Cloud based 3D printing business modeling in the digital economy

Norman Gwangwava, Albert U. Ude, Enock Ogunmuyiwa, Richard Addo-Tenkorang

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


3D printing, also known as additive manufacturing, is becoming the industry standard for manufacturing and prototyping. Although the technology is very old, it gained a huge traction in the past two decades. 3D printing favors unique once-off orders (mass customization) in contrast to mass production. This calls for innovative business models in order to realize economic gains from the technology. Increased product innovations in the global economy also contribute to wide adoption of 3D printing unlike in the old days. A transition in the manufacturing field has brought e-manufacturing and now cloud-based manufacturing. Machines, including 3D printers, in the past were not Internetenabled but modern designs have the capability of Internet connectivity. Cloud-based 3D printing is a new model of design that has a significant impact on today's entrepreneurs. This article focuses on a business case for a cloud-based approach in consumer product niches. A cloud-based 3D printing business model (3D-Cloud) is developed based on the business model canvas, which promises major breakthroughs in e-entrepreneurship innovation. The model uses a virtual community approach to bring together technocrats, enthusiasts, and shared 3D printer facilities of common interests, whilst promoting an enterprising spirit.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)25-43
Number of pages19
JournalInternational Journal of E-Entrepreneurship and Innovation (IJEEI)
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • 3D Printing
  • 3DCloud
  • Additive Manufacturing
  • Business Modeling
  • Cloud based 3D Printing
  • Cloud Computing
  • Mass Customization
  • SOA Architecture
  • Social Networking
  • Time to Market
  • Virtual Communities
  • Word One
  • Word Three
  • Word Two


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