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Management article
-
Reference no. R1804H
Published by:
Harvard Business Publishing (2018)
Version:
1 July 2018
Revision date:
10-Aug-2018
 
in "Harvard Business Review"
Length:
9 pages

Abstract

We are entering a new era in additive manufacturing, or '3D printing.' It has major implications for the adoption of the technology and for the choices of business models available to companies that take the plunge, says the author. Advances in the technology's capabilities and expansion of the available materials and the supplier ecosystem have made it possible to produce a much broader range of affordable things - from the soles of running shoes to turbine blades - and, in many cases, in much higher volumes. As a result, 3D printing is moving from a limited role (such as prototyping and making conventional machine tools) to a central place in manufacturing for a growing number of industries. Strategically, that means additive is becoming a full-fledged competitive weapon: It can be used to hold on to market leadership, to dethrone the dominant player, and to diversify by exploiting a printer's capability to make products for different industries. Consequently, leaders need to understand additive's capability and potential and the choices open to them in the near future. This article presents them with a playbook and explores six possible business models that have emerged.

Topics

Disruptive innovation; Industrial goods; Manufacturing strategy; Product development; Technological change
Industry:

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