Tag Archives: startup

Startup Azavy Launches AirBnB Marketplace for 3D Printing

Azavy 3D Printing

Azavy, an AirBnB for 3D Printing

In college, all the Azavy team members independently had difficulty getting access to a 3D printer. Having lived through this challenge, they created Azavy to efficiently connecting designers with makers (owners of 3D printers).

Co-founder Michael Anderson described to us the vision for the company, ”3D printing is a nascent market with vast potential. We see parallels with the early personal computing industry. With rapidly developing technology, lowering costs, and increasing ease of use, the number of printers and their capabilities are expanding dramatically. Azavy allows everyone to participate in and capitalize on this new technology–by purchasing items, designing products or fulfilling orders.”

Think of this like the AirBnB of 3D printing. You want a design. Someone has a printer. Get it printed cheaper than higher-end 3D printing services through crowdsourcing. The service is similar to Teleport It 3D, but more trusting in the kindness of strangers.

Bringing 3D Printing Costs Down

Consumers buy 3D printed products because they are manufactured just for them and can be made from unique stunning designs. Products bought through Azavy arrive 2x faster and up to 6x cheaper than current competitors. User reviews and feedback establish consumer trust, and Azavy guarantees product delivery or your money back.

Azavy 3D Printing Marketplace

How Azavy Works

Designers start selling their 3D designs for a price-per-product that they specify, without requiring any upfront capital. Designers retain full rights to their uploaded files, and can choose to be the sole manufacturer if they do not wish to share their design with other makers.

Makers (owners of 3D printers) monetize their expensive assets which would otherwise sit idle. Azavy allows makers to place bids on products to fulfill orders, and monetize their 3D printers.

Anderson describes the marketplace:

Azavy will rapidly democratize the 3D printing landscape, empowering designers, consumers, and printer-owners. There are two primary sides to the Azavy platform:

1) “iTunes store” for 3D Designs: Designers are compensated on a per-product-sold basis, incentivizing them to create the most desired designs on the market, while retaining full ownership of their digital models. As the store grows, Azavy will be a major ecosystem in the intellectual property space for 3D designs, as physical items become digitized, transferable, and shareable.

2) Dynamically Routed Local Manufacturing: The Next Industrial Revolution will be on-demand, localized production. The Azavy platform makes this possible by connecting designers and consumers with local fulfillers. The secret sauce is the Azavy algorithm for routing work-orders based on consumer preferences, while optimizing for price and delivery time. By dynamically routing orders to local makers, Azavy enables the next generation of manufacturing efficiency – on demand production at the closest possible location.

The Azavy algorithm works by suggesting the best fulfiller for each item, specific to each consumer. Consumers also have the option to choose any of the various makers bids on each product, and the algorithm incorporates customer reviews, adjusting the “preferred fulfiller” for each item and trending to higher-quality manufacturing.

The Azavy vision is this manufacturing model on a global scale. 3D printers, supported by a library of digital designs, and an efficient crowd sourcing and order routing system, will enable production of physical items anywhere in the world on-demand. This is the Next Industrial Revolution, and represents a tidal shift in how people will go about producing products. By dynamically routing orders efficiently, Azavy represents the global production model of the future: items created on-demand, locally, for the cheapest price by available resources.

Azavy launched in April and is targeting early adopters and hobbyist 3D printers in the United States, while looking toward a long-term vision of a global marketplace.

In May, Azavy was named a winner in the Rhode Island Business Plan Competition.

Below is a video made by the Azavy founders.


Learn more at Azavy.

Dreambox Hopes to Make 3D Printing Universal with Custom Vending Machines

Dreambox Team 3D Printing

“3D printing will enable every human on this planet to design, customize, and create products to solve problems – from the slightest household annoyance to global issues – and we’re here to fuel the revolution from the bottom up.”   – Dreambox Team

A Dreambox is a 3D printing vending machine. It is the simplest way to have your custom models created. Take away the dozens of hours to setup a 3D printer, take away the weeks of waiting to receive an item from a 3D printing service, take away the need for a full-time operator and you’re left only with 3D printing’s unique manufacturing capabilities. With a Dreambox users can freely experiment with and harness 3D printing’s advantages.

