Self-manufacturing via 3D Printing: Implications for Retailing Thought and Practice

Aric Rindfleisch, Alan J. Malter, Gregory J. Fisher

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Retailing thought and practice is premised on the assumption that consumers visit retailers to search for and acquire objects produced by manufacturers. In essence, we assume that the acts of consuming and producing are conducted by separate entities. This unspoken yet familiar premise shapes the questions retail scholars ask and the way retail practitioners think about their industry. Although this assumption accurately depicted retailing since the Industrial Revolution, its relevance is being challenged by a growing set of individuals who are equipped with new digital tools to engage in self-manufacturing. In this chapter, we examine self-manufacturing with a particular focus on the recent rise of desktop 3D printing. After discussing this new technology and reviewing the literature, we offer a conceptual classification of four distinct types of 3D printed objects and use this classification to inform a content analysis of over 400 of these objects. Based on this review and analysis, we discuss the implications of self-manufacturing for retailing thought and practice.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationMarketing in a Digital World
EditorsAric Rindfleisch, Alan J Malter
PublisherEmerald Group Publishing Ltd.
StatePublished - Sep 19 2019

Publication series

NameReview of Marketing Research
ISSN (Print)1548-6435


  • 3D printing
  • digital revolution
  • self-manufacturing
  • retailing
  • thingiverse
  • content analysis


Dive into the research topics of 'Self-manufacturing via 3D Printing: Implications for Retailing Thought and Practice'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this