Dimensional Differentiator

A 3D-printed project adds impact in retail.

Emocoes ao Quadrado is a large-format digital print shop in Portugal. Seventy percent of their business focuses on retail and P-O-P. One of the company’s recurring clients is Johnson & Johnson. The 3d bottlemultinational corporation was launching a new product – Aveeno Dermexa moisturizing cream – in the Portuguese market and “wanted a piece that was a showstopper and stood out to their consumers, specifically to be used in fairs/congresses and occasionally in reference stores,” says Carolina Oliveira, client manager, Emocoes ao Quadrado. 

The team used its Massivit 1800 large-format 3D printer to create the supersized bottle, its HP Scitex 11000 industrial press for the Re-board and EB cardboard display, and its Mimaki JV300 large-format printer onto vinyl for the detail in the front of the product. “This piece needed a lot of complementary equipment for the finishing,” says Oliveira. “This included hand painting, vinyl details, and a cardboard display in the back.” The 3D printed piece totaled three-feet wide and more than five-feet high.

3d bottle back“The main challenge is always guaranteeing the 3D piece is an exact replica of the original product, even though we don’t always have all the elements available, plus we’re using different materials and printing machines, combined with hand painting; it’s hard to keep details, like colors, uniform,” says Oliveira. “The client was extremely satisfied with the final result and happy to have taken a risk by using 3D large-format printing for the first time. J&J felt like the piece fully fulfilled its purpose, bringing attention to their stands and creating high impact.”

Adding 3D printing to the shop’s repertoire “felt like a natural next step,” says Oliveira. “We fully believe 3D printing will be a big part of the future of P-O-S. We recognize that it’s a very different type of production; it demands a lot of time for all the finishing that’s necessary to produce a final piece. However, we can introduce our clients to a whole new world of pieces that can really make a difference for the brands they’re communicating. From the feedback we’ve been receiving from our clients, they’re interested in knowing more about this new type of printing.”

Retail Q&A with Carolina Oliveira

What is your take on the concept that retail is not dead, but evolving?

CO Retail will always be in constant evolution, thankfully! Shops like ours are here to adapt ourselves to a new normal; that will come hand in hand with new ways of consuming. Hence why we gave such an importance to 3D printing. These pieces are unique. We believe this will be more in-line with the future of retail – unique experiences – where instead of 100 pieces that are all the same, it’s more important to have one that makes a difference and impacts the consumer’s in-store experience.

If you could guess (take out that crystal ball) how do you see the COVID-19 pandemic affecting retail in the next year, five years?

CO That’s a hard question, even for the crystal ball! It’s difficult to predict how COVID-19 will impact consumers, consumer behaviour, and retail as there is nothing in the past that we can look to as a reference. On one hand, we’re tempted to believe that after this confinement people will want to come outside and enjoy in-store spending. On another, we’re already faced with the decrease in purchase power by so many of us. COVID-19 will certainly change retail. In a country like Portugal, it was a great opportunity for small business to be forced to adapt to online sales and online shopping, something that was not so predominant. People will want to spend less time in stores and will want their time to be specific and adapted to their needs. Again, we believe that 3D is perfect for retail to be an exciting and high impact experience. 

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