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Flomio launches 3D printed NFC objects

The models include an embedded NFC tag, can be produced from standard 3D printing files and are available in sizes up to 15cm cubed at a starting price of US$8 per item.

A printed object with an embedded NFC tag
3D PRINTABLES: Custom objects printed on demand with embedded NFC tags

NFC specialist Flomio has launched a new service that makes 3D printed objects carrying embedded NFC tags.

The Miami-based startup’s NFC Custom 3D Printables can be produced from standard ‘.stl’ 3D files, which can be created using three dimensional modelling templates offered by services such as Blendswap and Shapeways. Models of up to 15cm by 15cm by 15cm can be produced, at a cost of US$$0.50 per cubic centimetre plus a $4 handling fee, along with the cost of the NFC tag and shipping.

Customers can choose the size of the object they want, the type of NFC tag required and pick from three colours: white, green or blue.

“We have developed a process by which we embed the tag within the object,” Richard Grundy, co-founder and CEO of Flomio, has told NFC World. “This is different from simply attaching a sticker tag to the bottom that anyone can remove.”

“We made the NFC 3D Printables for a gaming company, Plow Games, that creates sticky marketing campaigns for large brands like Audi, Klondike, and Hammermill,” Grundy added.

“We’re providing Plow with our SDK and cloud infrastructure service to deliver this secure content in real-time,” says Grundy. “Players can collect points and build out their cloud profiles so that games identify them wherever they go, be it on their own mobiles, game consoles, or interactive signage.  With Flomio, Plow can cast this incredibly wide footprint for their solution at a very low cost.”

“We are working with Flomio with several clients’ presentations using Flomio’s technology,” Plow Games‘ Greg Phillips explained to NFC World.

“Plow Digital and Plow Games are very excited about using NFC technology,” he added. “This will allow us to create a secure and truly integrated experience for rewards programs, product branding, and interactive experiences.”

A short video produced by Flomio shows the NFC functionality in a 3D object in action:

Flomio recently raised US$96,145 via Kickstarter to put FloJack, an NFC add-on for the iPhone, into production. The company is also working with other NFC innovators, such as Gema Touch, which is introducing a multi-command tag with five NFC chips and Capify, which is introducing a range of NFC baseball caps.

“At Flomio we’re focusing on offering all the tools for people to innovate with NFC,” says Grundy. “Ubiquity is what matters. We’re offering ideas, helping DIY-types get started, and inviting everyone to join the NFC party.”

Next: Visit the NFCW Expo to find new suppliers and solutions

4 comments on this article

  1. Let’s see, if I want a trinket with pre-encoded, NFC tag produced in China, the unit cost is less than U.S.$2.00. That can include multiple materials (resin, PVC, etc.) as well as custom printing and design work.

    3D printing is nice for very small runs. But, even getting into > 100, it’s still difficult to not source an item along these lines from China if you look at the bottom-line.

    1. No, look at it the other way around: It makes sense to make stuff like this in China, but if you only want a small run it will be prohibitively expensive. This custom 3D printing solution is ideal!

      1. The cost differential is too great.

        100x units @ $8/each = $800.

        Or, I can get 400x units at $2/each for the same $800. Even for small runs (unless you’re talking less than 100, this seems very expensive). And, attaching a Tag to a promotional object serves 99% of applications rather than getting into an embedded Tag and manufacturing process.

        Maybe I’m adverse to too many buzzwords all in one package? The quality and complexity of 3D printing also varies wildly. The promotional image for this product looks very simple and an item that would require further manufacturing processes to complete. Meaning that 8-bucks is just a starting point.

        I think there’s a different between a viable product and a press release designed to appeal to investors. But I’m old fashioned.

        1. Appealing to investors is always good, but not why we came up with this offering 🙂 At Flomio, we’re excited about helping people innovate with NFC. Most visitors to know of the disruptive value the technology brings, but we’ve found the average user has substantial pent-up demand. Maybe they’re a marketing agency looking to impress a potential client. Maybe they’re a DIY-type trying to create an educational game for their kids. Or maybe they’re an entrepreneur trying to test out a new product like this:

          As tinkerers and makers ourselves, we experienced the pain of trying to sell the idea of an authentic collectible. Slapping a sticker on something doesn’t cut it, the idea falls flat. Embedding it inside the item changes the conversation for the vast majority of people. It goes from “that’s a hack I can circumvent” to “this is an authentic product”. So we got a 3D printer and figured out how to make a quality print with a tag inside. It took several iterations to get the tag insulation right in order to avoid melting the chip off the inlay, but now we’ve automated the entire process. We offer competitive pricing based on market rates ( and offer a diverse set of tags to choose from. WIth DESFire EV1’s and Verayo tags, now artists and creators can protect their work like never before. Old fashioned or not, I think that’s very valuable 🙂

          Richard and the Flomies.

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