The Company Turning Consumers Into Artists
Consumer interest in 3D printing is booming, thanks to increasingly affordable printers, crazy stories about 3D-printed candy, human ears and handguns, all of which are impressive technological leaps. But 3D printing is fueling artists’ creativity, too, whether those artists are formally trained experts or self-taught newcomers, finding their way around by watching YouTube tutorials.
When Mixee Labs co-founder Nancy Liang was little, she dreamed of making herself into an action figure. “I had this notion that if you could become an action figure or become a toy, you’ve made it in the world,” she explains.
Years later, her ongoing interest in technology and design led her to a job as the materials lead at Shapeways, a company that could help her make those childhood fantasies come true. The startup, founded in 2007 as a spin-off of Royal Philips Electronics, today offers 3D-printing resources, an online shop, and a way for anyone to use its network of facilities to print out their own 3D creations.