Researching the opportunities, pitfalls and benefits of 3D printing for onsite retail
As 3D printers continue toward ubiquity, the cognitive load associated with operation and their physical characteristics, previously limiting them to the office or studio environment, are negated through compact machines and intuitive interfaces and the opportunity for their deployment in scenarios outside of these traditional environments is increased.
The project explored what barriers and opportunities exist in the use of 3D printers by non-professional designers or technicians, specifically the potential of point of sale design and fabrication within community or retail spaces. It engaged a cycling community in London and explored latent needs, user insights and a proclivity to make, hack or imagine new products.
The result of this research presents a new model for deploying such technologies as 3D printers, in a retail environment that could be adopted as a new method of designing and delivering products through digital fabrication technology.
“This could easily translate into an amazing retail experience”.