The Newest Millennial Wedding Trend? 3D Printing

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There is a lot that goes into planning a wedding. Couples need to choose three main colors to create a theme and then carry those colors throughout with accessories like napkins, plates, place cards, paper pom-poms, pennants, or balloons. They have to handle the guest list, food, beverages, and all the other important aspects. Additionally, in some wedding circles, they have to handle high-tech printing needs.

3D printing has come a long way in the last few years. Although the 3D printing process has been around since the 1980s, it’s recently become a sophisticated and viable way to create almost anything. This technology is becoming more accessible and versatile, too. Not only can you create household knick-knacks and important gadgets with a 3D printer, you can even celebrate your special day with help from one.

Believe it or not, weddings are becoming a popular outlet for 3D printing. Recent bride Nina Tandon decided that she wanted to walk down the aisle in a customized silk sari gown produced by a 3D printer. The vases for her floral centerpieces were made from 3D-printed molds, and the flowers in her bouquet and hair were, too. Most spectacularly, her customized engagement ring was formed by a 3D printer.
Not surprisingly, the popularity of 3D printing — especially for big life events, like weddings — is much higher in the millennial sect. This is partially due to younger generations embracing new technologies and non-traditional options. In addition to being open to the idea of using 3D printing for weddings, millennials are also more positive about lab-created diamonds than those from older generations are. About 80% of millennials feel happy, or at least neutral, toward the idea of lab-created diamonds. It stands to reason that this positive attitude towards other new technologies would be observed in younger generations.

But the newness is not the only draw. In addition to the cutting-edge aspect, millennials are seeking out uniqueness. Because digital fabrication allows for total customization, they can create one-of-a-kind pieces that are not only aesthetically interesting, but meaningful, too.

In the case of Nina Tandon’s wedding to her husband, Noah Keating, their 3D-printed items held a special and hidden significance for the couple to share. As a biomedical engineer, the bride had her custom gown printed with an abstraction of cellular tissue. The bride cited that, for her, “connective tissue is symbolic of what a wedding is all about.” Her husband designed her custom engagement ring based on the subject of her PhD: cardiac tissue.

Although 3D printing a large amount of pieces would prove to be expensive, for a few specialized pieces, it’s a surprisingly affordable option. Since labor for 3D printed is limited to just the prototype, rather than the number of pieces manufactured, it can be a feasible option for those who are looking to save on something unique.

While the jewelry sect of 3D printing has really hit its stride, other areas have a ways to go. Currently, many 3D-printed fabrics aren’t wearable in the way natural materials are. And while the idea of manufacturing food from 3D printing shows promise, there’s an enormous mount of developing yet to do.

However, many experts predict that 3D printing will eventually become so ingrained in our lives that it will become mainstream. The novelty will wear off, and the trend will eventually become commonplace for weddings. Exactly when this will occur is anyone’s guess, but the future of 3D printing looks promising.

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