3D printing is quickly capturing the hearts and minds of the general population. Often, 3D printing is spoken of in fantastical terms with the slightly derogatory phrase, “We can’t quite do that just yet.”
The primary drivers behind 3D printing’s popularity are the customization and democratization of products today’s consumer demands. It is no longer enough to create something that will be appreciated by the masses, since personalization is a key enabler for this consumer. It is no longer adequate to simply own a device. You need to own the experience and perception of that item through modifications. There are a number of pioneering companies that are leveraging 3D printing business models to capitalize on this trend. The Star Trek replicator is still a long way off, but its precursor is making its presence felt today.
3D printing home decor
Let’s start bright and early with your 3D-printed bed. FRONT has developed an innovative new 3D printing system by which people can design furniture and have it printed within a day. It’s an interesting concept since home customization is becoming an increasingly fashionable trend. That's due to the popularity of do-it-yourself shows from the likes of Bravo and HGTV. Homeowners frustrated with not finding the perfect bed frame can literally take the matter into their own hands.
Decorative customization has long been a hallmark of homeowners the world over; however, people can go beyond wall painting and back splash installation to beautifying their houses with their own artwork or embellishments printed by Sculpteo. Users simply upload their own 3D design, or use the company’s simple tools to build their own creations, and they
arrive at their door a few weeks later.
Speaking of sprucing up the household, Freedom of Creation can help build up the aesthetics around your house with their hanging, standing, wall, and table lights, which have received many awards and are fully customizable. The company showcases the level of intricacy and complication 3D printers are capable of with designs ranging from the simple to the outlandish.
Future-forward fashions for women
Women are leading the way in 3D printing fashion. Pauline Van Dongen’s Morphogenesis line of footwear received rave reviews from the fashion industry. Van Dongen takes advantage of the 3D-printing process as swirls and other complicated patterns are easily integrated into her footwear to create a unique trademark look.
Continuum Fashion is also in on the act. Its N12 Bikini and D. dress are the first entirely 3D-printed, ready-to-wear articles of clothing. The eye-catching designs are created using synthetic fabrics and are popping up on beaches and social events worldwide.
Don’t forget your accessories
People express their individuality through eyeglasses. Leopard print, bold colors, patterns, and unusual materials can be located at your local eye doctor or retailer. Have you ever had trouble picking out a pair that was just right for your face? (Have you thought, I wish these frames had that lens shape?) Make Eyewear uses an interesting mix of augmented reality and 3D printing to allow you to try on all of the frame shapes and styles, and purchase a new pair of glasses perfectly suited to the contours of your face.