Using 3D Printing in Advertising

3D Printing Technology

Success in the advertising sector is contingent upon the ability to adapt to emerging trends in consumer expectations.

With this in mind, it’s essential to understand that how business owners continue to market their products or services to consumers have changed dramatically as advances in modern technology have given rise to changes in human behavior.

So We Come to 3D Printing

3D printers create physical replicas of three-dimensional blueprints. 3D printers use “additive technology.” This means that the final product results from building an object from the ground up, in the shape of the object in question, using layer upon layer of material. 3D printers are considered distinct from machines that rely on drilling and carving or “subtractive” technology.

3D Printers Are a Corporate Commodity

3D printers are becoming popular in the built environment sector as designers can create physical replicas of three-dimensional blueprints. This affords architects the opportunity to see the finished product off the page/screen – something that a computer-generated model cannot accomplish with the same degree of success.

3D printing has also led to advances in the dental and medical fields, specifically in orthopedics. It has been used by professionals in aviation, NASA, and the United States military.

3D Printing and Advertising: From Digital Reality to Physical Reality

Studies have shown that physical advertising is more effective than digital advertising. This is because consumers absorb information in three dimensions and high definition. 3D printing affords those who use its enormous potential in terms of customization.

High-end 3D printers can produce replicas in higher definition than most modern manufacturers, with the ability to produce layers as thin as seven ten-thousandths of an inch.

Use of 3D Printing in Today’s Advertising

It hasn’t taken long for 3D printing to get a foothold in the advertising sector. Business owners are now using it to supplement the digital aspects of their marketing campaigns.


Some business owners use 3D printers to design and produce phone covers bearing the company logo for their employees. This allows for good branding and complements the social aspect of professionalism, especially during face-to-face sales. Since there is no need to outsource, custom graphics expenses are eliminated from the equation.

3D Promotional Items

3D printers can also create prototypes for promotional items, including giveaways and thank you objects. The basic premise flies in the face of the hands-off merchandise, the mentality that most retailers still have.

In smaller chain stores, customers can “handle” a product before deciding whether or not to purchase it. This is because customers who touch and hold a product are more likely to perceive, subconsciously, that they own it, increasing the likelihood of a sale.

Additionally, graphic designers who use 3D printing are marketing their services to business owners who wish to incorporate three-dimensional promotional materials into their marketing strategy. For a flat fee, these designers work with clients to design relevant promotional products. Clients can then purchase these materials in bulk. The more they buy, the lower the rate.

Projected Impact of 3D Printing on Tomorrow’s Advertising

Marketing is not an exact science, but it’s getting close. We learn as we go. The internet has afforded advertising agencies worldwide a keen understanding of how humans process information digitally, and that’s fine…for now. However, 3D printing is forcing advertising agencies to explore how humans process visual demonstrations in physical reality.

What Can We Expect?

The emergence of 3D printing will force advertising agencies to explore how consumers process varying degrees of light in a given environment. This will lead to advances in advertising centered on color and perspective, including display tables and storefronts where optimal color, tone, and light levels will be perceived from varying angles and varying distances.

Facial recognition software now affords kiosks and vending machines the ability to customize sales presentations based on the physical responses of consumers in the vicinity. Expect such advances to become commonplace as the advertising world undergoes its most major transformation in twenty years.

How Else Has Advertising Changed In Recent Years?

From advanced ink technologies to the birth of the internet, marketers were quickly introduced to the concept of search engine optimization (SEO). Later, social networking sites like MySpace and Facebook yielded fertile ground for marketers to launch advertising campaigns that would generate perpetual leads on an exponential scale within razor-thin, highly populated margins. When done correctly.

When the internet went mobile, it became clear that maintaining visibility across various types of media translated into higher revenue, as a lack of compatibility translated into rapid and substantial losses.

The Importance of Adaptation in Marketing

Every innovative step that advertising agencies have taken over the years has responded to the threat of extinction. Now, the only way to stay alive is to predict trends in consumer expectations and to charge upon them before anyone else does.

Unfortunately, the prediction of trends and the subsequent execution of relevant advertising campaigns rarely lead to long-term success unless the trend is expected to endure long-term. 3D printing is just getting started.

Image Source: BigStock

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