Last fall Media Resources, in Oakville, Ontario, installed one of the first Massivit 3D printers in Canada. The Installation is taking the 50-year-old sign services company into new markets. We spoke to Steve Gallow, president, about its move into the three-dimensional printing world.
You recently installed one of the first 3D Massivit printers in Canada. Why did you choose this particular type of 3D printer?
We purchased the Massivit 3D printer for a number of reasons. One because we are in the prop/3D business, we needed a printer that could deliver the quality and speed required to meet the needs of our out-of-home clientele. Massivit is one of the largest 3D printers available for the commercial market, built for producing 3D props. Second, because the printer prints a white translucent resin, we can internally illuminate the product to truly provide a unique 3D prop
What markets/clients are you currently serving with it and what markets do you plan to expand into?
Currently we are filling the needs of our outdoor advertising customers, which include billboard companies and advertising agencies. 3D props and printing is a large opportunity for us. Since the mid-2000’s we have been producing 3D props for billboards, generally done by hand. Our new 3D equipment allows us to expand our reach to other industries to offer these products. Areas of focus for 2018 and 2019 will include film and theater, trade show booth manufacturers, the billboard industry in Canada and USA, designers and architects, sign companies, museums and science centres, and amusement parks.
Tell us about some of the more interesting projects you’ve created with it.
The most interesting project we created is for a local casino. The project had 15 design elements we had to produce, paint and design. It had to be held onto a billboard in one of the busiest intersections in Canada. The size of the billboard is 30 ft x 60 ft.
Is it safe to say we are still at the beginning of the 3D printing market? What is the potential for the 3D market in Canada, how do you see it developing?
We service Canada and the US—our market is an emerging market—we have lots of leads looking for small prototypes but our process will not produce detail that fine. The other obstacle we face is people think just because it’s printed, it must be inexpensive. They don’t realize that the 3D printer can only produce the shell of the shape; there are still countless hours preparing, finishing and painting the product to look like the original.
There is lots of opportunity to use 3D products in almost any industry from billboards to sports. I think the future of 3D printing is to increase the speed and smoothness of the print along with the printer painting the 3D product as it produces it. It also won’t be long that a 3D printer will be as common as owing a personal computer in every home (it won’t be as big as the Massivit) but effective enough to print everyday items
What other services do you offer?
Our company is a full-service provider to outdoor advertisers and sign companies
We provide sign installation services, sign maintenance, large-format digital printing, 3D custom displays and props, and LED digital displays for outdoor and indoor.