Annika Wiecek, Daniel Wentzel, Aras Erkin | Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science
Recent years have witnessed the diffusion of 3D printing technologies that allow consumers to create products with the push of a button. While these technologies may change how value is created in the marketplace, there is little research on 3D printing from a consumer perspective. Against this background, this research conceptualizes 3D printing as a form of co-creation and presents four studies aimed at understanding how consumers respond to products they have printed themselves. Study 1 shows that self-printing a product positively affects product evaluations by increasing perceived ownership. Study 2 finds that this effect occurs even when people are not able to observe the printing process. Study 3 shows that the positive effect of self-printing is moderated by the affective quality of the products being printed. Specifically, while self-printing enhances the evaluations of hedonic products, it has no effect on the evaluations of utilitarian products. Finally, Study 4 identifies a strategy that may offset the disadvantage that utilitarian products face in a 3D printing context, that is, ingredient branding.