In a search to find alternatives to your typical business card, I realized the answer was right in front of me. I run a Stratasys Objet 500 which is one of the finest SLA 3D printers that exists. From now on I'll be handing out 3D printed Shaping Element tokens to those who are interested! My hope is that prints will be fascinating enough that the recipient will hold on to it, or better yet, share one with a friend. Marketing and branding through 3D printing.
Here is the printer in action. The Objet lays down a fine layer of resin, at a mere 16 microns. On its second pass, the UV light cures the resin, hardening it into a print. The Objet 500 is easily the most incredible 3D printer that exists for product designers. This particular model can print in three different materials at once. The Shaping Element logos are printed in a flexible black material (Tango Black Plus) on a solid white token (Vero White Plus).
Prints completed. This was a small batch of 45 tokens. The printer is unbelievably fast and finished these in a mere 40 minutes.
Ready for removal. The prints come off easily with a scraper. They are printed on a thin layer of soft support that has the consistency of gelatin. Now to remove all the support.
The tokens are given a quick bath in Isopropyl alcohol to loosen up any remaining support material. Then they're wiped clean and good to go. These will be perfect for handing out to clients and any networking events in the future. The branding is minimal, but the "Shaping Elements" on the back is substantial for those who would like to learn more.