3D Printing is the next industrial revolution


What if I told you that in the comfort of your own home, you could design an outfit you intend to wear to a fancy dinner function put the specification into your computer and print it out from your home just in time for that event that same day?

What if I told you that technology is available and is very close to being mass produced? Would you believe me?

As a kid, I remember watching Star Trek and there was this particular machine in the cafeteria, where customers would simply input their choice and it would make it on the spot. The ingredients would materialize out of thin air and assemble into the desired meal. Whilst this is a bit far fetched, similar is already happening. This company is selling a machine that promises similar.

All this is possible because of what is known as 3-D Printing.

What is 3-D printing you may ask?

3-D printing according to 3D PRINTING.com is “a process of making three dimensional solid objects from a digital file. The creation of a 3D printed object is achieved using additive processes. In an additive process an object is created by laying down successive layers of material until the entire object is created. Each of these layers can be seen as a thinly sliced horizontal cross-section of the eventual object.”

This is achieved when the desired object is rendered in a virtual space through the use of specialized software, which enables the 3-D construct to be brought to life.

Many have lamented for years that the American manufacturing industry is on the decline, with jobs rapidly being shipped overseas and many industries closing in the wake of that. But don’t hit the death knell just yet; 3-D printing seems to be giving a lot of people hope for the future. Some have gone as far as saying that this will be the next big industrial boom. The one that will not have to bring back the lost jobs, but rather create new ones that will have an impact on an economy that desperately needs said jobs.

The applications and uses for this technology is mind blowing, with it being applicable to pretty much every sphere of life. Take for instance the health industry, the ramifications are astounding. Pardon me for using so many superlatives in succession, but this really has the ability to change life as we know it. But I digress, imagine a world where organs could be designed to match those in need, pretty much making things like organ donors irrelevant. No longer would people have to suffer for lack of finding the right organs or donors, when their needs could be addressed with a 3-D printer. Some are even speculating that this could prolong our lives if we are able to design perfect organs to work with our bodies; optimized to ensure that they don’t break down over time.

How many times have we bought an outfit online only to realize it doesn’t fit? With 3-d printing, anybody can make their outfits and the neat part is those clothes will always fit. Why? Because you design to your specifications. All you need do is input your measurements and what type of outfit you are trying to create. According to this article, the hours spent behind sewing machines will also decrease drastically. 3-D printers will take out all the effort, all we have to do is sit back and let the machine do its thing.


Could 3-d printing even solve global hunger? It’s possible. With a dearth of materials in certain places affected by famine, a 3-d printer could be the solution. We know it only requires certain materials to function. With limited resources, much can be created and effectively. Unfortunately, most of the 3-d printed food coming out still hasn’t solved the taste conundrum. But with so much time and effort going into this technology, that issue will definitely be addressed.


In conclusion there’s a lot to look forward to. As the world population continues to balloon and resources continue to decline at an alarming rate. 3-d printing offers a solution, whereas each individual is responsible for their livelihood. Everything from the cars we drive, to the houses we live in may eventually be created by a 3-d printer. The more proliferated the technology is, the cheaper it will be for the consumer. In the end, everyone wins. This is a band wagon you want to hop on.



Giant 3D printer starts spitting out a house – CNET. (n.d.). CNET. Retrieved July 20, 2014, from http://www.cnet.com/news/giant-3d-printer-starts-spitting-out-a-house/

The 3D-Printed Car That Will Drive Across the Country. (n.d.). Popular Mechanics. Retrieved July 20, 2014, from http://www.popularmechanics.com/cars/news/industry/urbee-2-the-3d-printed-car-that-will-drive-across-the-country-16119485

“Food is the next frontier of 3D printing”. (n.d.). Dezeen Food is the next frontierbr of 3D printing Comments. Retrieved July 20, 2014, from http://www.dezeen.com/2013/03/27/food-is-the-next-frontier-of-3d-printing-janne-kytannen/

The World’s First Lab-Grown Meat Burger Tastes Terrible (Surprise!). (n.d.). Gizmodo. Retrieved July 20, 2014, from http://gizmodo.com/the-worlds-first-lab-grown-meat-burger-tastes-terrible-1027385867

Kurutz, S. (2013, December 14). Taking Fashion to a New Dimension. The New York Times. Retrieved July 20, 2014, from http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/15/fashion/3D-Printing-Clothing-fashion.html?_r=2&

3-D Printing: What You Need to Know About the Next Industrial Revolution. (n.d.). Inc.com. Retrieved July 20, 2014, from http://www.inc.com/aaron-aders/3d-printing-the-next-industrial-revolution.html

What is 3D printing? – Explanations – How it works – Industrial – Personal – 3D Printing. (n.d.). What is 3D printing? – Explanations – How it works – Industrial – Personal – 3D Printing. Retrieved July 20, 2014, from http://3dprinting.com/what-is-3d-printing/

Star Trek Replicator Nearing Reality?. (n.d.). StarTrek.com. Retrieved July 20, 2014, from http://www.startrek.com/article/star-trek-replicator-nearing-reality



3D-Printed Fashion?

