3D Printing Stage 2 Assignment

Before you begin this assignment, be sure you have:

  • Completed all previously assigned readings, including the Week 1 reading “Differences among Computer Systems, Computer Information Systems, and Communication Networks.”
  • Read the “3D Printing Case Study.”
  • Reviewed the feedback on your 3D Printing Stage 1 Assignment.

Mark has reviewed what you provided to him in Stage 1 and he has asked that you tell him what components he will need to support his “Expansion Plan.”  In addition to creating more 3D printed products, he needs to be able to manage his customer orders, supplies, employees, etc.  He wants to replace his spreadsheet of customer orders with a small business enterprise resource management (ERP) information system in his facility to help him manage his business effectively.  Review the section of the Case Study entitled “Mark’s Expansion Plan” and the additional information provided below to identify all of the requirements Mark has laid out.  He wants you to tell him what components he will need and what they do.

Mark has also asked for a diagram that shows how the components you identify will be set up and connected to create his local area network in the 3D printing facility.  In order to prepare a diagram, Mark has provided the following description of his facility and his operation.

The facility in the industrial park that I am currently using has a manager’s office, a large supply storage area, a loading dock, and a large open area where the 3D printing operation occurs.  When supplies are unloaded and put into the storage area, I would like for my employees to be able to update the inventory system (which would be a part of the ERP system).  When an employee takes supplies from the storage area to be used in the printing and packaging processes, I want them to update the inventory system.  I currently accept customers’ orders via the telephone and email (through my Gmail account; I have my email address on my Facebook page).  My FiOS internet connection drop is in my office area.  When I get the ERP system, I want to be able to enter the customer orders into the ERP system.  I also need to use the ERP to store my employee records and to have payroll information.  Finally, I also want to keep all my financial records (orders, invoices, etc.) in the ERP.  As I said earlier (in the Case Study), I want my employees to be able to access the 3D printing systems through a mobile device of some sort so they can move around the facility.

On the diagram, he would like you to designate where the components you listed will be located in his facility – which items will be in his office, which will be elsewhere in the facility, and which ones will be used by employees as they move around the facility.


This assignment has two parts:

  1. Future IT infrastructure – Mark has two fundamental IT needs for his business. He needs to be able to create the 3D printed products and he needs to be able to manage customer orders, supplies, employees, etc.  To help him understand each component, including those he already has in place, you will:
    1. List and describe the components (hardware, software, security devices, network devices, wired/wireless devices, internet, and databases, as appropriate) needed for the computer system(s) to be used to create the 3D printed items.
    2. List and describe the components (hardware, software, security devices, network devices, wired/wireless devices, internet, and databases, as appropriate) Mark will need to implement a small business enterprise resource management (ERP) information system in his facility to help him manage his business effectively. Some of these will be the same as some components listed for the 3D system.
    3. Explain the relationships among the 3D computer system, the information system, and the communication networks that support both types of systems and how they fit together to provide Mark all the IT capability he needs to run his business.


  1. Create one or two original graphical representations of your specific technology solution. Include all the components listed in Part 1.  The file “Example Network Diagram” shows the level of detail needed and provides sample icons for use in constructing your drawing, if you choose to use them.  You may want to use icons from Free Network Diagram Software. You should include labels as to what each device is and what the purpose of the component is, e.g., router, switch, email server, database server, system administration PC, etc.  The make/model/capacity/etc. of the devices does not need to be included – simply their generic device type (router, switch, server, etc.) and their function, if appropriate (email, database, etc.).  You may create a single graphic to represent all of the systems, or you may create a graphic of the computer systems used for the 3D printing and a second graphic for the ERP information system and other systems Mark is using; the network components needed for each system should be included on the applicable graphic(s).
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