Today, there are few technologies with as much buzz around them as 3-D printing. Many industries are exploring the possibilities with 3-D printing, from Automotive to Healthcare, and Visual Merchandising is no different. However, while this technology is only just entering the mainstream, Noa Brands has a long history of using 3-D in many different projects. Our 3-D specialists, Elliott Summons, Haley Stump, Ashley Benbow and Stacie White, gathered together to share their knowledge and expertise on this topic.
Noa Brands has used 3-D scanning technologies since 2007, scanning models for Athleta, Guess, Ann Taylor LOFT, and Nike. These scans were then printed using a Computer Numeric Control (CNC) machine, and then used to make the molds for these mannequins. We also used 3-D printing in the creation of the SuperModelquin line for Old Navy. Each mannequin had a full featured and painted face on them. To ensure quality was maintained across the collection, paint masks were 3-D printed for all the mannequins. This ensured that each smile on the mannequins was as wide as the last.
3-D scanning continues to be the most used tool, as 3-D scans of models can take considerably less time that traditional sculpting. However, timing is not the only benefit of 3-D Scans. Miniature models can be created for display or samples. And, customer products and stores can also be scanned to make a full 3-D test environment.
Scanning can even combine two or more separate pieces together, as we did with a recent Cabela project honoring the late Fred Bear. 3-D images of a live model, clothes, and a sculpted head of Fred Bear were all combined digitally to create a stunning and highly realistic mannequin.
Finally, 3-D printing also adds opportunity for Sustainability and Brand differentiation. Many materials can be used, including wood, stone, landfill waster and recycled plastic. We can even have flexible or glow in the dark made!
3-D printing is still in its infancy, with many industries experimenting to see how best to use this new technology. But at Noa Brands, we have a long history of working together with our customers to figure out how 3-D works with their projects and their needs.
This history is part of a continuing series of Lunch and Learns, a series of topics and discussions meant to help educate and expand our employees understanding of the business they are a part of. Check out when Jim Talaric, co-founder of Fusion Specialties, came in to share some funny stories and thoughtful insights that helped him create one of the most successful mannequin companies in the world.