Researcher Seeks to Understand the Motivations of 3D Model Designers

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Matthew Terrell is a member of the Horizon research department at the University of Nottingham in the UK.

Terrell is interested in the motivations of designers, animators and users of 3D modeling communities, inspired by the work of MIT Professor Eric von Hippel on lead-user theory.

Matthew Terrell Designers 3D Printing

To further his research, Terrell is reaching out to the design community in an open questionnaire called Motivations in Online 3D Communities. He is offering a £50 voucher to one randomly selected participant.

We caught up with Matthew Terrell to learn more about his research and goals.

On 3D Printing: Tell us about your research. What are you looking at in the field of 3D Printing?

Matthew Terrell: I am researching the motivations for choosing different 3D communities – more specifically if the choice is based on economic, social, individual or professional motivations. The research is developed on the lead-user theory developed by Eric von Hippel at MIT, which investigates small groups of users which are almost perfectly suited to new product development, due to a combination of their knowledge, industry position and engagement in the community.

On 3D Printing: What do you hope to accomplish with this questionnaire?

Matthew Terrell: As only a few research project built on this theory have investigated the users of online communities, the aims of the study are twofold: firstly, to understand more about the behaviour of individuals, specifically the motivations of 3D modellers who operate in online communities. Secondly to gain a better understanding of the different environments individuals self-select into, based on their motivations, and the motivational systems in each environment.

On 3D Printing: What trends are you seeing in the 3D printing design and 3D modeling communities?

Matthew Terrell: Interestingly that many 3D modellers prefer to operate ‘offline’. I assumed that being online provided us all with more opportunities to diffuse our work and knowledge, however many modellers appear to work in physical environments like Hackspaces or fab labs.


If you are a 3D modeler or designer, please participate in Matthew Terrell’s online questionnaire

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One Response to Researcher Seeks to Understand the Motivations of 3D Model Designers

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