Example Of Technology Futures: 3D Printing Essay
Type of paper: Essay
Topic: Transportation, Vehicles, Infrastructure, Industry, Virtual Reality, Driving, 3D Printing, Trend
Question 1: What are the Key Drivers that will Drive Change in the trend leading to the future innovation outcomes?
While there are many key drivers concerning the future of 3D printing, there are some that will stand above the rest when forming the market base and shaping the upcoming industry. One key driver, absolutely essential to 3D printing, is the availability of materials. Another key driver pushing the industry forward will be convenience. Convenience of 3D printing will revolutionize the transportation industry. Key drivers also include the potential for customization. Transportation industry employees will eventually be able to print a seemingly endless amount of material, as the software, as well as the hardware, becomes more sophisticated with each update. Finally, manufacturing efficiencies, ensuring the employees have an easy time learning how to use the printer, as well as using the printer at all, will also drive the industry forward.
Question 2: Discuss each driver in depth sufficient to explain a) why it is a key driver, b) how the driver contributes to moving the trend forward, and c) what the GENERAL impacts of the driver on the trend will be.
The availability of materials is a key driver because it allows for diversity within the market. Diversity can help propel the trend forward because it will ultimately mean all elements of the transportation industry will be printed on site. This can save on labor, as well as shipping costs. Availability of materials will also mean a difference in safety, as well as design, creating a more diverse market. Convenience is a key driver because, as stated, 3D printing will allow materials to be printed on site. Time will be saved, as will materials and shipping costs. Labor and man power will also be saved due to this convenience. New ideas will be experimented with immediately, as well, giving way tohe potential for customization is a key driver for many of the same reasons as availability of materials. It puts the power in the hands of the consumer, but also the engineer, allowing them to create what they want when they want it. Engineers can begin experimenting with new ideas sooner. They can also begin listening to consumers sooner. Competition will become fierce. This particular driver moves the trend forward easily because it has little to do with companies, and everything to do with the consumer. They create their own market, and their own market base, designing what they desire. The manufacturer merely distributes what the client needs in order to allow these desires to be met. Manufacturing efficiencies are key drivers because they provide convenience of a different kind. Safety is a primary concern of the transportation industry; 3D printing will allow the industry to develop transportation involving different materials, while taking on different shapes. Safety will be promised on a different level. Comfort may also become a more significant part of transportation thanks to 3D printing. The general impact of all drivers on the trend is expected to be pretty crucial to the future of transportation. Eventually, if one of these printers is in the homes of most people around the world, they could conceivably print the parts to their own transportation and assemble it, effectively eliminating the need for such a vast automotive industry.
In conclusion, 3D printing is the future for several reasons. It will be a permanent fixture in the transportation industry because it is convenient, will cut down on costs in shipping, labor, and materials, and may even make transportation safer for the consumer. However, there may be future drawbacks to 3D printing. Much like every other device that was once only available to the distributor, 3D printers will eventually be available to the public. There was a time when computers were only available to military personnel. Similarly, the internet was once only available to seven people in the entire world. Today, we literally carry the internet in our pockets, on our phones. 3D printing will likely follow the same route, and the same trends. What will be available to engineers in the transportation industry, as well as mechanics and any other transportation related employee, will eventually be available to the average consumer. Though the typical consumer may not have the knowledge to print automobile parts, much less put a car together, a mechanically savvy individual may begin a startup company in their garage or basement. One may laugh, but they should not, lest we forget Apple Computers began in a garage. 3D printers, though powerful and capable of saving the transportation industry billions of dollars over time, also have the power of robbing the industry of the same amount of money. Given the correct circumstances, the 3D printer could even do away with the transportation business altogether.