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3D Printing, 3D Technology, Consumer Business Model, Technology Business Model, Support Services, Intellectual Property
Although the technology for 3D printing has been around for more than three decades, its full potential is just beginning to be realized in the business world. Ideas for 3D printing run the gamut from the hobbyist printing jewelry and toys to the medical industry researching 3D printing of human organs. One way businesses are utilizing 3D printing is through support services within their own business processes, referred to in this paper as a consumer technology business model. As with any emerging use of a technology, legal and ethical issues will arise. This paper shows how 3D printing has evolved, why businesses are realizing the strategic potential for 3D printing to create a competitive advantage using a consumer technology business model and why this could raise legal and ethical issues associated with existing laws related to the use of 3D technology.