webmasterDecember 4, 2014March 25, 2020Imagine a world where material objects are customized to your desires and produced or printed on demand. Items are delivered how you want them and when you want them. Product prototypes at trade shows are customized to each attendee. Seating and audio visual rental setup can be viewed at scale and changed in a flash by event organizers. Food can be customized to each participant’s needs – just by a push of a button. What am I referring to? 3D Printing of course! Based on a report by PwC US, when they surveyed over 100 manufacturers, 67% were already using 3D printing for prototypes or their final products. According to Lux Research, an independent research firm on emerging technologies, the 3D Printing market is set to explode and will reach a $12 billion market share by 2025. What is 3D Printing? 3D printing is when successive layers of material are laid down under computer control. These objects can be of almost any shape or geometry, and are produced from a 3D model or electronic file. A 3D printer is a type of robot. Because it can use a combination of materials, actual products and prototypes can emerge from this printer. For example, imagine being able to see a 360 degree view of your meeting space with all meeting elements printed to scale. You will be able to make changes in advance of the program, thus saving you time and money. In addition, if you require extra seating or need to remove tables and chairs, you can see the impact on the room dynamics and plan accordingly. How does 3D Printing Work? It starts with a Computer Aided Design (CAD) digital file which is the blueprint for what will be printed. Then layer after layer of plastic, metal, nylon, paper or food are used to create the final product – as produced by the 3D printer. Why does it Matter? Think of 3D printing as the new Netflix – producing what you want, when you want it and in the quantities you need. Think about anything trade show related. Wouldn’t it be cool if your exhibitors could give attendees a gift that is exactly what they want and personalized with their name on it? In addition, colors, design and mood all have an impact on any event. What if tabletop centerpieces can be in different colors highlighting each of your sponsors with a specific product they specialize in? What about giving your guests a 3D invitation to next year’s event as their parting gift? It could highlight the city or destination, as well as, visual details about the forthcoming event. Best thing of all – everything is printed and processed locally, right at the event! One Last Thought About 3D Printing While there is no doubt this technology will take off and be a prevalent force in the manufacturing, medical and event industry, it still has a few kinks to work out before moving into full fledge acceptance with the general public. Two issues abound and they revolve around regulations (food/health) and counterfeiting (patent infringement/fraud/brand confusion). Until these issues are resolved, I don’t see this technology realizing total acceptance in any industry. About Hartford Technology Rental Are you looking for printer rentals? While Hartford Technology Rental does not offer 3D printers yet, we do offer a vast array of printing options to meet your needs! Call us at 888-520-5667 or request a quote online. Our technical staff will help you select the right solution at the right time for the right event!