Wellington, New Zealand (PressExposure) November 20, 2013 -- MatterMachine have announced the release of their product design and customization toolkit. The browser- based software promises to enable designers and brands to offer highly customizable products to their online customers through easy to use product configurators.
The company is positioning itself to ride the wave of highly flexible production lines, which many tout as the 3rd industrial revolution, or the democratization of manufacturing. Where mass production has encouraged a one-size-fits-all approach to manufacturing, MatterMachine taps into the growth of mass customization, where the consumer often specifies and buys a one off product prior to it being manufactured.
"The combination of new manufacturing technologies and the accessibility of global markets through the internet is making mass customized product lines increasingly viable" said Ross Kettle, co-founder of MatterMachine.
The MatterMachine beta packages together a powerful parametric CAD modelling system with tools for creating product configurators.
"The next step for MatterMachine is to enable designers to embed the product configurators in their own websites and online shops, ready for consumers to customize and buy products. We've already made significant progress towards that goal. MatterMachine can already integrate into the post-purchase manufacturing process by outputting data ready for digital fabrication machines, such as 3d printers and CNC routers." said Kettle.
The ability to embed the configurators is a key to scaling the platform by enabling designers and companies to create, skin, brand and manage their configuration system entirely on their own.
MatterMachine are currently working with foundation partners to help them create flagship customisable products. Over the next months they plan to attract further partners and seek investment for accelerating product development and creating a true turnkey solution for offering custom products.
"We believe that the promise of mass customisation is still to be fulfilled" says founder Tom Kluyskens.
"There's a big void right now, between those flexible manufacturing lines, and the consumer. The digital product model needs to be pulled all the way out to the end user for interaction. Right now it only exists in rather arcane CAD systems that drive the design and production aspects of manufacturing. Not marketing, nor the store front, because, obviously, these digital product models and the tools they live in are too complex for you and me to interact with."
Besides bridging the gap between between the CAD/engineering digital product model and the consumer, MatterMachine also plans to further enable consumer engagement through integration with social media to capture the more personal relationship consumers have with objects they had a hand in making.
"It's about creating experiences around products." said Kluyskens, "Giving the stuff we make stories again, like they had before the industrial revolution and mass production. It instills a new respect for the things around us, and the brands that made them for us. Giving things a creation story by letting their to-be owners have a hand in their outcome, by personalising or customising, is a start."