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3D print UP

Report 009, general - fashion - living / technology - sustainable

3D print UP

Corona has attracted attention to 3D printing again

3D will become more and more important on building sites.

Correction: The last two days the attention on the 3D print industry slowed down a little bit must be the last two years

3-D print is a development that has been growing in importance the last years. It was an industry that attracted a lot of investments, and yet the last two years the attention on the industry seemed to be waning. I wondered if the 3D printing industry might not become as strong as I thought? Corona has attracted attention to 3D printing again, for two reasons;

No 1

The first one is its flexibility.

Because of Corona we have seen a lack of masks, and demand for new products that we have not needed before; such as handles that allow you to open doors of fridges in supermarkets without touching them. To make a production line for new products takes time, something we don’t have much of at the moment. The solution is 3D printing. You can produce whatever you want without speed limitations (or production development time). The 3D printing industry has started to produce masks, handles and other items that we needed because of Corona.

ToucheToday 3D print accessories I realized this because I have a 3D print accessory label ToucheToday. All the rings I am wearing right now are from ToucheToday and are designed in 3D print. The moulds are made with 3D printing. The plastic rings are produced in 3D print, and the brass and silver ones are poured into 3D printed moulds. It is possible to 3D print brass and silver but at the moment it is still very expensive. It won’t be long before that also becomes affordable.

For my label ToucheToday I ordered a 3D print ring at Shapeways, (one of the biggest 3D print companies) and they were unable to deliver the order because their production is being used for Corona solutions such as masks. This is a great thing – it will show the world how practical 3d printing is and boost the industry.

This means that the developments within the 3D print industry will go faster as an industry but also for you as a company. Because of Corona we realize, there is a real possibility of a part of our business dropping off (by Corona for example) and there is a real possibility thatb consumers are shifting suddenly. Technology such as 3d printing will allow us to be more flexible. So 3D printing as part of your production process is a good idea. Simple as that.

No 2

There is a second reason why 3D printing is the future; Localisation

Classical production processes.

International Production

We used to produce in places like China. International production far away, mass produced. Let’s take rings as an example. Rings were designed and produced in China in quantities of maybe one hundred or one thousand pieces. We sent the design, flew to China for the first contact, and did follow up contact online. When production was finished they were shipped by air or sea, depending on the how quickly they were needed.

3D print.

Local production

3D PRINT is a completely different production system. 3D printing is based on Internet and digitalisation.

For consumers (single production)

There is a digital file with a design that is sent online to the closest 3D producer. There are 3D networks like Hubs LINK that connect you to the closest printer, which could even be your neighbour.

For companies (large quantity production)

There are local 3D printers for larger series across the world, so you produce there where the consumers are; at the location of the market. If you make a product for the Chinese market you will produce it in China. If it’s for the French market you will produce it in France, on demand.

All local production on demand! That means also no risk of dead stock as it is all production on demand wherever we need.

The local production character of 3D print is excellent for The World After because long distances will be difficult to cover, as well as a risk (we can't fly anywhere).

How lovely is it to have our production close to the final consumer?


Other production systems that are comparable with 3D printing.

The 3D print production concept can also be applied to some other production systems.

A wonderful English knitting label: Unmade LINK is a great example. For their production they opted for a standardised knitting machine that is available in many locations in the world. You can compare it with the standardization of the 3D printer.

How does Unmade work?

The consumer logs into the site and chooses an item, e.g. a scarf or a jumper. There are “standard” designs that can be customized by changing colour, pattern and size. Production place will be a selected knitting machine close to the location of the consumer. The final product will be posted (short distance) to the consumer.

The increasing interest in 3D printing, local production and customisation is an important and complex development. I have done a lot of projects for the cosmetics industry, focusing on strategies for custom made 3D product packaging. This is the future. You can purchase consultancy hours in the Game Changers membership if you would like to know more about the 3D print opportunities and strategies for your company.

3 D print for Living:

3D will become more and more important on building sites. In the visuals of this report you will see some of the developments. In a later report I will focus more on 3D printing for housing. How we going to build houses with it? And what will be the visual options.