Additive manufacturing (AM) is an umbrella term for various layer-based manufacturing processes which are often portrayed as a new technological revolution. Despite impressive AM process developments the revenue of the AM industry is still a fraction of that of other manufacturing processes. This AM based revenue discrepancy raises many questions. They include: (1) What makes AM so special? and (2) How could the disruptive potential of AM be unlocked? We seek to add to the literature by providing an answer to elements of these questions through the development of a framework we call the 'Magic Cube'. We utilize the concept of vertical and horizontal innovation theory as one basis for this framework. Further we adopt a tension perspective on automation and individualisation drawn from operations research to develop a theoretical framework. The result is the 'Magic Cube', a tool that is designed to support researchers and practitioners in demonstrating the unique strengths of AM and its potential areas of application.