Startup Mixee Me Launches Beta: 3D Print Your Own Mini-Me Likeness
Mixee Me is a new 3D printing startup that lets you easily create a mini you and 3D print it. The company was founded in 2012 by Nancy Liang and Aaron Barnet. Nancy previously worked for Shapeways and Aaron is the software developer and architect.
Mixee Me launched its public beta today. You can visit the site at mixeeme.com.
How does it work?
Using a web-based character modeling tool, you can create a little buddy that looks just like you. Similar to designing a Mii on the Wii, you can pick the hair, eyes, clothes and accessories to suit your personal tastes. We found it really quick and easy to make a little dude.
Once you have completed your design, it is auto-uploaded to 3D printing marketplace Shapeways where you can purchase the physical object for $25 plus shipping.
The models are printed in full color sandstone and are roughly 2 to 3 cm tall. That may seem small but Mixee Me founder Nancy explains that this is a limitation of the early technology, “Because 3D printing is priced volumetrically, bigger prints are way more expensive. We want to make 3D printing accessible, and that includes the price of the final products.”
Here is our final model, which is now on order from Shapeways.
More about Mixee Me
What sets you apart from others in this industry?
Nancy: Right now, there are a lot of great companies focusing on making 3D printers. Before you can print anything though, you need 3D files that tells the printers what to do. When I first started modeling, it took me 3 hours to make a stick figure, because most 3D design tools are aimed at professionals. It then took me 2 more hours to rework my file so a 3D printer can understand it, because most 3D design tools are made for applications like injection molding and animation, not 3D printing. After all that work, my model was way too expensive to print. We don’t want anybody to go through that!
What about the industry excites you?
Nancy: We believe in a future where anybody can make anything they want. Instead of ordering stock products through Amazon, you can download virtual 3D files, maybe tweak them to suit your specific needs, and send them to the printers.
Each product can be customized to your specific needs. Holding something that you designed in your hands is a delightful, personal experience. It can really change the relationships people have with their stuff.
With 3D printing, designers can iterate on their ideas quickly. My friends in hardware often say that product design does not move at “internet speed,” where you can make tweaks just by clicking a button. 3D printing changes that.
What is your long term vision for Mixee Me?
Nancy: Mixee Me aims to make designing 3D printable objects accessible to anybody. Right now, we are focused on our character creator. Eventually, we want to expand the range of what people can make with Mixee Me to just about anything. It’s a tough problem no doubt, but a very exciting one to tackle.
MixeeMe is running a special launch promotion. To enter, follow these steps:
- Make a Mixee online: http://www.mixeeme.com
- Tweet @MixeeMe, link to your Mixee’s URL, tell us why your Mixee is awesome
- Every hour from 1 PM to 8 PM EST, we will pick one to give away for free!