Armed with tweezers and a magnifying glass we have combed our way through the sea of bits and bytes to seek out and find for you the best mass customization news for this week.
Janne with one of his custom popsicles.
Janne Kyttanen is a real 3D printing pioneer. He started .MGX at Materialise which became the first 3D printing design brand. Later he started Freedom of Creation and sold that company to 3D Systems. Janne has now started Pixsweet together with his wife Laura. This company lets you customize your own popsicles. You can upload an image or customize an existing one and for $5 per popsicle and a minimum order of a 100 you can get your custom ice creams.
The Pixsweet mass custom popsicle tool.
Janne is one of those people who know where the future is headed. For him to be a 3D printing pioneer and to then focus on applying the methodologies to food molds is a portend that this is the next area where we can see mass customization initiatives. The same basic Pixsweet setup could also make many different molded items from chocolate to pastas and we would expect many more start ups to become active in this area over the next few years.
Examples of mass custom ice creams from Pixsweet
Custom PCs Tailored to the Games you Play
NZXT has just launched BLD which is a mass custom tool to help people build their own PCs. Instead of walking through a plethora of part choices this tool takes as its input the games that you play. You enter a budget and select your favorite PC games and the configurator tool will build the perfect PC for those games to work optimally. NZXT has collected mountains of data which is bases its recommendations on.
The BLD customization interface.
PCs are one of the largest mass customization applications out there at the moment. We really like what NZXT has done here. They’ve looked at the utility for the consumer and come up with a simple way to get them the product that they need. We’d really like to see many more companies redefine customization in this way. Rather than barely understood choices and selections consumers can then in a playful but accurate way define their needs simply.
The Digital Twin
The Digital Twin is a powerful concept whereby a digital copy representing all off the qualities of a real asset, (such as a machine, product or a part,) can help keep track of that asset. A good overview article in Automation World gives us some insights. Companies such as Siemens, GE, Emerson and Rockwell are making significant investments in bringing the Digital Twin concept to market.
GE’s Colin J. Parris
“A digital twin is a living model that drives a business outcome, and this model gets real-time operational and environmental data and constantly updates itself,” “It can predict failures…reduce maintenance costs and unplanned outages, and…optimize and provide mitigation of events when we have these types of failures.”
Digital Twins could improve manufacturing efficiency and bring significant cost savings for manufacturers and infrastructure companies. For mass customization a Digital Twin would be needed for each individual product but also to manage a mass customization factory’s complex intertwining processes and operations.
ELSE Corp receives 500,000 loan
ELSE Corp a mass customization software as a service company has received a 500,000 loan from Intesa Sanpaolo. The Milan based company is hoping to soon launch commercially and will use the loan for an “aggressive go to market strategy.” The company also presented its Real Time Fashion System. This concept unifies all of the company’s proposed tools under one conceptual banner. They have Virtual Couture which is a fashion industry mass customization tool, ELSA a virtual shopping assistant, ELSE.AI which is an AI machine learning mass customization recommendation service, MySize.fashion is a made to measure AI service for clothing, MyStyle.ai which is a “AI-powered service to formalize and track the personal style formula of individual customers”, MySize.Shoes which is a virtual shoe size tool. ELSE.AI and MySize.shoes are at the prototype phase and Virtual Couture is at the alpha stage. The other tools are all at the concept stage. Additionally the company also wants to create a Universal 3D Product Configurator, VRxVR virtual reality for virtual retail, ELSE Ware “a cloud based Hybrid & Distributed Manufacturing 4.0 middleware for apparel & footwear, built on top of the E.L.S.E. SaaS Platform, open for integration or extension.”
The central ELSE Corp concept is illustrated here by the company “Made to Measure made simple.”
ELSE Corp seems to be a very ambitious startup that wants to build the entirety of any and every conceivable mass customization tool. The vision and ambition are certainly there and we can not wait to test out one of these tools once they go live.