We asked five colleagues five different questions that illustrate what it is like to be a part of Twikit. For the first video in this series, Arno, Kirsten, Gillian, Thomas, and Christian share their proudest moment at Twikit with you. Watch the video below and discover more about the Twikit Tribe.
Renowned jewelry brands with stores worldwide are also looking for new (digital) experiences to offer their customer base. Before, customers prominently bought exclusive products such as jewelry pieces based on their preferences in-store. Now, e-commerce has made its name for high-value products. Improving the digital store experience is a priority for brands, even for those with an established presence in the world’s luxury shopping streets.
With the technological advancements in digital mass customization software and 3D printing, jewelry designers can combine traditional with digital techniques—both during production and customer touchpoints.
With the progress in digital tools such as online customization platforms, jewelers can offer personalized designs. They add value to their luxury products by providing a unique customer experience in the form of customization. The configurator can be integrated into their website or application and match their branding seamlessly.
When visiting a jeweler’s web-based configurator, customers can design jewelry pieces in the comfort of their own homes with just a few clicks. The customizer displays the changes made during the customer’s design process and lets them interact with the product. The final result is immediately visible to the customer. In other words, what you see is what you get.
Gregson & Buck is a men’s jewelry brand that focuses solely on customization. They design products that express the end-users’ personality. Assisted by the Twikit technology, they offer luxury custom groom cufflinks that can be personalized entirely using the configurator embedded into their website.
As you can see in the demonstration above, the customer can adjust font, characters, material and choose the engraving. If they wish, the two cufflinks can also have different monograms and engravings. It is details like these that improve the customer experience and add value to the brand.
Other significant configurator features that are valuable for the customer experience:
The digital customization platform automates the design process. On the back-end, software can automate production too. The configurator systematically sends production files based on orders to manufacturing.
The leading 3D printing technologies in jewelry customization are lost wax casting and metal printing. Both methods significantly decrease production time for custom-made jewelry. The time savings enable scalability and on-demand production.
Taking advantage of technology and switching to a digital business model has never been more straightforward and accompanied by many benefits. Custom-made jewelry requires less expertise, is time-efficient, and less prone to errors. For customers, it does not require patience anymore and several steps of revising the design. The configurator shows them the final product that they have created themselves.
Introducing digital technologies to the art of jewelry making lowers the threshold for both designers and consumers. It provides product and market opportunities to independent jewelry makers and a solution for those who seek a personalized piece to commemorate a memorable moment in their lives.
If you are looking to innovate and offer a unique customer experience while saving yourself from the intricate process of designing custom jewelry the traditional way, we suggest you go digital.
Do you want to offer a next-level customization experience and head towards a digital, on-demand production flow? Get in touch with us.
The traditional craft of making custom-fit orthotics is a respected but time-consuming and intricate process. If consumers desire an orthotic device, they must visit a professional clinic that spends up to days creating a device when made the traditional way. With the extensive manual work, it is quite a costly affair. In other words, the threshold to obtain a custom orthotic such as an insole, protective helmet, or hand brace, for example, is high.
Orthotics can prevent and treat various problems related to the musculoskeletal system, impacting the patient’s quality of life. That is why the accessibility of high-quality custom-fit orthotics is important. The commercialization of these kinds of orthotics does benefit not only the manufacturer but also the end-user.
The orthopedic and orthotic market slowly transitions to a digital production flow, replacing partly inefficient steps and labor-intensive conventional production methods. This is thanks to mass customization solutions, including custom design and order management software, becoming simpler and easier to use.
Moving towards a digital production flow is made a logical choice. It saves producers costs, time, and inventory space.
But how do digital technologies lower the threshold for the consumer? Because a device’s production can be completed within a few hours, and technicians save days by implementing additive manufacturing technology, the product costs less and is more affordable. On top of that, orthotic manufacturers can scale up while creating a one-of-a-kind (unique), custom-fit device every time around. Customers will receive a high-quality product that provides comfort and a precise fit.
In addition, 3D scanning technology is making vast steps ahead. It is an easy and fast way to obtain precise measurements for creating custom orthotics. The 3D scanning devices and tools continuously become more user-friendly and cheaper. This means that anyone can perform a high-quality scan anywhere, using smartphones, tablets, or mobile devices. Think of clinics where medical professionals perform 3D scans, and it uploads immediately onto the customization software platform. Or, think of opportunities in retail.
Considering customizable products are sought after, and customer experience is more important than ever, we also see the future of orthotics in a commercial retail environment.
The improved digital manufacturing flow ensures faster production and lowers costs. As a result, it opens doors to new potential customer bases by answering changing customer needs and offering more solutions for different people. It leads to opportunities, such as offering consumers a tailor-made solution for other purposes than medical treatment, including comfortable insoles made-to-fit for any shoe.
