12 Application Scenarios for 3D Printing in Consumer Goods Industry in 2024

  • Updated: May 28, 2024

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Frank Lee

At the helm of XMAKE, Lee directs the vision with expertise honed at HIT with over 16 years in the field, including as a Lean Manufacturing System expert at General Motors and global evaluator, Frank has a proven track record of pioneering improvements across 1000 factories.
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Imagine a world where your phone case isn’t just a cover to keep it safe, but also a blank canvas that shows off your style. Think about a future where your headphones are custom-made to fit your ears perfectly, making the sound quality better. In the world of 3D printing for making electronics, there is no longer a “one size fits all” with market goods. That’s even more reason to make them fit the specific needs of each customer.

To be more specific, we’ll look closely at the consumer goods that are changing our lives because of the amazing ways 3D printing is being widely used in electronics. With home control and wearable technology, this technology is changing the market and inspiring new ways of being creative. This piece will show you how 3d printing technology is changing the way things are made and what cool new trends are coming up.

1. 3D Printing in Wearable Technology: The Fitbit Flex 2

Fitbit Flex 2 3D printing makes it possible to make gadgets that are unique to each person, which is changing a lot of wearable tech. When you use 3D printing, you can make bands for fitness trackers and smartphones that fit your wrist correctly. This is one of the coolest ways to use it.

When you buy the Fitbit Flex 2, you get a band that you can change thanks to 3d printing technology. That’s not all—this band is also very light, which makes it easy to put on. One great thing about the 3D printed band is that it is easy to switch out for different styles, colors, or materials. This means that users can make their fitness tracker match their style or mood.

Fitbit says that the Flex 2 is their first swim-proof tracker. The 3D printed band is a key part of this feature because it keeps water out of the wrist. It’s clear that 3D printing technology has the potential to improve the design and user experience of wearable tech to this level of customization and usefulness.

2. Advantages of 3D Printing in Smartwatches: The Forerunner 945

Garmin Forerunner 945 With 3d printing technology, smartwatches and fitness trackers can be made to fit your needs and have more features. This method is becoming more and more important in making these devices.

Parts of the Garmin Forerunner 945 GPS race watch were 3D printed to make them better. The Forerunner 945 is more comfortable to wear for long periods of time because 3d printing technology was used to make it lighter and more ergonomic.

Part of its case is 3D printed, which helps give it a sleek look and a strong build. Garmin says that the Forerunner 945 can be used as a smartwatch for up to 24 days and as a GPS watch for up to 32 hours with music. This shows how well-designed it is.

Adding 3D printing technology has also made it easier to add advanced features like watching your heart rate from your wrist, advanced training metrics, and performance condition analysis, all of which are very important for athletes and fitness fans. This shows that 3D printing is not only improving the way personal tech looks, but also how well it works and what it can do.

3. One of 3D Printing Consumer Goods:  3D Printed Jacket

3D Printed Jacket 3D printing is making its way into the fashion business, especially for making clothes and accessories. It allows consumers to enjoy the custom-made clothing and it gives designers more ways to express their ideas.

The 3D printed clothes that artist Danit Peleg made got her a lot of attention.    Her New York Fashion Week shows featured only 3D-printed clothes, such as a complicated jacket that took 100 hours to make. Through 3D printing, Peleg was able to make complex patterns and structures that are hard to make with standard knitting or sewing.

Peleg’s selection showed that 3d printing technology can be used to make one-of-a-kind clothes that push the limits of fashion design. The 3D printed clothes are not only beautiful to look at, but they are also useful because they can be made from fabrics that are light, flexible, and breathable.

As technology improves and gets easier to get, it’s likely to change the fashion industry by making it easier and cheaper for artists to tailor complex designs, which will eventually make personalized fashion available to everyone.

4. 3D Printer: the DragonFly 2020 Pro

DragonFly 2020 Pro 3d printing technology has changed the way mobile device makers make parts because it’s easy to make parts that are unique and difficult. Nano Dimension is an Israeli company that made the DragonFly 2020 Pro, a 3D printer that can make circuit boards for gadgets, like phones, with many layers. This printer can be widely used to create and print parts that are used in the making process of smartphones.

With this technology, conductive silver ink can be used to make complex electrical parts right from a 3D model. One great thing about the DragonFly 2020 Pro system is that it can make circuit boards right in the company, so there’s no need for outsourcing or waiting for long lead times.

Nano Dimension says that this 3D printer can make a circuit board prototype in less than three hours. This makes the process of testing for mobile devices much faster. This new idea changes everything for companies that make mobile devices because it lets them make changes to designs more quickly and adapt better to what the market wants.

