Media Resources generates additional $1 million with 3D Printing

Wide-format printing specialist Media Resources (Vancouver, Edmonton and Calgary), credits large-format 3D printing for its recent annual revenue increase of $1 million since its investment in a Massivit 3D Printer. Here, co-owner Steve Gallow shares some insights about the market, especially what it was like being an early adopter of large-format 3D printing.

Steve Gallow.

Steve Gallow often describes his experience of being an early adopter of digital printing as stumbling upon a lottery ticket. While he reaped the rewards for a while, eventually the market would catch up and offer intense competition. That slowed his revenue, turning it into a “scratch-off” lotto ticket. Eventually it trickled down to just trying to make a little money on razor-thin margins. “Due to commoditization, services like digital vinyl printing that used to be charged at $12 per square foot, are marketed today at just 65¢ per square foot,” Gallow revealed. Bringing in a large format 3D printer has helped Media Resources evolve its business and control its profitability to a much higher degree. Being one of the first owners of a Massivit 3D printer in Canada, they can set their own prices while offering services that simply don’t exist elsewhere. It’s a huge move that’s already paying off.

Massivit 1800 Pro Printer.

New technology spurs growth. As one of the first owners of a digital printing press, Gallow understands how the excitement of a new technology can grow into an outstanding business opportunity. He had experienced how digital printing had been received, and instantly understood what he had on his hands. “The hype, the media attention, and the way that the market grew was unbelievable,” he said in a recent webinar. More than a decade later, Gallow felt the exact same when seeing a Massivit 3D printer creating displays and models in real time at a conference. He described the moment of seeing over a hundred people crowded around this huge machine, and the fascination of what it was creating right there in front of them. If Media Resources was to expand and find new profit sources, this was a prime opportunity. Only a month later, their own Massivit 3D printer arrived. Its combination of size, speed, and creative freedom has enabled them to dive into new markets. Where they had trouble breaking into the movie industry, for example, it has now become 50% of their business. They’ve since entered other sectors, such as sports events and museums.

Wide-format 3D-printed beer display for Circle K.

Increasing the bottom line. “In our first year, we’ve added $1 million in extra revenue related to 3D displays, signage and props,“ Gallow explained. “The hype this technology drums up is phenomenal. We used to get one lead per month through our social-media channels, but since purchasing a Massivit 3D printer, we’re now getting an average of 3 leads per day.”

Print service providers are also noticing that the technology is a great conversation starter. “3D printing gives us another reason to pick up the phone and talk to customers,” Gallow added. “It’s the most exciting part of our presentation to our clients.” These conversations can often escalate into sales, as clients realize the immense possibilities that large-format 3D printing brings. “It inspires the advertising agencies to experiment with new ideas as well, and then they approach us and ask ‘So does this mean you can do this?’ It’s helping to start exciting new conversations.” Now, Media Resources has been able to turn these conversations into closed deals – and the new technology has changed the way they currently do business.

 

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Tony Curcio is the editor of Graphic Arts Magazine.