3D printing dreams: Why the consumer technology of the future has flopped

Mike & Amit Talk Tech

17-08-2023 • 18 mins

Ten years ago, 3D printing was heralded as the answer to so many of life's problems.

By now we were supposed to be using a 3D printer to print our food, our clothes, and even to build the house of our dreams. Some predicted that 3D printers would be as common as washing machines and that most middle-class households would be making their day-to-day essentials out of liquid silicone.

The technology was even touted as a shortcut to making completely customizable artificial limbs at scale, and yet today, not only are these promises unfulfilled, but the global market for 3D printing sits at only around $15bn a year.

Where did it go wrong? Was this technology simply over-hyped, beyond its realistic potential? Or is it too early to call time on 3D printing?  In episode 8 of Talk Tech, Professors Amit Joshi and Mike Wade discuss these questions and more.

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Michael Wade is a Professor of Innovation and Strategy and Director of the IMD Global Center for Digital Business Transformation. He also holds the Cisco Chair in Digital Business Transformation. An expert in digital transformation, he has published 10 books and more than 100 case studies, as well as articles on topics such as digital business transformation, innovation, strategy, and digital leadership.

Amit Joshi is a Professor of AI, Analytics, and Marketing Strategy. He specializes in helping organizations use artificial intelligence and develop their big data, analytics, and AI capabilities. An award-winning professor and researcher, he has extensive experience of AI and analytics-driven transformations in industries such as banking, fintech, retail, automotive, telecoms, and pharma.


Find out more about IMD at imd.org

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