Last week I paid a visit to the Centre for Additive Layer Manufacture at the University of Exeter for a Creative Innovation, Manufacturing and Business event.
Eminegul Karababa opened with research in value co-creation associated with chocolate printing. It has been interesting to watch the progression of value co-creation literature and thinking into the manufacturing debate, a theme which appears to be increasingly popular as the customer facing capabilities and value propositions associated with on-demand manufacture become more evident.
Liang Hao and Choon Yen introduced ChocEdge supported by Stephen Mellor and Hua Dong, 3D printing applied to chocolate, not yet the most elegant solution yet something that Thorntons and Cadbury must surely investigate. I would suggest, somehow missing from this debate (and explored in my PhD) is that of experiential consumption, spectacle and performance where 3D printing has potential in a chocolate factory context, where is Willy Wonka?
Peter Wells spoke of ‘Creative Innovation in Manufacturing: New Socially Extensive Business Models’ think Local Motors and Stephen Flowers spoke of ‘The Role of Users and Communities in Innovation: Fans, Friends and Frenemies’ – innovation research applied to democratic manufacturing structures.
Adrian Bowyer spoke of ‘Rapid Replication of 3D Printing Innovation and Entrepreneurship’ making interesting philosophical propositions on ownership, participation and value metrics and finally Darren Westlake spoke of Crowd Funding and Business.
Collectively this constituted another mix of interdisciplinary discourse surrounding 3D printing, utopian futures, democratic and participatory consumption and production. Everyman the maker, everyman the owner and value for everyone. I wonder where this discourse goes next, I think I know.