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Typology of Innovation
I agree with the statement that 3D printing represents the “Third Industrial Revolution”. This technology is radical in nature in that its usage threatens to upset the established manufacturing process. 3D printing is a radical innovation in that it creates a new way of manufacturing (D’Aveni, 2015). Unlike the traditional manufacturing process, which is subtractive in nature, 3D printing is additive. The wide scale adoption of 3D will upset the traditional manufacturing process and force manufactures to rethink entire design and production processes.
The 3D printing will present numerous advantages to users. To begin with, it is possible to make very complex objects with ease using 3D printers. D’Aveni (2015) asserts that this technology also increases the product development cycle, as individuals are able to easily refine designs and repeat the cycle until the desired product is attained. Another significant advantage of 3D printing is that it leads to increased efficiency as nearly all raw material can be utilized in the manufacturing process.
Impacts on Manufacturing
3D printing technology will alter the manufacturing scene in some significant ways. It will result in dramatic changes in the supply chains by rendering the services provided by some market intermediaries unnecessary (Kyle and Flowers, 2015). 3D printers will lead to increased competition as more manufacturers emerge since the high capital requirements that have traditionally prevented new entrants from joining will be removed by the technology. Manufacturers will be forced to engage in innovation and provide customized products in order to maintain their competitive advantages.
D’Aveni, R., 2015. The 3D Printing Revolution. Harvard Business Review, 93(5), pp.40-48.
Kyle, S., and Flowers, J., 2015. 3D Printing: Exploring capabilities. Technology & Engineering Teacher, 74(7), pp.17-21.