• April 17th, 2016

3D SYSTEMS & THE GLOBAL 3D PRINTING INDUSTRY

Paper, Order, or Assignment Requirements

3D SYSTEMS & THE GLOBAL 3D PRINTING INDUSTRY

According to PWC, the 3D Printing industry is predicted to grow significantly from around $2.5b in 2013 to $16.2bn by 2018. Printers are getting faster and more affordable and the key industry players have invested a great deal in R&D. As some patents have expired, the global open-source has also made some refinements and improvements and widened the appeal and adaptation of 3D printing technology. Like the Internet, digital and e-commerce environment of the 1990’s, it appears that the 3D printing sector is gathering pace to produce one of the most potentially disruptive technologies of the 21st century. While the 3D printing industry has slowed, it is undergoing significant changes and global corporations outside the industry are also considering entering in the future because of the huge potential.

Essay 1: (Compulsory 2500-3000 words/60% of marks)

According to the 3D Systems case study, 3DS has made over 30 international acquisitions by 2014 (16 in 2011 alone). Other sources claim 3DS has now accumulated as much as 50 acquisitions by 2015. There is strong evidence of consolidation in the 3D printing industry and 3DS have demonstrated a very aggressive acquisitions culture. According to AT Kearney the next natural evolution in a globalising industry like 3D Printing is mergers strategy.

Critically discuss whether a leading company like 3DS should now consider a merger strategy or seek an alternative way to consolidate and grow its global 3D printing business.

In your answer you should consider the following:
¬ The merits of continuing an aggressive acquisitions strategy of smaller companies
¬ What type of merger partners would create greater global influence in the industry?
¬ Are there viable alternatives to merging?
¬ Use of relevant academic theories, concepts and practical evidence from both the supplied case and further secondary research.

Essay 2: (1500-2000 words/40% of marks)

You are required to discuss the importance of any of the following topics in the future of the 3D printing industry

1. The importance of emerging industry clusters & innovation in the global 3D printing industry.
2. The role of international knowledge management & distributed knowledge management in 3D printing.
3. A critical evaluation of CSR in the future expansion of global 3D printing.

You can critically explore either 1 or 2 of the above 3 topics in your second essay. These topics are not related to the supplied case study. You should combine relevant materials from the module and further secondary research to write essay 2.

Other Guidelines

1. A business essay does not require an executive summary, contents or appendices. However, it does need in essay citations and a references list after both essay 1 & essay 2. Please do not use an overall combined references list at the end of both essays. Using overall headings, charts & diagrams is still relevant in a business essay but it should not contain as many sub-sections as a business report.
2. Both essays should be combined into one submission document for uploading to Turnitin by the due date.
3. A recorded lecture will be published next week with detailed marking guidelines.
4. The submission link will go live next week and you can submit before the due date if you want to allow time for other final assessments. Students are not expected to go on extended vacation during the Easter break at level 6. You should use most of this period to prepare final assessments and revise for any impending May 2016 exams.
5. The marking scheme will use an open and flexible approach as this assignment requires a lot of creative thinking and analysis. The key is to develop critical debate and evidence-based opinion. We want to see your perspective and insights as long as it is well supported.
6. The word counts for both essays allow for a designated word count range but no allowances beyond what is specified in each question.

Marking Scheme (For both essays)

ϖ 30% for quality of secondary research.
ϖ 50% for critical analysis & good conclusions.
ϖ 20% for essay structure, presentation & writing clarity (includes proof reading & grammar).

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