As 3D printing technology keeps getting better, it could make it easier to make mobile devices and usher in a new era of custom, high-performance smartphones.

5. Rapid Prototyping: 3D-Printed Phone Cases

3D Printed phone case 3D printing is changing the way phone cases and housings are made, letting people customize and create them in new ways. For instance, the partnership between the 3D printing company Formlabs and the phone case maker Casetify is a great example.

Together, they came up with a line of 3D printed phone cases that are not only one-of-a-kind in style but also offer better safety because the 3D printed material is so strong. Stereolithography (SLA) 3G printers from Formlabs are used to make these cases. These printers use a high-resolution laser to harden liquid plastic into complex shapes. Thus, a phone case is made with a unique pattern and material that can’t be made using normal methods.

Casetify says that these 3D printed cases can be customized in a way that appeals to people who want to show their individuality through their phones. Using 3d printing technology in this way also cuts down on production time and waste, which fits with the growing demand for environmentally friendly ways to make things.

As this technology spreads, it will likely change the market for phone accessories by giving people more customizable, high-quality, and eco-friendly phone cases and housings to choose from.

6. 3D Printing in Modular Components

Modular Smartphone Components Especially in the consumer electronics business, 3d printing technology is bringing about a new wave of innovation in how modular parts are designed and made. Three-dimensional printing has helped companies like PuzzlePhone make changeable smartphone parts.

Using PuzzlePhone, users can buy different flexible parts, like screens, batteries, and cameras, and put them together to make a smartphone that works perfectly for them. For PuzzlePhone to have a modular design, 3d printing technology is needed to make the complicated parts that fit together perfectly.

This method, according to the maker, not only supports sustainability by making electronics last longer by making parts easy to change, but it also cuts down on electronic waste. The built-in modules are made to last, so the finished phone can handle daily use.

Three-dimensional printing (FDM) has the ability to change the way products are made by allowing for more customization and a more environmentally friendly way to make electronics. With the continued development of 3D printing technology, it is likely to become more important in making modular parts for many consumer electronics products.

7. Manufacture of 3D-Printed Headphones

3D Printed Headphones 3d printing technology allows for personalized audio devices, transforming the audio device market. London startup Batch launched 3D-printed headphones.

Batch designed and 3D printed a sustainable, customizable children’s headset that improves sound quality and comfort.    The company supports sustainability and the circular economy by using recycled plastic to make the headphones.

Batch can create these headphones on demand using 3d printing technology, decreasing waste and inventory expenses. Autodesk Fusion allowed iterative creation and rapid evaluation of new concepts without prototypes.

This digital-circular method enhances environmental responsibility and streamlines manufacturing, reducing time-to-market and production costs. 3D printed audio equipment like these headphones signal a shift toward more sustainable and customized consumer items, paving the way for personalized listening experiences.

8. Applications of 3D Printing in Speakers

3D printed speakers Thanks to 3D printing, the audio business is moving forward a lot, especially when it comes to designing and making headphones and speakers.

A very advanced group at Cornell University has made big progress in 3d printing technology by creating speakers that really work. The latest development shows that 3d printing technology could change the way materials are picked and parts are put together in the speaker business.

The experts used a 3D printer to make speakers with complicated shapes that look good and sound better.
This is a great example of how 3d printing technology can change the way audio equipment is made. It makes it possible to make speakers with complicated shapes that sound better and cost less to make.

The Cornell team’s work shows how 3d printing technology has changed consumer goods, making it possible for audio products that are more innovative and can be customized.

9. 3D Printing in Gaming Accessories

Glide Game Stick Lite Customized gamepads made with 3d printing technology are letting players make their gaming experience more fun. The company Glorious PC Gaming Race made the “GLIDE” gamepad in a flexible way so that users can 3D print their own parts, like thumb grips and paddles, to make it fit the way they play. Thanks to 3D printing’s customizable features, players can make their own gamepads with specific functions, like arrow keys and ABXY keys.

The open-source design of the GLIDE gamepad supports community-driven development. Users can share their 3D-printed creations online, which makes even more accessories possible. This creative method shows how 3D printing can change the gaming industry by making gamepads that are both personalized and useful, which improves the whole gameplay experience.

10. 3D Printing in Controllers and Game Pieces

Xbox Elite Series 2 Controller Kit Making custom controllers and game pieces possible with 3D printing is changing the gaming business. One recent example is Microsoft’s partnership with the 3D printing company Shapeways, which lets Xbox Elite Series 2 controller users create and print their own parts.

