Document Type

Closed Project

Publication Date

Winter 2015


Tugrul Daim

Course Title

Management of Engineering and Technology

Course Number

ETM 520/620


3D Printing is a radical innovation that is enabling us to create personalized objects at low cost and quickly. Similar to Amazon’s success in the revolutionizing the retailing industry with Ecommerce, 3D printing technology is showing the promise of turning healthcare on its heel with its capacity of rapid prototyping and personalizing the solution to the patient. This gives us an opportunity to study this innovation using technology management principles and tools. We explored the technology using engineering, technology forecast and motivating factors (Stengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats (SWOT)) models. We also conducted a market analysis to assess the expected economic return. The study highlighted the engineering challenge in developing the right biological materials and the appropriate 3D printing manufacturing processes. A time-based trend analysis of Bibliometrics in this technology segment drew us to the conclusion that this technology is straddling the innovator and the early adopter phases of the Technology Adoption Life Cycle (TALC). On the policy side, the motivating factors study highlighted the legal, ethical and regulatory challenges. But, the motivating factors review also highlighted the expansive benefits, both profit-based and humanitarian, of this technology. The research put together, showed that this disruptive technology will be a game-changer in the future of healthcare.


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