Marketing Firm Uses Over 300, 3-D Printed Mini-Robots to Promote Its BusinessApril 4, 2014
The robots were printed for the VoltRRon summit, a three-day event bringing together all the employees from R&R Partners’ eight different offices. The summit gathered everyone to meet face-to-face, to showcase the company’s internal capabilities, to lay out the plan for R&R Partners over the next five years, and to have a really great time.
"The whole event was themed around the VoltRRon robot," said Ryan Christian, lead animator at R&R Partners. "We made posters, badges, bags and even created a coloring book. All of these things were fun to work on, but I personally had the most fun creating and printing the 3-D model."
The initial concept was to create a desk decoration, "but at some point," he added "we decided we wanted it to be a keychain, and we also wanted to add movable/articulated arms. We didn’t really know if that was possible, what types of materials existed or how much it would cost."
That’s where Sculpteo came in. Sculpteo worked with Christian to ensure he used the right 3-D printing material for movable parts, had a model that wouldn’t break in production, and was optimized for the best possible price.
Next: The Prototyping Phase
"Once we created the models and started ordering prototypes, we were very excited about how fast things were shipping—the turnaround time was about a week," relayed Christian.
He also emphasized the importance of speed. "Being able to print and receive the item within days, not weeks, is critical in the fast-paced marketing/advertising environment that we work in."
Christian was also pleasantly surprised by the strength of Sculpteo’s SLS plastic material: "At first we worried that the printed model would get destroyed in people’s pockets with keys, etc., but the plastic was so strong that this never became an issue.”
Batch Control for Cost-effective 3-D Printing in Larger Quantities: 325 Models of the VoltRRon Keychain Shipped in One Week
Christian was also one of Sculpteo’s first customers to use Batch Control, a new feature that makes it cost-effective to produce larger quantities with 3-D printing.
When we ask what were people’s reactions to a 3-D printed robot, Christian tells us everyone loved them: "Lots of people decorated their 3-D printed robots and posted photos to twitter and Facebook. They were also intrigued by the fact that the movable arms of the robot did not need to be assembled. It drove home the idea that we can print things that are already put together."
After this successful experiment with internal 3-D printing, R&R Partners is interested in the potential of bringing other 3-D printing to its clients. In the end, Christian summarized R&R Partners' experience: "I think we are ready and capable of integrating this technology into upcoming campaigns; it would certainly be a lot of fun."
Sculpteo is an online 3-D printing service based in San Francisco and Paris. It offers on-demand, 3-D printing of individual products, as well as short-run manufacturing. It has 45 materials, colors, and finishes available, plus file analysis and repair. Its factories use only professional printers and provides fast turnaround with worldwide delivery. Sculpteo was founded in 2009 by Eric Carreel and Clément Moreau.