3D printing is firmly on the rise and is used in more and more sectors to print out solid objects such as jewelry, gadgets etc. The prohibitive cost of 3D printers as well as the specialized staff required are the only factors holding back their mass application at events (for now).
3D printers are capable of producing a wide variety of objects from a specific material, such as plastic for example, by liquefying it in the printhead and building the desired three-dimensional object from scratch, layer by layer. Besides using plastic, there are 3D printers that are able to manufacture three-dimensional products from ceramic, various composites and sand.
3D photo booth
Different companies worldwide have already been experimenting with applications for the event sector. A Japanese creative agency in Tokyo recently installed 3D scanners and printers to make miniature versions of their guests on an Omote 3D pop-up. Guests paid between $265 and $530 for the miniatures. But it can also be cheaper. Markerbot, manufacturer of 3D printers, placed a '3D photo booth' in New York where visitors can have a replicate of their head made for just under $5.
Decorations and even food printing
With 3D-printing, it is possible to have personalized décor items printed for your event. Think of table decorations, logos, personalized 3D name cards, gadgets... if you can imagine it, you can print it. There are even 3D printers on the way that can print food. NASA is doing an experiment to print pizzas in space, but you could just as easily print chocolate figurines for your guests.
3D model of event setting
Architects use 3D printing to make 3D models of their drawings. An event agency could print the setting of an event and show the client how the event setting will look. It also seems useful for printing exhibition stands in miniature in advance in order to influence the customer.
The creative uses are therefore limitless. And as technology becomes cheaper and more accessible, more and more 3D prints will pop up at events. A Markerbot printer is already available for $2,000-$3,000, excluding the cost of the print material.