Is 3D printing the future of promotional marketing?

There’s no escaping technology as continual advancement is an innate part of human nature and the digital revolution has even further expedited this. Every single day we come across a new technology ready to revolutionise the world. Of all the trends recently, 3D printing has been the one that has basked around all the hype and attention. Megha Bhaiya of Instapro3D gets an insight into this revolutionary trend.


Over the years, people have used 3D technology in various industries in multiple ways. It has made the technology’s presence feel in some of the finest product research and development laboratories. For all those, who are yet to get a taste of this hype, 3D printing or additive manufacturing is a process of making a physical object from a 3-dimensional digital model, typically by laying down numerous successive thin layers of a material. Although that printing may be slow at pace, it offers huge potential across almost every industry, specifically with promotional advertising.

Making a deep impact
Megha Bhaiya
Megha Bhaiya

In the constant search for fresh & unique ideas and customised products, 3D printing can be very beneficial. If you’re looking for a promotional give away at an event, as a marketing manager you must have seen plenty of 2D corporate logos on T-shirts, pens, caps. According to a study by British Promotional Merchandise Association (BPMA), 87 percent of people hold on to promotional products for longer than one year and 79 percent of them are likely to do business with the advertised brand again. Thus, as marketers, this gives us the opportunity to make a deep impact on our prospective customers. A custom 3D printed-products such as company mascot key chains, business card holder, bottle opener could be the new and innovative way to leave your brand impression on consumers’ mind.

Positive buzz around brands

Many of the global companies are expanding the marketing possibilities by using a 3D printer. For instance, to promote the launch of its new mini bottles in Israel, Coca-Cola scanned the visitors and gave them 3D printed ‘mini-me’ version of themselves. From a marketing point of view, this is an excellent way how the technology can be used in such a cost effective way to create a positive buzz around brand whilst not needing a complete strategy re-invention.

Rolls Royce Black Badge marketing campaign is another brilliant demonstration of incorporating 3D printing. The company with its latest endeavour, ‘Dare to be Different’, has included additive manufacturing to showcase its revolutionary presence. It features a Latvian Model, Modesta, in a custom prosthetic limb which has been detailed with a 3D printed and electroplated Rolls Royce grille motif. Additionally, a Black Badge carbon fibre corset was made for the model with superior resolution scan and was fabricated by SLS-3D printing.

A new dimension in signage

The signage industry has evolved over the years and 3D printing is giving it a new dimension. There are numerous opportunities provided by large-format 3D printing. A consumer is exposed to numerous adverts in a day, so how do you make them stop and stare? Large-format 3D printing now provides the flexibility and freedom to the industry to produce curves, angles and shapes that couldn’t be incorporated before. Be it a teddy bear, a coffee cup or a shoe, marketers can now step up their campaign.

A brilliant statement was made by Emporio Armani where they used a large-format 3D printer to produce a giant billboard featuring their latest trainers which was 3D-printed. The billboard gives the impression that the model is actually stepping off the stairs. It’s an excellent way to dynamically engage the customers.

With the taste of success through their first attempt, Emporio Armani has yet again made another eye catching billboard; an oversized replica of its belt accessories. The accessory has been finished in chrome silver metallic paint and beveled plexiglass with glitter inserts.

3D printing has provided marketers and designers the freedom to develop fresh vision and crowd stopping campaigns. It has the power to compel the consumers to take a moment to admire its creativity. It is changing the way marketers are undertaking promotional advertising to create a long and deeper impact on consumers.

(Megha Bhaiya’s passion for making and creating simplified solutions made her discover and pursue 3D printing. Initially started out Instapro3D as a service provider, she now works as a consultant and is working in 3D printing in the education sector.)