Explore what happens when a physical product is also available in digital form.
- [Instructor] There are always some hurdles to overcome when you move from one technology to another. When consumers moved from buying music CDs and movie DVDs to downloading and streaming, there were many disruptions in those industries. What does it mean to have a virtual product? If a product will be 3D printed, its design is now a digital asset. Makers of physical 3D printed products will be inheriting some of the issues and marketing opportunities usually associated with media companies. In this movie, we'll highlight many of the questions you should be asking yourself if you're considering going over to additive manufacturing. When you're manufacturing by printing your parts in-house, it's easy to change and evolve your designs. This can be good and bad. If the products you're sending to customers are changing periodically, you need to have some way of keeping track of who got what version. You also have to decide whether to keep your upgrades compatible. When your product exists in digital form, how will you be sure that someone halfway around the world doesn't obtain your files and start producing large quantities of clones of your product? Where will you sit on the spectrum between keeping your part files secret and posting your designs on a very visible open source forum? - [Male Instructor] If you're 3D printing your products in-house, do you want to let your users print any upgrades or updated parts to change them out? The open source 3D printer hobbyist community has operated this way for years, making replacement parts available in official repositories on their websites, or on a site like GitHub. If you are selling 3D printers and the parts are for your printers, it is easy to guess what is and is not possible for your users. But for other goods, it might not be so simple. Do you want to allow or even encourage community aftermarket add-on parts to your product? Some of these modifications might be real improvements, but others might be bad ideas that hurt the performance of your product. Aftermarket parts have been around in some industries like automotive for a long time, but your industry might be different. - [Instructor] Suppose a service bureau, which is a business that does 3D printing for others, starts offering your replacement parts for sale. On the one hand, this might be a good thing, since you no longer need to service these repair requests if people are doing it themselves. On the other hand, it might increase the risk that others will copy your product, and of course, you would not get the revenue from those sales. You also can't control the quality of those parts. Would you want to work with a network of service bureaus to offer your parts on-demand? That way, you might control quality and your designs more tightly, but it'll take management time to make the relationships work. Suppose your users make poorly printed versions of your product and start complaining about failures. If your parts are challenging to print on a consumer machine, you may not want to encourage your users to print them on their own. For example, if the part requires a lot of support, removal, or fine feature sizes, users may not do a good job. Then you'll have to consider what parts you'll support when users call or want warranty service. Many of these have legal or regulatory implications, which you should talk about with qualified experts. In this movie, we talked about some of the questions that arise when a business develops products that are 3D printable on consumer-level printers. In the rest of the course, we'll focus more on the internal implications of moving to additive manufacturing, but these external and market implications may be just as profound for you.
- Analyzing your current products
- Printing with additive materials like filament
- Reducing part count
- Reducing tooling
- Molds and casting
- Evaluating the costs of additive manufacturing
- Medical and dental use cases