The team came up with their concept while at UC Berkeley where it was hard to get access to 3D printers for rapid prototyping. Their only alternative was to order from online 3D printing marketplaces which would take 10-12 days for delivery and was more expensive.

Having an item 3D printed with a Dreambox is as simple as uploading or choosing a design online, clicking the “Print” button and retrieving the item once it’s ready. The details of what happens in between choosing to print an item and receiving that item are not important to the end user. What is important is that multiple users can get physical versions of their digital creations faster and simpler than ever before.

Dreamboxes are built to order with a varying number of internal 3D printers and lockers based on customer needs. Instead of creating our own 3D printers, we leverage the best of existing 3D printing technology so we can stay on the forefront of quality. Increasing the internal number of 3D printers and lockers lets a single Dreambox service a larger number of individuals.

Dreambox currently uses fused deposition modeling to create products from bioplastics, but will in the future offer additional material options.

Learn more at the Dreambox website.

Below is a concept video of the Dreambox 3D printing vending machine.

And here’s an inside look at how the Dreambox works.

Top 10 Countdown: Most Popular 3D Printing Stories in November 2012

3D Printing Photo Booth Omote3D

Here are the top 10 most popular stories On 3D Printing brought you in November 2012.

10. Attend the First International Maker Meetup Dedicated to 3D Printing

9. Go Shopping! Black Friday 3D Printing Deals: Shapeways, MakerBot, i.Materialise

8. MakerBot Joins the Race For 3D Printing Your Self-Portrait

7. Startup Mixee Me Launches Beta: 3D Print Your Own Mini-Me Likeness

6. Phantom Geometry Technique Wins Gehry Prize for 3D Printing Innovation

5. Chris Anderson: 3D Printing Will Be Bigger Than the Web

4. Paper-Based 3D Printing, Now in Color and Photo Realistic

3. Incredible 3D Printing Design: Blending Real Objects with Lego

2. Must-See Infographic: How Long Until the 3D Printing Revolution?

1. 3D Printing Photo Booth Opens in Japan: 3D Print Your Self Portrait


Thanks for reading in November!


Review: Mixee Me Lets You Design and 3D Print Your Own Mini-Me

Mixee Me 3D Printing

In November, 3D printing startup Mixee Me launched their public beta. As one of Mixee Me’s first customers, here is our review. Our 3D printed model appears in the photo above standing next to an iPad.

What They Offer

Mixee Me offers a free, online design tool to create your own avatar-like character. There are a range of hair styles, clothing, and expressions to choose from. Once you are finished with your design, it is uploaded to the Shapeways marketplace where you can purchase a 3D printed model for $25 + shipping.


Pros: Designing the avatar was easy and quick. No 3D modeling experience was necessary. Plus it was free!

Cons: The options for hair styles and expressions were relatively limited. You could upload your own design but that requires some graphic design knowledge. This can easily be addressed as they add more styles.


Pros: The model was automatically uploaded to Shapeways and available for checkout. We received an email to notify us that it was ready.

Cons: The model was placed in the MixeeMe account rather than a personalized account.


$25 seems fair given where 3D printing technology is today, but expensive compared to a similar toy one could purchase at retail.


From a distance, the quality is great. It is a cute little character that can be placed on any shelf or mantle. Our character is posing on a piano keyboard in the photo below.

Close up, the 3D printing lines are apparent in the sandstone material which suggests that the resolution is not very fine. We don’t know if this is a design flaw or a limitation of Shapeways.

All in all, it’s a fun keepsake.

Mixee Me 3D Printing 2


In summary, Mixee Me is a fun new service where you can make little characters to adorn your office or house. We hope to see more options and flexibility in the future, as well as natural price declines to make the purchase more appetizing to consumers.

You can design your own at mixeeme.com.


Startup Mixee Me Launches Beta: 3D Print Your Own Mini-Me Likeness

Mixee Me Launch 3D Printing 1

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.

Mixee Me Character Modeler 3D Printing

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.

Mixee Me model

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.

Launch Promotion

MixeeMe is running a special launch promotion. To enter, follow these steps:

  1. Make a Mixee online: http://www.mixeeme.com
  2. Tweet @MixeeMe, link to your Mixee’s URL, tell us why your Mixee is awesome
  3. Every hour from 1 PM to 8 PM EST, we will pick one to give away for free!