3D printing has been around since the 1980s but has only recently came to the attention of the world. This is because over the last couple years 3D printing Technology has drastically improved. 3D printing is any process in which a three-dimensional object is constructed through an industrial robot that lays down successive layers. These layers create the object with materials such as plastic, ceramic and metal.
In the last TechCrunch Disrupt, a technology conference in which
new technology is displayed, a 3D makeup printer called Mink made its debut. Mink, invented by Grace Choi, uses inkjet printing with cosmetic grade ink substrate to create lipstick, lip gloss, eye shadow, blush, nail polish and brow powder. By using some form of imaging software (i.e. Windows paint), Mink can print any of the products listed previously in the desired colour of the consumer. The target audience for this invention is young women ages 13 to 21. It will also be priced quite affordably for these young consumers, ranging from 100-300USD. This invention essentially allows the user to create various forms of makeup whenever and wherever.
Grace Choi believes that consumers in the make-up industry are not loyal to the brands; instead, they purchase what is convenient. All makeup essentially uses the same substrate (base) and are only different in colour. Therefore, consumers purchase makeup depending on its appeal. Makeup companies only release certain colours every season that they believe to be the latest trend. In other words, colours considered untrendy are never created. The Mink makeup printer will empower women through the use of the printer, as they can create any colour that is not produced by mainstream cosmetic companies. This will allow women to experiment with makeup at lower costs and help them become more confident. Ultimately this confidence will help sprout the female leaders of the future.
However, the Mink printer has not been fully developed to create complex finishes such as – duochrome, matte, satin, frost, glitter etc. This is because Mink can only create a very minimal amount of makeup formulas. Also, it is still unknown as to how much the cartridges of substrate and the ink will cost.
More or less, if the Mink printer becomes available to the general public, it will revolutionize the makeup industry. Grace believes the makeup industry will not be significantly affected since Mink is only targeting young women. Older and mature women, would probably not want to try the Mink because they are already accustomed to their own everyday makeup routines. It is still to early to decide whether the Mink is able to make an impact on the already established makeup industry.