Abstract—The aim of this paper is to study existing adoption of Rapid Prototyping (RP) technology within small- and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) in addition to measuring the need for this technology. This study adopted a mixed method approach involving a postal survey of 200 companies followed by in-depth semi-structure interviews with 10 SMEs generating qualitative data which scrutinised the state on the ground in depth. The barriers to RP adoption were resistance to change, lack of resources, lack of professional qualifications and RP process limitation. Where RP was adopted the executive mangers stated that it is very effective across all of the associated aspects, however due to the barriers low levels of significance in adopting RP were revealed by SMEs not already using it. Consequently, whilst SMEs show negative response towards adopting RP technology, where they do so, they are satisfied with the outcomes. SMEs views about this barriers and the state of adoption generally are explored.
Index Terms— Rapid prototyping technology, Small and Medium Sized enterprises, change management research and development.
Ahmed M. Romouzy-Ali is with the Design Simulation Research Centre, School of Design, Engineering and Computing, Bournemouth University, United Kingdom and the Industrial Design Department, Faculty of Applied Arts, Helwan University, Egypt (e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org).
The other three authors are with the School of Design, Engineering and Computing, Bournemouth University, United Kingdom (e-mail: email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com).
Cite: Ahmed M. Romouzy-Ali, Siamak Noroozi, Philip Sewell, and Tania Humphries-Smith, "Adopting Rapid Prototyping Technology within Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises: The Differences between Reality and Expectation," International Journal of Innovation, Management and Technology vol. 3, no. 4, pp. 427-432, 2012.