Consumer ProductsDesignFurniture

McDonald’s embraces 3D printing with new light fixtures

Philips MyCreation designs and 3D prints velvet-like luminaries for fast-food giant

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When fast-food chain McDonald’s was looking to roll out a new lighting design concept, it found the perfect partner in Philips MyCreation, a relatively recent addition to tech giant Philips’ portfolio of products and services. Philips MyCreation specializes in the design of one-of-a-kind sustainable lighting solutions made using 3D printing technology. The ability to print custom lighting designs in a sustainable and efficient way, while also meeting McDonald’s various requirements, made for a successful collaboration that has brought 3D printing to McDonald’s locations in an exciting way.

Marc Pochert, Senior Director of Global Design Integration at McDonald’s Corp, was not initially hopeful that his team would find a way to realize their lighting brief while meeting the corporations requirements in terms of owning IP. As he said: “There are no off-the-shelf solution.” All that changed when Pochert learned about Philips MyCreation and its lighting-specific 3D printing capabilities.

The initial concept for the new McDonalds lighting was a series of pendant lights with a translucent, hemispherical structure that would “shimmer like velvet”. The light fixture was also to have an embossed pattern on its surface and a different pattern on the top of the fixture. This, as Pochert pointed out “would require a very difficult mold. We couldn’t find a solution. It couldn’t be produced.”

McDonalds Philips MyCreation

Spoiler alert: it could and would be produced thanks to 3D printing. After seeing what Philips MyCreation could do on social media, the McDonalds team quickly reached out with their brief. After only two rounds of 3D printing samples, the McDonalds team was confident that this approach could deliver what they wanted. “After we saw the second sample we were so close to the original design intent, we never thought that this could be possible,” he added.

In the end, the 3D printed pendant light fixture design was approved and validated within just three months. Not only did the lamp meet the fast-food chain’s expectations in terms of design, it was also in line with its sustainability goals. Specifically, McDonald’s plans to reduce its carbon footprint by 60% by the year 2030. The 3D printed lighting solution will help make a small dent in this goal through the use of sustainable materials (Philips MyCreation uses at least 55% recycled or mass-balanced bio-circular plastics) and by producing the lamp shades closer to the point of use, which minimizes transport emissions and enables faster delivery times. Another key benefit of 3D printing the luminaries has been the ability to print them on-demand, which means McDonald’s does not have to maintain large inventories of stock.

The successful lighting collaboration will be scaled up and rolled out in McDonald’s locations around the globe. Pochert explained: “We are hoping to have the Philips MyCreation lighting solution in more than 100 countries across the globe in our McDonald’s stores in 2023. From Argentina to Japan. From Alaska to Australia.”

McDonalds Philips MyCreation

“[The light] really shimmers like velvet. The pattern is just stunning,” Pochert concluded. “The way we cooperated with Philips MyCreation was a great learning for us. Their capabilities. The innovation piece. We were happy to discover them as a perfect partner that can deliver on a global scale. Whenever it comes to new designs, Philips MyCreation will be our first contact to create and develop unique luminaires.”

Philips MyCreation has also been behind a number of other innovative lighting solutions, including a pendant light presented by Signify at Milan Design Week 2024, tilted lighting fixtures for SeaWorld Yas Island in Abu Dhabi, lighting solutions for Dutch supermarket chain PLUS and more.

Consumer Products AM 2024

1,346 polymer and metal AM companies and 143 end-users. Consumer products AM generated $2.6 billion in 2023. Segment expected to grow to $28 billion by 2033 at 26.8% CAGR. This new market study fro...

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