‘As a high-powered product designer and/or marketing executive, I often find myself wanting something more than a glossy brochure outlining my latest product. Brochures are just so flat and dull, when the items that I’m making and/or marketing are 3D! That’s why I use 3D printing.’ These are the sorts of things I would think if I worked for Munich-based office chair manufacturer aeris-Impulsmöbel GmbH & Co. KG. In overcoming the limitations of traditional marketing materials, the company developed, with the help of German 3D printing firm creabis, a new way to sell their chairs.
aeris-Impulsmöbel GmbH & Co. KG (which is a mouthful, so we’ll hereon refer to them as “aeris”) has been making active chairs for almost twenty years. Their furniture, through its ability to flex in all directions, is meant to trigger small changes in posture that address back pain associated with long periods of sitting. As they already sell their products to those with a keen eye for design, like architects and interior designers, the company came up with a uniquely designed marketing campaign.
As part of the aeris advertising concept, potential customers are treated to a small box containing the usual flyers and photos of reference designs. Also inside of the box is a small, 3D printed model of the actual chair, such as one of their 3Dee® or muvman® designs. Meike Maier, marketing and communication manager at aeris explains, “This type of acquisition is highly welcomed by our resellers and they are grateful for the additional sales support by aeris.”
The chairs are printed in white via selective laser sintering (SLS) by creabis and are then painted black and, depending on the model, treated with metal coating, gold plating or sanding. Managing director at creabis, Ralf Deuke, understands, with his 18 years in the field, that the aeris project is only a small slice of what can be done with the technology, “The 3Dee® and muvman® are just two examples for the vast possibilities in product development, design and marketing.”
He’s right. Thanks to companies like aeris, 3D printing will usher in a whole new world of marketing. As costs drop in 3D printing, not only will you see affordable prosthetics and water filters, but your mailbox will be crammed with 3D printed chairs.