Due to the evolution towards completely digital production, which facilitates the availability and accessibility of custom-made orthotics, more people will be able and willing to buy those types of products. And where can you provide the ultimate immersive experience for those potential customers? In a custom orthotic (online-) store or clinic.
We envision the future orthotic point of sale as a design-focused store where customization and brand experience are key. The customer will go from performing a body-part scan to receiving their custom-designed insoles in a few days.
The idea of ‘showroom stores’ has been around for some time, but it is new and suitable for customizable products. The products are showcased digitally, you can customize your own product in-store, and it is delivered to your doorstep one or two days later. This concept’s value is that customers get to interact with the product and the brand during their visit.
Since 3D scanning devices are increasingly user-friendly, we imagine the next step being a semi-automated full-body scanner. As a customer, you step in, and the scanner scans the required body part, such as an arm, foot, or ankle.
The custom-fit product, based on the 3D scan, is then presented on a screen. The displayed configurator provides the customer with the opportunity to design their own custom orthotic device. Elements such as color, shape, structure, and text are customizable. The finished custom product is adjusted to the customer’s unique measurements and aesthetic preference.
The finalized orthosis is ordered in-store, produced at a local 3D printing supplier, and a few days later, it arrives at the customer’s doorstep, or it is ready to be picked up at the retail store—a smooth customer experience where minimal effort is required to obtain a high-quality custom product.
To manage production efficiently, we envision a centralized on-demand manufacturing unit. This unit would process the orders from all custom-orthotic retailers within a certain perimeter to minimize the ecological footstep caused by international transportation. Not printing the orthotics in-house or in the store also saves expertise and space, which can be expensive in inner-city shopping areas.
After purchase, the custom orthotic order would automatically be sent to the printing facility through order management software. Every production file is tagged with a unique ID number that is also printed into the part for optimal order management. It ensures a smooth digital production process with reduced lead time. When the custom orthotic is ready to be worn, it is directly shipped to the customer.
However, our vision of the custom orthotic in-store experience is not yet fully realized; some big players in retail are taking steps in this direction. Decathlon already offers a unique in-store customer experience in collaboration with Twikit. Customers can create their own custom handlebars to fit on their bikes in-store. The French sporting goods retailer (with their own additive manufacturing department) sees the economic and competitive value of customization. We predict more companies are soon to follow in their footsteps.
Because the lead time between order and finalized product can be decreased immensely, new opportunities arise for the custom orthotics market. The innovative technologies ensure customers can have a 3D scan taken, personalize the device and place their order all inside a store. Orthotic manufacturers can expand their customer base and explore new market opportunities, such as retail. If you ask us, it is the future of orthotics.
When we tell you there is a gender gap in the additive manufacturing industry, we are not exaggerating. At this moment in time, there are only 13% women in 3D printing. And even fewer women-owned businesses in the industry. So, to say there is a gap is an understatement. There is a huge space that needs to be closed for a more diverse and inclusive industry.
Because Twikit believes in the power of diverse backgrounds and its value for the additive manufacturing industry, we were honored to join the first annual female-speakers-only TIPE 3D Printing conference. Organized by Women in 3D Printing.
Women in 3D Printing (WI3DP) is an organization that increases the visibility of female leaders in the additive manufacturing industry and encourages the use of 3D Printing technologies. Their mission is to have an equal divide of men and women in the sector. WI3DP is centered around the idea that we should embrace diverse backgrounds because these make the additive manufacturing industry rich and interesting.
Organizations like WI3DP are important because of the versatileness of 3D printing technology. It spans across many disciplines and applications, making diversity essential. Because it is male-dominated, inspiring people, organizations, and events can make a difference and attract industry minorities, such as women, to join the additive manufacturing community.
In the spirit of putting a spotlight on significant women in additive manufacturing, WI3DP organized the first-ever TIPE 3D Printing annual global conference on the 27th and 28th of January 2021.
With the focus on case studies, additive manufacturing user applications, visionary talks on the future, and people shaping the industry, TIPE 3D Printing curated an inspirational all-female agenda of speakers and panelists.
During the conference, Twikit hosted a panel on The Value of Mass Customization. Our invited speakers Lina Riano, Gabi Janssen, and Diana Hall, elaborated on the value of mass customization through their expertise and experiences together with Twikit.
Curious about our panelists’ intriguing insights on the added value of mass customization? Read the panel summary below.
Lina Riano is R&D Engineer for Additive Manufacturing at Decathlon. In collaboration with Twikit, Decathlon offers a unique in-store customer experience through customization.
Lina kicks off the presentation on the value of mass customization by explaining the Decathlon brand. “It is the largest sporting goods retailer, with complete control over its value chain.”
