With thousands of products on store shelves, eye-catching design is one of the only on-the-spot tools companies have to encourage sales. Indeed, people are strongly influenced by both social relationships and environments with predictable rules and feedback. People expect product behavior to mirror the rules of human social conduct.
The sooner companies will understand that, the better they could leverage the benefits of this principle. Those who have already understood this principle rely now on design to gain real advantage in the consumer’s decision-making process. As a matter of fact, McKinsey’s October 2018 report explains that companies focusing on design outperform the average.
How is 3D printing an appropriate strategy in this situation?
In general, consumers make decisions based on their emotions. To increase the likelihood to purchase a product, the latter must first attract its potential owner in some way.
3D printing has been a key tool for designers that can make designs more real. The ideal way to proceed for a designer would be to test several design alternatives, and have time to explore various ideas before making a decision. Luckily, thanks to 3D printed prototypes, such process can advance faster, and results in full-color printing that can be an ideal tool for improving the design process.
According to a recent blog note on Stratasys, “advanced 3D printing technology means designers no longer need to carve out of foam or send a part to be hand painted to achieve realism. Requesting prototypes from manufactures half the world away and waiting weeks to get it back just isn’t necessary any more. Advanced consumer goods companies shouldn’t be limited in the number of prototypes to show internal stakeholders, focus groups, or retailers. 3D printing today is cost effective and time efficient, enabling designers to print hundreds of prototypes in full-color and multiple materials in the time it would take to send a single prototype off for hand painting, or to a manufacturer located overseas.”
Be careful with “cost-savings” and the rapid launch of new products
Cost-saving and the acceleration of product development are certainly two interesting benefits that would shift the balance towards 3D Printing but they shouldn’t be the main drivers. Not to mention that people tend to forget that saving cost and time also means that designers work harder and spend more time designing.
That’s why the main focus should be on achieving a better design. Therefore, to make it easier to refine authentic designs with feedback from stakeholders and approval stages, it is more than necessary to communicate design intent with a 3D printed model.
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