Creating and Capturing Sustainable Value for Additive Manufacturing

Change log

This research has explored the business model and sustainable value in the context of additive manufacturing (AM). In terms of the sustainable value of AM business models, it indicates that the AM business models not only generate monetary revenue through selling machines, materials, and other products but also create value for the environment and society via using environmental- friendly materials, recycling, reusing, achieving resource efficiency and improving social wellbeing. However, sustainable value is surprisingly overlooked in incumbent AM companies, and the profitable business models are yet to be identified. The research revealed that AM companies typically still set a one-dimensional profit maximization goal without considering the consequences for the broader social and ecological contexts. Most AM companies do not know how to maximize the sustainable value of AM technologies through business model innovation which creates a significant knowledge gap for the industry.

The research seeks to address the central question: how can AM companies develop business models to create and capture sustainable value? The purpose of this research is to help AM companies identify opportunities to create and capture sustainable value outcomes. One objective of the research is to contribute to knowledge about business models and sustainability concepts. Another objective is to contribute to practice and offer the frameworks that can facilitate strategic planning and sustainable business model development. The research adopts a qualitative approach and involves six case studies and two focus groups, representing seven sectors and companies from three countries with 43 participants in total at the exploratory stage and descriptive stage, respectively. The research has generated empirical insights, theoretical models, and practical frameworks that help AM scholars and practitioners better understand AM business models as well as create and capture sustainable value. The research has filled the literature gap and met the industrial need and made contributions to both academic knowledge and industrial practice.

Evans, Steve
Additive Manufacturing, Sustainability, Value Creation and Capture
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Awarding Institution
University of Cambridge
Cambridge International Scholarship/China Scholarship Council