Business models for additive manufacturing: exploring digital technologies, consumer roles, and supply chains

Ronen Hadar, Arne Bilberg, Marcel Bogers

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Digital fabrication — including additive manufacturing (AM), rapid prototyping and 3D printing — has the potential to revolutionize the way in which products are produced and delivered to the customer. Therefore, it challenges companies to reinvent their business model — describing the logic of creating and capturing value. In this paper, we explore the implications that AM technologies have for manufacturing systems in the new business models that they enable. In particular, we consider how a consumer goods manufacturer can organize the operations of a more open business model when moving from a manufacturer-centric to a consumer-centric value logic. A major shift includes a move from centralized to decentralized supply chains, where consumer goods manufacturers can implement a “hybrid” approach with a focus on localization and accessibility or develop a fully personalized model where the consumer effectively takes over the productive activities of the manufacturer. We discuss some of the main implications for research and practice of consumer-centric business models and the changing decoupling point in consumer goods’ manufacturing supply chains.
Original languageEnglish
Article number18291
JournalTechnological Forecasting and Social Change
Number of pages59
Publication statusPublished - 15. Jul 2015

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