Play, print, and share: 3D printing enthusiasts as user innovators and entrepreneurs

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The main aim of this paper is to explore how these 3D printing enthusiasts make sense of their 3D printing activities online and offline, and how these activities can be explained in terms of the theoretical concepts user innovation and user entrepreneurship. This paper builds on an in-depth interview study and reveals four ideal types (Halkier, 2011) of 3D printing enthusiasts: Entrepreneurial, hobby, individual, and sharing. Based on the theoretical concepts of user innovation and user entrepreneurship, the four ideal types of 3D printing enthusiasts show varying degrees of willingness to engage in 3D communities and disseminate their ideas and innovations beyond inhouse or in-community use. We contribute to user innovation and user entrepreneurship research by highlighting 3D printing enthusiasts as a specific group of user innovators/entrepreneurs with characteristics especially favourable to the diffusion of their ideas, designs, and innovations peer-to-peer or commercially.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)648-664
Number of pages17
JournalInternational Journal of Entrepreneurial Venturing
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Business Administration

Free keywords

  • 3D community
  • 3D printing
  • Collaboration
  • Diffusion
  • Ideal types
  • User entrepreneurship
  • User innovation


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