Enterprise 3D printing tutorial: CIO challenges and advice

Last updated:March 2016

Editor's note

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.

13D 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.

2Enterprise 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.