Foodies are as passionate as techies. Mix the two at CES 2016 and you get a revolutionary new business model recipe for creating profits through 3D Printing. The 3D Systems Culinary Lab, formerly known as Sugar Lab demonstrates ways 3D Printing brings Main Street restaurants and bakeries a more creative and profitable  business model. They are concocting a recipe for how 3D Printing can bring relevance back to Main Street businesses.

As co-host of the WTFFF?! 3D Printing Podcast, I struggle with clear examples of why I am so bullish on 3D Printing being not just an industrial revolution, but a Main Street one. 3D Printed food is the perfect example thanks to the many food and bakery shows on TV today. The amount of decorating skill and effort put into a cake by Duff Goldman, or the Cake Boss Buddy Valastro, is worth its weight in flour. So, how can a Main Street bakery be able to compete with that level of consumer expectation for artistry?

3D Systems Culinary Lab – 3D Printed Cake by Duff Goldman
CREDIT: 3D Systems

According to Kyle von Hassein of 3D Systems, food-grade 3D printers will soon be accessible to commercial and home chefs, giving them ways to “supplement their food artistry by encouraging a collaboration between artists and chefs.”

My daughter, Alexandra is currently a culinary student studying to be a pastry chef. Without requiring years to master decorative frosting techniques, she can use her computer skills (and a 3D Design class) to help her stand out and compete. She can raise the value of her resume. She can provide custom 3D printed decorations for other bakeries or start an Etsy shop. She can even carve out a coveted niche market for herself with wedding and event planners.

According to Dana Breslin of DB Creativity, Wedding Wire’s 2016 Couple’s Choice award winner for one of LA County’s best wedding planners, brides are looking for economical ways make her special day personal and unique. With a sugar 3D Printer, matching the lace on your dress puts the cost and time in the design process and not the execution. Bridezilla will have plenty of time to insist on digital perfection. Instead of hours spent physically icing, bakers can 3D print these personal touches along with time and budget left over for monogrammed sugar cubes for each guest.

Every Main Street business needs this kind of compelling draw for customers. Here are the top three reasons for why every Main Street business should be exploring 3D Printing right now:

  • Personal Touch – Any time you can provide an individualized service or product that requires a dialog and interaction with your customer, you create an opportunity to build a relationship.
  • Cutting Edge Technology – Showing off technology is great way to attract visitors into your shop. Curious to see 3D Printing in action and wow’ed by your visionary business plan, you’ve created a chance to make fans and social shares.
  • Zero Inventory – You can build a business with copyright-able design assets and no inventory liabilities on your balance sheet. If you are unable to create those designs yourself, you can partner with local artists to help create them for you on a commission or pay-per-print basis.

Start developing your recipe for changing your business model to be more personal, relevant and profitable today.

Read the original article on INC published on January 12, 2016

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