Creating Permanence – Why Prototyping in 3D Leads to Greater Success

Innovation has been a driving factor in our society from the very beginning. Ever since humans first made stone tools for carving, our world has been driven by innovating the “new.” 150 years ago, business leaders were often quoted that “everything that could be invented has been.” As we recharge our smart phones and watch private companies lift off into outer space, it is clear this thought is far from true.

For companies that focus on innovation, it is not only new ideas that drive their business, but also new tools that help to transform these ideas into working prototypes that help them achieve ongoing success.

For thousands of years it has been the pen and paper that has stood out as the primary tool for visualizing innovative concept in prototype form.  While writing instruments have unlimited capabilities in the 2D medium, in the end, the sum of their parts as a tool is limiting. Drawings, designs and sketches are by their nature restrictive and passive in scope. They are flat, 2D and can only be described as “plans on paper” or blueprints.

We are very fortunate to live in a time when designers have more tools than ever to assist in the visualization of their inspiration. And there is one tool in particular whose full power is unleashed when specifically applied to the prototyping process.

I’m talking about 3D printing.

What is Permanence? Turning An Object From Passive to Active

Whether the concept of 3D printing is foreign or familiar to you, there is no denying that this revolutionary technology by its very nature allows objects to transition from concept to permanence. And this is a key factor when applied to the prototyping process. So what is “permanence” and why is it important?

Permanence is the metamorphosis of an object, concept or expression from the 2D to the 3D. And what comes with permanence is not just the ability to visually see an object from multiple angles. Its major ontological impact is that an object with permanence is experienced actively.

What this means is that a drawing, a cartoon or a doodle is viewed in a passive experience. Like a comic book or a movie, you see it, and then you look away. There is no interaction. There is no weight, no tactile contact, no long-term interaction with the observer.

But an object with permanence is transformed into an active
experience. It is in three dimensions of space. It has weight, it has tactile integration.
And this emotional connection is key to the prototyping process.

With a 3D object, the observer can experience it in
countless ways that a passive drawing does not permit. How will gravity effect
it? What does it feel like? How does it look on a shelf with other objects when
moved from point A to point B?

Our 3D printing solutions allow design firms to generate a new design into a fully-rendered concept that one...