3D-Printed Bike Reduces Design Time to Days

3D-Printed Bike Reduces Design Time to Days

July 30, 2018

A start-up company called Arevo is pioneering an environmentally friendly 3D printing process.

3D printing with carbon fiber has not produced a recyclable product…until now. Arevo’s new process incorporates thermoplastic with carbon to make the process and printed product recyclable.

Currently, Arevo is using the new process to print bikes.  The company has designed software that can be used to test the design before printing which further saves energy, materials and time.  The result is that the typical time frame for designing a new bike can be reduced from 18 months to 18 days.


Video spotlight: An Arevo printed bike in action


This post is based on the Fast Company article, Now you can 3D print an entire bike frame, by Adele Peters, July 12, 2018, and the YouTube video, Arevo 3D printing demonstration with bike prototype, by Robotics Business Review, July 12, 2018. Image source: Tomacco/Getty Images.

Discussion Questions:

1. How could Arevo’s 3D printer change the current bike supply chain?

Guidance: The current supply chain involves mainly manufacturing bikes in China and subsequent distribution globally.  Students should be asked to draw the current supply chain, e.g. suppliers sending materials to China, Continue reading

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Fast Fashion Presents Design Problems

Fast Fashion Presents Design Problems

July 30, 2018

Fast fashion retailers, such as Zara, H&M, Topshop, and Urban Outfitters, compete by getting new designs to the marketplace as quickly as possible.  For example, Zara develops around 20,000 designs per year.

Such speed occasionally leads to fast fashion faux pas.

Some of the most notable include:

  • Zara’s miniskirt with a character resembling Pepe the Frog, a symbol used by white supremacists
  • H&M ran an ad of a black child wearing a sweatshirt that said “Coolest monkey in the jungle”
  • Urban Outfitter’s sold a red-stained Kent State Sweatshirt as part of its vintage collection

And while not the fault of the designer, sometimes these companies end up in the news because of the circumstances in which their clothing is displayed. Recently, Melania Trump wore a Zara jacket with the words “I really don’t care, do u?” as she traveled to visit immigrant children who had been separated from their parents.

This post is based on the Washington Post article, Fast Fashion, Furious Controversy: Why Retailers Like Zara and H&M Keep Making Headlines for Offensive Clothing, by Abha Bhattarai, June 29, 2018. Image source: © Floresco Productions / age fotostock.

Discussion Questions:

1. Why is fast design important?

Guidance Continue reading

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Chick-fil-A’s Chicken Shortage

Chick-fil-A’s Chicken Shortage

July 18, 2018

What happens when Chick-fil-A has no chicken?

In Texas, Chick-fil-A had to temporarily close two restaurants because an issue was characterized as a “delivery delay.”  This problem was much smaller than the KFC chicken shortage in the UK earlier this year, when almost all of its restaurants were shut down for lack of its key ingredient, but it none-the-less disrupted the organization’s operations in a very significant way.

In an unrelated issue, in mid-June, In-N-Out shut down in Texas due to an unspecified problem with the quality of its hamburger buns.

This post is based on the Inc.com article, Oh No, Chick-fil-A. First KFC, Then In-N-Out. Now You Too?, by Bill Murphy, Jr., June 30, 2018. Image source: Livingpix/Getty Images.

Discussion Questions:

1. How does this article pertain to operations strategy and the socio-cultural dimension of the external environment?

Guidance: While the causes behind these product shortages have not been clearly identified, the issue of stockouts may become more widespread in the future due to the shortage of qualified truckers in our nation.  Trucking is often viewed as a dangerous and difficult occupation, and companies are struggling to find enough drivers.  Even one cancelled or Continue reading

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