case study scenario about 3D Printing technology.

Students are required to write an academic report as per the format outlined in chapter 5 of the textbook. The report must follow the CQU APA referencing style. See the American Psychological Association (APA) abridged guide updated Term 1 2018 available from:  https://www.cqu.edu.au/student-life/services-and-facilities/referencing/cquniversity-referencing-guides. Please note that the prescribed textbook uses APA referencing guidelines. See also the Referencing Style subsection below.

The report is to be based on the following case study scenario about 3D Printing technology.

Three Dimensional (3D) Printing Technology is a process where materials are joined together under the control of a computer to make a physical object. Typically the object is printed by laying down many thin layers of a material that join together to create a 3D object. The technology began in the 1980s with the construction of cost-effective prototypes of product designs that allowed designers to test their creations before manufacturing the final product. Over the last decade the uses and applications have grown astronomically. Today people refer to it as being a disruptive technology. That is, it has the potential to change the way we do things by opening up new avenues and possibilities. It could make people’s lives better in many ways, for example, in creating artificial limbs for people and bone replacements.

You are the Head of ICT in a medium-sized manufacturing organisation that was established around 10 years ago. The Head Office of your organisation is based in an industrial suburb of Melbourne in Victoria. Currently your organisation has both retail and corporate clients, and has various retail branches within Victoria and is just starting to move into online business operations. At the moment the organisation is mainly producing computers and printers for businesses in Victoria. The organisation is now exploring options to expand the business in the next five years to other States of Australia and to the Oceania region, as well as expand its e-commerce (on-line) activities. As a part of their expansion plans the organisation wants to look at the prospect of expanding into the use of 3D printing to create products cheaply and effectively. They feel that is a way that the business could expand without the need to create a large amount of infrastructure in other locations across Australia and in the Oceania region. They are concerned about the security, authentication and other technology problems that it may face as it looks to expand its business.

The CEO of your organisation has recently heard about 3D Printing Technology and its various uses in manufacturing. She has asked you to investigate the technology and types of applications that use 3D Printing Technology with the prospect of deciding if 3D Printing Technology would be an efficient and effective way to expand the business. You have to complete this investigation in the next three weeks and draft a report with some recommendations for the next Executive Management meeting.

Your research and the subsequent report should cover the following tasks:

  1. Definition of 3D Printing Technology and the most up to date developments in the field. This investigation must consider at least five different types of applications that use 3D Printing Technology. You should investigate examples from various industries within Australia and other parts of the world. Especially investigate the current uses in both the manufacturing and medical industries. You could also include examples from other industries. Your report should not just focus on generic use of 3D Printing Technology but must identify actual examples of uses in the current market.
  2. Based on the findings from the previous section, propose three 3D Printing Technology based applications your organisation could use to expand its business in the next five years. As a part of this analysis, consider the potential advantages and disadvantages of the applications you have investigated in the previous section, and the various risks (positive and negative) with respect to the solution/s you propose. These three applications should also form part of your recommendations at the end of the report. The recommendation section should provide suggestions for actions to address the organisation’s current problem.
  3. When considering the potential advantages and disadvantages of the applications you have proposed make sure that you specifically explore them from an ethical, social and legal point of view. Also, ensure that your recommendations address some of these issues.

Your analysis and proposed solutions in tasks 2 and 3 should provide three to five recommendations at the end of your report. Make sure that the specific recommendations at the end of your report have been evaluated as a part of your report discussion.

The report should be at a strategic level and must not consist of highly technical or operational details as some of your Executive Managers are not from an information technology background.

Please note that you will need to make some assumptions about the organisation in order to write this report. These assumptions should match the information in the case study and not contradict with the objectives of the report. They should be incorporated in the introduction of your report when you describe the organisation and outline the problem to be solved. Relevant assumptions should be incorporated when addressing tasks 2 and 3 above. To avoid loss of marks, do not make assumptions that are not relevant or contradictory, or will not be used in your report discussion.

Specifically your report should include the following (word count details are approximate guidelines):

  1. Title page: Unit code and name, assessment number, Report title, assessment due date, word count (actual), student name, student number, CQU email address, campus lecturer/tutor, and Unit Coordinator. If applicable, add extension request ID and the new due date. Must be formatted to a standard required for a professional/business report. Check week 6 materials for example of a professionally formatted title page. Not included in the word count.
  2. Executive summary: should include the purpose of the report, the problem including key issues considered and how they were investigated, your findings, and overview of your recommendations. This part should be approximately three quarters of an A4 page but must not be longer than one (1) A4 page. Not included in the word count.
  3. Table of Contents (ToC): should list the report topics using decimal notation. Need to include the main headings and subheadings with corresponding page numbers, using a format that makes the hierarchy of topics clear. Because you are including a ToC the report pages should be numbered in the footer as follows: title page has no page number; and main text to have Arabic numerals commencing at 1. Create the ToC using MS Word’s ToC auto-generator rather than manually typing out the ToC. Instructions can be found here https://support.office.com/en-gb/article/Create-a-table-of-contents-or-update-a-table-of-contents-eb275189-b93e-4559-8dd9-c279457bfd72#__create_a_table. Not included in the word count.
  4. Introduction: provide a brief description of the organisation as given in the case scenario including any assumptions, a concise overview of the problem you have been asked to research, the main aims/purpose of the report, the objectives to be achieved by writing the report (include the tasks outlined in the case study) and how you investigated the problem. Provide an outline of the sections of the report. Should be approximately 250 words.
  5. Body of the report (use appropriate headings in the body of the report.): Define key terms you will use in your report that are directly related to the problem and the technology considered. Then present your ideas on the topic and discuss the information you found in your research that was relevant to the report’s objectives. Provide an analysis of the information that you gathered. Ensure that you explore the tasks listed in the case study scenario. In your discussion, examine the issues from a global perspective as well as from the local perspective (of the fictional organisation that is the centre of this report).

Do NOT use generic words such as ‘Body, Body of the Report, Tasks’ as section headings. Create meaningful headings and subheadings that reflect the topic and content of your report. Should be approximately 1850 words.

  1. Conclusion: restate the purpose of the report and key issues investigated and the related findings based on your research and analysis. Explain the significance of your findings for addressing the problem stated in the case scenario and any limitations. State how your report has achieved its objectives and any future work to be considered. Should be approximately 250 words.
  2. Recommendations: 3 to 5 recommendations required. The recommendations must be based on your findings and proposed solutions discussed in the body of the report. Provide some guidelines for the organisation with respect to the future directions for your organisation based on your discussions. Format according to the Report Writing Guidelines discussed in the Unit. Should be approximately 150 words.
  3. Reference list. Not included in the word count.
  4. Appendices if necessary. Not included in the word count.
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