The first mass customized product introduced at Decathlon is the custom bike handlebars available at the Decathlon DX concept store, in collaboration with Twikit. They are not mass-produced yet, but Lina tells us that is where they want to go. Decathlon wants custom sporting goods to be accessible. That is Decathlon’s purpose, Lina says, to sustainably make the pleasure of sport accessible to everyone.
Decathlon wants to focus on offering custom sporting goods at accessible prices but with the added value of customization.
Lina gives us an important example of the value of a custom sports product. She says, “take, for example, someone with a disability who loves sport but is not able to ride his bike because he cannot grasp the handlebars well.” This is where customization comes in. “Imagine the customer going to the store, scanning his hand, and receiving a custom-fit handlebar just for him.” Like so, Decathlon can give this person the pleasure of doing sports, Lina explains. At Decathlon, the customer is the center of product development.
Lina concludes her panel talk by saying that Decathlon responds to the developments in 3D printing and customization technologies, and they adapt. Decathlon will “enjoy the mass customization journey together with the customer.”
Gabi Janssen is Business Development Manager Healthcare at DSM Additive Manufacturing (AM). She led the joint project with Twikit of creating a digital workflow for customized 3D printed thumb braces.
Gabi Janssen is the second speaker to share her insights on the economic value of mass customization. She starts by introducing the collaboration between Twikit and DSM Additive Manufacturing. “We developed a product with high quality and reliability.” Together, Twikit and DSM AM tested the boundaries of what is possible regarding equipment, materials, and software. As a result, one complete thumb brace solution, manufactured through a digital flow.
One of the central benefits of 3D printing and digital manufacturing is time reduction. DSM AM could reduce the orthotic production time from 4 days to even less than 9 hours, Gabi explains. The thumb brace is an easily adaptable solution that is customizable and also has the benefit of repeatability. Any brace can be printed again if required. Gabi continues by saying that including 3D printing into a production flow is a big advantage for both the development of the product and helping patients.
One of the most important economic values of mass customization, according to Gabi, is the on-demand production aspect. You can stock fewer products and can manage them more efficiently. Again, saving time. She also considers the quality of a mass-customized orthotic a valuable benefit. Thanks to the scanning and customization software, the patient receives a comfortable device that fits perfectly.
“If you reduce the production flow, you will reduce costs, which is very important for healthcare.” Gabi leaves us by saying that the orthopedic market is shifting to 3D printing because of all the significant benefits of mass customization technologies.
Diana Hall is the president and founder of ActivArmor. With Twikit, Diana is pursuing automation of their proprietary design flow and internationalizing the current ActivArmor end-to-end solution, from 3D scan to 3D print.
ActivArmor provides the first commercially available 3D printed cast in the market. They custom design every cast according to the patient’s unique injury and lifestyle based on a body part scan, Diana explains while showing off her own ActivArmor cast.
Diana partnered with Twikit “to offer it as a package that can be implemented into any practice anywhere and manufacture custom devices.” That is what ActivArmor is progressing towards. They provide clinics with custom orthotics while saving them the cost, space, and inventory. “It is about the end-to-end package,” Diana says.
When talking about the economic value of mass customization, Diana highlights that economics is key in the medical industry. Managing inventory, for example, takes a lot of time and effort. By improving efficiency through on-demand production, clinics gain a huge economic benefit. Mass customization also allows for more patients to be treated in a time frame due to the 3D scanning process. “This is a revenue generator for the medical sector.”
Diana believes that mass customization in the future will only evolve to become cheaper, faster, and better. Since there are many preconceived notions about 3D printing, as a business, you have to make the solution simple, so it is easily adopted. She continues by saying, “what Twikit does and what ActivArmor wants to incorporate: to automate as much of it as we can while maintaining customizability.”
According to Diana, when mass customization becomes a package, such as ActivArmor envisions it, it will become commercial. It is not there yet, she continues, but ActivArmor is evolving towards it, and Twikit helps them get closer to that end-to-end product solution. “The Twikit software is key.”
Are you intrigued by one of these additive manufacturing user applications?
If you want to step into mass customization with a seamless end-to-end digital solution, get in touch with us.
To illustrate the Twikit software solution, let’s take the automotive industry as an example. With the rapid technological advancements in the industry, car brands have to keep innovating to be the forerunner. Simultaneously, consumers are becoming more demanding, and the value of the customer experience has become significant.
These two factors present the automotive industry with two challenges: optimizing manufacturing efficiency and offering customers a truly personalized customer experience on par with the brand guidelines. Twikit can support in conquering these challenges.
Feature overview of the Twikit web SDK
Angular example application – The Angular framework simplifies increasing responsivity, applying material design, and reusing branding components in the configurator.
The previously mentioned advantages are significant, but you would also require the customizer to be visually integrated. This means that the colors, fonts, logos, and other elements are consistent with the overall UX of, e.g., a car configurator. The custom product becomes a part of the assortment and needs to communicate this way to all customers visiting the website. The configurator can be provided ready-to-use with the right branding incorporated to meet this requirement. Further, Twikit web SDK also grants a company’s in-house IT team to style the configurator themselves. The in-house IT team is then able to style the platform themselves to fit seamlessly into the website.
