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Is 3D printing an inclusive innovation?: An examination of 3D printing in Brazil

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  • Woodson, Thomas
  • Alcantara, Julia Torres
  • do Nascimento, Milena Silva

Abstract

3D printing is an emerging technology that many believe will revolutionize manufacturing, supply chains and global product consumption. This study uses a new framework, the ladder of inclusive innovation, to analyze whether 3D printing is an inclusive innovation. The interviews with 3D printer users and innovators in Brazil show that 3D printers are not being used or purchased by marginalized communities because the technology is expensive, and it requires a steep learning curve. However, the technology is changing the process, structure, and post-structural discussions surrounding innovation for marginalized communities. Overall, there are aspects of 3D printing develop that are inclusive innovation, but there are significant barriers that prevent the technology from having a broad impact on society. The results of the study will help make innovations more inclusive for marginalized groups around the world.

Suggested Citation

  • Woodson, Thomas & Alcantara, Julia Torres & do Nascimento, Milena Silva, 2019. "Is 3D printing an inclusive innovation?: An examination of 3D printing in Brazil," Technovation, Elsevier, vol. 80, pages 54-62.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:techno:v:80-81:y:2019:i::p:54-62
    DOI: 10.1016/j.technovation.2018.12.001
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    Cited by:

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    3. Heikkinen, I.T.S. & Savin, H. & Partanen, J. & Seppälä, J. & Pearce, J.M., 2020. "Towards national policy for open source hardware research: The case of Finland," Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Elsevier, vol. 155(C).

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