Why integrate 3d printing and NFC into your Brand and retail strategies

The Incredible Power of NFC & 3D Printing

From healthcare to consumer goods, architecture, and manufacturing, the public is increasingly interacting with the end products of Additive Manufacturing and NFC (Near Field Communication) technology. Businesses should evaluate whether Additive Manufacturing, commonly known as 3D printing and NFC can become a part of their business models.
For brands and retailers, the power of NFC means the technology can often work best when embedded in consumer products and interactive displays – creating an authentic connection between brands and customers. This connection can be leveraged throughout the entire customer journey, from pre-purchase to post-purchase.

One of the major advantages of NFC is its flexibility


With NFC-enabled products, businesses can provide branded content directly to customers in-store long before a sales rep can take note.

Once a customer understands the value of a product and is ready to purchase they can skip the checkout line, and instead purchase the item right from their phone. After the sale, brands can provide value-add content to consumers to ensure they get the most out of their purchase. Brands can use this new stream of customer insight to fuel future product decisions.

Customer benefits

  • Brand protection / anti-counterfeiting: consumers can instantly verify product authenticity with their smartphone
  • Traceability: NFC allows you to follow your product throughout the supply chain and avoid parallel imports and grey markets
  • Consumer engagement: NFC offers promotional opportunities to recruit consumers via contests, discounts, & loyalty programs
  • Market intelligence: gain valuable insights into purchasing behavior thanks to instant consumer data collection and statistics reports

End consumer benefits

  • Product safety: authenticity can be controlled by a simple tap of a smartphone

  • Consumer empowerment: valuable information and personalized offers and rewards

Where NFC Works Best

Because NFC tags are small, durable, lightweight, and inexpensive they can be embedded into physical products that would otherwise have no digital connectivity. Once embedded with NFC, those products are able to drive to online content with just a tap, connecting the physical and digital worlds. With just a tap a customer can interact with an embedded product to make a purchase. Empowering objects to sell themselves streamlines the shopping experience and eliminates the need to stand in line to checkout.

Customer Journey:

  • Pre-purchase
  • Purchase
  • Post-purchase


  • Durable goods / Embedded products
  • Smartcards & Wearables
  • Interactive Signage


  • Branded content
  • Product information
  • Registration
  • Authentication
  • Up-sell / Re-sell
  • Exclusive content & offers

How does NFC help to create a seamless experience in omnichannel retail?

NFC tags, sometimes referred to as “Smart Tags”, encourage interaction which increases conversions, brand awareness, and engagement.  Because NFC tags can be embedded into consumer goods, and are not discarded after the sale, they are a highly effective way to deploy engaging experiences throughout the entire customer journey. Consequently, brands can now engage customers after the sale with value-add content and gain customer feedback to inform better product decisions. As a result, NFC extends the value chain for a product.

NFC Use-cases span the entire customer journey & product life-cycle


  • Smart packages and hangtags drive: Education, Sales, and reorder
  • Mobile connections allow customers to share reviews and access sales
  • Ads integrated into print and out-of-home media- increase traffic to the store
  • Book a showroom appointment- for a personalized shopping experience


  • Connect to store wi-fi
  • Pre-sale product messaging
  • Product Authentication
  • Digital Signage
  • Quick link for shoppers to download the relevant app
  • Access Product Information (Virtual salesperson)
  • Couponing and loyalty integration
  • Connect to a chatbot to answer questions
  • Fast, simple, secure payment
  • Mobile point of sale integration
  • Endless Aisle- Links to a retailer’s e-commerce when a product is not available in store
  • At-shelf experiences that encourage purchases
  • Get social proof!: Connect to social media and/or reviews

Post Purchase

  • Post-sale product messaging
  • Connect to a community with shared interests
  • Product Authentication
  • Automated or subscription purchases
  • E-commerce to cross-sell and up-sell
  • Instant secure pairing
  • connect to support and customer service
  • Provide timely feedback
  • warranty registration
  • Personalized Gifting
  • Access Instructions and Maintenance info
  • Product re-order

