3dp_fleahouse_zoetis_logoThank’s to one of Canada’s very first 3D printing services providers, global animal and pet health and pharmaceutical company Zoetis was able to run the world’s largest 3D printing and augmented reality equipped educational advertising campaign in the country. MatterThings helped Zoetis 3D print several hundred “flea” houses that were sent to veterinary clinics throughout Canada recently, with the goal of educating customers on the need for flea and tick prevention in homes. The mini houses included all the comforts of home, including furnishings, pets and even a diminutive “big screen” TV. And when paired with a downloadable smartphone app, visitors can view an educational video via augmented reality.

The 3D printed flea house.

The 3D printed flea house.

As the world’s largest developer and manufacturer of medications and vaccinations for pets and livestock, Zoetis’ products are used all over Canada and the United States and it is very likely that if you have taken a pet to see a doctor recently, then you have used medications made by them. However even a company that size can have difficulties relaying vital information about animal health to pet owners. So the company wanted to find a new way to help the staff of veterinary clinics all over Canada teach their clients about the importance of flea and tick prevention, and demonstrate exactly how quickly and pervasively homes can become infested. So they decided to put together a national advertising campaign that would educate the public in a new and exciting way that hadn’t been tried before.

The exterior of the 3D printed flea house.

The exterior of the 3D printed flea house.

Because Quebec requires most of their advertising and signage to be printed in French, in order to run a national ad campaign in Canada, Zoetis was going to need a bilingual advertising agency. But they also needed someone who could run a state of the art campaign that brought together new technology in a unique and innovative way. Zoetis found CHM Communications, who specializes in strategic and creative marketing, and in order to make sure that all aspects of the campaign were top notch they brought along one of Canada’s very first 3D printing services providers, MatterThings, to help them conceive and execute the augmented reality and 3D printing project.

The 3D printed flea house explains flea infestation patterns.

The result was a simplified scale model of a typical house, complete with beds, chairs, sofas and even pets. The house would be set up to illustrate exactly how flea infestations work their way through a house, where they tend to start and the best way to combat them. The 3D printed house would be a working diorama, with slots on the back that could be filled with informative brochures and literature on the Zoetis medication. Not only would the house diorama itself be completely 3D printed, but so would all of the furnishings for all 440 houses that would be sent to veterinary offices throughout Canada.

Additionally the house would incorporate augmented reality markers, so an entirely new experience would be accessible via a smartphone or a web-enabled mobile device. Customers simply needed to download an app called “Blippar,” which will recognize AR markers and launch more information about Zoetis. In this case, holding the device in front of the 3D printed house will launch an educational video that goes into more detail about flea infestation and the best methods of combating it.

Here is some video of the Blippar app working with the 3D printed flea house:

Every component used in the 440 flea houses was designed and 3D printed entirely in Montreal, Canada by MatterThings. That includes all 440 sets of miniature furnishings and pets, houses and other details. All of the parts were printed on twenty of MatterThings in-house 3D printers that were printing around the clock for several months. Each individual room required over four hours of printing time, and used over 300 grams of PLA. The company essentially had all hands on deck, so they put every generation of their huge collection of MakerBot 3D printers to work, including their entire bank of MakerBot Replicator 2’s working on the houses themselves, while their original Cupcake and Thing-o-Matic were hard at work printing the 3D printed furniture. Discuss these unusual items in the 3D Printed Flea Houses forum over at 3DPB.com.

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