Customization Comes to the Masses

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By Ray Hu
Three new startups offer software-based tools for made-to-order furniture and housewares.
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Customizing the curves and length of an extruded aluminum bench may not be remarkable in itself, but the ShopFloor Web app certainly makes doing it a lot easier. This Jonathan Olivares design is one of three products available via the intuitive design tool, which is geared toward contract buyers and estimates cost in real time as you point, click, drag, and drop. 

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Launched this year, product startup KWAMBIO is looking to change the perception of 3D-printing with stylish designs, including Mir Ett’s geometric silver Neo Bracelet. Custom-izable variables such as material and finish—likened to a set of Instagram filters—make it an e-commerce platform as much as a service for direct-to-consumer, on-demand manufacturing.

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Commissioning a table by Yves Behar is one thing, but having the star designer as an advisor and investor means Polish furniture startup Tylko is one to watch. Designed as a full experience, from app to product assembly, Tylko combines augmented reality—which allows users to see how pieces will look in their own homes—with customization tools for automated, affordable production. 

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