Print the Future – Wärtsilä



Wärtsilä has glazed their eyes on 3D printing and challenges our team to explore new business opportunities and business models that this technology could offer for Wärtsilä’s business environment and service processes. We developed a 3D printing business strategy for our client’s service environment.


Wärtsilä is a global leader of complete lifecycle power solutions for the marine and energy market, reaching turnover of EUR 4.78 billion in year 2014. The company has three main focus areas: ship power, power plants and service offering. Wärtsilä is already using 3D plastic printing in their R&D activities, but as a highly innovative company constantly striving for sustainable improvements, the company wants to learn more about 3D metal printing opportunities in manufacturing.


Our goal is to provide Wärtsilä with a 3D printing strategy. It includes estimation of 3D printing feasibility and viability and the development of both as well as evaluation of application fields. Furthermore the strategy should provide information how suggested business models will change over time with the development of the 3D printing industry.


Our team approached the brief in a collaborative and iterative double diamond process. With the help of our supervisor and IDBM alumnus Juhana Arkio, we started the project with numerous internal interviews in Finland and Netherlands. From the interviews, we built scenarios illustrating main challenges in the service environment. To better understand the latest 3D printing capabilities our team travelled to conferences in Japan and Singapore. After the research trips, we collaborated in a workshop with Wärtsilä managers and directors to justify the scenarios and to keep on building solutions of possible business models. The team ideated further the solutions.


We agreed on structuring a continuous strategy, how 3D printing should be considered and implemented to Wärtsilä’s service business environment.


Yali Chai (Network Ecosystems), Chris Baumann (IDBM Design), Fang Han (IDBM Design), Juho Kinnunen (Entrepreneurship)