Understanding the acceptance of 3D printing toolkits. An extension of the technology acceptance model


Term Paper, 2015
35 Pages, Grade: 1,3

Excerpt

Table of Content

1 Introduction
1.1 Problem statement
1.2 Research objective
1.3 Research paradigm in Information Systems

2 Research model

3 Method
3.1 Measurement scales and items
3.2 Study and survey

4 Data analysis

5 Correlation statistic

6 Evaluation

7 Conclusion

8 References

Figure 1: Technology Acceptance Model according to [7]

Figure 2: Hypothesized research model: Model for the usage of 3DP toolkits

Figure 3: Example of a created bowl in the toolkit

Figure 4: Age of participants

Figure 5: Gender of participants

Figure 6: Nationalities of participants

Figure 7: Designing examples of participants

Figure 8: Scale item: I could complete a task using the toolkit if there was no one around to tell me what to do as I go.

Figure 9: Scale item: I could complete a task using the toolkit if I had a lot of time to complete the job for which the toolkit was provided.

Figure 10: Scale item: I hesitate to use the toolkit for fear of making mistakes I cannot correct.

Figure 11: Scale item: I find the toolkit useful.

Figure 12: Scale item: The toolkit supports to get my ideas into physical objects.

Figure 13: Scale item: The quality output I get from the toolkit is high.

Figure 14: Scale item: Having the toolkit or a 3D printer is a status symbol.

Figure 15: Scale item: I find it easy to achieve with the system exactly what I want.

Figure 16: Scale item: It would be easy for me to become skillful at using the toolkit.

Figure 17: Scale item: I intend to use such a toolkit in the next 12 months.

Figure 18: Scale item: I am sure I am going to use a 3D printing toolkit in the upcoming years.

Figure 19: Results of data analysis: Measurement scale correlation with Behavioral Intention to Use

Figure 20: Page 1 Questionnaire: General data of participants

Figure 21: Page 2 Questionnaire: Instruction for study

Figure 22: Page 3 Questionnaire: Measurement scales and items

1 Introduction

1.1 Problem statement

Additive manufacturing, also known as 3D printing (3DP), is a technology which gained a lot of interest in recent years. The market is supposed to grow further with a new annual growth record of 35 % in 2013. However, the world leading market report for additive manufacturing, the Wohlers report, states that growth in the upcoming years is especially going to be driven by “3-D printers that cost less than $5,000, as well as the expanded use of the technology for the production of parts, especially metal, that go into final products.” [1] Consequently, the following paper focuses on 3D printing for non-experts as more and more citizens can afford this technology and as there is not a lot of research in the field of information systems about 3D printing on the consumer level. Questions such as “What are the needs of consumers regarding 3D printing? Which are the top products the consumers want to produce? How do these non-experts deal with 3D printing design software?” have not been answered satisfactory yet.

1.2 Research objective

The goal of this paper to find out factors that affect the acceptance of 3D printing toolkits. A hypothesized research model for 3D printing toolkits is proposed. Based on a survey of 30 participants this research model is analyzed and evaluated. The result is, that five of these seven proposed determinants have a strong influence on the Behavioral Intention to Use such a toolkit.

1.3 Research paradigm in Information Systems

There are two different fields of IS research: Behavorial science (BS) and Design Science (DS) [2] [3]. For both fields an effective literature review is the basis. However, while the design-oriented research creates IT artifacts the behavioral research creates theories about these artifacts and tries to check the truth of these theories. Theories that have been found to be empirically adequate, in turn, serve design-oriented researchers for new IT artifacts [2].

Consequently, as this research is based on TAM and as it tries to validate the truth of TAM related to 3DP, this research paradigm is in the field of BS. The validation of this research is going to take place with a study/survey and a subsequent evaluation of the gained data.

2 Research model

The Technology Acceptance Model (TAM) is an information system theory. This model was developed by Fred Davis in his dissertation of 1986 [4]. Since, this model has evolved to one of the most cited models in the area of technology diffusion [5]. Although there are many models which predict the use of a system TAM has gained most attention in information systems [6].

