CMU Disruptive Technologies 3D Printing and Email Technology Discussion

One of the Supply Chain Management (SCM) technologies is 3D printing.  Would you agree that 3D printing is disruptive technology?  Why or why not?  Name and briefly describe another disruptive technology (you may use a “historical,” i.e., past, example) that, in your opinion, has had as significant an impact.  Do NOT use examples from the textbook.


3D printing, also known as additive manufacturing, is an alternative production technology that allows for a layer-by-layer creation of more durable, stronger, and lighter objects.

“You may have heard about the benefits of 3D printing – the freedom of designs, the lack of tools required, the just-in-time inventory, and so on. To the engineers of today, the list of advantages is endless – it’s a revolution for companies, across all industries,” explains Joe Hughes, tech expert at Writinity and Last Minute Writing.

With all of the benefits of 3D printing, you’d think it would be as commonplace as Wi-Fi in today’s world – but that’s actually not the case. Many companies are struggling to find ways to incorporate 3D technology printing into their product development and manufacturing operations – a bare 2% of the manufacturing market is made up of 3D printing, according to a 2014 report.

However, this is all set to change. The global 3D printing market is set to reach $21 billion by 2020, quadrupling in size. It’s useful then, to understand that despite the challenges faced by businesses wanting to use 3D printing, there are many benefits to 3D printing – the freedom to design what they want, easy prototyping, customization and streamlined logistics. The challenges presented by 3D printing should be understood by manufacturing leaders, in order to overcome them.

Post 1

by Hanan Irsheid A 3D printer can make an actual thing, whether it’s at home or through a plastic injection molding company. Houses, bodily parts, buttons, and everything in between are examples of these objects. So, why is 3D printing disruptive rather than just a fantastic new technique to make stuff? Let’s take a look at the long history of manufacturing to see what I mean. Scraping things was the most remarkable and most disruptive form of manufacturing 100,000 years ago. Our forefathers rubbed rocks against one other until they were sharp enough to use as a tool or weapon. After generations of scraping, the tools had evolved to the point where they could carve. This new and remarkable mode of production proceeded until they were able to start molding and firing items with rudimentary potter’s wheels. Then, it led to forging, which allowed them to melt metal and make incredible tools and weapons for their time. After that, it led to advancements in heat and metallurgy, which led to the development of casting, which allowed us to make a mold and pour metal into it, resulting in repeatable production. Then, this led to the use of stamping machines, which were powerful enough to stamp out metal objects such as keys. This milestone paved the way for injection molding and a slew of other modern innovations, like machining, which allowed us to make more precise instruments. We were able to build cars, planes, and spacecraft as a result of this. With 3D printing, we can now have the entire history of manufacture and distribution at our fingertips, perhaps in our own homes, for a few hundred dollars, and that changes everything.In contrast to subtractive methods such as sculpting, 3D printing is an additive form of manufacturing. It employs digital blueprints or scans a three-dimensional object, saves the image as a digital file, and renders it layer by layer. The printer works with resins or liquified materials that can be sculpted into the desired forms before being solidified to create the printed structure; it can print whatever is a 3D object.To better understand how 3D printing is a disruptive technology, we need to understand the following example: If you’ve misplaced a button,  So instead of going to the button store to replace a button on your favorite shirt, you can go online and download the button’s PDF and print it for yourself. For an industry like button-making to thrive, there must be sufficient demand to justify mass production. So, somewhere, a factory stamps buttons of all sizes and colors. Many people are working in this factory: production workers, engineers, accountants, executives, packaging, shipping, sales, and marketing. And if you can print off the same button you need from your computer, none of these jobs will be necessary; this doesn’t just apply to the button’s manufacturer. Retailers such as Amazon and Wal-Mart, which can provide buttons at the lowest rates due to economies of scale, become needless intermediaries. You can print a variety of parts we typically buy if you can print a button or a house. Items like furniture, appliances, musical instruments, car parts, dishes, tools, Etc. are all feasible with 3D printers, all of which can be customized to your specific size and preferences. Large corporations like Wal-Mart and Amazon will become less critical since the inventory of many items is no longer required. If you need something, please print it. It will be far less essential to go to Wal-Mart or wait for an Amazon delivery. The ramifications aren’t only restricted to consumer products. Currently, technology exists to print seemingly unthinkable items in space, such as rocket parts. Medical developments, such as 3D printing of prosthetic devices and human organs, are being accelerated by technology. Bio-printing is a technique that allows cells from organ tissues to be printed onto bio-film and replicate organs like kidneys. This enables organs, such as kidneys, to be generated not only on demand but also by the patient’s cells who will receive the organ, ensuring a blood type and tissue match. We not only improve our chances of success by bio-printing our organs, but we also diminish or remove the requirement for donors. Many people are currently dying while waiting for organ donors who are compatible with them. By becoming our donors, we can fully reverse this trend. (Mooney, 2017)In my opinion, the revolution of technology like 3D printing is improving people’s lives, making it easier than before. But, on the other hand, it is disrupting various businesses and other technologies, making it challenging for them to survive in the market if customers are going to produce what they need at their preferences and at home without the need to buy it at a retail store or online. Moreover, it will hinder the economy of countries and worldwide and increase the unemployment of workers, which will destroy the economic system and the societal system; hence, disrupting Humanity.Reference:Mooney, J. (2017, October 20). 3D Printing: The Next Major Disruptive Tech.

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 by ramzee :     As the years move on and everything becomes more and more advanced, we will start seeing some unbelievable inventions and products. With technology being the driving force behind all of this, there is so much more that mankind is going to discover and invent.I believe that that invention of the 3D printer is a pure example of how far we have come and how far technology has come, an unbelievable invention which can “print” objects in the space of a couple minutes. I personally believe that it is so amazing.Andress, S. (2020) was speaking about the benefits of 3D printing and how it has improved production at many companies and stated that, “3D printing has greatly affected the manufacturing industry as it has created a positive change for many companies. The use of 3D printing has allowed for huge costs reductions while being extremely efficient with resources”. 3D printing can be seen as a disruptive form of technology but I see it as a positive disruption because companies are now changing their methods in the way they produce their products and they are now opting for 3D printing because it is quicker, more efficient and reduces their cost of sales.Andress, S. (2020) goes on to speak about the benefits of 3D printing and stated that, “The use of 3D printing has benefitted many companies that have adopted it where they have seen improvements in efficiency, human input, and increased productivity”.Harris, E. (n.d) had previously spoken about previous forms of disruptive technology and said that, “Remember how great innovations in history were disruptive. Democracy disrupted monarchy. The car disrupted horse breeders. Email disrupted the postal service and the envelope manufacturers. Economies get disrupted by innovation and evolve. Few people are crying that Edison put lantern makers/sellers out of business”.Many well-known forms of disruptive technologies in the past are inventions such as Virtual Reality, Cryptocurrency, and Wireless Internet etc.ReferencesAndress, S. (2020, July 27). The disruptive technological of 3d printing. ArcGIS StoryMaps. Retrieved September 21, 2021, from, E. (n.d.). 9 amazing examples of disruptive Technology (inspired by the WTIA). Resultist Consulting. Retrieved September 21, 2021, from

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