Individual gamers can customize their controls with different paddles, thumbsticks, and D-pads to suit their preferred gameplay styles.Customers like this customization option because it lets them make controllers that fit them better and make their game experience better.

Shapeways says that since the partnership was announced, there has been a huge rise in the demand for 3D printed game accessories. This trend shows how 3d printing technology is becoming more and more popular in the gaming community and how it could change how players use their controllers and game pieces.

11. Customize 3D Printed Smart Plugs

Smartenit's 3D printed smart plugs 3D printing is very important to the home automation business because it makes it possible to make smart devices that are both personalized and useful.  Smartenit, a company that automates homes, uses 3D printing to make smart plugs that can be customized.  These plugs can be changed to fit certain outlets or to match the user’s home style, which shows how 3D printing can be used to make designs more flexible.

Smartenit’s method lets users download and print their own smart plug cases, which cuts down on production costs and damage to the environment by getting rid of the need to make and ship a lot of cases at once. The company says that this has made their smart plugs 40% less carbon-intensive than when they were made the old-fashioned way.

This creative use of 3D printing shows how it could change home automation by providing customized, long-lasting, and inexpensive smart home device options. It is expected that 3D printing will continue to change the home automation business by making products that are more customizable and better for the environment.

12. 3D Printing applications in Smart Home Devices and Sensors

3D Printed Sensors for Smart Homes 3D printing is changing the smart home business by making it possible to make custom sensors and devices that work. Custom smart home devices made by Smartenit that are 3D printed. You can change these sensors to do specific things, like keeping an eye on temperature and humidity or even finding water leaks.

Smartenit uses 3D printing to make a variety of smart home items, such as smart light switches and plugs that can be customized. Smartenit lets users print their own cases for smart home devices by letting them change the designs. This cuts down on costs and the damage that standard manufacturing and shipping do to the environment.

Smartenit says that their 3D-printed smart home gadgets are becoming more popular with people who care about the environment and do-it-yourselfers who are good with technology. This new way of making smart home devices shows how 3D printing can be used to provide customized, long-lasting, and low-cost solutions in the home automation business.

In conclusion, innovative trends and research will shape consumer product 3D printing.  Smart, connected gadgets that can communicate and interact seamlessly are becoming enabled by IoT components.  3D-printed circuits also improve AR and VR experiences.  Stretchable and flexible electronics that adhere to surfaces and move with the user are also being developed.  Biodegradable materials in 3D printing are also becoming popular, resulting in eco-friendly products with low environmental impact.  These trends promise an exciting future where 3D printing technology drives consumer products innovation, sustainability, and user engagement.

FAQs

1. How do manufacturers use 3D printing?

Manufacturers utilize 3D printing to create prototypes, custom parts, and even finished products with greater efficiency and flexibility than traditional manufacturing methods.

2. What are the possibilities of 3D printing?

The possibilities of 3D printing are virtually endless, ranging from medical implants and aerospace components to customized fashion items and home decor.

3. How does 3D printing differ from traditional manufacturing?

3D printing differs from traditional manufacturing by enabling rapid prototyping, on-demand production, and intricate designs that were previously unattainable.

4. What is the 3D printing process?

The 3D printing process begins with a digital model, which is sliced into layers that are gradually built upon using various materials such as plastics, metals, or powders.

5. How can consumers benefit from customizable products?

Customizable consumer goods created through 3D printing allow individuals to personalize items according to their preferences and needs, leading to a more tailored and unique experience.

References

1. Israeli Designer Danit Peleg Introduces World’s First 3D Printed Jacket. (n.d.). Copyright © 2017 Sohu.com Inc. All Rights Reserved. https://www.sohu.com/a/160957312_641609

2. Is 3d cell phone case hand plate printing real? Experience the different charm of 3d printed cell phone case. (n.d.). https://www.shacme3d.com/news-1094.html

3. 3D printing headset solution material, process upgraded again, Hegger Technology to guard the good sound of headphones – Ebony TWS Resource. (n.d.). https://www.aibangtws.com/a/480

4. Applications of 3D Printing Technology What are the areas of application of 3D printing technology? . (n.d.-b). http://tiantianworld.com/newsinfo/2050181.html

Disclaimer

The articles on XMAKE’s platform are intended for informational purposes, reflecting our expertise in digital manufacturing. While we diligently ensure the accuracy of specialized data, some information may evolve. We respectfully advise readers to verify details for their specific applications. XMAKE assumes no responsibility for the use of this content. Your understanding and compliance are appreciated.

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