Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to provide an analysis of how virtual-social-physical (VSP) convergence can affect different types of project manufacturing. In particular, VSP convergence that involves combining the read-write functionality of Web 2.0 and related social media together with digital tools for virtual design and for physical manufacturing. Design/methodology/approach – Literature review and interviews with experts in technologies covering VSP convergence: digital data capture, photogrammetry, generative computation, Web 2.0 and social media, digitally driven manufacturing. Findings – VSP convergence can enable the replacement of slow and expensive traditional project manufacturing practices with much faster and less expensive digitally driven technologies. Practical implications – There are new opportunities for expansion of some types of project manufacturing. Notably, there are opportunities in non-industrial developing countries because VSP convergence reduces reliance on industrial infrastructure for the manufacturing of goods. By contrast, opportunities may be limited for expansion of established project manufacturing companies with exclusive brands. Originality/value – The originality is that VSP convergence is related to different types of project manufacturing. Based on VSP convergence, traditional types and new types of project manufacturing are categorized together for the first time. The value of this paper is that it is explained how VSP convergence can address barriers to expansion of different types of project manufacturing.
- advanced manufacturing technology
- mass imagineering
- project manufacturing
- virtual-social-physical convergence
- do-it-yourself (DIY)
- do-it-with-others (DIWO)