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Master students from Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University (RSM) experienced first-hand how new technology can be used to create new business possibilities. Two 3D printers simultaneously worked alongside each other during a spectacular lecture by Michiel Hagenbeek from M4Composites on campus on Tuesday 9 June 2015.

“Marketers need to negotiate engineering, production and design to see if the products they want are feasible to produce,” says Dr Gui Liberali, associate professor of marketing at RSM. He says this costs firms a lot of money and time, and often results in re-work and abandoned ideas for a new product. “We took the next step by having our students design the products they created in a major computer-aided design software, and then 3D-print it with RSM’s 3D printer.” Dr Liberali says that by seeing the working prototypes in class, the students learn new methods to develop and launch new products to fulfill consumer needs.

Developing new products

“The world is rapidly changing with all kinds of new technological developments, for example 3D printing,” says guest lecturer Michiel Hagenbeek, who spoke to students from the MSc in Master in International Management / CEMS programme about the opportunities and challenges of 3D printing. As the founder and owner of M4Composites, Hagenbeek mainly focuses on developing composite materials and applications including 3D printing.

New technology businesses

RSM brings its students into close contact with developing technologies, and experts associated with their development. This way, students learn the complete process of making new businesses from new technologies. “Most business school students don’t have classes on technology”, says Hagenbeek. “But we need this to help build businesses that develop new technologies that truly makes a difference. 3D printing is changing the way we make things and it creates new possibilities that in turn require new business models.”

Innovative and insightful

Before the class, the students had received a small-scaled prototype 3D printer, but not the full-sized one. During the CEMS marketing class, around 35 CEMS students witnessed the actual printing process and started it themselves. Hagenbeek brought a second printer to print simultaneously with RSM’s 3D printer. “Teaching at RSM was a great experience and the CEMS students were a very eager and dedicated group of young people,” says Hagenbeek.

For CEMS student André Alves it was the first time he was exposed to this new technology. “This class really showcased the enormous potential of these technologies and how we can integrate them in our professional lives," he said. “This was an innovative and insightful class that should be the new standard." CEMS classmate Mika Pohjo agrees: "It was great getting some experience on 3D printing, and putting theory into practice. I can well imagine exploring some own ideas in the future.”


Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University (RSM) is a top-tier European business school and ranked among the top three for research. RSM provides ground-breaking research and education furthering excellence in all aspects of management and is based in the international port city of Rotterdam – a vital nexus of business, logistics and trade. RSM’s primary focus is on developing business leaders with international careers who carry their innovative mindset into a sustainable future thanks to a first-class range of bachelor, master, MBA, PhD and executive programmes. RSM also has offices in the Amsterdam Zuidas business district and in Taipei, Taiwan.  

For more information on RSM or on this release, please contact Marianne Schouten, Media & Public Relations Manager for RSM, on +31 10 408 2877 or by email at

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