Argos unwittingly sets out to democratise 3D printing via the nation’s housing estates

Published 17 March 2015

Posted by Stephen Holmes

Article tagged with: 3d printing, visualisation, jewellery, argos, configurator, innovate uk, trash, digital forming

Some lovingly created jewellery for the mother of your sixth kid

Argos has blown us away with what it is calling “a collection of inspirational jewellery”, whereby customers can customise and 3D print their nightmarishly twee creations.

The catalogue of consumer dreams is home to renown jewelers Elizabeth Duke, familiar to everyone that owns a sovereign ring with the words ‘Mum’ stamped into it, so where else better to merge high technology with questionable lifestyle choices?

The technology itself is the rather nice configurator from Digital Forming, which allows customers to select accessories from a range of 10 items, and add their own personal touches [“I luv u Shazza” for instance], before producing a questionable render of the product, forming the front end of the retail experience.

Because sharing is caring - our £65 gold plated Anello pendant

Should you decide to buy the jewellery of your super strength cider-invoked dreams, 3D printers will bring the designs to life and deliver the bespoke creations in just 21 working days.

The jewellery will be priced from £50 to £220 - who said you couldn’t put a price on taste?

Somewhat insanely, the project is being supported by Innovate UK - the ‘technology experts’ who support, fund and connect innovative businesses to help create economic growth - otherwise known as the rebranded Technology Strategy Board, who is spending money on this bizarre exercise.

“There has been a lot of excitement about 3D printing and we are just beginning to explore the mainstream application of these techniques,” said a jingle-jangling Neil Tinegate, head of digital innovation at Argos.

“We are launching the site this week with our partners in the consortium as a trial, to gauge how customers want to engage with it. We will assess results and learnings to inform future decision making in due course.”

Please feel free to design us you best efforts here on the Argos website and screen grab them to @DEVELOP3D. We’ll publish our favourites - extra points if a gold-plated version shows up at our offices…

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