Francis Bitonti Cloud Collection

(Hiscott, 2014)

By now, we’ve all heard of 3D printers. For instance, even Stephen Colbert had a guest make a 3D print of his face on The Colbert Report. No matter how you’ve heard of it I think we all can agree that the chance to use one would be great. But now, 3D printer users have found a new use: fashion. Fashion Designer Francis Bitonti has begun utilizing 3D printers, called MakerBots, to design and distribute intricate bowls, sculptures, and more. These are all a part of Bitonti’s Cloud Collection, which includes four housewares products: a plate, a vase, a bowl, and a serving bowl. Consumers can even customize the surface noise or relief of the product. While the line itself is interesting and innovative, its distribution is even more so. Instead of buying any of these products in a store or online, users who own MakerBots buy the code for $1 and print them at home. If a customer does not own a MakerBot, they can join a 3D Hub, and print it for more. Bitoni said: “We tried to make something where the consumer could engage in the narrative of the object and be part of the design, but not necessarily have to become the designer” (Hiscott, 2014). Using 3D printing allows the designer to customize a delicate structure that couldn’t be made by hand.

Francis Bitonti Couture

(Hiscott, 2014)

But this new, innovative mode of production doesn’t stop with housewares. Bitonti also designed a gorgeous 3D printed gown for Dita von Teese in 2013. He also designed the Bristle Dress and a belt called ‘Winter Froze You Away,’ both pictured above. (Hiscott, 2014) However, some argue that as cool as designs like these may be, they reduce the role of the designer far too much. Instead of giving the designer a chance to choose material and decide how it will be put together, they are reduced to being a simple ‘sketch artist.’ Personally, I love the idea of technology and fashion fusing, but I absolutely agree that it could have some seriously negative effects on the designer’s profession. What do you think? Will this innovation lead way to more creativity?  

Works Cited

Hiscott, R. (2014, April). The future of fashion is code, not couture, says designer. Retrieved from http://mashable.com/2014/04/04/francis-bitonti-3d-printing/

Twitter and Oreos, a few of my favorite things

By Matt Gillis

It is no doubt that Twitter is taking the advertising world by storm. Essentially, the social media tool is an advertiser’s greatest gift, allowing companies to converse with their target publics, send out messages in real time, and monitor audience receptivity.

Most recently, Twitter became a more-than-successful advertising platform for one such brand, Samsung. On Sunday night during the broadcast of the 86th Annual Academy Awards, Ellen DeGeneres’s now infamous selfie with Oscar-nominated celebrities including Jennifer Lawrence, Brad Pitt, and Meryl Streep, was taken with a Samsung phone and posted via Twitter. The picture became the most retweeted picture in the social media site’s history, a record that was previously held by a picture posted by President Obama of him and Michelle celebrating after his reelection in 2012.

The selfie, which has 3,311,786 retweets and counting, shows the extent to which brands like Samsung can reach potential consumers. Companies now have the opportunity to capitalize on Twitter’s successful use of interactivity by combining the advertising medium with real-world promotional tactics to reach an optimal consumer audience.

Another brand hoping for advertising success via Twitter is Oreo. After garnering widespread attention from their successful Super Bowl XLVII advertisement released on Twitter in response to the game’s blackout, Oreo is hoping to receive comparable publicity for their latest Twitter promotion.


The cookie brand is employing vending machines that will use trending Twitter conversations to create 3D custom-printed Oreo cookies. The vending machines, which were created by technology design and innovation firm Maya Design, will be featured at the South by Southwest (SXSW) Interactive Festival in the Oreo Trending Vending Lounge.


Using each machine’s touch screen, users will be able to browse and choose from the trending Twitter flavors that include a variety of 12 cremes and colors. The user will then be able to watch as the edible cookie is built in front of their eyes in less than two minutes. Twitter users interested in the promotion can follow the Oreo conversation using #eatthetweet.


