These days, 3-D printing is big news. The use of 3-D printing and other related technologies is seen as having potentially transformative implications. “Just as the Web democratized innovation in bits, a new class of ‘rapid prototyping’ technologies, from 3-D printers to laser cutters, is democratizing innovation in atoms,” Wired magazine’s longtime editor-in-chief, Chris Anderson, stated in his new book Makers: The New Industrial Revolution. “A new digital revolution is coming, this time in fabrication,” MIT professor Neil Gershenfeld wrote in a recent issue of Foreign Affairs.
But in addition to 3-D printing’s technological implications, recent evolutions in 3-D printing offer important management lessons for executives about the changing face of technological innovation — and what that means for businesses. In this article, we examine the rapid emergence of a movement called open-source 3-D printing and how it fits into a general trend toward open-source innovation by collaborative online communities[...]
By Jeroen P.J. de Jong and Erik de Bruijn When people in online user communities start collaboratively developing open-source innovations that have the potential to change an industry, how should the existing companies in the industry respond? Sign up or sign in to read this article. (Free)