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Engaging customer influence in product design with 3D printing

Digital Product Ecosystem platform provides manufacturers new channels for customer engagement and monetization of product ideas.


Get the customer involved
Whether they’re making coffee mugs or carbide drill bits, manufacturers of consumer and industrial goods see immense opportunity to transform product development with 3D printing.

However, some businesses are overlooking ways to pull customer influence directly into the product development process and enable mass customization. Customers generally have strong opinions about products, but few options to communicate these ideas directly to manufacturers.

Manufacturers that tap the power of 3D printing and customer interaction channels will be better prepared to produce highly-personalized products at scale.

The Digital Product Ecosystem developed by Accenture Technology Labs integrates with 3D printing services in the cloud and allows manufacturers to deepen customer engagement.

Read on for details on how Tech Labs’ proof-of-concept strengthens internal and external digital collaboration, while speeding up the manufacturing process.

As more consumers purchase 3D printers for use in schools and homes… they have a new route to express ideas or even become rudimentary product designers in their own right.

Why Accenture

The rapid evolution of the product design life cycle
To remain competitive, consumer and industrial goods manufacturers must expedite each and every step in the product design process.

The success of new product launches now hinges on improving collaboration within and across companies, enabling rapid, cost-effective prototyping, leveraging cloud capabilities for 3D printing and aggregating customer feedback into the product design cycle prior to mass production.

We see a number of critical elements for success:

  • Enabling better and faster communication.

  • Supporting less costly and quicker prototyping.

  • Accessing 3D printing in the cloud.

  • Incorporating customers’ opinions into design process.

Specific Services

How it works, where the value lies or discovering value
The proof of concept developed by Accenture Technology Labs aims to address the needs of the market.

Using Tech Labs’ multi-faceted platform, manufacturers can improve internal digital collaboration, speed up the product conception process and more easily loop in external customer opinions before mass production.

We mapped out a scenario in which a large consumer appliance manufacturer develops a new attachment for its stand mixer, and broke it down into a few key steps:

  • Ubiquitous information center

  • Communication channel

  • 3D printing technology integration

  • Version control

  • Channel for customer engagement & ultra-postponement

  • Monetize on brand-wrapped customer designs

Manufacturers must make bold decisions to speed processes and encourage early customer participation in product designs. Using a product lifecycle management platform with built-in 3D printing capabilities is a vital step. Learn more about how it works.