Oreo has managed to stay ahead of the advertising trends and create an innovative advertising experience that allows for ultimate consumer interactivity with the brand. Consumers are involved in creating the Twitter conversations that influence the Oreo flavors, they are able to choose the actual cookie to be created, and they can engage in conversation using the promoted hashtag.

This promotion definitely wins my personal award for best advertisement because it combines my two favorite things, Twitter and Oreos.

Reference list:

–       Lukovitz, K. (2014, March 6). Twitter-Powered Vending Machine Creates 3D Oreos. MediaPost. Retrieved March 6, 2014, from http://www.mediapost.com/publications/article/220949/twitter-powered-vending-machine-creates-3d-oreos.html

–       Sloane, G. (2014, March 6). Oreo Uses Twitter to Make 3-D Cookies at SXSW. AdWeek. Retrieved March 6, 2014, from http://www.adweek.com/news/technology/oreo-uses-twitter-make-3d-cookies-sxsw-156121

3-D Printing and Advertising

What does the future hold for creative advertising? New 3D printing technology is making a move into the ad industry and brings with it various pros and cons.

yodaAki Spicer wrote an article for Fast Company titled “What 3-D Printing Means To The Future Of Advertising” that takes a look at how this new technology will force advertisers to be more critical of the work they produce. The key portion of the article states:

“At its core, 3-D printing foretells of a philosophical shift beyond flat-dimension brand expression–2-D ad slicks, taglines, pictures of things–toward the embrace and execution of 3-dimensional expression: tactile baubles and mementos and experiences. This is no longer just pictures and drawings of things,; this is real things. In the world.

At first blush, agencies will need to become experts (or hire them) in CAD manipulation, architecture (no, really, this time) and display arts, fashion design, and jewelry making. These roles are not necessarily “new” to the world, just not native to the typical ad agency, and increasingly they may become more of a norm in our midst.

Advertisers will be forced to reconcile their physical outputs in the world in a way that spitting out spots and microsites never faced us with. Or, said differently, our ad crap is made more evident when it’s a real piece of crap sitting on a desk or floor. We’ll have to continue to ask ourselve[s], “Is this additive value or just some more crap?” And the crap factor will, hopefully, make us work harder to do better for audiences who are increasingly immune to our virtual ad crap, more so when it’s physical ad crap.”

In other words, advertisements are EVERYWHERE. We see them all day everyday. Once more advertisements start taking up physical space in the 3D world instead of on billboards, in magazines, and in TVs, they will be more noticeable and more prone to criticism from the general public, as well as other agencies. But, it is not all bad news.

Being more noticeable means getting more exposure. 3D ads have a better consumer interactive opportunity than 2D ads. People can pose with a 3D ad and share the photo with friends and generate more EARNED exposure through word of mouth.

Spicer also says that 3D printing can lead to bettering the creative output and uniqueness of an agency. “The upside lies in our unbound ability to deliver truly unique and physical brand experiences. If our brands have something truly unique to say, why wouldn’t they express it in more dimensions in taglines, in television films, in sites, in check-ins, in pins, and in real “things”?”

Glen Emerson Morris, in an article for The Review titled “Advertising in the Third Dimension: An Advertiser’s Guide to 3D Printing,” states that the arrival of 3D printing is the third and final phase of advertising:

“We’re now well into the third and final phase, or dimension, of the digital revolution. The first phase was the digitalization of media – converting things to computer code, including desktop publishing and digital video. The second phase has been the Internet – the distribution of digital files to anywhere on the planet. The third phase of the digital revolution is about converting information into physical objects and sensing and controlling things in the real world, like 3D printing and robotics. It’s the reverse of phase one. At maturity, this technology will provide all the functionality of the Star Trek matter replicator. It’s the ultimate destabilizing technology, and it will make boneyards of many current industries, but it’s effect on advertising will likely be very positive.”

Morris says that the advertising industry has the most to gain from 3D printing because it will bring a whole new… dimension (haha)… to ads. He says that there are 6 things an ad agency can do with a 3D printer:

  1. To design and print prototypes of 3D promotional giveaway items.
  2. To print promotional items like iPhone cases with the agency’s name.
  3. To design and print promotional & thank you objects for clients.
  4. To print parts used is automated animatronics window displays.
  5. To print android robots (for live automated sales pitches).
  6. To print items needed for the office.

What do you think 3D printing means for the ad industry???