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Survey analysis for the adoption of 3D printing technology: consumers’ perspective

Maria Mavri (Department of Business Administration, School of Business, University of the Aegean, Chios, Greece)
Evgenia Fronimaki (Department of Business Administration, School of Business, University of the Aegean, Chios, Greece)
Athanasia Kadrefi (Department of Business Administration, School of Business, University of the Aegean, Chios, Greece)

Journal of Science and Technology Policy Management

ISSN: 2053-4620

Article publication date: 28 December 2021

Issue publication date: 2 March 2023

581

Abstract

Purpose

Although the adoption of 3D printing technology in many sectors such as medicine, aerospace, jewelry and the food industry is remarkable, the adoption of 3D printing technology by hobbyists remains unknown. The purpose of this paper is to map the attitude of individuals toward this new technology, define critical factors that have an impact on hobbyists’ behavior and, finally, explore the impact of 3D printing on social, economic and environmental changes, as 3D printing technology redesigns manufacturing, thereby impacting many sectors of day-to-day life.

Design/methodology/approach

A survey has been carried out on Greek hobbyists, and valuable conclusions have been drawn. Data were collected using a structured questionnaire survey performed on a sample of 344 Greek consumers in this sector. A questionnaire of 30 questions was distributed electronically.

Findings

This paper contributes to the determination of the percentage of individuals that know about 3D printing, the factors that have a significant contribution to adoption of the technology and, finally, identifies the profile of those that use 3D printing technology either in their work or for their hobby. Using a factor analysis, the authors classified users into five categories based on their attitudes towards 3D printing adoption: “innovators,” “informed,” “ecologists,” “engineers” and “re-users.”

Research limitations/implications

The authors believe that understanding the predictors of 3D printing technology adoption for personal use and its benefits will overcome a pertained research gap and establish an empirical nucleus for further studies in relevant contexts. This type of research is necessary to expand the survey to other European countries.

Practical implications

3D printing is not new, but rather is an emerging technology. Individuals are willing to adopt this innovative technology. Based on the results of our survey, a desktop 3D printer will be necessary for every home and office in the near future.

Social implications

The impact of 3D printing technology on rural life and its social implications are open questions. In this paper, by identifying the groups of hobbyists, the authors determine their particular characteristics and their perspectives on this new technology. All of what is discussed above is valuable for mapping the characteristics of those who adopt this technology.

Originality/value

This study is attempting to determine the behavior of individuals towards 3D printing technology, their awareness and how familiar they are with this new technological innovation.

Keywords

Citation

Mavri, M., Fronimaki, E. and Kadrefi, A. (2023), "Survey analysis for the adoption of 3D printing technology: consumers’ perspective", Journal of Science and Technology Policy Management, Vol. 14 No. 2, pp. 353-385. https://doi.org/10.1108/JSTPM-02-2020-0023

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2021, Emerald Publishing Limited

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