On Demand Appearance Models Help Companies and Customers Win 


Quick delivery of accurate, high quality appearance models advances design outcomes for better products, faster.

Anyone in product development can confirm: progress is not always linear. Going from an idea to a reality takes careful consideration, implementation and verification, often with rounds of redesign and refinement in between. And while we rely on the function of a product, we engage with the form, making each aspect meaningful to the overall user experience.

A great example is an electric razor. Regardless of manufacturer, this product is made and purchased to trim hair, yet other distinctive features impact specific success with customers. Ergonomics, for one; how it will look on a bathroom counter, for another. Designing with the customer in mind therefore necessitates appearance modeling to assess and address the look and feel of a product before launching into the next phase of production.

The uses and purposes of appearance models can vary greatly throughout the product development process, from non-functional appearance models for assessment to functional appearance models that mimic the final product in look and feel. An appearance model can offer insight and add value at every stage. Early prototype appearance models create an opportunity to evaluate and evolve designs, whereas compelling functional appearance models at later stages can be used to solicit consumer feedback or help secure investors or buyers. In large equipment manufacturing and construction, scaled appearance models play a vital communications role to ensure upfront alignment among stakeholders, inspire discussion, and bring dimension to concept drawings.

To offset the cost and energy that accompanies delivering appearance models in product development, 3D Systems On Demand offers a range of appearance model services. 3D Systems’ manufacturing experts work collaboratively with brands and individuals to dial in on a project’s specific requirements and deliver precise articles or article tooling at any stage of development. In addition to its broad portfolio of 3D printing technologies, 3D Systems On Demand offers CNC milling, vacuum casting, color developing, mechatronics and engineering services to deliver appearance models across a wide range of sizes, finishes and materials.

3D Systems is also equipped to help customers who have completed the development phase and are ready to begin engineering for production. Continuing to work with 3D Systems’ On Demand often proves advantageous in terms of time and cost, as 3D Systems’ engineers are already familiar with the upcoming product and related engineering requirements. Calling on their experience and expertise, 3D Systems On Demand can help its customers transition from appearance models to delivering technical parts and soft tooling for full manufacturing services.

In a recent project with Seatools, a global subsea solutions provider, 3D Systems helped deliver a batch of seven hand painted 3D printed appearance models for a trade show display at a major industry conference. According to the company, these models not only helped attract more people to Seatools’ display, but they helped start more conversations with potential customers to make connections for new business. Read the full case study to learn how 3D Systems On Demand helped deliver this success. 

About 3D Systems On Demand

From Prototype to Production no other global service bureau in the industry offers the complete suite of manufacturing services the way we can. From 3D printed prototypes to final production, we provide additive manufacturing services such as Stereolithography (SLA),  Selective Laser Sintering (SLS), and Direct Metal Printing (DMP) as well as subtractive technologies, such as CNC machining, injection moulding, sheet metal, and our proprietary QuickCast Investment Casting. 

Our people know to bring your ideas to life. With more combined years of service in additive and traditional manufacturing than any other service bureau, we are driven with a relentless pursuit of turning your designs into reality. 

Visit our new 3D Printing Portal or contact us directly to find out how.

[email protected]   +61 3 9819 4422

30-32 Ceylon St, Nunawading, Victoria, 3131, AUS


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