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On 28/2 our managing partner, Alain Thys was the closing speaker of the FutuRetail event which took place at Google's offices in London. Pushed to come with "something innovative and different", he tried to bring a level-headed view on the ways he believes 3D Printing will affect retail in the coming 5 years.

Many in the audience tended to agree, and if you do to (or not) feel free to leave your comments. Also, should you wish to look at the opportunities for 3D printing in your business (retail or B2B) do not hesitate to get in touch :-)

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The Impact of 3D on Retail


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  1. 3D Printing & Retail FUTURETAIL Google London February 28, 2013 FUTURELAB

  2. On a mission to make the world a more customer-friendly place @FLB_alainthys FUTURELAB

  3. FUTURELAB Customer Experience • Value Propositions • Customer-Centric Transformation • My usual focus: Help companies profit from customer-centricity “today”

  4. FUTURELAB Industrial thinking 3D thinking But today I want to talk about additive manufacturing, aka. 3D printing

  5. FUTURELAB Not so long ago, I had filed 3D printing under “science fiction” and then Shapeways became our customer.

  6. FUTURELAB Which lead my son (and his friends) to discover 3D Printed Minecraft Avatars

  7. FUTURELAB It’s so cool … they even got the colours right! In which I found myself paying … €25 for a 6 cm plastic toy

  8. FUTURELAB Look … DJ This made me realise 3D printing’s sci-fi days were over It was now a game of personalisation and emotion

  9. FUTURELAB 3D printing today Where we are going Three practical suggestions So I started digging into the topic I’d like to share some findings with you

  10. FUTURELAB What would happen if this went mainstream? As I take you through these cases don’t just go “ooh” and “aah” Think through the implications of what you see

  11. FUTURELAB 3D files online "We have to prepare for the fact that consumers may soon not want to buy pre-packaged iPhone cases of the shelf, but build and design their own," Rob Fraser, IT Director Sainsbury, Jan 2013 What is happening today 3D printed iphone cases

  12. What is happening today: Continuum Fashion N12 Custom fitted bikini’s printed in Nylon 12 FUTURELAB

  13. FUTURELAB Pharmaceuticals Dental crowns While you wait 15 mins Breast implants Artificial ear What is happening today Medical applications

  14. FUTURELAB Materials Steel Gold Silver Bronze … What is happening today Draw your earrings and see them in 3D

  15. €99 What is happening today Drawings into toys

  16. FUTURELAB Chocolate (today) Meat (still a while) What is happening today Food

  17. FUTURELAB Enrico Dini 3D Building System © UNIVERSE ARCHITECTURE. The landscape house. What is happening today Printed house (2014)

  18. FUTURELAB 285 µm racecar Vienna University of Technology, 2012 Coming soon Microchips and circuit boards

  19. FUTURELAB What is happening today: Makerlove.com Yes, you can be “scanned” 

  20. FUTURELAB 3D printing today Where we are going Three practical suggestions So I started digging into the topic I’d like to share some findings with you

  21. FUTURELAB Gartner hype cycle – July 2012 The good news We’re only in “hype” phase

  22. FUTURELAB The bad news Compared to this the internet was a walk in the park

  23. FUTURELAB I believe that for the foreseeable future Self manufacturing is for “tinkerers

  24. FUTURELAB Watch the video on the next click A vision of the future Manufacturing moves closer to home

  25. FUTURELAB Unit 252, Shopping Centre, Elephant & Castle, London, SE1 6TE I haven’t visited it yet myself but In London, the first one has arrived

  26. FUTURELAB Personalised experiences Rethink supply chain Parallel product markets Some parts mass produced, some parts printed (on-site?) Physibles already available for download (remember the CD!!) You customise or create to fit your needs. We make it. Category by category A new form of retailer-manufacturing will emerge

  27. FUTURELAB 3D printing today Where we are going Three practical suggestions So I started digging into the topic I’d like to share some findings with you

  28. FUTURELAB Three practical suggestions Update your knowledge

  29. FUTURELAB Three practical suggestions Start the long-view conversation in your business

  30. FUTURELAB Feel free to get in touch FUTURELAB Three practical suggestions Start “live” experiments to learn

  31. Web Twitter Linkedin : Alain Thys : www.futurelab.net : @FLB_alainthys FUTURELAB