3D Printing Industry

Renders vs Photographs, Concepts vs Reality, Ikea vs Kickstarter

As Ikea starts to use more 3d renders of products in it’s catalogues Kickstarter has changed it’s guidelines on new product and hardware projects stating the product renderings are prohibited and that product images must be photos of the prototype as it currently exists.

3D Render vs 3D Print Shapeways

This is interesting from a number of angles:

  1. Ikea is using 3D Renders as it is faster and cheaper than photographing an object in different settings, it also means they can prepare the catalogue artwork before the product is in production.  Ikea as a brand is reliable enough that we understand the basic quality of product we will receive if we purchase from the catalogue.
  2. Kickstarter is moving away from 3D renders so backers can better understand the quality of the product they will receive. The projects on Kickstarter are not (often) from a reliable brand, so people are taking a risk that they can actually deliver the product they promise, to an acceptable quality, in a timely manner.
  3. 3D Printing your Kickstarter project with Shapeways, either as a prototype like the Glif, or as the final product as Joshua Harker has done gives you the opportunity to show that you have a better chance of delivering a viable product.
  4. Shapeways renders your 3D model as soon as you upload it so you can preview your design before you 3D Print it for yourself.  We recommend that you do 3D Print and photograph any product you would like to sell so that your customers can see exactly what they will get.  Like Ikea, uploading photorealistic renders is often faster and cheaper than taking photographs but like Kickstarter potential buyers of your designs are relying on these images to determine the look, feel and scale of the design as proof that your design will work. This is the reason we only promote products that have photographs, not renders to ensure that your customers have a better understanding of what they will receive.

We would love to get your thoughts, are there any scenarios where you think a render is suitable?

via Solidsmack Image Cunicode

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Shapeways Designer Evangelist
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