A story about the passage of a 2D printing house to a 3D service bureau.
My name is Itamar Yona from Aviv3D which is located in Israel. I’m an electrical engineer and the third generation in my family business of 2D printing, marketing and publishing in Israel.
In 1951, my grandfather opened the first printing house in Ness-Ziona which, for the uninitiated, is not the sexiest place in Israel but a little like Palo-Alto.
My grandfather started with 2 letter press machines and one wooden chair for his Turkish coffee breaks.
Over the years his shop grew into a factory and my father joined the family business.
The letter press machines were replaced by offset and digital ones.
My father took over from my grandfather and I subsequently joined the family business after having graduated in engineering.
Then, I discovered the 3D Printing, in other words — Additive manufacturing.
This article is about sharing legacy insights and my own experience about how to create a natural synergy between 2D and 3D printing in order to create business opportunities.
One of the insights that my dad passed on to me is the fact that printing is not the final mission of our family company. Printing is a tool in your toolbox which helps customers’ businesses to grow. It’s a means to an end. Once printing houses start using their machines, tools and knowledge in order to accomplish large undertakings and not just as a production line, their wheels will turn much faster leading to more profit.
A lot has changed since then. My grandfather is no longer with us and technology has changed a lot. But one thing remains the same — The machines are still a means to an end.
2D printing providers have, for many years, been looking for ways to develop their businesses. The incoming younger generation has brought HiTech and engineering skills with them, resulting in the 3D evolution providing new services and products.
Since we are now considered as ‘technical people’, customers look to us to provide production solutions. This puts us at the forefront of technology in the field.
Over the last 3 decades, we have seen that printing houses have adopted additional services such as: Wide printing format, Web 2 Print solutions, packaging solutions and, of course, short series printing according to customer needs. This evolution makes the printing houses more dedicated and more attuned to the customers’ needs.
When I discovered 3D printing I realized that those wonderful technologies can complement my father’s legacy and, of course, serve our customers’ needs
If you analyze the route of the printing production line you will see a process
compiled from the same process flow:
- Choosing materials and printing processes
- Post processing
Although 2D and 3D printing are governed by different techniques, the method follows the same route.
The connection of the term “print” in 2D and 3D printing can be found in this common route. Basically, you are printing using both of those techniques but in 3D printing you are printing batches of 2D layers in height
THE BUSINESS OPPORTUNITY
The fact that printing houses provide customized production solutions in their local area makes 3D printing an added value to all our toolboxes
With 3D printing skills, you can provide solutions from prototypes, short series products and sometimes even mass production. You will find a demand for those solutions in packaging, paper bulb molds, marketing products and more.
If you pay attention to the connection to 2D printing you will find compatible needs.
There is an inherent connection between 2 and 3D printing. When a customer orders business cards he will probably need a 3D prototype. When he needs flyers and short series printing products he will need the 3D printing in short series.
Of course, it’s the same when it comes to mass production of 2 and 3D printing.
There are also connections between 2 and 3D printing for the same products.
For example, when you need to design a plastic package or bottle you need to design a suitable 2D sticker and 2D embrace.
You all know that we are Rock Stars in 2D printing. The big understanding is, that you can duplicate the method, experience and solutions by opening a hereto unforeseen window onto new solutions, business opportunities and added value to the customers.
Recently, the requirements of two of my customers, Fruitful and Headspace, lead to the synergy and complementary relations between 2 and 3D printing.
The CEO of Fruitful, came to us in order to get 2D printing solutions — such as, stickers, embrace, packaging and, of course, business cards, brochures etc. After a short discussion I realized that we could also provide a customized pill box and cap.
You can see here the immediate synergy between 2 and 3D printing solutions in the same package — these are complementary needs.
Headspace is an old and regular customer of our 2D printing services who now requires a compatible product. When opening a new branch he needs new 3D signage. Naturally, he comes to us because we are his marketing solution provider. He had never used 3D signage before so, as you can see, we scaled down his logo. Approval for print was immediate.
How to adopt Additive manufacturing skills:
First, I suggest that you start on a small scale. By this I mean that you should start with a low budget 3D desktop printer. I built my 3D printer myself, but you don’t have to be crazy like me. I would design my own watch if I could.
Start to develop your 3D printing skills. You will immediately find compatible and complementary needs to your existing products. Like the pill box that includes stickers, embrace, box and cap and like signage solutions — synergy of 2 and 3D printing.
I suggest that you put your efforts on a single selected process. There is a variety of additive manufacturing technologies and you should focus on developing your team knowledge on selected niches according to your customers’ requirements.
So, all these examples reflect the principles of 2 and 3D printing being in sync. It is part of an evolution that is taking place now. You already have skills in your company DNA enabling you to make decisions. Time is all important if you want to benefit from this growing potential
Remember this formula:
Your customers are already looking for this and you want to be there for them with the answer. — It is attainable.
If you need guidance and support I will be glad to assist you.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tf7_9tmpV_E — Drupa 2016