Ivan Pope, owner and founder of a 3D body scanning start up business, is expected to make a presentation at the Future of Digital Marketing conference next week. His plan is to outline for businesses just how 3D printing can be used to promote businesses in a wide number of industries.
The program, called Shapie Me, provides storage space for anyone to store, manipulate, and print out full 3D body scans. Users will have free accounts where they can store these scans and can be printed out in a variety of materials. He says they can be used in a number of settings; to show how clothes will fit, to demonstrate health and fitness products, or even in the gaming industry to create avatars just to name a few.
Pope says his main concern lies with providing access points called Scan Hubs where people can go and get their scanning done and stored until it is needed at a later time. While the practical uses of this new technology may not be obvious, Pope expects it will grow into a major industry in a very short time.
If you haven’t seen it up close and personal, you probably won’t get what all the fuss is about when it comes to 3D printing. On the one hand, it sounds rather futuristic, gadgets that seem to pop right out of midair at the very touch of your Tablet, on the other hand, it may sound a little complicated and unnecessary. Meanwhile, the average business owner may be wondering how 3D printing can help his business.
So, when someone makes an announcement that says that 3D Printing is the impetus that will change the world, you may not be able to see where they’re going. Since most offices are still making pretty good use of their copy machines, they may not see where 3D printing is needed in their industry. Some may even think that the technology is still far off into the future. However, according to Richard D’Aveni of The Harvard Business Review,
It is a small evolutionary step from spraying toner on paper to putting down layers of something more substantial (such as plastic resin) until the layers add up to an object. And yet, by enabling a machine to produce objects of any shape, on the spot as needed, 3-D printing really is ushering in a new era.
While many may not see the potential at first, just a few comments from those that do can be a real eye opener.
Who Can Use It
Many people may be surprised to discover that the technology is not very new. 3D has been available and in use for well over 30 years now. Up until now, the industry has been under the tight control of only a few manufacturers and reserved for very specific industries.
Today, however, with patents expiring and networks opening up, this technology is becoming available to the mainstream marketer. As it is explained in Econsultancy,
So we now see printers using multiple materials in one pass, the development of a huge range of specialist materials and the introduction of machines that can print on a large scale. As demand pushes supply, the world of 3D printing has developed into an ecosystem that offers more solutions for every user.
Even smaller businesses will be able to produce 3D imaging of the same quality as the bigger corporations.
How Can Marketers Use It
Many believe that this new form of printing will be the one ingredient that can change the face of marketing in ways that are unimaginable. In considering the potential for this emerging industry, people need only think about the extent of creativity within their own business. It will be a way to get fast, customized, inexpensive, and adaptable marketing materials for almost everything.
A company can create objects for customer giveaways, replacement parts for hard to find equipment, create entirely new products, make miniatures of new products, souvenirs, mementos, samples, and even more. They could even create their own coins or money for use in their stores.
The extent of its uses can be endless, not just from a marketing perspective but even beyond. The idea of being able to recreate anything in a 3-dimensional format can be just the beginning for a growing business. Already visionaries are seeing things that go well beyond the obvious. One writer for Smithsonian.com points out,
Imagine villages in the developing world printing parts for farm equipment or water pumps, and the solar panels that drive them. Imagine mobile production plants quickly deployed in disaster zones, printing out anything from arm splints to tent stakes.
The fact is that 3D printing can be used in so many ways for so many different things that the world could be changed forever. One person even suggested that car dealerships will include a printer with the purchase of a new car; that way when a part breaks down, the owner can reprint it for themselves.
Whether 3D printing goes that far or not will remain to be seen. The reality though is that the technology is already here and is becoming more and more affordable as it hits the mainstream market.
Technicians explain that the health industry could in the future, produce muscle tissue, skin, cartilage, skin, and even bones, thus speeding up patient recovery. Aircraft companies are already using them to make extra parts for their equipment.
The point is that, while the system is not perfect for all of these industries just yet, it is well on its way. Many industries are lining up for the chance to get a leg up in their businesses. Just as Xerox Corporation took printing to an entirely new level in the last century, 3D seems to be poised to do exactly the same in this one.
While many may not see the possibilities for 3D marketing in their business just yet, they may just find that in a few years that they are falling way behind in their marketing success. 3D marketing is now going widespread and will more than likely change the way many people conduct and market their own industries.