3D printing isn't a new innovation. Thirty or so years ago Charles Hull developed the first commercially available rapid prototyping technology using UV light to cure and bond photopolymer resin, which built up layer by layer.
Flash forward to present day: The shrinking cost of desktop 3D printers has propelled the use of the technology among enterprises, and the list of potential uses is extensive. The technology was initially used for constructing prototypes, but is now used in the medical, aerospace and commercial manufacturing industries to fabricate functional parts and devices.
With so many possibilities, how should a CIO deal with 3D printing in their enterprise organization? SearchCIO contributors Harvey Koeppel and Niel Nickolaisen both suggest that IT executives start by educating themselves on the basic concepts and principles of enterprise 3D printing by reading, taking courses and networking with colleagues. From there, experimentation and open communication will guide organizations in the right direction.
This enterprise 3D printing tutorial rounds up recent SearchCIO coverage. From challenges like dealing with counterfeits and stolen IP to reaping the benefit of smart innovation and leadership, read how to make 3D work in your organization.
1Enterprise 3D printing advice-
Get started on an enterprise 3D printing strategy
Before diving into this enterprise 3D printing tutorial to examine 3D technology payoffs and challenges, read expert advice for enterprise CIOs. Learn how to develop a 3D printing strategy fit for any organization.
Does it make sense for your organization to invest in 3D printing, or should you use third-party services? Reporter Nicole Laskowski explains why only the use cases, and beginning "with the end in mind," can provide that answer. Continue Reading
Not all IT leaders need concern themselves with 3D printing -- but a 3D printing strategy could be a good trial for CIOs looking to test, validate and scale emerging tech, according SearchCIO columnist Niel Nickolaisen. Continue Reading
It's not too soon for CIOs to start preparing for the emerging 3D printing market. In this Total CIO blog post, expert Shawn DuBravac discusses what that preparation entails, including coaching employees through a transition from 2D to 3D thinking. Continue Reading
23D printing payoff-
3D applications abound; pros outweigh cons
3D printing technology applications are impressive. From being used to build parts for NASA space crafts to fabricating functional heart valves -- the opportunities might give an IT team goose bumps. In this section, contributors and experts explain the pros and payoff.
In this feature by Nicole Laskowski, experts advise that enterprise organizations be wary of 3D printing's fragmented market while also using the 3D hype as an opportunity to rebrand the IT group as a business innovation partner. Continue Reading
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Enterprise CIOs: Prepare for 3D complications
Deciding how and where to use 3D printing in the enterprise is not easy. For CIOs today, challenges like cost, data management and IP security add to any resistance to the technology. Read up on the impediments to wider adoption of 3D printers.
With three-dimensional printing comes massive data sets and a culture shift toward continuous delivery. Getting a handle on data management, security and collaboration will help CIOs and IT organizations succeed in 3D printing implementation. Continue Reading
Myth or fact: 3D printing is too expensive. 3D printing is only for low-quality, plastic goods. 3D printers can replace organs. The 3D printing market is on the decline. Find out which of these common 3D "challenges" is an actual hurdle faced by enterprise IT organizations. Continue Reading
Know your 3D lexicon
3D printing isn't new, but some business and IT executives are just starting to explore 3D tech options for their organizations. Start here with some of TechTarget's 3D-related definitions.