer cost such as that explored in this work might contribute to the real democratization of personal fabrication.

Originality/value

The authors report on the status of three other photopolymer-based personal 3D printer projects. To the best of the authors' knowledge, BeamMaker is the first fully open hardware 3D printer project which uses this technology.

Details

Rapid Prototyping Journal, vol. 20 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1355-2546

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 17 August 2015

Brett P. Conner, Guha P. Manogharan and Kerry L. Meyers

The purpose of this paper is to examine the implementation of entry-level printers in small businesses and education to identify corresponding benefits, implications and…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the implementation of entry-level printers in small businesses and education to identify corresponding benefits, implications and challenges.

Design/methodology/approach

Data were collected from four small businesses in northeast Ohio through survey- and interview-based feedback to develop an understanding of their use of entry-level 3D printing. Three businesses are representative of typical manufacturing-related small companies (final part fabrication-, tooling- and system-level suppliers) and the fourth company provides manufacturing-related educational tools. Corresponding learning from implementation and outcomes are assessed.

Findings

Adoption of 3D printing technology was enabled through hands-on experience with entry-level 3D printers, even with their shortcomings. Entry-level 3D printing provided a workforce development opportunity to prepare small businesses to eventually work with production grade systems.

Originality/value

This paper details industry-based findings on venturing into commercializing 3D printing through first-hand experiences enabled by entry-level 3D printing.

Details

Rapid Prototyping Journal, vol. 21 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1355-2546

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Article
Publication date: 30 March 2020

Donghua Zhao, Tianqi Li, Beijun Shen, Yicheng Jiang, Weizhong Guo and Feng Gao

The purpose of this paper is to design and develop a rotary three-dimensional (3D) printer for curved layer fused deposition modeling (CLFDM), and discuss some technical…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to design and develop a rotary three-dimensional (3D) printer for curved layer fused deposition modeling (CLFDM), and discuss some technical challenges in the development.

Design/methodology/approach

Some technical challenges include, but are not limited to, the machine design and control system, motion analysis and simulation, workspace and printing process analysis, curved layer slicing and tool path planning. Moreover, preliminary experiments are carried out to prove the feasibility of the design.

Findings

A rotary 3D printer for CLFDM has been designed and developed. Moreover, this printer can function as a polar 3D printer for flat layer additive manufacturing (AM). Compared with flat layer AM, CLFDM weakens the staircase effect and improves geometrical accuracy and mechanical properties. Hence, CLFDM is more suitable for parts with curved surfaces.

Research limitations/implications

Double extruders have brought improved build speed. However, this paper is restricted to complex process planning and mechanical structures, which may lead to collisions during printing. Meanwhile, the rotation range of the nozzle is limited by mechanical structures, affecting the manufacturing capability of complex curved surfaces.

Originality/value

A novel rotary 3D printer, which has four degrees of freedom and double extruders, has been designed and manufactured. The investigation on the prototype has proved its capability of CLFDM. Besides, this rotary 3D printer has two working modes, which brings the possibility of flat layer AM and CLFDM.

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Article
Publication date: 11 November 2014

Heather Michele Moorefield-Lang

The purpose of this paper is to describe the implementation of 3D printing and maker spaces in various library settings. Insights, challenges, successes, projects as well…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to describe the implementation of 3D printing and maker spaces in various library settings. Insights, challenges, successes, projects as well as recommendations will be shared. Commonalities across libraries 3D printing technologies and maker space learning areas will also explored.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper delves into six case studies of librarians that have implemented 3D printers and/or maker spaces in their libraries. The case studies focus on libraries at three different levels: school, public, and higher education with two case studies from each type. The author of this paper will describe the cases, projects, challenges, successes, along with other aspects of 3D printer, and maker space integration.

Findings

3D printing and maker spaces, while very popular in the field of librarianship can be incredibly exciting to implement but they come with challenges and successes just like any type of new technology. Librarians have to be fearless in implementing this technology, willing to learn on their feet, and be excited to explore.

Originality/value

At this time most publications on 3D printing are held in the realm of popular publications (blogs, magazines, zines, etc.). Very little has been written on a wider range of case studies where 3D printers and maker spaces have been integrated into libraries of various types. This paper sets the foundation for further exploration in how 3D printing and maker spaces could be a part of library services.

Details

Library Hi Tech, vol. 32 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0737-8831

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 16 November 2015

Gillian Andrea Nowlan

The purpose of this paper is to describe the development of a 3D printing pilot project and 3D printing library service. Policy development, instruction, and best…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to describe the development of a 3D printing pilot project and 3D printing library service. Policy development, instruction, and best practices will be shared and explored.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper describes the implementation of 3D printing at the University of Regina Library and details successes, failures, and modifications made to better provide 3D printing services. This paper outlines one academic library’s experience and solutions to offering 3D printing for university patrons.

Findings

Although 3D printing has been around for a while, it still requires trial and error and experience in order to print successfully. Training and instruction is needed to run the 3D printer and understand how to develop 3D objects that will print successfully.

