Mink - Makeup 3D Printer
3D printing is a powerful commodity. It has the ability to disrupt so many industries and that disruption is happening in the garages, garden sheds and home workspaces of the maker community.
One of the great things about this community is the willingness to share ideas. It would be very easy for home inventors to design a product, stick a price on it and try and make a fortune. But a lot of innovation from 3D printing comes for free through hacking, online sharing and open source platforms.
One woman who took this freedom and turned it into something that could potentially disrupt a multi-billion Pound industry is New York inventor, Grace Choi.
With a background that spans from Burger King to Harvard (not behind the counter mind you, in the food innovation department) Choi wants to see a change in our world, in particular the beauty industry.
In a bid to tackle an industry that does not cater to all except through very high price tags, the designer came up with Mink, a prototype for 3D printing makeup at home.
It sounds like an impossible idea but in a world where we have just witnessed a full sized, 3D printed car, 3D printing is doing a pretty good job at proving sceptics wrong.
3D printed makeup shown at TechCrunch Disrupt
Through hacking into a desktop 2D printer, Choi found that it is possible to use the basis of a home printer to print your own cosmetics. Using raw material for base products like creams, shadows or lipstick, she discovered that you can print a top layer of ink using the printer’s primary colour pallet.
Choi presented her ideas at the TechCrunch Disrupt event earlier this year and had some important and interesting ideas to share about technology being able to provide products for free that industries charge huge premiums for.
Choi is currently on the lookout for software developers for her design who can request an invite over on the Mink website. Her project has huge potential if put the right hands and it has received a lot of attention since it first appeared in May.
The most interesting aspect of Choi’s story is not the invention itself but the concept behind it - idea that technology, in particular 3D printing, has the opportunity to change the way we manufacture. Choi insists she is not interested in becoming a millionaire from this and would rather see a positive change in the way people interact with products, giving people the freedom to make what they want and not have it dictated to them by mass retailers.