Technology is constantly evolving, and one recent innovation allows us to create things for ourselves, allowing for the possibility of designing and producing physical items in our own homes; it doesn’t get much better than that. What I’m talking about is 3D printing. Everyone has heard of it, and although you may not have thought about buying this kind of printer for your own home, you might want to reconsider.
Nowadays there is even 3D printed make-up. In May, a household-sized machine called “Mink” was introduced at Disrupt NY 2014 as a prototype for the world’s first makeup printer. According to Grace Choi, a 30-year-old Harvard Business School graduate and the inventor of Mink, this machine allows users to choose any color from the web or from the real world and print makeup in that exact shade through a simple software.
This additive manufacturing technology enables Choi to use a common ingredient in makeup—substrate—to create various products such as eye shadow, lipstick, and foundation. Currently still in its last stage of development, the 3D printer will be available at mass retailers from $200 to $300 as of next summer.
Choi believes Mink will not only disrupt the beauty industry but also challenge existing beauty standards. By simply taking a picture of purple tulips in a friend’s garden, a 15-year-old can have a brand new lipstick that she cannot find at any cosmetic store. Given the power to have exactly what they want whenever they want it, young girls will be able to escape the beauty standards set by big brand names or anyone around them, allowing for more individualism and less pressure to conform to societal norms.
“By putting this control into the hands of the younger generation of women, I’m hoping to instill in them confidence, ‘Rock Star’ confidence,” said Choi in an interview with Forbes. “If we can do that we will see some great, great, great women leaders sprout in the future, and that is a fantastic thing.”
Many believe this machine could be instrumental in inspiring not only young girls, but women around the world who are interested in the cosmetics industry and entrepreneurship. The machine allows women to instantly share product ideas with their consumers who can then easily produce the product in their homes. The adaptation of such a convenient and efficient service concept could create a new job market and an international community for women who are creative and independent
Today, 3D printers are being used to create all kinds of products. Soon mass retailers like Home Depot will begin to carry 3D printers in their local stores, meaning the day when you can print a product in your own home that meets your specific requirements and is instantly ready for use is not far from becoming a reality. And the imagination and creativity born out of 3D printing is truly unlimited. While some artists are causing scandals with 3D printing, 2014 sees us expecting the first ever 3D printed human organ. These new innovations make us hopeful for the efficient, convenient and life changing future of 3D printing.
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