The Cash is in the Medium, Not in the Machine: Toward the Golden Moments of 3D Printing

International Journal of Manufacturing Technology and Management, 2016, Forthcoming

11 Pages Posted: 9 Nov 2014 Last revised: 9 Oct 2017

See all articles by Steffen Roth

Steffen Roth

La Rochelle Business School; University of Turku

Date Written: January 1, 2016

Abstract

Since 3D printing technology has been available as early as in the early 19th century, the present article start from the question why this radical and probably disruptive technology has been observed as only incremental innovation for so long time. In answering this question, we assume that this incrementalization of the supposed key to the next industrial revolution occurred due to circumstances that complicated and complexed the observation, with the most important of which being that 3D printers do not print on the medium, but rather print the medium, which emerges as form. In this article, this paradox is unfolded in the form of a form-theoretical theory statement on the inherently paradox nature of observation, subsequent to which 3D printing can be observed as both form and medium. In exploring this paradox, we will show that suppliers of 3D printing solutions currently try to sell 3D printing as form, whereas demanders observe 3D printing as medium. In focussing the latter side of the distinction, we finally suggest that the key to successful 3D printing business models will be in solutions that relate observations of the technological multifunctionality of 3D printing to a social multifunctionality lens.

Keywords: 3D printing; form theory; golden moment; technology marketing

JEL Classification: O32,O33,

Suggested Citation

Roth, Steffen, The Cash is in the Medium, Not in the Machine: Toward the Golden Moments of 3D Printing (January 1, 2016). International Journal of Manufacturing Technology and Management, 2016, Forthcoming . Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2520807 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2520807

Steffen Roth (Contact Author)

La Rochelle Business School ( email )

102 rue de Coureilles
Les Minimes
La Rochelle, 17024
France

University of Turku ( email )

Assistentinkatu 7
Turku, 20014
Finland

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