Relying on 3D printing to fabricate their installation for the Cisco Live 2020 event yielded remarkable cost savings for Domestic Data Streamers while enabling this creative studio to design, produce and set up fully their unique Recommendation Wall in the astonishing period of only 4 weeks.
“Creating meaningful connections between data and audiences” is Domestic Data Streamers’ main mission, according to its Head of Design, Pol Trias. This creative studio, based in Barcelona, combines storytelling with data and arts “to create participatory projects that build community, educate, communicate, and drive change”. Throughout a myriad of projects, they have worked in more than 17 countries for more than 130 partners, such as the United Nations and Unicef, Google, BuzzFeed, or Spotify.
The Domestic Data Streamers workshop “has been using BCN3D printers since the very beginning”, confirms Trias, “the printers work very well, we count on a very high success ratio, and the support from the team is always quick and helpful”.
Working in a wide variety of unique installations combining architecture, interactive data dashboards and visual, space, product, and sound design, amongst many other techniques, they have often faced a situation where parts and pieces had to be designed and fabricated ad hoc, because what they needed simply didn’t exist yet, and, for them, 3D printing has proved to be the perfect tool for those circumstances.
3D printing an interactive experience
This was the case of their latest project: a Recommendation Wall to be displayed at Cisco Live 2020, an event which took place in January 2020 in Barcelona with over 15,000 visitors. The purpose of their participation in this fair was, in the words of Pol Trias, “to create a better experience for the attendees” through the display of the event’s schedule in an interactive way: a wall of clickable screens showcasing the daily agenda.
When visitors would spot a planned occurrence of their interest, they could literally click the screen, whose animated image then would turn into a QR code which could be then scanned for more information. That way, “attendees could be easily aware of events of their interest and add them to their personal calendars”.
While the wall structure could be easily made using pre-existing objects, such as metal runners, the clickable screens were a different story: nothing they tried was right for their function, so they needed to be custom made. “As a clickable button, there is a lot of mechanics involved,” explains Trias, and a lot of iteration was required, not only for the cases themselves but also for all other pieces inside each screen... and the time for design and fabrication was minimal. That’s when they decided that 3D printing could be the answer to their problems, and put their new BCN3D Epsilon to work.
Its printing volume could perfectly fit the size of the parts they needed, and being able to send files easily through wifi meant that the BCN3D Epsilon was quickly churning out prototypes. “It gave us great agility when it comes to functionally and aesthetically validating the designs at a very low cost”, ensures Trias, “our processes were more efficient and much faster thanks to our BCN3D Epsilon”. In pieces with such a clear function, iterating until the optimal design was found was a must, and 3D printing allowed Domestic Data Streamers “to do all this iterating in a very short time”.
Thanks to 3D printing, it was possible to quickly iterate not only the main design, but also all the smaller parts of the internal mechanisms.
Over 40 of the main covers -not counting all the smaller pieces inside the screens- were printed in PET-G as part of this process, which took only 4 weeks to complete from the first drafts to the final set up at Cisco Live 2020. Trias has no doubt: “this could not have happened without 3D printing. For a project like this one, where you want high-quality results in a short time and within a limited budget, there is no better option than 3D printing”.Graphic BCN3D DDS CiscoLive 3D printing product design end use parts PETG
Fueling dynamism thanks to 3D printing
After years of using additive manufacturing for a wide variety of solutions, Pol Trias is more than sure: “Domestic Data Streamers is a very dynamic company. We are always coming up with new ideas, and this flow is what 3D printing provides us, the ability to quickly physicalize all the ideas that we have every day”.
Being able to count on an in-house production line with their farm of BCN3D printers offers this creative studio an autonomy that they couldn’t achieve in any other way. The main benefit? In the words of their Head of Design, “3D printing facilitates our work so much that it enables us to take in more projects”.