3d printing 2There hasn’t been something quite so revolutionary to hit the meeting and event scene in a while like 3-D printing. This newest technology has been making its mark at major trade shows but, as with any early adopters to technology, there are a few barriers to wide adoptability, including: cost, availability and a desire or need for on-demand printing.

Here’s a quick look at the 3-D printing technology and how it can be used at your next event.

What and How 3-D Printing Works

3-D printing is a process of making three-dimensional solid objects from a digital file. The printer creates a successive layer of materials until the object is fully created.

For execution purposes, the printer usually needs a CAD drawing, which is used for the 3-D modeling program or scanner. The software slices the final model into hundreds of horizontal layers, which the printer reads and then creates the object.

Potential Uses in Conferences


Rather than having flat, boring invitations, why not send your invitees a view of the city, convention center or speakers in a pop-up 3-D format? Yes, it may be more expensive, but your event will definitely stand out in the invitees’ mind.

3d printing 3Room Setup

One of the drawbacks of traditional room setup software or sketches is that the tables, chairs, AV, stage and lighting are not set up to scale. A drawing is good, but a 3-D print produced to scale is even better. A 360-degree view of the space will allow you to make changes in advance of the program, thus saving you time and money.

In addition, if you require extra seating or need to remove tables and chairs, you can see the impact on the room dynamics.

On-Demand Services

Badges and programs are the perfect application for this type of printing. 3-D printing is great for making names stand out, providing logo distinction and meeting the needs of last- minute registrants.

3D printing 4Photo Booth

An attendee’s head and face can be scanned in 3-D and then a smaller version of his or her face would be produced, which is a very impressive and very personalized takeaway.

Potential Uses on the Trade Show Floor
On-Demand Services

If an attendee views a product catalog at a trade show booth and wants to order a product but is unsure what it truly looks like, staff can print the item to see scalability in terms of total product size and use.

In addition, exhibitors can give away customized items to attendees with their name, logo or event information on the product.

3d printing 5Oreo cookies used on-demand 3-D printing at this year’s South by Southwest (SXSW) event. At their “Trending Vending” booth, attendees we treated to customized Oreos, in which the brand leveraged the 3-D printer ideas to create custom cookies. Each Oreo was unique, sporting the icing design the attendee wanted. It was a huge success, and many trade show attendees waited up to two hours to receive their personalized cookie.

Product Prototype Printing

You can show potential buyers the prototypes you have on the drawing board and allow them to visual this product. Customer feedback and improvements can be gathered right then and there and shared with the design team.

3d printing at kalahariAbout Kalahari Resorts & Conventions

Kalahari Resorts combines the best in family-friendly resort amenities with massive, state- of-the-art convention space! Our research found that this type of environment leads to a 20 percent increase in meeting attendance. Call us today at 855.411.4605 to schedule your personalized, on-demand visit that will be customized to your group’s needs.