3D printing is a growing technology that is disrupting many industries. From healthcare to manufacturing, innovations in 3D printing are not only changing the way we make things, but adjusting areas of the possible, creating capabilities and functionality that were previously beyond the reach of production processes. traditional.

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Recently, the 3D printing industry has entered cosmetics and skin care, with scientists taking advantage of additive manufacturing to improve their ability to create personalized products. Here we discuss the latest 3D printed innovations that have emerged from a collaboration between BASF and Natural Machine, custom 3D printed face masks and eye masks.

Expanding the possibilities of the cosmetics and skin care sectors

In recent years, the cosmetics and skin care industries have started to benefit greatly from advances in 3D printing. For example, 3D printed skin offers industries a way to test their products without resorting to animal testing, and 3D printed production methods have been used to improve customization capabilities alongside mass production.

Now, a further breakthrough from a recent collaboration between BASF, a German personal care company, and Natural Machines, an industrial solutions company, will soon see the emergence of 3D printed face masks and eye masks on the Marlet.

Previously, face masks and eye masks faced a major hurdle in that they could only be produced in one size (and shape). There are huge variations between the shape of people’s faces and the position, size and shape of their features.

For this reason, the face and eye masks currently available do not fit all faces optimally, they are designed to fit the average face, which means that most people will find some sort of problem with it. Adjustment in one way or another, whether it be eye spacing, nose or mouth holes, or mask width or length. This limitation severely restricts the potential consumer experience and the effectiveness of the product.

To overcome this limitation, BASF and Natural Machine use 3D printing to develop individual and personalized masks to meet the needs of the individual.

The masks are expected to be commercially available by next year. The partnership will leverage BASF’s expertise in cosmetic ingredients while utilizing Natural Machine’s experience in developing 3D printing innovations for the food industry.

Additionally, BASF’s privileged position in the personal care market gives the team the opportunity to commercialize their innovation in this space, bringing 3D printed skin care to the masses and opening up possibilities for the industry.

Open the door to mass personalization

BASF aims to use 3D printing to offer a unique and holistic solution to the personal care industry, consisting of machines, cartridges and skin care formulas. The team’s first tests have shown that face masks and eye patches can be successfully 3D printed from BASF ingredients.

Further Reading: 3D Printed Alginate Inks for Biomedical Models

Over the next few months, BASF will strive to adapt the technology to develop an entirely new approach to mass production of personalized masks based on biological and biodegradable solutions.

The greater freedom offered by 3D printing over traditional subtractive manufacturing allows the production of custom-made products to meet each customer’s unique specifications without the need to produce molds or cause production delays.

The long and expensive processes required to produce custom products with traditional manufacturing are overcome by the additive nature of 3D printing.

The personalized skin care market has grown rapidly in recent years. It is expected that innovations such as that produced by the partnership between BASF and Natural Machine will help this space to further develop and open more potential capacities in the skin care and cosmetics market.

3D printing innovations will advance the skincare and cosmetics industries

BASF and Natural Machine aren’t the only companies working on personalizing the skin care and cosmetics industry. Major industry player Neutrogena is also developing personalized face masks using 3D printing. The innovation uses smartphone photos to print in micro 3D a face mask adapted to the client’s skin type and the desired treatment.

Their system 3D prints the mask so that its active ingredients are uniquely positioned, placing them right where the client needs them, rather than applying them all over the face. This innovation not only overcomes the limitation of one-size-fits-all face masks, but also overcomes the limitation of one-time treatment.

Not everyone needs the same skin care, and not all areas of each person’s face require the same treatment. Dry and oily spots, skin tone problems and blemishes are often limited to certain areas of the face. Neutrogena’s 3D printed mask solves this problem by producing a mask to solve multiple problems simultaneously.

This, along with other 3D printed innovations that are also emerging in the skin care / cosmetic arena, will likely facilitate an industry shift towards personalized products. The trend is already apparent, but technological advances in 3D printing will encourage it and open up a new area of ​​possibilities to explore.

References and further reading:

Deanna Pai. (2017). 3D printing skin is real: here’s what you need to know. [Online]. Seduce. Available at: https://www.allure.com/story/3d-printing-skin (accessed November 9, 2021)

Emilie Folk. (2019). How 3D printing is changing the cosmetics industry. [Online]. 3D printing. Available at: https://3dprint.com/254128/dhow-3d-printing-is-changing-the-cosmetics-industry/ (Accessed November 9, 2021)

Mikahila L. (2021). BASF & Natural Machine for creating custom 3D printed eye masks and patches. [Online]. 3D natives. Available at: https://www.3dnatives.com/en/basf-natural-machine-3d-printed-skincare-masks-eye-patches-181020214/#! (Accessed November 9, 2021)

Tia Vialva. (2019). Neutrogena will launch custom 3D printed face masks. [Online]. 3D printing industry. Available at: https://3dprintingindustry.com/news/neutrogena-to-launch-personalised-3d-printed-face-masks-146307/ (Accessed November 9, 2021)

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