If retailers want to survive and thrive over the long run, it’s vital they take…Read more
Through this Mass Customization Monday we at Twikit hope to each week find the best and most relevant mass custom news for your enjoyment and perusal.
Mass Customized Figurines from Red Lava Toys
Some Red Lava Toys figurines with 3D printed accessories.
Detroit based startup Red Lava Toys is making mass customized figurines. The company used their access to a local makerspace to 3D print the molds to their toys and also offer custom 3D printed accessories.
By using 3D printing as an intermediate step the company was able to inexpensively obtain injection molds to use for production. Entrepreneurs with access to makerspaces and fablabs can now use these to quickly go to market using little capital. This will mean that more competition may occur in many fields. By democratizing the access to machinery fablabs also democratize access to a lot of hardware businesses and tooling. With lower barriers to entry startups are quicker to launch while requiring less capital to do so. Such developments will have impacts in many different markets, not only mass customization.
Bespoke Releases BEBOT the AI Chatbot Concierge
An example chat with a BEBOT.
Japanese company Bespoke released BEBOT an automated hotel concierge chatbot. In addition to answering common questions and booking rooms BEBOT,
“..aims to enable authentic local experiences by bringing people the top recommendations as rated by locals, or hidden-gems only those living nearby would know. With options such as getting directions, checking restaurant reviews and immediately booking restaurants without ever leaving the chat screen”
The ever expanding functionality of chatbots and improving AIs means that they are sure to play a vital role in customer service. Adding value added services to chatbots whereby the chatbot can generate revenue would make them even more useful. In mass customization chatbots can guide users through mass customization tools and help do mass customization themselves. Through a chatbot conversation a user could design their own experience or product. This has real impacts on not only our own market but also how services are delivered by institutions such as hotels, banks, insurance companies and governments.
Biesse Uniline Workcenter CNC machines simplify custom wooden doorframe production
A Biesse Uniline CNC Workcenter for mass customizing windows and doors.
That’s not a headline that may grab your attention immediately. It is however a sign of significant developments. CNC machines and other industrial machinery used to be either customized for large high throughput applications in large factories or be completely standard. Machinery was made in order to enable the production of millions of identical items. We are however seeing a shift and emerging machine tools for a mass customized world. Uniline has now developed a CNC machine specifically made to machine and finish custom door and window frames. With a small form factor this machine is made for small workshops that do a lot of custom doors and frames. By making it specifically suited to save labor and enable mass customization for this small but growing application the company is showing us that this is where profitability lies not only for door makers but also for machinery companies. Smaller and more high throughput machines capable of making unique products in a low cost way are catalysts for unlocking more mass customization applications.
Kornit to showcase 3 textile machines as part of its mass customization ecosystem
The Kornit Vulcan ties online order processes directly to direct printing on textiles.
Textile printing OEM Kornit is showcasing three new machines aimed at the mass customization of textile. The Kornit Avalanche Hexa R Series is a direct to garment printing system made especially for online fulfillment of custom textiles that can print 220 dark and 160 light garments per hour. The Kornit Storm Duo is a light garment production system capable of inketting 200 light garments per hour. The Kornit Vulcan is an optimized system for up to 250 low cost prints per hour.
Only a few years ago direct to garment printing systems were low volume and tiny. This inkjetting on textile market has grown quickly in sophistication. By tying inkjet production directly to online orders it greatly improves the business of online shirt retailers. Rather than run fashion risk and keep stock they just use direct to textile equipment. The only stock they keep is the tshirts in their different sizes and they only print once a customer has ordered the shirt. What if retailers started doing something similar in the shop? A system such as the Kornit Vulcan could be installed on unused upper floors and in a versatile way print on the demand in the high street as well.
Atelier Notify Customizes anything in your Bergdorf Goodman
Some customized items by Atelier Notify.
Some companies are already looking into on premise and in store mass customization. Atelier Notify is a company that inside Bergdorf Goodman lets you mass customize the items you buy there. You can add patches, laser cut and inkjet on many of the items in the store. Acording to Atelier Notify’s founder, Maurice Ohayon
“In a world of mass market and fast fashion, I think people are looking more and more for personal and unique”
We wholeheartedly concur and think that what they are doing is a powerful portend of the future. Retail is under pressure from many sides and in store mass customization could really lead to unique products that would better meet the needs of consumers.