Nike, Pepsi and Kodak step into the world of 3D printing

By Sam Brake Guia November 5, 2018

Unless you live in a cave, you have probably seen the rapid ascension of 3D printing in our modern world. It appears that businesses of all sizes and industries are getting in on this new tech. Nike has caused a lot of buzz surrounding the use of 3D printing to produce new shoes which sneakerheads are eagerly anticipating.

Outside of the shoe industry, many other industry leaders are taking advantage of the many benefits of 3D printing. Legendary brand Kodak and 3D manufacturer Smart International have come together to produce the KODAK Portrait, Kodak’s first 3D printer that aims to fill the gap in the professional 3D printer market with elements designed especially for the education, creative and engineering sectors. The KODAK Portrait can be used to create some truly amazing things, from movie props and engineering and architectural components to consumer goods and prosthetics.

In addition to Kodak, Gillette is also exploring customization of their razors using 3D printing. According to Plastic Technologies, Gillette has partnered with Formlabs, a Boston-area company that designs and manufactures 3D-printing systems, in order to provide a series of customizable 3D-printed razor handles. Each Razor Maker handle is printed at Gillette’s Boston headquarters using stereolithography (SLA) printing technology from Formlabs.

PepsiCo has also got involved. The worldwide drinks company partnered with Marvel Studios to develop a limited-edition kit using 3D printing. The kit was designed around the blockbuster Black Panther and contained five cans representing each of the movie’s main characters, a Samsung tablet, comic books, behind-the-scenes photos, a light up carton with HiLight smart LEDs, and a 3D-printed Black Panther mask that fit onto the corresponding can.

“Much of this kit was inspired by the costumes and characters from the movie,” said Andrew Phinney, a R&D packaging engineer at PepsiCo. “This was an exciting opportunity for us to incorporate new technologies to develop unique textures, graphics, dimensional elements, and lighting to bring the kit to life,” states Plastics Today. Phinney led the technical development of the 3D-printed mask, which was designed in-house by PepsiCo’s Design and Innovation team.

As we see this technology become more prevalent in our everyday lives, a growing number of industries are likely to adopt this new tech to enhance their offerings and their products.

Disclosure: This article includes a client of an Espacio portfolio company