AMS Spring 2023

This Fun 3D Printed Metal Executive Desk Toy Acts as a Business Metaphor

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desktoy1Diagrams are used within business, education, and construction to better depict what words can not. These useful sketched out tools have been used for millennia to get one’s point across in a clear fashion. With the advent of 3D technologies such as 3D printing, the diagram of the future may look very dissimilar to those of the past.

One company, called SERVICEBRAND GLOBAL, realized this in the creation of a metaphoric 3D printed executive desk toy, which in and of itself is fun and entertaining to play with.  Yet what it stands for is equally significant.

“The SERVICEBRAND approach describes how service based organisations can align everything desktoy3they do to deliver an inspiring Customer Experience,” Alan Williams, Director of SERVICEBRAND GLOBAL., tells 3DPrint.com. “This is the core approach used by SERVICEBRAND GLOBAL (since 2005) accompanied by a range of associated tools to work with client organisations, globally and in UK. I wanted to create something that would help to explain the approach in a tangible way. I also like the idea of it being something people can touch/hold/’play with’ and the benefit of it being kept on a desk as an aesthetically pleasing piece of art/model (visible every day).”

The prestigious, almost trophy-looking toy is a pyramid that stands on one of its points within a stand that is meant for display on an executive desk. The design concept was Williams’ idea, and it features two pyramids — one internal and one external — as well as four separate detachable elements for each of the three levels (see video below) that make up the pyramid. Using neodymium magnets to hold it together, the toy is definitely unlike anything we’ve seen before.

Williams presented this idea to Thomas Forsyth, who advised him on the practical design, including the size, materials to be used, and colors. Forsyth created the initial prototype and then ultimately the final metal toy on his Ultimaker 2 3D printer. The final design was coated with a bronze co-polymer material, and features a lightweight internal honeycomb structure within.

“The 3D printed metal model shows how the customer experience at a delivery level is the most visible aspect of an organisation, and how, for this to be most effective, needs to be supported by horizontal alignment of the organisation’s brand identity, employee engagement and systems & processes, as well as vertical alignment of these elements at a strategy, management and delivery level,” Williams tells us.

Regardless, the toy itself not only is a metaphor for a comprehensive business model, but it is an elegantly designed object which is also fun to play with. What do you think about this creation? Is this the diagram of the future? Discuss in the 3D Printed Desk Toy forum thread on 3DPB.com.

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