Page 58 - Print 21 Magazine May-June 2019
P. 58

3D Printing
Now you see it
One of the Australian pioneers of the Massivit 3D printing technology is part of a leading sign and display business in Melbourne’s Docklands. Rob Grosso joined with Dominic Feik and Kerry Beer in Seen Technology, which is leading the way in creative, high-tech communication solutions for retailers and events. Patrick Howard reports.
Printing is essentially a communications medium. Long considered a foundation part of the graphic arts, it always
included the reproduction of images. Text and images combined in books and magazines, brochures and packaging, along with a thousand forms of leaflets, cards, fliers and menus. Numerous types of printing evolved to meet the challenges of different products.
Then along came 3D printing and we all had to take a step back. While it’s nice for the industry to be associated with additive manufacturing, perhaps the most important new technology of the 21st century,
to call it printing really stretches the use of the word. However, at
a time when printers are looking with varying degrees of urgency for new business to replace declining commercial formats, so-called 3D printing can prove irresistible.
While much 3D printing is vertically integrated in industries such as engineering, medical and dentistry, printers are in a unique position to offer it as an outsourced ‘pay for service’ function. Most commercial printing is marketing collateral, printing workflows are universally digitised, the majority of print customers are businesses and every job is unique. It is a delivery format made for 3D printing.
Rob Grosso had a clear idea of
its commercial potential when he bought Australia’s first Massivit 3D printer before the official release at drupa 2016. The Melbourne-based wide-format printer saw it as an opportunity to provide a ‘for trade’ service for printers. He quickly found out that he was, to put it kindly, ahead of the market. No one knew about 3D printing or what it could
58  Print21 MAY/JUNE 2019
Year of the Pig: Hans Mezisto, 3D ‘printer’
at Seen Technology, with prototype and finished object for
do, and while there was a steady trickle of work he realised he would have to adjust his business model.
Dominic Feik and Kerry Beer were owners and operators of Seen Technology, a high-tech digital signage company specialising in place-based technologies. When Grosso approached them about joining forces they saw the Massivit 3D printer as a natural extension
of their offering. He soon moved
in with his printer, taking the role of director of sales and innovation. Working with some of Australia’s leading retailers, property managers, health care operators and entertainment and display businesses, Seen Technology is a leading provider of high impact visual communications across Australia, New Zealand, SE Asia, South Africa and the USA.
The company’s business
is to create compelling, eye- catching displays using a range of technologies; LED signs, portable and battery powered displays, 3D holograms, outdoor digital signage and now large format 3D print.
The company’s premises in Port Melbourne provide a showcase on how to attract and entrance the eye. Many of its LED displays are ‘live’
connected to Seen, with the ability to reformat messages instantly, anywhere in the world.
Calls from
While an increasing number of commercial printers are dealing with Seen to create and construct for their customers’ 3D projects, the company is mostly in direct contact with agencies and brands. Specialising
in super-sized 3D printed objects
for retail, staging, display, events, architectural design, rapid prototyping and thermo forming tools, the Massivit is in constant production. A number of smaller commercial desktop 3D printers
help out with smaller jobs.
Grosso admits it has been a
steep learning curve. Finishing 3D printed objects, as in smoothing
and painting them, is a major part
of the process. Raw material costs are a challenge. Setting the right production deadlines, as well as educating the marketing industry on 3D capabilities, is a work in progress.
However he says the Massivit
is the world’s leading technology
for 3D display graphics. The Israel-made machine creates lightweight but strong, large-
scale constructions for retail, entertainment and event placement. It is able to rapidly scale up from prototype to full size object to meet time sensitive demands.
According to Grosso the demand for 3D printing is only in its infancy. He believes that as word spreads and as more people become aware of its potential it will become a commonly used tool, used to differentiate from standard print campaigns, creating impact and interest, and disrupting consumers. 21
the Chinese celebrations
Addressing the wider world
of digital signage: Rob Grosso (right) with Kerry Beer (left)
and Dominic Feik of Seen Technology

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