Merijn Neeleman on the Impact of 3D Printing on Service Design

I was skeptical going into Merijn Neeleman’s presentation on 3D printing. There might be a way to make an argument for 3D printing at a service design conference but this wasn’t it. Merijn began with a history of the development of 3D printing; more than doubling in adoption every year. He framed its virtues as flexible, fast and decentralized. He shared examples of how it can be used in the product design process. In my view the talk would have been better received at a first- or second order design conference; I’m really curious about how it ended up here in Amsterdam.

From a product design perspective the main takeaway was his taxonomy of 3D printing at various stages of the product design lifecycle. Traditional prototyping occurs throughout a project as a means of learning, but he also recognized its use early in the development of a new idea as a tool for provocation. He called this “provotyping.”

Again, not a bad talk necessarily; just strikingly out of place coming on the heels of several dozen platonic examples of service design over the past two days.




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