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Figure 1: Technology Acceptance Model according to [7]

Figure 1 shows the original TAM proposed in 1989 by Davis, Bagozzi and Warshaw. In 2000, Davis and Venkatesh introduced TAM2, which is an extension of TAM. This model explains usefulness and intentions to use a system in terms of “social influence and cognitive instrumental processes” [8]. However, this theory was further adapted in 2003 by Venkatesh, Davis and Morris as a Unified Theory of Acceptance and Use of Technology (UTAUT) and in 2008 by Venkatesh and Bala as Technology Acceptance Model 3 (TAM3) [9, 10] .

However, integrating literature and hypotheses mentioned in the next section the proposed research model for this current study is shown in Figure 2.

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Figure 2: Hypothesized research model: Model for the usage of 3DP toolkits

3 Method

3.1 Measurement scales and items

In order to formulate respective questions for the intended survey existing questions from previous studies function as a basis. This section presents potential questions of previous research which might be suitable for this research. However, as no research paper related to TAM and 3DP has been published so far the potential questions for this study have to be adapted. These questions are based on a couple of determinants of TAM, UTAUT and TAM2.

Ease of Use

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Usefulness

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Anxiety

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Self-efficacy

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Social influence

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Image

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Voluntariness

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Quality Output

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Behavioral Intention to Use (Usage)

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In the following respective measurement scales for this study are selected, adapted and explained. These are determinants which affect the Behavioral Intention to Use.

Self-efficacy:
“The degree to which an individual believes that he/she has the ability to perform a respective job by using a [toolkit]” [10]. This measurement scale has two items.

I could complete a job or task using the toolkit…

- If there was no one around to tell me what to do as I go.
- If I had a lot of time to complete the job for which the toolkit was provided.

Anxiety

“The degree of an individual’s apprehension, or even fear, when he/she is faced with the possibility of using a [toolkit]” [10]. This scale consists of three items.

- I feel apprehensive about using the toolkit.
- It scares me to think that I could lose a lot of information using the toolkit by hitting the wrong key.
- I hesitate to use the toolkit for fear of making mistakes I cannot correct.

Attitude towards this technology (Usefulness) [11]

"The degree to which a person believes that using a particular system would enhance his or her job performance" [12]. This measurement scale has three items.

- I find the toolkit useful.
- Using the toolkit enhances my effectiveness.
- The toolkit supports to get my ideas into physical objects.

Quality Output

“The degree to which an individual believes that the system performs his or her job tasks well” [8]. This scale consists of two items.

- The quality output I get from the toolkit is high.
- I have no problem with the quality of the toolkit’s output.

Image

“The degree to which an individual perceives that use of an innovation will enhance his or her status in his or her social system” [10]. This measurement scale has two items.

- Having the toolkit/3D printer is a status symbol.
- People who use the toolkit/3D printer have more prestige than those who do not.

Social influence

“The degree to which an individual perceives that most people who are important to him think he should or should not use the system” [8]. This measurement scale has two items.

- People who influence my behavior think that I should use the toolkit/3DP.
- People who are important to me think that I should use the toolkit/3DP.

Usability (Ease of Use) [11]

“The degree to which a person believes that using a [toolkit] will be free of effort” [7]. This scale consists of four items.

- Learning to deal with the toolkit was easy.
- I find it easy to achieve with the system exactly what I want.
- My interaction with the toolkit was clear and understandable.
- It would be easy for me to become skillful at using the toolkit.

Behavioral Intention to Use (Usage)

This scale consists of two items.

- I intend to use such a toolkit in the next 12 months.
- I am sure I am going to use a 3D printing toolkit in the upcoming years.

