A Harvard Woman Figured Out How To 3D Print Makeup From Any Home Computer, And The Demo Is Mindblowing
Grace Choi was at Harvard Business School when she decided to disrupt the beauty industry. She did a little research and realized that beauty brands create and then majorly mark up their products by mixing lots of colors.
“The makeup industry makes a whole lot of money on a whole lot of bulls—,” Choi said at TechCrunch Disrupt this week. “They charge a huge premium on something that tech provides for free. That one thing is color.”
By that, she means color printers are available to everyone, and the ink they have is the same as the ink that makeup companies use in their products. She says the ink is FDA-approved.
Choi created her own mini home 3D printer, Mink, that will retail for $300 and allow anyone to print makeup by ripping the color code off color photos on the internet. It hooks up to a computer, just like a normal printer.
She demonstrated how it works, then brushed some of the freshly printed makeup onto her hand. She answered a lot of the tough questions about how she’ll move beyond powders to creamier products and team up with traditional printing companies in the video below.
Here’s how Mink, Choi’s makeup-printing machine, works.
This is the Mink printer. It uses regular printer ink.
First, find a color you want to print. Choi says her machine will print creamy lipsticks or powdery eye shadows.
Use the color picker to copy the hex code of the color you’ve chosen. In this demo, Choi chose pink.
Using Photoshop or Microsoft Paint, paste the hex code into a new document. You’ll see the color you want to print pop up.TechCrunch Disrupt
Print the color just as you’d print any other document on your computer.TechCrunch Disrupt
Here’s Choi printing the pink eye shadow.TechCrunch Disrupt
This is what the finished product looks like. It comes in a little Mink-provided container that looks just like eye shadow.TechCrunch Disrupt
Choi dips a makeup brush in the freshly printed powder to show it really is makeup.TechCrunch Disrupt
Then she brushes the pink on her hand. “Mink enables the web to become the biggest beauty store in the world,” says Choi. “We’re going to live in a world where you can take a picture of your friend’s lipstick and print it out.”TechCrunch Disrupt
Now check out the video demo and listen to Choi answer tough questions about how she’ll bring the printer to market below: