After I had popped the question to my wife, Monica, I immediately started to brainstorm ideas on how I would ask my groomsmen to stand up in my wedding.
There are a lot of different ways to go about this, but all of them seemed to be very cookie-cutter approach in the sense that it’s been done before by multiple different grooms that came before me.
I had to come up with an idea that would blow everybody away, while also giving each guy, something they would hold onto.
Technology is a very big part of my life, as evident in my professional career up to this point.
I knew that I had to use this technology to "wow" my friends and wanted to leave an impact full perception in their heads, that would continue to stick with them for many years to come.
The question was, "What object can I 3D Print, that would not only be unique, but also "tie" into my wedding festivities?
That’s when it hit me, I would 3D Print a Unique bowtie for each one of my groomsman.
After scouring the Internet for a good file to print, I finally landed on the winner.
One look at the file, and I was sold because this bowtie was not only shaped perfectly, but the lattice structure really made it “pop”.
Utilizing Additive Manufacturing, I am able to create something that is cool and intriguing, but also practical as a gift for the groomsmen. I downloaded the file, sent it to the printer, and hit print.
Unpacking the 3D Printed Bowties
The following day as I unpack the build from the night before, I was amazed as to what I excavated from the powder.
What immediately stood out to me was the detail involved in the design of this file. Not only from a functionality aspect, but from an overall aesthetically pleasing perspective. I must say, I love the design when looking at it in our CAD software, but what I now hold in my hand, is nothing short of impressive. The overall shape was quite unique, but also embodied the Bow-like figure that I was going for.
Factor in the addition of the lattice structure, the form of the bowtie is truly remarkable. The next step for me was making it functional, in regards to how we would secure the bowtie onto our necks.
Initially, I figured that I would need to purchase some bowtie straps, and affix the bowtie around the neck. However, as I examined the bowtie, I couldn’t believe what I discovered, and somehow missed when examining the file on my computer.
Designed into the bowtie, was a slot that actually slips over the top button of my dress shirt, and secures the bowtie without the need for a strap!
Wow! No need for a strap, no need for a clip, just the button that was already on my shirt is all that I needed to make the coolest bow tie Groomsmen gift.
What an amazing time to be alive, where I can go onto the Internet, download a file, 3D print it, and then replicate it 12 more times.
No tooling, no dies necessary, just a beautifully designed file I found on thingiverse, and some of the worlds leading additive Manufacturing technology, the HP MJF 4200.
This idea transpired from what I thought was going to be a cookie-cutter approach, and took it to a place that is so much more meaningful.
I quickly printed 12 more bowties, unpacked them, blasted them with abrasive media, and dyed them black. Not only was I up and running with my prototype bowtie, but I also advanced quickly to a small run production batch, thanks to HP's MJF Technology.
In order to add a little more dramatic flare to the bowties, I decided to paint the bows gold, which fit with the theme of the wedding, and heightened the aesthetics of the bows. A quick coat of paint to all 12 bowties, and I was ready to pack each one up, and ask the guys to stand up with me during my wedding.
As I asked each groomsmen to be apart of the wedding, one thing was always a reoccurring theme in our conversations, and that being the bowties themselves. As the first person in my friend group to "take the plunge", I really set the bar high in respect to how to ask your groomsmen, and I truly believe it will stick with each and everyone of them till its their turn.