Additive Manufacturing Strategies

MyWay Signs: Customized 3D Printed Multi Direction Signs for All Occassions

ST Medical Devices

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logoI live in a small fishing village style neighborhood with a marina and many boats docked in the harbor. But what really adds to its quaint feel is the strategic placement of multiple destination signs — or “finger point signs” — on corners that indicate the direction to local restaurants and businessses. If you like to travel, you’ve seen these signs gracing random corners, some giving off (sometimes random) mileage information. These multiple destination signs always provide a sense of perspective and opportunity, as in “you have many options from where you are standing.” Sometimes they are homemade, sometimes they are official city signs, and now you can order your own 3D printed multiple destination sign as well.

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People like little tokens that say where they have been, where they are going, or who or what is important to them. And St. John’s, Newfoundland-based Directive Designs has devised a visual way to mark important people and places using the age-old sign marker denoting multiple destination points with their MyWay Signs concept. “Mom’s House,” “Work,” “Gym,” and “Kids’ School,” would be one way to go here — for example. Your 8-9″ tall sign post, 3D printed in ABS using a MakerBot Replicator 2X, will show all of the distances to and point in the direction of all of your usual haunts and hang outs.

MyWay Signs is very easy to create, with a user-friendly and straightforward website.  The concept is simple. Log on to their website, click “Build a Sign,” and using their simple Google maps interface, choose your home point. From there, you can choose destinations and measurements that show the distance from your home base to multiple destination points. Or, they also have five themes to choose from that provide the distances from your home to the following destinations: Original 6 NHL teams, Famous Cities, Provincial Capitals, Mountain Peaks, and Global Landmarks. Either way, you provide the labels and My Way Signs does the math to figure out the distances. Each sign can be printed in standard color combinations: blue/yellow, black/yellow, green/white, and stone/red. But the website’s FAQs indicate that if you want customized colors, you can also make the request in an email to the company.

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According to Shannon O’Brien of Directive Designs, 3D printing is all about customization:

“3D printing is not about mass production but rather creativity and customized production. I feel the MyWay Sign truly epitomizes the spirit of 3D printing because each sign is unique. The variations among the labels, ranges and bearings for each finger yields an infinite number of configurations, which cannot be mass produced. It’s very interesting to see the types of  signs that people are ordering. We see themes based on family and friends, vacation spots, military service, landmarks and corporate gifts (e.g. HQ sign pointing to branch locations).”

The idea is quite simple, and for that matter a great business concept and gift idea. Imagine that your child is graduating from high school and heading off to college. You can give them a sign indicating the distance from their college back home, their best friends’ homes, and their favorite hang outs. The possibilities are endless: there are many directions to go with this simple 3D printed idea.  Let us know if you have ordered one of these unique creations in the MyWay Signs forum thread on 3DPB.com.

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