Mass-Customization V.S. Mass-Production


We want to build a new business model that uses 3D scanning and 3D printing as tools for mass-customization. Customers would use their smartphone to take a 3D scan and send their 3D body scan to our cloud server. Then they could order custom-fitted wearable products, such as sunglasses, goggles, etc., on our website and shopping App. We will develop algorithms that automatically design the 3D CAD model of the custom-fitted product for each user. And we will build systems control all the 3D printers to manufacture these products.


Mass-customization is very different from mass-production in the way of design, manufacture, and sale.

Here’s the comparison:

  Mass-customization (Skelmet) Mass-production (others)
Design Designers and Engineers create algorithms that design the custom-fitted product Designers create industrial designs, sketches, and conceptual drawings
  The algorithms produce 3D models for printing every time customer place an order Engineers create 3D models in CAD Software, which do not change until the next version came out.
  Make design decisions based on statistical data and each user’s 3D data. Make design decisions based on experience or use standard body models as reference.
  Guarantee perfect fit for most users (between 2 sigma to 3 sigma) Only guarantee perfect fit for the standard user (statistical average)
MFG Use 3D printing as the standard manufacturing process. Use injection molding as the standard manufacturing process.
  Change the design by changing the algorithms, which can be updated at any time. Can not change design unless the mold is changed, which cost a lot of money and time
  Made-to-order, no minimum order quantity required to initiate production Mass-production requires MOQ to initiate production for each batch.
  Require much less deposit for new products. Only store parts that are not 3D printed Require a large amount of money to create new products. Must prepare every part to sell
  Do not occupy much storage space. Need large inventory storage space
  Send directly to end-user Need distributor networks to handle inventory and deposit
  Require fewer workers because 3D printers simplified the process Require much more workers to operate the machines for every simple process
  Set up local 3D printing factories, creating jobs for local communities Job and factory locate at other countries, damaging local job opportunities
Sales Sell products directly to customers, reduce the cost of extra layers Usually rely on distributor networks, adding additional cost
  No need to try on in-store because the product will actively fit the customer, not vice versa Big brands spend billions on maintaining stores for try-on purposes, which is paid by customer’s money.
  Almost no return because every pair is custom-fitted for the user Online sales suffer a high return rate due to poor fitting.
  Produce high-quality sunglasses at affordable prices Amazon is selling cheap foreign-made sunglasses with low qualities

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