While people initially think of 3D printing primarily in terms of industrial production, this technology has long since established itself in numerous other sectors, including those closer to the consumer. This includes the cosmetics industrywhich we would like to take a closer look at here.
Various possible uses
The possible uses of additive manufacturing extend to the use of individualized cosmetic applications as well as to the fast and cost-effective production of packaging.
A face mask made from 3D scan data
Between 2019 and 2021, a US provider developed an offer for a customized face mask from the 3D printer. The prerequisite for this is a specially developed app, with the help of which a smartphone attachment is used to digitally measure the customer’s face. The 3D files for the individual face mask are now created from this scan, which are then produced on the 3D printer.
Packaging on demand
Another 3D printing application for cosmetics manufacturers is to produce packaging on demand, thereby increasing agility. Individual packaging manufacturers offer their customers the opportunity to design the desired packaging themselves on the PC and then either 3D print it themselves or have it printed by a service provider.
Bioprint skin care products
The use of bioprint, i.e. the 3D printing of living cells, in the development of skin care products could also make product tests on animals superfluous in the future. The reaction of human skin can be simulated by the cells printed in this way, making animal experiments superfluous.
At the same time, personalized skin care products can be created in this way, similar to the face mask example mentioned above.
3D printed lipstick holder
A curious application for 3D printing in the cosmetics industry is more in the area of accessories: A research team from the Cosmetic Science Research Group of the London College of Fashion developed a 3D printable, personalized lipstick holder from the 3D printer at the beginning of 2018.
Its principle is based on the fact that the customer’s lips are digitally measured using a 3D scan. In the next step, 3D-printable files are created from the data obtained in this way. Finally, the 3D print of the individualized lipstick holder is made of PLA, using the FDM process. Tests had shown that this combination of materials and processes achieved the best results compared to SLS printing on the one hand and ABS in FDM printing on the other.
Read more about the different areas of application for additive technologies in our 3D printing blog.
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