Network Based Technology Roadmapping for Future Markets: Case of 3D Printing


A clear and understandable Technology Roadmap (TRM) is necessary to planning and navigating change in the product development process. The fabric of the 3D printing landscape is complex and difficult to understand from single snapshot approach and a TRM is only as useful as it is understandable and easily communicable. Successful Technology Roadmapping involves expert industry analysis, technology expertise, and visual story telling. This research builds upon the principles of existing Technology Roadmapping practices to develop models that apply to the consumer market of the 3D content-to-print industry. In managing the involved complexity, multiple tools and methods have been explored, focusing on the efficacy and legibility of TRM’s. Literature review, analysis of market forces, patent analysis, and quality functional deployment (QFD) were used to establish current and future market drivers and subsequent product features. Technology forecasting and scenario analysis were then used to create product portfolios for 3D content manufactures. The application and research explored creating two future product scenario’s; a low cost (LC) product that would maintain the current state of the art performance metrics tailored to the mass market consumer and a high performance (HP) product that would continue to push the capability of the at home manufacturing performance. These bifurcating foci further complicate the visual illustration of these roadmaps. An exercise in visual display of a large blanket of networks and relationships has led to a powerful tool used to identify future reach and impacts of early technological investments.

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Tucker, K. , Tucker, D. , Eastham, J. , Gibson, E. , Varma, S. and Daim, T. (2014) Network Based Technology Roadmapping for Future Markets: Case of 3D Printing. Technology and Investment, 5, 137-156. doi: 10.4236/ti.2014.53014.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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