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Thread: Harvard student creates 3D makeup printer

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    Elite Member MohandasKGanja's Avatar
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    Default Harvard student creates 3D makeup printer

    I love this woman. My favorite parts of the article are highlighted in red.

    Mink 3D Printer Creates Makeup in Any Shade You Can Think Of | Walyou

    Mink 3D Printer Creates Makeup in Any Shade You Can Think Of


    Harvard Business School graduate Grace Choi might have invented the device that will kill the makeup industry, a 3D printer that makes lipstick and eye-shadow in every possible shade out there.
    At the TechCrunch Disrupt Conference that took place in NY a few days ago, Choi expressed her outrage regarding the steep prices of cosmetics, in general. According to her, the prices asked by the giants of the makeup industry are unjustified, to say the least “They do this by charging on the one thing that is available for free, color.” The best thing about Mink, in this context, is that it enables you to pick any colour you like from the Web (think Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube, etc) and have an eye-shadow/powder/lipstick printed right away with that exact shade.
    In other words, Mink makeup 3D printer turns the Web and any laptop, camera or phone into a beauty aisle without an end. The main target audience is represented by girls aged 13 to 21 who haven’t formed a habit yet from using makeup. Choi mentioned that all the materials used by the 3D printer are FDA approved and come from the same sources as the incredibly expensive cosmetics found at Sephora, so there shouldn’t be any safety issues there.
    As Choi stated at the TechCrunch Conference, “The inkjet handles the pigment, and the same raw material substrates can create any type of makeup, from powders to cream to lipstick. Implementing this ability on the Mink is not hard to do, it’s actually more of a business decision. What we’re doing is taking out the bull shit. Big makeup companies take the pigment and the substrates and mix them together and then jack the price. We do the same thing and let you get the makeup right in your own house.”



    The creator of this 3D printer for cosmetics is thinking about offering it for $300, along with decently priced substrates and ink. Assuming that the consumables are really cheap, Mink might actually be able to destabilize the makeup industry. The price of the printer itself might go down a bit if Choi manages to negotiate with the major printer companies of the world. There are still a lot of factors that could influence Mink’s destiny, color replication and product life being only two of them.

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    Elite Member Brookie's Avatar
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    I'll take ten of them please.
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    I don't know, seems like makeup goes beyond replicating color. I'd think formulation has to be key in creating a product consumers prefer. How does the 3D printer thingy replicate that? Even between cosmetics competitors who are trying to replicate each others' products there are slight differences that result in better/inferior products. Mascara alone seems like there'd be infinite variations.
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    Elite Member MohandasKGanja's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beeyotch View Post
    I don't know, seems like makeup goes beyond replicating color. I'd think formulation has to be key in creating a product consumers prefer. How does the 3D printer thingy replicate that? Even between cosmetics competitors who are trying to replicate each others' products there are slight differences that result in better/inferior products. Mascara alone seems like there'd be infinite variations.
    I think the way it works is that you have a blank (uncolored) substrate cartridge that represents the particular makeup product - mascara, lipstick, etc. Then, you choose the color you like. The pigment system prints/blends the desired color into the substrate and lays it down picoliter by picoliter. What Choi seems to be implying in her presentations is that there is actually very little variation in substrate formulation between high-end makeup makers and low-end ones. As a (non-goth) guy, I don't have any experience in that area to contest that claim.

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    Elite Member Beeyotch's Avatar
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    I don't even wear makeup most of the time, and I can tell the difference. Foundation, concealer, mascara, lip color all have huge variations in quality and type of product. Does it fade, does lipstick feather, is it creamy/heavy/glossy/matte, does mascara flake or dry rock hard, does concealer go on greasy, foundation have a powdery or matte finish. On and on. I don't know, but that's what I thought of, even as someone who doesn't even have that much makeup experience.

    I mean, sure you could make it, but will people prefer it? Remains to be seen I suppose.
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    There is a lot of talk about how the quality isn't all that different, but you do notice when you go from high-end to low/mid-end, or vice versa. My usual mascara is YSL and is EXPENSIVE, but I have a Maybelline for when it runs out/emergency moments. The difference is astounding - the Maybelline mascara without. fail. will drop down below my eye and give me panda eyes. I think I'd rather pay the extra £11 or so for quality.
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    I will still trudge to the make-up counters. It's fun for me to hit every brand and try them out, even though I know I'll go and buy my same brand. Not to mention scoring all of the free samples. If there is a sample to be had, I will snag one.

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    Elite Member *Kat*'s Avatar
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    I think it's really cool. I don't want to gripe about the details since this is probably just a prototype. With enough research and development, I'm sure they can incorporate texture, formulation, etc in the years to come to compete with the big brands.

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