3.2 Study and survey

According to the presented scale measurements a questionnaire is designed which has to be filled out by participants subsequent to the study. The study itself consists of providing a free toolkit to non-experts. These non-experts have to create the same object. Previous studies found out top household objects which people want to produce in their homes by 3D printing [13]. Referring to these objects the most desired object category is “home & kitchen” and the most common use for 3D printing at home is to “replicate existing objects” [13]. Examples for objects in these categories are fruit bowl, small dishes, teapot or coffee mug [13]. In this study the focus is on creating a (fruit) bowl. This object seems to be designable for non-experts but at the same time designing this object in the respective toolkit might be a challenge for non-experts. There is no specification on how to create this bowl. Participants are just supposed to give their best on creating this item. Before the study starts an example of such a created bowl is shown to every participant (Figure 3).

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Figure 3: Example of a created bowl in the toolkit

With reference to the participants, the target group are students who do not have any designing experience. However, these students are supposed to have a bit of technical affinity in order to be able to create an object. The majority of the students are students at the technical faculty of the University Erlangen-Nuremberg but students who haven’t attended any computer-aided design course yet (non-experts with technical affinity).

As far as the toolkit is concerned, Autodesk 123D is chosen as the toolkit for the study. There is a huge variety of tools. As the study targets people without designing skills tools for beginners are focused. Autodesk 123D is recommended for beginners [shapeways] but it has many functionalities in order to create simple objects. Furthermore this tool is for free (freemium).

After the study, participants are asked to report their opinion about the toolkit and about 3D printing in general. Seven-position categorical scales with boxes labeled from likely (extremely, quite, slightly) to unlikely (extremely, quite, slightly) are provided in a questionnaire (cf. appendix: Figure 20, Figure 21, Figure 22).

To every participant this study is introduced as follows: “Hi. Are you interested in a quick survey/study?” “Yes.” “Ok, I want to find out what you think about a specific 3D printing toolkit and what you think about 3D printing in general. Basically what you need to do is to create a simple object in a toolkit, called Autosdesk 123D, and after you have to answer a one page questionnaire. Certainly I am going to support you with the basic functionalities (tools) of that toolkit. You cannot make anything wrong. Every result is valuable for my research. The object I am talking about is a bowl. An example of a bowl could look like that. So now I just hand the mouse over to you and please just try to get started with the toolkit.”

4 Data analysis

The total number of participants is 30. The age of these participants is shown in Figure 4. Thereby the average age is 24 years with the majority of students being between 24 and 25 years old.

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Figure 4: Age of participants

Figure 20 shows the distribution of the age. The proportion of female participants is 10 %.

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Figure 5: Gender of participants

The participating students are part of the following studies: Communication and Multimedia Engineering, Energy Management, Economics, Trade Management, Computational Engineering, Industrial Engineering, Biology, Electrical Engineering, Medical Engineering, Chemistry, Nanotechnology and Physics.

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Figure 6: Nationalities of participants

Figure 6 shows the distribution of the nationalities. The majority of participants are Germans followed by Indians.

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Table 1: Measurement scales and scale items with mean value and standard deviation

Table 1 displays the compressed results of the study. The average time to create the fruit bowl is 11,3 minutes. In this time people tried to create a bowl already having an example of a bowl in mind as an example was presented to every participant while introducing this study (Figure 3). It can be assumed that the result of the designing would not have been better even if the participants would have taken more time to create a bowl. For further designing improvements tutorials and other resources might have been taken into account. The highest mean value of all measurement scales with 5,7 is the intention to use such a toolkit in the next 12 months. So, people are most likely not to use such a tool in the next months. However, the majority of students was not able to create something similar to a bowl. Designing examples are displayed in Figure 7.

[...]

Excerpt out of 35 pages

Details

Title
Understanding the acceptance of 3D printing toolkits. An extension of the technology acceptance model
College
Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nuremberg
Grade
1,3
Author
Year
2015
Pages
35
Catalog Number
V378120
ISBN (eBook)
9783668555440
ISBN (Book)
9783668555457
File size
1319 KB
Language
English
Tags
toolkits, user, 3D printing, TAM, Technology Acceptance Model, Information Systems, research, acceptance, Wirtschaftsinformatik
Quote paper
Johannes Köck (Author), 2015, Understanding the acceptance of 3D printing toolkits. An extension of the technology acceptance model, Munich, GRIN Verlag, https://www.grin.com/document/378120

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