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Customized jewelry maker Paragon Lake hosted a panel on Mass Customization last Thursday and assembled an interesting group of participantsvia REPLICATOR — Putting the “Custom” Back In Customer.
Sung Park started the evening off by breaking mass customization into three broad categories:
1. Digital Front End/Digital Back End
This describes companies like Amazon that serve unique pages based on your interests in a completely digital fashion.
2. Digital Front End/Physical Customization and Assembly
Most current mass customization companies would fall into this bucket. You design something with a web based cad interface and then some factory produces it using modified traditional manufacturing processes. Think NikeID, Fashion Playtes, or Paragon Lake.
3. Sensor based Front End/CAD-CAM Back End
This is a more passive experience best illustrated by Brontes. In their case a sensor makes a model of your mouth and then automated equipment (a 3D printer) produces a physical copy of the scan. There is very little human involvement or intervention.