Ad Agencies: Will 2013 Be the Year 3D Printing Goes Mainstream?

3d printing advertising agencies

3D Printing is an innovative technology that is sure to impact advertising, marketing and even agency new business. 

“A faster and cheaper alternative to traditional methods of manufacturing is making its way into the mainstream market, and it looks to be changing the way people do business—including advertising.” 3D Printing Buzz

3D printing is a process of making three-dimensional solid objects from a digital model. Objects are created by laying down successive layers of material. This is performed by a materials printer using digital technology.  A design file is sent to the 3D printer, then a specific material is chosen to use. Depending on the printer, this material can be rubber, plastics, paper, polyurethane-like materials, metals and more.

 3D Printing is now available and affordable for agencies to use. 

There are some agencies already using this technology and I fully expect it’s  use to grow rapidly. The 3D Printers  were once huge, pricey devices that can now fit on a desktop and used with your laptop or even  your smartphone. It has been used by the marketing industry to create third dimensional objects such as models for  focus groups and pre-production sales demos.

In the world of advertising, the independent agency, Teehan+Lax, recently created a concept for a milk  jug that can alert you when it is running low on milk. This  agency came up with the concept using 3D Printing. Their creative team was able to print a working presentation of the concept. I’m sure we will see similar uses of 3D Printing by advertising agencies as 3D Printing continues to grow. 

Glen Emerson Morris, writing for The Review, says, “2013 will likely be remembered as the year 3D printing went mainstream.”  It is already a huge, $1.7 billion, dollar market, and that number is expected to double to $3.7 billion by 2015.

Glen provides this list of  6 things an ad agency can now do with a 3D printer:

  1. To design and print prototypes of 3D promotional giveaway items.
  2. To print promotional items like iPhone cases with the agency’s name – custom cell phone cases are some of the hottest items with the DIY crowd.
  3. To design and print promotional & thank you objects for clients.
  4. To print parts used in automated animatronics window displays.
  5. To print android robots (for live automated sales pitches).
  6. To print items needed for the office.

The following is an amazing video that shows a number of the innovative ways 3D Printing is being used and its potential for the future.

Why 3D Printing Is Going To Kick Ass – Watch More Funny Videos

Matt Petronzio, in a recent article on 3D Printing written for Mashable, shared the following  uses of 3D Printing technology:

  • Medical professionals have used 3D printing to create hearing aids, custom leg braces and even a titanium jaw.
  • NASA has tested 3D printers that will let Mars-bound astronauts print what they need as they travel.
  • Last year, a team of researchers, engineers and dentists created the world’s first prosthetic beak for a wounded bald eagle.
  • 3D-printed meat could fill the human need for protein while having less of an impact on the environment.
  • The KamerMaker  is a 3D printer large enough to print entire rooms.
  • Listed among the biggest cons for this technology, 3D-printed guns.

In the future, consumers will probably make most of what they need at home, with their own 3D printers.

Here are some incredible stories regarding 3D Printing:

Read Glen Emerson’s  complete  article, Advertising in the Third Dimension: An Advertiser’s Guide to 3D Printing

In what ways could your agency use 3D Printing? Please share your thoughts and ideas in the comment section below.

photo credit: marymactavish via photopin cc

About Michael Gass

Consultant | Trainer | Author | Speaker

Since 2007, he has been pioneering the use of social media, inbound and content marketing strategies specifically for agency new business.

He is the founder of Fuel Lines Business Development, LLC, a firm which provides business development training and consulting services to advertising, digital, media and PR agencies.

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