Last Updated 17 Dec 2022

Advanced Technology – 3D Printing

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As technology advances around the world, there has become a need for instinct gratification. The easy availability of materials has allowed society to have everything people ever desire at the tips of their fingers. Every year, more proposals for updates on technology are invented in hopes to expand the industrial science world. In today’s world, there is a huge discussion over the topic of 3D printing becoming a regular program for shopping and consumer goods from the convenience of homes.

The invention of this printer has found ways to develop new enterprises, but are not machines ready to be placed on the market routinely. 3D printers cannot be used consistently by aspiring consumers for shopping in the next decade due to the process flow not being completely organized, the procedure of return policy and verification process not being resolved and the complications existing with some products being made from multiple materials, so printing these products would be a conflict. For society and distributing products to consumers, 3D printers would be best if the devices were not used since many of its programs aren’t mastered for the laborious public.

A major argument of why 3D printers should not be used in marketing by consumers is because the process flow of using 3D printers has many additional small challenges. One being, there might not be enough space for a 3D printer in someone's house. These machines can take up a lot of room, especially depending on their size, so consumers would have to make room in their houses. Some people could also not have the correct tools to take care of a printer. If there was a complication and something had to be fixed, if they were not educated on how to fix the problem, the printer could not be used. After purchasing a 3D printer, in order to pay off how much money was spent buying the machine, “consumers would have to print enough products every month to make this model worth their time” (Kerns 2). With printing so many products, storage could also then become an issue for some houses.

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Not only would many consumers have to adapt to 3D printing and how the system works at their house but, companies would have to adapt and change so that their businesses don’t fail and close down. “Companies would have to work a “ship to” or “print” option to streamline the ordering process” (Kerns 3). Adding a print button could take years to put on a website and cause more work for the company to keep up with. Many companies are doing fine right now selling their merchandise online and shipping the products so, 3D printing could cause trouble and cause the whole process to become a little more chaotic to maintain, especially for a company's advertisement branch. From customers not having enough space or tools to keep a printing running in their house and companies having to accommodate more to the public and change parts on their websites, these are just the beginning reasons of why 3D printing is not the most lucrative tool to be used.

Another point of interest of why 3D printers aren’t completely ready for consumers to use when buying products is if the problem of the return policy and or verification process came up, this would cause a difficulty on companies and their shipping programs. If there was a need to return an item that was printed, the products printed would have nowhere to be returned too. Companies would have to consider a failed print refund and have to find a way to get the product shipped back to them. From that point, the printer would have to have the ability to require feedback to detect a failed part in the product.

Another point risen with failed prints requiring feedback from the printer, is the system being hackable. Some printers already have cameras, but in order for this entire return policy to follow through, “consumers must give access to the camera in their printer” (Kerns 3). The problem of privacy could become an issue due to monitoring. Although there could be people who truly don’t mind or don’t care about the printer’s camera, there are people who could think the cameras are very intruding while they shop. This could lead to customers not buying a printer and continuing to buy products online and shipping them to their door. A process of simply just returning a printed product causes a chain reaction of problems including the printer having to allowed feedback, camera installation, and privacy. With having the ability now with at your door shipping off of online being so simply by mailing the box soon after to the return-addressed, 3D printing doesn’t make their process look any easier, convenient or liked by the people

A final claim of why 3D printing isn’t completely ready to be used consistently in the market as a way of shopping is because often times, products are made from multiple materials. When customers are 3D print their products, this could be very inconvenient. Printers do currently have the capability of printing using different cartridges in order to print different materials, but that isn't the problem. The problem is that now, customers have to do more hands-on work to buy a product that they want. 3D printer owners would have to continue to change the printer frequently to adapt to what type of product they are making. Not only would they have to constantly change the printer cartridge, but they would need to buy all of the different types of cartridges with out of pocket money. Buying these cartridges adds to the amount of money spent to print the product. Many companies such as Amazon have options like Amazon Prime which allow free shipping so, having customers go out and buy extra supplies to print their products adds an extra expense. Having a printer with the capability of using multiple cartilages is extremely more expensive than a printer which uses one type of cartilage. When a customer wants to have this capability with their printer, they will have to buy a more high tech printer which is patented heavily.

Currently in the technological world of 3D printers, once parts are finished printing, many times, they often need to be finished to make the product completely. The parts printed have to be assembled together and because of this, customers would have to learn a new skill and put their product together themselves. Customers could become frustrated with this process and when the printing, the product could no turn out how the customer imagined it and be disappointed with the result. With buying online today, a photo is already shown exactly how the product will be when they receive it. This system already works for society and customers are satisfied with this process, so changing the system to use 3D printing may not be the most beneficial option for the market.

Many people will argue that 3D printing is going to be a huge success in the market and the most beneficial technological advancement for society. Economically, the prices would be much better as a whole. With 3D printing, there would be lower costs of fees, tariffs, and taxes. Printing materials at home would allow customers to avoid tax when buying their products online. There would be no need for any sort of shipping fee either.

Although all of the points are valid persuasive if 3D printing isn’t a development thoroughly worked out without any kinks. Companies would have to commit and change in multiple ways to adapt to this new merchandise. Since 3D printers are high pieces of technology, many people aren’t familiar using the devices. These printers would then only be used to “do-it-yourselfers” which its majority of the population.

The whole program and process of 3D printing still have a long way to come before constant use by the population. With all of the complications such as customer convenience, return policy and verification issues and printers needing constant assistance when printing, these printers are not ready to be used regularly. The process of online shopping and shipping today is used every day by millions of people and runs very smoothly all over the world. Customers are able to search what they want, click and buy it, and as soon as a couple of hours can have it where needed. “And ordering online does not require the customer to do anything” (Kerns 1). The most involved part of this procedure for people would be typing in their personal information and credit card numbers. Practically no work is done by the consumer to be satisfied with what they want.

3D printers in the future must prove why they are going to be the best option for people to use. All of the small difficulties need to be addressed so that printing for customers runs smoothly and there are no troubles faced. Until this point, 3D printing should not be allowed in the marketing world as a way to purchase merchandise. Society is continent with the ways they buy items now, so throwing 3D printing into the mix would cause everyone to adapt and would affect everyone across the globe in different ways. Technology will no doubt continue to advance, but there is no need to make huge changes with the production of products if other methods are favored.

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