Business Models for Additive Manufacturing: Exploring Digital Technologies, Consumer Roles, and Supply Chains
Technological Forecasting & Social Change, 2015, Forthcoming
59 Pages Posted: 1 Aug 2015
Date Written: July 28, 2015
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.
Keywords: 3D printing; additive manufacturing; business models; digital fabrication; glocalized production; rapid manufacturing; rapid prototyping; supply chains
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