Machine Access​

Machine Access​


Providing access to machines, tools, or other equipment for people and businesses to use

Major variations

Offering a space where people can come and use equipment, versus allowing people to take it away (tool hire – more practical for smaller items)

Potential impacts

  • Improving skills – enabling people to learn how to use equipment
  • Enabling start-ups – they can test the market for product ideas without having to buy all the equipment first
  • Reducing costs for existing businesses – they can access different machines without having to buy them
  • Improving quality of locally made products – by providing access to better quality or higher precision tools 


  • If you have machines and other equipment it can make sense to maximise use of these assets


  • High Startup Costs – buying the equipment is expensive. Some options are to seek donors or sponsorship; partner with equipment manufacturers, share machines with others or build your own machines. 
  • Maintenance – Find local maintenance expertise or learn how to do it yourself; consider keeping stock of critical spare parts
  • Health & Safety – This is very important, you should consider training, monitoring, risk assessment, and accident planning

Business model canvas

Key partners

  • Machine Manufacturers / Resellers
  • Materials Suppliers
  • Government or NGOs who want to support local industry
  • Businesses who use these types of machine

Key activities

  • Attracting customers
  • Machine Maintenance
  • Managing Access

Key resources

  • The machines / tools / equipment
  • An accessible location with power

Value propositions

  • Ability to learn skills
  • Offering the capability of the machines at a lower cost or lower hassle than buying them
  • Ability to test new ideas, products, or processes
  • Improved efficiency of production processes

Customer relationships

  • Long term relationships with community members
  • Partnerships with those who use your machines in their production process


  • Cross-selling from training
  • Co-location: put machines next to businesses who will use them 
  • Referrals – word of mouth can be powerful among artisan communities

Customer segments

  • People who want to learn
  • Startup businesses who want to prototype and experiment
  • Established businesses who use machines in their work (or could do)
  • Entrepreneurs who can use the machines to make money e.g. offer training courses

Cost structure

  • Machine  purchase cost
  • Maintenance costs 
  • Location & power
  • Advertising
  • Oversight personnel
  • Materials & consumables

Revenue streams

  • Hourly charge for machine use
  • Membership-type access fees including a certain amount of machine time
  • Revenue sharing agreements with people who use the machines to offer paid classes or make products for sale
  • Cross-selling opportunities to sell training, materials, or other services

Complementary models

Supporting others to develop knowledge and skills with the focus on education and certification​
Creating shared access to a community and/or other assets (space and equipment)​
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