This is an exhaustive solution to a (physically) small problem.
Biologist Adele Bakhtiarova had never been able to find an eyelash curler that fit her. She struggled with finding one that could reach out to the very last eyelashes on the edges of her eyes. She tried dozens of eyelash curlers. But they would pinch her skin or crimp the lashes into an ‘L’ shape instead of a proper curl.
So after working at Halcyon Molecular, a Founders Fund-backed startup that was trying to find a way to cheaply and quickly sequence the full human genome, she started working on a solution as a side project.
It was a 15-month endeavor. She learned how to design hardware in CAD, then found 3D-printing facilities in the East Bay to prototype some designs and built a mobile app.
The end result is $25 eyelash curler that she will 3D print to custom fit your eyes. It comes paired with a mobile app that you can use to scan your eye profile and then send data to her company Voir Creations, which will make a 3D model of your face. She’s currently in the process of raising $30,000 on Kickstarter to test if there’s consumer interest.
It may feel small. But more broadly speaking, there’s this question of whether 3D printing can usher in an era of mass customization.
We’ve seen a few beauty-related products already. Grace Choi debuted the Mink last year at TechCrunch Disrupt NY. It’s a printer that will make your own custom shades of make-up. I’ve also written about more serious, custom-printed health care products like YC-backed Standard Cyborg, which incorporates 3D printing into making custom fit prosthetic legs.