Customisation. The rise of 3D printing.

Although 3D printing has been around for a while, it has always been ‘unattainable’ because of the price tag attached. Today at YourStudio, we are looking at a few emerging trends of 3D printing. It is slowly changing the relationship between the products, makers and consumers and their roles; we are all slowly becoming dissatisfied by the lack of individuality in mass-produced products, feeling like we are also becoming indistinguishable from each other just like that products we own. Customised products usually required to be handcrafted, which is expensive for the labour and time, but now 3D printing is allowing an alternative route out.

Since the technology first became available, many have been trying to push the boundaries of 3D printing, exploring its potentials. Simple products like lamps, jewellery, accessories (e.g. mobile phone cases), watches have been successfully produced. Makerbot, brought out MixTape, which brings back the nostalgic mixtape that allows you to select your songs and transfer it like the good old cassette tapes. You can choose to buy the ready-made MixTape; or if you have a Makerbot at home, you can buy the package and make it at home yourself. Nothing beats an unique gift made with thoughts and effort.

Now fashion line Continuum has been using the technology to produce wearable pieces. They have previously produced 3D printed bras, and now they have moved onto ‘strvct’ – custom made stilettos. Their D.dress app also allows the user to customise their own dress by scribbling onto a mannequin (perfect for those who wants their own unique little black dress!)

On the other hand, companies like Cubify and Digital Forming are offering services to have pre-designed products (which can be amended by the customers) printed and delivered.

With Cubify Invent, customers are encouraged to design their own products to be printed, or they can just choose from a range of products that are already on the website.

They also offered the Cube, a more affordable home 3D-printer, supplied with cartridges in a range of 10 colours and 25 files of designs they can choose from. After the design is finalised using their software, it’s sent to the printer via Wi-Fi to be materialised.

Digital Forming allows designers to share their designs with customers, who can be involved actively in the co-design and co-create process.

Although all of these 3D printed are all static,  but I think soon will come the day when we can create moving parts using a 3D printer. I mean, if someone can make a fabric-weaving loom out of LEGO with minimum human intervention, we are not very far off.

Speaking of movement, how about printing on the go with this 3D printer that fits inside a briefcase by MIT’s Ilan Moyer and Nadya Peek.

Inspired? Get printing!

Watch this space for more inspirations!

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One Response to 3D PRINT IT

  1. Pedro says:

    Valuable information. Lucky me I found your website by accident, and I’m shocked why this twist of fate did not came about earlier! I bookmarked it.

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