A Roundup of the Top 3D Printing Trends in 2016

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According to technological experts, 2016 proved to be a tremendously successful year for digital 3D printing market growth. The Worldwide 3D Printing Trends Report for July reported that more 32,000 printers in 150 countries were able to access the network of 3D printers. A plethora of 3D printing trends were cultivated worldwide in 2016, spreading across numerous industries including medical, manufacturing, retail marketing, and even experiential marketing. Each of these industries saw the rise of significant and exciting revolutionary digital printing trends in 2016 that helped to improve the quality of their respective sectors.


3D Printing in the Medical and Pharmaceutical Industries

In 2016, 3D printing made many important contributions to the medical industry in a variety of fields including dentistry, surgery, organ transplantation, and even helping to improve procedures in underdeveloped countries.

Dentists now have the intricate ability to precisely customize dental implants, bleaching trays, bite guards, crowns, veneers, inlays, and more simply by taking a scan of a patient’s mouth, inputting that information into a computer and then printing the equipment in their very own office. A procedure that once would have taken days to complete can now be done in a matter of hours.

The same principle applies for other medical supplies and tools, such as orthopedics, prosthetic limbs, and even hearing aids. One of the most impressive medical advancements facilitated by 3D printing is the ability to physically print 3D medical tools for use in countries where the cost of transporting these tools and devices would be astronomical.

3D printers have successfully been used to reproduce embryonic stem cells and create medical models from actual human body parts for young doctors to practice with, and they can even reproduce certain organs for surgical procedures. Even the pharmaceutical industry has benefitted greatly by using 3D printers to accurately measure and dispense dosages of medications for patients.


Impacts of 3D Printing in the Manufacturing Industry

Significant strides were made in 2016 to strongly implement the use of 3D printing in manufacturing. From automotive companies using 3D printing technology to print real-life models of cars to shoe manufacturers printing product prototypes to NASA printing a rocket engine, it is clear that the days of using 3D printing as a means of experimenting are slowly coming to an end. Just a few years ago, no one could have predicted that 3D printing would ever mature enough within the manufacturing industry to warrant anything further than mere experimentation with prototypes. However, 2016 changed all of that and now industry experts are predicting that as 3D technology matures, within a few short years, it will be a front running essential component within the manufacturing industry.


3D Printing for Retail Marketing and Experiential Marketing

Major companies around the world like Nokia, Volkswagen, and even eBay, are jumping on the 3D printing bandwagon as they all recognize the value it holds in terms of driving their businesses into the future. Even clothing companies across Europe—i.e. Selfridges, Harvey Nichols, and Le Bon Marché—are implementing 3D printing technology as part of their marketing repertoire.

Companies such as these are using 3D printing in remarkable and unique ways to stand out from their competitors. Even Coca-Cola Israel creatively added 3D printing technology to its marketing arsenal by printing miniature detailed replicas of its customers as a promotional tactic to increase sales of small Coke bottles. It suffices to say that the campaign was a tremendous success.

In today’s vastly competitive business world, 3D printing is revolutionizing the way retail and experiential marketing is being employed. Successful businesses are always one step ahead of their competitors. Commercial marketing firms and print advertisers are all benefiting from 3D printing technology to help interact with new and old clients on a whole new level.

Trade show participants are now equipped to not only describe their products to potential clients, but they can actually physically demonstrate how those products are designed and built right before their very eyes. A consumer may not immediately purchase the product, however, the experience of witnessing it materialize will be memorable enough to want to a share the experience with their colleagues and friends. Of course, never underestimate the power of a strong demonstration where your captive audience can capture it on their mobile device and then share it on social media.

Resource Integrated Ltd. is a Richmond Hill-based, boutique-style production firm that specializes in printing retail fixtures and displays, data-driven communications, as well as logistics and installation. For more information on how we implement 3D printing technology into our business practices to help our clients promote their products, please contact us at (905) 771-3773.

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