Document Type

Closed Project

Publication Date

Summer 2013


Tugrul Daim

Course Title

Technology Roadmapping

Course Number

ETM 534/634


3D Systems Corporation is a leading provider of 3D content-to-print solutions andis the market leader in the industrial manufacturing space [1].Their 3D printers can print almost anything including medical, aerospace, andautomotive products to individualized home products, customized jewelry and toys. They have become the leader in the industry by leveraging their Intellectual Property in 3D printing and digital manufacturing.The company has been instrumental in changing the manufacturing environment over the recent past.And, this emerging industry is gaining momentum.However, their momentum to ensure leadership moving into the next decade must expand into the consumer market space[1].They plan to accelerate adoption of their products and services into small scale manufacturing at home by providing more affordable and simple products. Their initiative has already been launched with introduction of the Cube™ in December, 2012 and can be followed on the website [2]. Because the Cube™ was a responsive action to catch the leaders in the consumer space, it is critical that the company create a comprehensive technology roadmap (TRM) to help create a plan that supports the company’s strategic objective.While it is urgent that the range of affordable printers is extended into homes, the initiative must be executed with a comprehensive plan that tightly ties the research and development activities to the consumer market drivers.This paper not only shares a direction for future alignment of activities, but it also uncovers barriers and gaps in the current technological platform.The TRM presented in this document could be used to communicate plans and gaps to other departments within 3D Systems and their development partners. The internal knowledge in their commercial 3D printer division must be leveraged to address market drivers that are different for the home and professional spaces.In part, the TRM could be used to internally communicate how the R&D efforts must be shifted to consider the market drivers in the consumer division with their clearly communicated requirements and demands. “Technology roadmapping (TRM) is a comprehensive approach for strategy planning to integrate science and technological considerations into product and business aspects.” [3] It is a tool that has been effectively used by others in the manufacturing, energy, and hi-tech industries [4].However, to effectively use this tool, it must be modified to fit the specific needs of the 3Dprinting business model.The literature reveals that there are many formats and types of TRMs. [5]Additionally, 3D printing is considered an emerging industry which adds to the complexity of developing a TRM [6]. This paper shares the research and models that have been developed to apply to the home 3D printer market division in creation of this TRM.


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