Originality/value

There have been many publications on 3D printing, but few that discuss problem solving, best practices, and policy development. 3D printing provides a way for patrons to learn about new technology and use that technology to help support learning.

Details

Library Hi Tech, vol. 33 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0737-8831

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Article
Publication date: 1 March 2013

Michael Groenendyk and Riel Gallant

The purpose of this paper is to describe how 3D printing and scanning technology was implemented by the Dalhousie University Libraries in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Insights…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to describe how 3D printing and scanning technology was implemented by the Dalhousie University Libraries in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Insights will be outlined about the benefits of these technologies in terms of data visualization and archival practices, as well as the potential user base for library‐centered 3D printing and scanning services.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper describes why the Dalhousie University Libraries purchased a 3D printer and scanner, the challenges of maintaining these technologies and instructing students in their use, and how Dalhousie faculty members and students have made use of these technologies for their own research purposes.

Findings

3D printing and scanning technologies can be of use to a much wider range of Faculties than have traditionally had access to them. The unique role libraries have on university campuses allows them to function as universal access points for these technologies. By offering 3D scanning technology, they can also use this technology internally for archival purposes.

Originality/value

While much has been written on 3D printing and scanning technology, very little has been written about how these technologies could relate to academic libraries. This paper sets the groundwork for further exploration into how 3D technologies can improve and expand library services.

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Article
Publication date: 1 October 2019

Jean Louise Bossart, Sara Russell Gonzalez and Neelam Bharti

The purpose of this paper is to evaluate the sustainability of an academic library 3D printing service. Originally intended to introduce students to an emerging…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to evaluate the sustainability of an academic library 3D printing service. Originally intended to introduce students to an emerging technology, the 3D printing service at the University of Florida (UF) libraries expanded to support teaching, learning and research, allowing faculty, staff and students to engage in the maker movement.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper analyzed usage data collected by the library’s 3D printing service from April 2014 through March 2018. These data include the number of prints produced, amount of filament consumed, user academic demographics and whether it is for academic assignments, research or personal projects.

Findings

The data show that the initial 3D printing service users were predominantly engineering students; however, over the four-year period, the service has built up a consistent and diverse user base and expanded the number and types of printers. With grants covering the purchase of the 3D printers and a modest charge for printing ($0.15 per gram of model weight), the 3D printing service has achieved a sustainable level.

Originality/value

UF was one of the first academic libraries to offer 3D printing services and has collected four years of data to evaluate the sustainability of the service. These data demonstrate that the service is a valuable and sustainable asset, allowing students and researchers to visualize and innovate in such diverse fields as anthropology, archaeology, art, biology, chemistry and mathematics.

Details

Library Hi Tech, vol. 37 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0737-8831

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Article
Publication date: 20 June 2016

Michael Groenendyk

The number of 3D models available on the internet to both students and educators is rapidly expanding. Not only are the 3D model collections of popular websites like…

Abstract

Purpose

The number of 3D models available on the internet to both students and educators is rapidly expanding. Not only are the 3D model collections of popular websites like Thingiverse.com growing, organizations such as the Smithsonian Institution and NASA have also recently begun to build collections of 3D models and make these openly accessible online. Yet, even with increased interest in 3D printing and 3D scanning technologies, little is known about the overall structure of the 3D models available on the internet. The paper aims to discuss this issue.

Design/methodology/approach

To initiate this project, a list was built of 33 of the most widely used 3D model websites on the internet. Freely downloadable models, as well as models available for purchase or as 3D printed objects were included in the list. Once the list of 33 websites was created, the data for each individual 3D model in the collections was manually assembled and recorded. The titles of the 3D models, keywords, subject headings, license information, and number of views and downloads were recorded, as this information was available. The data were gathered between January and May 2015, and compiled into a CSV database. To determine how online 3D model content relates to a variety of educational disciplines, relevant subject terms for a variety of educational disciples were extracted from the EBSCO database system. With this list of subject terms in hand, the keywords in the CSV database of model information were searched for each of the subject terms, with an automated process using a Perl script.

Findings

There have been many teachers, professors, librarians and students who have purchased 3D printers with little or no 3D modelling skills. Without these skills the owners of these 3D printers are entirely reliant on the content created and freely shared by others to make use of their 3D printers. As the data collected for this research paper shows, the vast majority of open 3D model content available online pertains to the professions already well versed in 3D modelling and Computer Aided Design design, such as engineering and architecture.

Originality/value

Despite that fact that librarians, teachers and other educators are increasingly using technologies that rely on open 3D model content as educational tools, no research has yet been done to assess the number of 3D models available online and what educational disciplines this content relates to. This paper attempts to fill this gap, providing an overview of the size of this content, the educational disciplines this content relates to and who has so far been responsible for developing this content. This information will be valuable to librarians and teachers currently working with technology such as 3D printers and virtual reality, as well as those considering investing in this technology.

Details

Library Hi Tech, vol. 34 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0737-8831

Keywords

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