3D printing has been around for a while now and we’ve all heard about some of the amazing applications in medical science such as the ‘printing’ of body parts and artificial limbs or the rapid prototyping of extremely complex shapes which is driving innovation in the aeronautics & aerospace industry. On the other hand, it has also had a bit of a bad rap following profusely shared images and videos on social media of the apparent easy re-production of guns!
Perhaps because of these negative connotations 3D printing has lost some of its sparkle as the new technology with the “Wow” factor. Fascination with science has moved onto artificial intelligence, machine learning and other such developments over the last couple of years. But lately there’s been a bit of a shift happening. Outside of the complex medical and space science technology which, although extremely interesting, is beyond the comprehension of most of us, 3D printing is beginning to find a new ‘common man’ audience in much more light-hearted, simpler day to day applications.
Exhibitors at trade shows have been using 3D printers to draw crowds in such arenas as car shows, boat shows, jewellery trade shows and food and cooking demonstrations. Showcasing how 3D technology can be creatively used in different areas of production is proving to be both entertaining and engaging for the observer.
For example in the jewellery sector, alongside advancements in CAD, 3D printing is being adopted to create unique and very individual pieces. Everyone can be a designer. This ability to literally create a piece while you watch is being used to great effect in trade show or exhibition arenas.
Also, in the food industry, some creative chefs have replaced plastics in the printers for sugar and cocoa butter, creating some amazing, artistic and highly original food items. (In the future, 3D printing is also being considered as a complete food preparation method and a way of balancing nutrients in a comprehensive and healthy way so we can expect to see it being utilised more and more in this particular sector.)
Even an exhibitor not directly employing the use of 3D print technology in their day to day business can still use it as a ‘gimmick’ to engage visitors at a trade show. One of the more appealing and fun uses we have seen being employed is the creation of ‘mini-me’ personalised dolls. The process involves creating a 3D scan using several cameras around a subject & a technique based on photogrammetry to extract the properties of the object from the 2D photographic images. The result is a very lifelike 3D model.
This is being used to great effect by companies such as Office Works but why not adapt to your own industry and come up with something relevant and a bit more personal to your prospective customers. It would certainly beat handing out the usual pen or mouse pad. It might cost a bit more but your visitors will certainly remember you.
With various companies around the globe currently chasing to be the first to 3D print entire cars, houses, planes, I don’t expect it will be too long before we’re 3D printing entire exhibition stands!
We’re full of great ideas to showcase your brand with a bit of originality. Give us a call today and get some great ideas for your next event.