3D Printers


Has anyone used a 3D printer for user experience design?

I just got out of the KC Maker Faire truly inspired. 3D printers were all the rage and I wondered if anyone has found a use for them in UX design process. My initial thoughts were that they could be used more for interaction design prototypes an not on-screen designs.

Thoughts? Ideas?


I’d love an excuse to play with a 3D printer, but the opportunities for digital design aren’t obvious to me. What was it you were inspired to explore Nick?


I haven’t managed to justify them as an essential part of my interface design work either. Yet. Hasn’t stopped me trying!

I can see potential for creative use as tangible artefacts (3D personas or scenarios?), as unconventional molecular gastronomy for the meeting room lolly bowl, or in prototyping or modelling specific parts of an experience, especially where dealing with offline products. But they still feel like cool geeky gimmick uses, rather than a serious use of project funds. Not that I’d ever let that stop me.

In a more abstract sense, being creative, exploring, solving and tinkering with things is part of a designers job / spare time.