Product Manufacturing

Product Manufacturing


Repeat manufacturing of products that are sold under your own name or brand

Major variations

Making open source design products versus proprietary ones. Consumer products versus industrial. Producing to order versus to stock.

Potential impacts

  • Making products that meet a local need or are not readily available
  • Designing and making machines at a lower cost than importing them can introduce new capabilities and thus increase local production
  • Making any products locally saves on transport and supports the local economy
  • By making products close to the end user you may be able to offer customization options 


  • If you are good at making products for which there is consistent demand, this can be a fairly stable source of revenue


  • Unlike when manufacturing is offered as a service, under this model you carry the financial risk if the products do not sell – so you need to make sure you are making products that the market wants.  
  • Standardised processes and quality control tend to be very important for product manufacturing, and these may not come easily to makerspaces which are typically more used to operating as prototyping and experimentation spaces.

Business model canvas

Key partners

  • Those who create, have, or collect waste – including industry, municipalities, informal sector waste collectors
  • Open source communities dedicated to designing equipment for recycling
  • Governments & NGOs who want to support recycling and local industry

Key activities

  • Collecting waste
  • Processing waste (may include disassembly)
  • Finding markets for recycled materials

Key resources

  • Technical expertise
  • A source of waste material
  • Equipment for recycling

Value propositions

  • Reduce waste disposal costs or improve CSR for industrial waste producers
  • Offer reclaimed or recycled materials as inputs to other production processes – competing on cost, quality or availability with virgin inputs
  • Reclaimed or recycled materials as a value-added offering

Customer relationships

  • Long term relationships with repeat customers if selling materials to industrial users
  • Consumer sales may be more transactional


  • Build personal relationships with potential commercial users
  • Sell through resellers or wholesalers
  • Marketplaces

Customer segments

  • Industrial waste producers who need help to get rid of it
  • Local industries or artisans who need access to raw materials or reclaimed components
  • Consumers who attach value to products being made from recycled materials  

Cost structure

  • Waste collection
  • Waste processing (sorting, cleaning, disassembly etc)
  • Machinery used for waste processing (may include development time)
  • Inventory storage costs (for waste as well as processed materials) 
  • Costs associated with finding and retaining customers

Revenue streams

  • Turn waste into items or materials that can be used by others and sell it 
  • Charge those who need to get rid of waste, to turn it into something useful 
  • Use waste or reclaimed materials to create new products and sell those.

Complementary models

Supporting others to develop knowledge and skills with the focus on education and certification​
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