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Connecting the Dots: The Tech Stack for Micro Manufacturing – AMS Speaker Spotlight

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King Children is a technology platform that has reinvented how the products we buy are made. King Children’s vertical software and proprietary post processing technology leverage 3D printing to create a first-ever demand-driven supply chain. Our first market is eyewear, and we’re excited about scaling the model to additional verticals in fashion and consumer products.

First, some context: the supply-driven model for eyewear uses centuries’ old production technology requiring expensive molds and long lead times. In turn, limitations around prototyping and SKU variation make product iteration challenging. Suppliers call for high MOQs that leave brands with massive volumes of inventory, much of which is sold at highly discounted rates or gets disposed of altogether.

The success of a demand-driven model hinges on two ingredients: first, having an end-to-end software system that automates every aspect of the business from design all the way through production, and second leveraging post-processing technology to achieve end products that are at least on par, and ideally superior, to the existing market. 

The first ingredient, a complete vertical software stack designed for a specific product, covers the end-to-end process of realizing that product: design, development, ordering, and manufacturing. Our model leverages 3D printing technology and innovations in robotics and material science geared towards the products we produce. In our case, this accomplishes a purpose-driven solution for the eyewear space.

When designers and developers work together within the same systems as their manufacturers, and the capabilities are flexible thanks to 3D printing technology, the need to “design for manufacturing” disappears. Rather, our stack integrates algorithmic design. This allows for seamless iteration in the prototyping stage. It also drives instant SKU manipulation, so we can offer any color that suits you in the right size for your face through our platform.

Using this stack is the key to achieving a zero-inventory business model: a cornerstone of transforming industries like eyewear that are otherwise rife with extremely high MOQs.

The second critical ingredient to the success of demand-driven models is our breakthroughs in post-processing technology. Our high-quality eyewear looks and feels premium — it’s competitive with the rest of the market. After years of R&D in the chemicals and materials space, our model can Pantone-match any color and develop new finishes within a few weeks. Harnessing robotics innovations, we’re also able to automate the application of our finishes to reduce production time and ensure finish consistency.

Demand-driven supply chains are a better economic model, and serve companies especially well when it comes to their environmental sustainability. As carbon credits loom on the horizon, companies that use low-carbon supply chains and produce only what they need will be set up for long-term success. A vertical supply chain also eases the burden of tracking energy use and emissions. Those that maintain the status quo may be caught in a lurch, scrambling to rethink their whole supply chain when it’s already too late.

King Children is participating at Additive Manufacturing Strategies, taking place in New York City from February 7-9, 2023. Sahir Zaveri, Co-Founder and CEO of King Children, will be taking part in Session 1, Panel 3: Polymer Post Processing on February 9. Register for your ticket to attend here

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