FROM THE GRAMMYS TO 3-D PRINTING: The burgeoning field of 3-D printing is getting a boost from Macklemore.
Known for his hit song “Same Love” with Ryan Lewis, the Grammy-winning rapper is funneling some of the money he made in the music industry into Blue Dragon, a one-year-old 3-D-printer manufacturer started by his brother-in-law, Brandon Davis. With a staff of seven, including engineers hired from Boeing and Microsoft, Davis makes $2,499 steel and aluminum 3-D printers in Everett, Wash. Since launching at retail last month, sales have been “really good,” Davis said, especially with fashion and footwear designers, who make up almost 50 percent of his clientele.
Allowing users to print their designs out of more than 50 materials, including six kinds of nylon, polymer micro beads and plastic blends, Davis is exhibiting this week at Sourcing at Magic’s pavilion for wearable technology in search of more customers.
“It’s way harder to invest in a drawing,” he said. “We can take a fashion entrepreneur or someone who has an amazing sketchbook and they can prototype those ideas.”
As consumer electronics retailers such as New York’s B&H keep reordering Blue Dragon’s printers to resale, Davis predicted that the already strong movement for direct-to-consumer fashion would have a new twist.
“In the future, what you’re going to see is a designer publish a design, a consumer download it and then print it,” he said.