Richard D'Aveni has a warning for traditional manufacturers: ignore the digitization of manufacturing and get left behind.  In a recent Harvard Business Review article, D'Aveni, Professor at Dartmouth College's Tuck School of Business, drew parallels between the current debate about traditional versus additive manufacturing with another in the '80s on digital versus analog technology for phones - we all know how that one turned out for Motorola and Sony.

Instead D'Aveni suggests that leadership recognize the need to change and coax along subordinates using a four-step process:

1. Gather knowledge from the outside. Assume key stakeholders are likely to embrace the status quo.  So seek out additive manufacturing experts to learn how 3D printing can be used in your industry.  Make sure to include your subordinates in the discussion to gain their buy in.

2. Move one baby step at time.  As with any significant change, break down the initiative into manageable pilot projects that allow the organization to manage implementation.

3. Focus and prioritize.   Select opportunities that are both "promising and feasible."

4. Keep an eye on the long run.  Ensure your efforts support your firm's long-term goals.

Working with knowledgeable experts is a great way to quickly access all the benefits of additive manufacturing.  3D printing is a fast, cost effective way to design, prototype, market and launch you product. Many businesses, however, find they need multiple 3D printers and materials to meet all their creative needs. If you use a 3D printer for less than 120 hours per month, or you need to print different materials, the cost of ownership can be prohibitive: purchasing and maintaining multiple 3D printers and software; hiring, managing and paying technicians; buying and storing materials, and worrying about machine technology obsolescence. 

Our Print In The Cloud service is designed to overcome these challenges. For a small monthly fee, you can have immediate access to a range of 3D printers including industrial-grade FDM, professional prototyping and full-color machines. Plans start at 20 hours per month rising to 100 hours per month for our more experienced users. You have full access to the machines without the cost of maintenance, operation and obsolescence.

Start today, skip to the Service Pricing form to take advantage of 3D printing in the cloud.