Recently the GES 2015 Trend Tracker and EVENTtech’s WTF  reports on 3D printing placed this technology on its must watch list for 2015.  The Wishoo Interactive Technologies team has also been keeping an eye on this technology and wanted to share some thoughts as they pertain to working this into your next live event.

Below are points to consider when deciding the appropriate use of 3D technology in the event marketing community. 3D printing should follow Stephen Covey’s habit of “Begin with the End in Mind”.  Understand the journey to get the best print.

  1. 3D designing or object scanning
    1. Do you want participant input for a custom design? This will require a custom user interface.
    2. How about electronically scanning an object or person for 3D file creation? You will need a scanning device and transfer process into 3D software.   Be careful, we are seeing the use of a familiar gaming console for scanning that is not authorized for commercial use.
  2. File rendering for loading or transferring to printer
    1. Regardless of the 3D modeling software, the output will need to be converted to an .STL or .OBJ file format
    2. 3D printers can be connected directly to the Mac/PC using USB, wireless or SD cards.
  3. Printing
    1. Verify 3D printer millimeter per second speed and test prior to the event. A 15 mm per second printer takes 3 hours to produce a 2” x 1” semi-hollow figure
    2. Utilize ABS or PLA plastic materials for printing.
    3. Budget for filament cost and know what the total usage and cost is per piece.
    4. The smaller the print layer, the better the resolution of the print
    5. Strongly consider a printing service for your event printing fulfillment
  4. Event Strategy Considerations
    1. Utilize a messaging system to communicate with participants and have them come back to pick up the model if the print process is reasonable (15-30 minutes)
    2. Wrap the print around sweepstakes and mail them to winners
    3. Make it a premium giveaway for those that show brand loyalty
    4. Consider pre-printing and wrapping or a fulfillment print service


3D printing on a one-to-one basis for large scale events is not ready.  Your 3D strategy must deploy the KISS principal in 2015.

Please call or connect with us online if you are considering 3D printing at an upcoming event.