Friday, March 22, 2013

3D Printing and Rapid Prototyping

This very good USA Today article describes the impact that 3D printing is having on innovation processes.  This new technology has enabled firms to build incredible prototypes, so that they can bring innovations to market faster and more effectively.   I think the technology has great promise, and firms can use it effectively to test out new ideas.

Having said that, I think firms can fall in love with the concept of 3D printing prematurely.   It is expensive to purchase and use this new technology.   On most occasions, firms would benefit from beginning with a very inexpensive, crude prototype.  They need not spend much money at all.  They simply want to begin the discussion about a new idea, and offer folks a chance to touch and feel a product. 

Source: Fast Company
As an example, consider this article in Fast Company about the creation of the Nike FuelBand.  The article describes the first prototypes shown to Nike CEO Mark Parker.  One prototype is shown here.  It's a simple prototype made from a Velcro strap.   It made a huge impression on Parker, and from there, Nike developed a hit new product. 

7 comments:

Jessica Paul said...

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Jessica Paul said...

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Ann Jerry said...


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