Knowledge re-use in online user innovation communities

Problem

User innovators often gather in communities. In these communities they share their ideas, ask for help and free reveal their innovations.

Within communities a vibrant flow of knowledge is present that fuels additional innovation activities. We want to look deeper into the topic how users are generating new ideas on the basis of existing innovations.

The community Thingiverse is the biggest 3D printing community in the world. A special feature is the “remix function”. By highlighting a design as a remix a connection to the used source material is displayed. We use this function to follow the development paths of millions of designs. As designs are often connected to each other in many ways we can draw networks to have a look at the big picture of design evolution.

The aim of the master thesis is to better understand these networks in different product categories. Is remixing the same for every type of product or are there differences in how community members approach remixing?

Contact Person

Emil Herrling