The Twikit software solution enables the connection between the front-end product personalization experience and digital manufacturing. Hereby, Twikit provides an end-to-end digital process in which manufacturers can capture the value of advanced customization. The customization platform can cover a wide spectrum of applications and finishes (e.g., color, pattern, personalized text,…)—all of which the customer can personally select. In turn, it results in increased customer engagement, revenues, and margins whilst also reducing production complexity.
Visit the Twikit car wheel configurator and explore the possibilities yourself.
To conclude, offering a customer the unique experience of designing their own product is made simple by the Twikit software solution. Twikit web SDK ensures seamless integration of the customizer into any webshop or website. It is possible to visually modify the configurator to match any branding by an in-house IT team, or Twikit can be of assistance to implement the required design. A complete front-end optimization that links to the back-end operations smoothly with increased efficiency.
On the back-end, Twikit ensures a smooth transition to a completely digital manufacturing flow with optimized efficiency. It can be implemented into any business model or industry for any product. By providing scalability, cost-effective production, and lesser errors during the process, going digital is made a logical choice by Twikit.
Do you want to step into mass customization with a seamless end-to-end digital solution?
Get in touch with us.
Twikit’s involvement with PortaPivot has led to yet another addition to their value proposition. PortaPivot differentiates itself through its innovative and patented pivot hinge system, Stealthpivot®. With the support of the Twikit technology, they also offer a valuable customer experience through customization.
When ordering a customized door or partition via the webshop, the product is delivered as a self-assembly kit with the appropriate hardware and installation accessories. The installer is PortaPivot’s most important client; they place the customized door or partition in the end-customer’s home. By manufacturing aluminum profiles for the client’s desired setup, PortaPivot delivers a smart and aesthetic interior door or partition solution for any professional.
A great advantage to the PortaPivot product range is that it is custom-made. With the Twikit technology support, PortaPivot offers professionals interior doors and fixed partitions, which are endlessly customizable.
The Twikit technology was applied to create a high-end virtual showroom based on the PortaPivot website’s design. It is completely integrated into the PortaPivot digital space, which adds to the branding and unique customer experience. The showroom provides visitors with the opportunity to create and design their own interior doors or partitions. You can custom order up to 40 different product types, with more in the pipeline. The Twikit technology provides PortaPivot the option to scale when more products are added to their custom assortment.
Each product has countless customization options based on parametric models. To make it more tangible (and we actually did the math), the PortaPivot 5730 interior door alone has 300 quintillion possible variations. These vary from alterations such as dimensions and color to pivot hinge placement, handles, and grid design, to name a few. PortaPivot’s clients can make the customizable door their own design or adjust it to their own customers’ wishes.
When visiting the PortaPivot configurator built by Twikit, you can notice small but significant details that improve the customer experience:
By adding details such as the option to set the measurements to the metric or imperial system, Twikit adjusted the configurator to the international market that PortaPivots serves. Anyone can visit the virtual showroom and become a PortaPivot client, regardless of where they are situated or local time.
On top of that, below the configuration window, a dynamic price appears. This allows the client to design a custom-made PortaPivot product while seeing the price being adjusted to the configured setup. Hence, the professional can mind their client’s budget while designing—an added value for professionals.
Twikit also assisted in the flawless integration of the customizable product range into PortaPivot’s pre-existing production flow through the Twikit technology implementation. The Twikit customization platform holds a rich set of features set to connect to a production flow. Thus, when an order is placed via the configurator, the Twikit software solution transmits the parameters in a structured manner. The manufacturing order contains all the necessary data for production and for managing logistics when sent to an order management system. As a result, Twikit ensures that mass customization is efficient and an added value for both provider and consumer. It allows PortaPivot to handle high-volume orders continuously
Consumers start their search for customization online. Therefore, it is important to create an online presence and a digital platform for your custom product. Together with Twikit, PortaPivot innovated and moved towards new opportunities in the market. They focused on offering a unique customer experience and adding value to their high-end product through customization whilst still serving an international market.
As customer behavior develops and people turn more to digital points of purchase, consumer-oriented businesses must adapt. They must revise and refresh their business model to fit new industry developments. Implementing an online platform for product customization and switching to a digital manufacturing flow is a valuable solution. With Twikit technology, tapping into custom-products and offering more value to your customers is a logical and simple step. The software can be adjusted to fit your existing supply chain, or the Twikit solutions can assist with the shift to an efficient and cost-effective digital production flow. There is a solution for every business model. Let’s make everything personal.
Do you want to offer a next-level customization experience and head towards a digital, on-demand production flow?
Get in touch with us.