3D Printing & Awards

If you read about the future of business such as the visions from HP or PWC, all predictions will invariably tell us that 3D printing will be a game changer. And it is hard to deny when you look at some of the incredible pieces that are being made today. Check out a few images plucked from the web:

The amount of detail is extraordinary, not to mention the interesting structures which are sometimes hard to achieve with traditional manufacturing methods. This is because 3D printing (which is also called additive manufacturing) is constructed by a machine which slowly builds the structure from the base up using certain plastics, metals and other malleable materials. The past few years we have seen some fantastic examples of 3D printing being used for prototypes, homewares and even custom shaped chocolate.

We get a lot of questions about 3D printing, and yes! We do 3D printing. Check out below one of my favourite trophies, the Channel V Oz Artist Awards, which is a 3D printed trophy  from 2013.

Award makers Melbourne - Award makers Sydney

Channel V-Oz Artist Awards. Custom resin with custom paint finish on piano black base H: 250mm W: 200mm


Why don’t we do more 3D printing however? Even though our DA designers would be loving life if we could do a little more 3D printing, there are a few barriers currently which keep us from producing more 3D printed awards and trophies. Here’s our list.

1. It’s expensive

The cost for producing a 3D printed award versus the cost for producing an award using our regular manufacturing methods is probably the most persuasive decider for clients. Even cheaper 3D printed materials like nylon are nowhere near the same price.

2. It’s crude

If you have a close look at the image of the vase in the above photo, you may notice a series of lines which make up the whole piece. These are manufacturing imperfections which certainly do not meet DA quality control and take a lot of manual labour to clean up. This manual labour means more time per award which means higher costs once more.

3. It’s light

Winning an award is the culmination of effort, determination and perseverance. A trophy is turning this effort into reality and the physicality of the award cannot be underestimated. As 3D printing tends to be the shell of an object (but not always), they are often much lighter. Lighter awards tend to feel cheaper which can take away from the glory of winning.

4. It takes forever to print

Honestly, forever. This is not necessarily a problem if it is a one-off or small run jobs but it is just unfeasible for larger jobs.

5. It’s impersonal

We pride ourselves on the craftsmanship and care that goes into each and every single one of our DA awards, and so a 3D printed replica does seem to take away from the character of something handcrafted.

Of course, these might not be concerns for you at all and if you are completely fine with this list then please, talk to us about getting a custom 3D printed award made!