The Incredible Power of NFC & 3D Printing 3d printing

The Best Ways To Integrate NFC Into Your Product Line

Aside from creating dynamic, interactive advertising campaigns, NFC technology can streamline your workflow, processes, and consumer communication. Consumers often see this technology as more sophisticated than QR codes, causing NFC-enabled products to become highly sought-after items. There are three general ways to integrate NFC Tags into your products. Let’s have a look at each of them-

Fully Integrated Tags

NFCEssentially, the NFC tags are fully integrated into the product. In the case of a pair of shoes, the tag might be in the liner. The key element is that the tags are added during the manufacturing process, making them fully integrated.

Additional Hangtag

The Incredible Power of NFC & 3D Printing 3d printingWith an Additional hangtag, the tags are added to additional swing tags, PVC cards, or similar items which are either attached or provided with the product. For example, a luxury watch might include an authentication card within the presentation box.

Here is an example of using a hangtag with NFC technology:

Imagine you are shopping for a new pair of sneakers. You find a pair that you like and pick them up to examine them more closely. Attached to the sneakers is a hangtag with NFC technology

You tap your phone against the hangtag and are immediately taken to a page with more information about the sneakers. You can read reviews, see additional colors and sizes available, and even book a virtual styling appointment with a sales rep.

You decide that you definitely want to purchase the sneakers, so you tap your phone against the hangtag again to make the purchase. The payment is processed securely and you are given a receipt on your phone. You can even opt to have the sneakers shipped to your home or pick them up at the store later.

Thanks to the NFC hangtag, you were able to easily access all the information you needed to make an informed purchase and complete the transaction without ever having to stand in line or interact with a salesperson. The entire process was quick, convenient, and contact-free.

External Tags

External TagsIn this instance, the NFC tags are applied to the outside of the products. This can be an easy and flexible solution if, for example, the tags are added to food packaging or similar where integration or additional hang tags might be problematic.


What’s Additive Manufacturing?

Additive manufacturing, commonly known as 3D printing, is an innovative technology that lets you create a physical object from a digital model. The Additive Manufacturing process primarily consists of creating an object by building it one layer at a time. Technically, additive manufacturing can refer to any process where a product is created by building something up, such as molding, but it typically refers to 3D printing.
Additive manufacturing makes it easier to create small quantities of an item, with high quality, the perfect opportunity for entrepreneurs, and small or growing businesses.

How Does It Work?

The 3D printing process was devised in the 1980s and was initially called ‘rapid prototyping’. Instead of machining or “subtracting” material to form an object – much like how a sculptor cuts away clay – 3D printing adds layer upon layer of material to build an object. Product designers and engineers upload a digital (CAD) file to a 3D printer, which then prints a solid 3D object.

Why is Additive Manufacturing a great fit for my business?

Because the advantages of Additive Manufacturing are vast!
With traditional manufacturing, setup costs mean producing small quantities is not cost-effective. In comparison, additive manufacturing setup costs are minimal, so creating just a handful of objects becomes more reasonable.
Without the setup costs of creating a new product, entrepreneurs can quickly manufacture objects, parts, and solutions to see if they work as needed. If they don’t, they can iterate and try again, all using additive manufacturing, until they find a product that does.

nike NFCWho Else Is Using 3D Printing & NFC?

Companies like NIKE and Adidas are already using additive manufacturing to create sneaker soles suitable for mass customization.
Sneaker giant Adidas has been on the cutting edge of NFC Technology since 2013, embedding its Boost running shoes, enabling shoppers with an NFC-capable phone to tap it for detailed product information and to see reviews.

Create your Smart SolutionsHow We Work and What we do

3DNFC is focused on delivering Smart Solutions and empowering both individuals and organizations to take control of their own design and manufacturing processes.

We deliver Smart, NFC-enabled 3D printed solutions tailored to your small business needs that will exceed expectations and meet your budget. Our solution will always consider cost, technical, and marketing considerations to find the best fit for your needs.

Shopping Cart