Innovation Communities and the Dilemma of Entrepreneurship in the 3D Printing Field

Part of the Contributions to Management Science book series (MANAGEMENT SC.)


This chapter starts with a description of emergence and change within the 3D printing field. I analytically distinguish three different phases of transformation and trace their particular impacts on the field’s structure and its constituting issue. Indeed, especially the case of Makerbot and its decision to abandon the open source approach from the core of their business model caused a stir in within the field. I thus derive a taxonomy of opposing codes that delineates community and business stances within the dilemma of entrepreneurship. In order to explore the practical responses of actors that face this dilemma, I analyze interviews that I conducted with founders of 2nd generation community spin-offs, which already took the consequences of the Makerbot controversy into account to inform their own business strategies. It turns out that these actors are highly aware of the challenging contexts for their entrepreneurial efforts and thus try to incorporate aspects from both community and business realms within the business models of their RepRap-related startups.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Technische UniversitätBerlinGermany

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