Innovation: from 3D packaging to 3D colour cosmetics…

By Michelle Yeomans

- Last updated on GMT

Innovation: from 3D packaging to 3D colour cosmetics…

Related tags Cosmetics

'3D' seems to be the buzz word of the moment for the cosmetics industry. Just last week we reported innovation in 3D printing, now we’ve discovered a new invention that makes it possible to use it for colour cosmetic formulations.

Former Harvard Business School student Grace Choi says her invention, a 3D ‘Mink printer’ makes it possible to generate colour cosmetics for a fraction of the retail price.

To create the make up, a user first choses a shade of colour they like from a photo or online for example and the software is used to convert the colour into a computer-readable hex code.

The user then transfers the colour into an image reading programme, like Photoshop, and clicks 'Print'. The inkjet handles the pigment, and the same raw material substrates can create any type of makeup, from powders to cream to lipstick. 

According to Choi, this innovation at $200 will be cheaper in the long run for the consumer as brands can "jack" up the price for mixing pigment and the substrates together, and will also offer more choice as they will be able to do it from their home.  

3D good for the industry & the environment apparently..

Just last week, founder and head of Future-Touch, a trend predicting firm, Antoinette van den Berg revealed to Cosmetics Design that “3D printing is set to change the world and will prove to be the future for both design and manufacturing in cosmetics.”

Although 3D printing technology has been around since the 1980s, it has only been incorporated into modern manufacturing processes in the past few years, thanks mainly to advances in the technology behind the machinery.

In short, it is a process of making a three dimensional solid object of virtually any shape, by using a layering process through using an extremely wide variety of malleable materials.

The hardware is based around an industrial robot that is adapted to carry out an additive process under computer control.

Another significant advantage according to van den Berg, is the fact that the technology serves as a highly efficient manufacturing process that can use a host of recycled or eco-friendly materials, which ultimately is likely to make it ecologically sound.

“Not only does this process cut down on the logistical elements involved in manufacturing several separate packaging components, it also allows us to work freely with eco-friendly materials such as bioplastics,”​ she told this publication.

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