Carl Barenbrug

Product design, creative direction

3D Printing and Rethinking How You Buy

I previously wrote about the beauty of 3D printing and how in recent years, we have seen incredible advancements and accessibility to technologies that have impacted the health sector and everyday consumers. 3D printing is still a very new concept to most of us. At least in terms of making things for our home, office, or workshop. It's time to look forward, explore what is possible, empower ourselves, and make some changes to how we buy physical objects.

I am feeling pretty energised by the idea of making simple things that empower people (and not just creatives) to express themselves. And the field of 3D printing is allowing me to do that. Although I am not exactly providing a tool to people, I am encouraging a different way of thinking about consumerism and environmental impact.

Instead of ordering overproduced physical objects from the likes of Amazon and IKEA, you can buy and download a 3D model file once and print it whenever and however many times you want. You can customise your home to fit your needs. You can be far more eco-friendly and save a tonne of money by avoiding international shipments entirely. You can experiment with materials, filaments, textures, and colours. If you have the skills or desire to learn, you can even change the model design. You can take back control, lighten your footprint, and own some beautiful objects.

Have I convinced you yet? Maybe you're on the fence. You probably don't own a 3D printer. So how the hell do you go about printing the models? You might be surprised by just how many 3D printing workshops there are around. Most cities will have several. I mean, it is probably unlikely that you'll find one in a small village, but still, printing is super accessible these days. And suppose you're really into this way of manufacturing objects. In that case, nothing is stopping you from owning your own printer and making everything from home. Currently, I am using Treatstock as my platform for finding printers.

Maybe you're feeling slightly more persuaded and want to experiment. I recently partnered up with Aleš Boem to design a launch collection of homewares for Minimalissimo. We made a water jug, a tube-like watering can, and a planter. More objects will come later in the year, but I would love to get your journey of 3D printing underway with any of these. Support the notion, support a small business, and rethink your buying habits.

Minimalissimo 3D Model Jug
3D printed jug
Minimalissimo 3D Model Tube
3D watering jug
Minimalissimo 3D Model Planter
3D printed planter
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