It seems like just a few years ago when the concept of 3D printers was first discussed, but the 3D printing industry continues to evolve rapidly. We’re now coming into the wave of portable 3D printers. The Portabee GO has been hailed the ‘the laptop of 3D printers’ and it means that field sales reps can impress clients by producing a prototype of their product on the go. In some cases you’re able to hand your client the finished product, if it’s a relatively small object that is. This device is grabbing the most attention right now as it’s relatively fresh to the scene whilst it’s also extremely compact, but there are many other portable 3D printers out there at great prices. Welcome to the trend of smaller and more compact 3D printers.
There are many different steps in the 3D printing process, and no matter what some people believe, it’s simply not a case of showing the printer a picture and telling it to go and make it. A 3D printer needs a model to print – a 3D object created as a 3D drawing. The computer recognizes this file type and then ‘slices’ the model into sections, which is printed one on top of another to build the model up from the bottom. For some prototypes or products, there will need to be ‘floating’ sections of a model, and in this case, the printer will build in temporary supports to ensure that even the most complex models can be printed. It’s an extremely clever device and even though 3D printing has lost its novelty factor recently, it’s still an incredible concept and it’s only going to improve over the coming years.
I was spending so much money on packaging with my former suppliers, and I didn’t really realise this until my sales dropped and I was forced to shop around. I managed to find a relatively small company that specialised in packaging using laser-cutting techniques. Instead of having product codes, logos or names in printed ink, they marked every cardboard carton with a high-tech laser, and what grabbed my attention was the finished product. I had a prototype created and it didn’t disappoint, whist I was able to move over to 100% recycled packaging. Okay so I probably could have found another printing firm at a cheaper price, but my packaging wouldn’t look quite as cool as it does now. My logo is rather intricate, and I never thought they’d be able to use laser cutting techniques to create the design but I really can’t say I’ve been disappointed.
Many businesses package their products with their logo on the box or envelope, but there are many more personalisation options out there today. Cardboard engraving is a relatively new technique that allows you to get your message across without using any ink! Specialist engraving machines can cut intricate curves and lines into cardboard, and it’s a nice way to make your logo pop, whilst you can show you’re helping the environment by using recycled cardboard and by not printing.
Cardboard boxes can now be produce in a practically any size or shape, and there are many companies out there who can manage your complete packaging processes, and it’s worth doing if you’re finding your business is starting to grow.
Many companies rely on sales from print brochures, and even though printing costs have drastically shot up, there’s no sign of this form of marketing dying out any time soon. A brochure can play a huge role in converting customers, and even if you have all of your products listed on your shiny website, there’s always going to be some end users who much prefer reading through a brand new printed booklet. If that’s what it takes to make a sale then so be it, just because the web is more important than it was 5 years ago, it doesn’t mean to say traditional marketing is now less important. Some aspects will stay the same for businesses over the next 10 years and brochure printing isn’t going anywhere soon. If every retailer did rule out brohcure printing, they may actually lose customers, and it’s just not a risk worth taking.