3D Printing Offers Print Shops Enormous Opportunities

Wide-format print and fabrication services are always on the lookout for the next innovative technology or niche market that can boost their business and differentiate their offering. 

Wide-format print and fabrication services are always on the lookout for the next innovative technology or niche market that can boost their business and differentiate their offering. We’ve all witnessed exciting, new print applications become commoditized over time, and it’s certainly a challenge to stay at the forefront of the industry.

Providing great customer service helps, but it’s not enough to stay ahead. And competing for the lowest margins can get demoralizing. A growing number of print shops are incorporating large-format 3D printing into their services and finding it provides the ‘wow’ factor their customers are after. It offers extraordinary customization capabilities as well as rapid production speed to meet tight deadlines. When you can produce 2D/3D billboards, illuminated giant POPs, and even custom SEG frames, it can re-position you at the forefront of your market in a variety of ways.

3D printing has quickly penetrated the wide-format printing arena. Print shops find that they can expand their customer base by offering a range of supersized applications across retail, OOH, events, exhibitions, entertainment, and even interior design. Print Service Providers (PSPs) can provide anything their customers can imagine, and it appears that the imagination of customers and their agencies is quite impressive.

For instance, when the travel company SkiDeal held its annual party on top of the Italian Alps, its CEO decided to make the event ultra-tangible for party-goers by having a 7’5″-tall ski boot 3D printed so that revelers could climb in for photos. They even danced on and around it.

The images spread on social media like wildfire. The company also 3D printed an oversized snowboard, goggles, and helmet. These larger-than-life objects enhanced the party for SkiDeal Week’s clientele and got them to engage with the brand in a new and unexpected way.

Brands Are Demanding 3D Printing
Brands that identify as innovative and cool seek 3D printing for their communications, partly because the tech itself is cool and inspiring.

Louis Vuitton, Sony Pictures, Nike, Netflix, and Coca-Cola call on their vendors to create unique signage, point-of-purchase displays, exhibition pieces, and out-of-home advertising using 3D printing. By adopting this cutting-edge technology, they’re positioning their brand at the forefront of visual communication.

Superfast Speed
If you’re already producing three-dimensional displays, you either use a CNC router or a heap of manual talent. Both deliver beautiful models, but may require a complex set-up procedure, are extremely messy and can take an enormous amount of time to produce.

When Louis Vuitton wanted to install a unique pop-up store in a popular Australian mall, they called several print shops who all declined due to the tight time frame demanded. Only SEEN Technology (formerly known as “Omus”) was able to accept the challenge because they owned a Massivit 1800 large-format 3D printer. In less than three weeks, the store was printed, installed, and selling merchandise. It also created a huge buzz for the brand in the news and social media.

Captivating Point of Purchase Displays (POPs)
POPs have proven to be one of the best applications for commercial printers. 3D printing excels with this application, letting you create any shape or character your clients dream up as well as illuminating the displays for extra stopping power. Some print shops have also discovered the value of 3D printing molds for thermoforming from which they can create short runs of customized displays.

3D Printed Channel Letters
If you offer 3D signage, you know how time-consuming it is to make channel letters by hand. 3D printing a channel letter sign can take minutes or hours, depending on the size. Letters can be created individually or as entire words and printed as a whole unit.

This technology offers another advantage over handcrafting channel letters: you can provide customers with truly unique designs. The freedom of 3D design and printing lets you create any shape, form, or angle. Returns can be printed slanted or with patterns, and adding illumination is simple because the letters are printed hollow. And you’re not limited to text, either. Print shops can now 3D print their customers’ logos, mascots or any other crazy figure, and light ’em up!

The Future
In Kodak’s ebook, Trends Shaping the Commercial Printing Industry, the company asserts: “Commercial printers will need to operate a variety of print platforms in-house to meet an increasing range of client demands. Shops that fail to diversify will limit their value proposition – and growth opportunities.”

Many printers are diversifying by incorporating large-format 3D printing into their existing business. Since the introduction to the market in 2016, Massivit 3D has installed 100 of its large-format 3D printing solutions around the world, with 10 customers across North America.

You can download this free eBook 5 Reasons to Incorporate 3D Printing Into Your Wide Format Digital Print Business to learn more about the capabilities and business opportunities afforded by large format 3D printing.

About Massivit 3D
Massivit 3D Printing Technologies Ltd. (www.massivit3d.com) is a pioneer of large format 3D printing solutions for visual communication, spanning the advertising, events, entertainment, interior design, and concept prototyping industries. Leveraging its proprietary Gel Dispensing Printing (GDP) technology, the company’s solutions enable rapid and cost-effective production of super-sized, eye-catching 3D displays, signage and props. Massivit 3D’s mission is to enable print services and other visual communication producers to expand their business offering, gain a competitive edge, and generate new sources of revenue.

Founded in 2013 by a team of recognized industry experts, Massivit 3D is headquartered in Lod, Israel and provides its worldwide community with end-to-end services supported through an extensive dealer network.

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Mike Clark

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