As 3D printing opens up new possibilities for mass customization, there will be more and more companies that hope to use this to their advantage. MixeeLabs, the US-based Shapeways partner that offers customizable 3D printed objects via online apps, is just one example. A new Dutch start-up, Zazzy, is a clear indicator that they are part of a growing trend.
Zazzy, like MixeeLabs, is an online marketplace, just launched, where customers can purchase personalized 3D printed objects. While MixeeLabs, which has been around just a bit longer than Zazzy, provides a wider variety of products (jewellery, wallets, figurines, etc.), Zazzy’s focus, for the moment, is on jewellery. Users will be able to visit the Zazzy site and start individualizing a few different bracelet designs, either creating custom text or custom shapes (limited to hexagons in the site’s beta phase, albeit likely to diversify in the future) to wear around your wrist. Based on the style of the website and of the jewellery, Zazzy’s current demographic seems to be teens, preteens, and tweens with “girly” tastes (in the heteronormative sense of the word) and their arms, but with their upcoming Origami Collection, they may expand to necks and ears.
The disadvantage that Zazzy has to MixeeLabs is that, as of now, they don’t allow you to create your own customizable apps. Unlike MixeeLabs Creators, there’s no opportunity for me, as a user, to develop my own wares to sell on their site. The advantage that Zazzy has is that you can preview how your jewellery will look adorned on the arm of a 13-year-old in what Zazzy calls an “arm party”. Here’s the armparty I would have and how it would look on a complete stranger:
Feel free to call me DJ Zazzy Jeff from now on, if you’re so inclined. All of my stuffed animals do.
Zazzy is still a new site, so we’re likely to see a lot of developments, especially after some of you people fulfill their Marketing Co-Founder, Fashion Expert Intern, Front-end Developer positions. We may even see app creators like MixeeLabs and Thingiverse offer. And we’re likely to see a lot more sites like it pop up in the near future.