The Barriers Hindering Rapid Prototyping Deployment within Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises: Which Should Come First?
Start date: 6 July 2012
A radical revolution in manufacturing has started to take place owing to rapid prototyping (RP), which based on completely new additive techniques that produce fully functional parts directly from a three-dimensional computer aided design model without the use of tooling. This offers the potential to change the concept of prototyping, manufacturing, service and distribution, with opportunities for producing highly complex and customised products. Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are the backbone of the global economy, generating value while making a significant and crucial contribution to the global economy. The latest situation has boosted the importance of the SMEs in both developed and developing countries due to the increased reliance of international partners, but the important point at this stage is that are these SMEs ready to take this global challenge. This paper scrutinises the main barriers of sustaining the business of SMEs through the deploying of RP, which promote a continuous product development, productivity and competitiveness in SMEs. This prioritises these barriers in an attempt to promote a new change management approach within SMEs, to smooth the progress of their technology deployment process of RP.