3D printing unlocks potential, helps dyslexic Founder of MAX’IS Creations transform creative idea into best selling product

ROCK HILL, South Carolina, October 22, 2015 3D Systems (NYSE:DDD) announced today that Max Ash, the young Founder and Chief Creator of MAX’IS Creations, Inc. used 3D Systems’ technology to transform a school art project into a bestselling line of sports-themed mugs.

Max showed early signs of dyslexia—a learning disability that can affect a person’s ability to read, write and process language—when he was five years old. While dyslexia can often be an impediment to traditional learning in the classroom, it is also frequently associated with creative thinking. And Max is full of creative ideas.

One day, in his 2nd grade art class, Max’s teacher asked the students to make a mug out of clay. Max came up with the idea to attach a miniature basketball hoop, through which he could throw marshmallows into hot chocolate. He knew he was onto something when his classmates began to copy his design. Recognizing the business potential in The Mug With A Hoop™, Max and his parents reached out to Sean O’Reilly at 3D Printsmith to design a prototype using 3D printing technology. With a 3D Systems printed physical part in hand, Max was able to showcase his concept at the Product Pitch at Fenway contest in Boston, becoming the only child named as one of ten finalists in the competition.

Watch a video of how 3D printing helped Max communicate his ideas and bring his products to market here.

“I knew the idea of putting a basketball hoop on a mug was a good idea when my friends copied me,” said Max, now 11, who received a patent for his design this past spring. “But it wasn’t until I held the amazing 3D printed prototype in my hands that I knew this could actually be a successful business.”

Using the 3D Systems printed prototype as a demo, Max launched a crowdfunding campaign to raise money for production. He quickly surpassed his fundraising goals and leveraged 3D printed parts to create the molds for an initial manufacturing run in the United States. The following year, Max initiated large-scale overseas production in order to bring his mugs to market. The Mug With A Hoop™ was a huge commercial success, flying off the shelves at retailers like UncommonGoods, The Grommet, Nordstrom, Learning Express and even the Basketball Hall of Fame. During the 2014 holiday season alone, MAX’IS Creations sold out of 18,000 mugs. 

Max has since expanded his line of sports-themed mugs to include The Mug With A Glove™, The Mug With A Goalpost™, The Soccer Mug With A Goal™ and The Hockey Mug With A Net™. 3D technology enabled MAX’IS Creations to refine designs and navigate manufacturing obstacles along the way.

As his business continues to expand, Max remains committed to supporting kids like him. Five percent of the profits from the sale of MAX’IS Creations mugs are donated to charities and non-profits like understood.org that educate the public and families about dyslexia and empower dyslexic children to unlock their true potential.

“With 3D printing and scanning, children are able to take their most creative concepts and turn them into something real, meaningful and tangible—even a successful business,” said Cathy Lewis, Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer, 3DS. “Our technology gives everyone the means to unlock their own human potential.”

October is dyslexia awareness month. To find out more about dyslexia and other learning or attention issues, please visit www.understood.org.

To learn more about MAX’IS Creations, check out www.maxiscreations.com.

To find out more about how 3DS is unlocking human potential and empowering its customers to manufacture the future, visit www.3dsystems.com.

About 3D Systems

3D Systems provides the most advanced and comprehensive 3D digital design and fabrication solutions available today, including 3D printers, print materials and cloud-sourced custom parts. Its powerful ecosystem transforms entire industries by empowering professionals and consumers everywhere to bring their ideas to life using its vast material selection, including plastics, metals, ceramics and edibles. 3DS’ leading personalized medicine capabilities include end-to-end simulation, training and planning, and printing of surgical instruments and devices for personalized surgery and patient specific medical and dental devices. Its democratized 3D digital design, fabrication and inspection products provide seamless interoperability and incorporate the latest immersive computing technologies. 3DS’ products and services disrupt traditional methods, deliver improved results and empower its customers to manufacture the future now.

Leadership through Innovation and Technology

  • 3DS invented 3D printing with its Stereolithography (SLA) printer and was the first to commercialize it in 1989.
  • 3DS invented Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) printing and was the first to commercialize it in 1992.
  • 3DS invented and commercialized its patented, ground-breaking force-feedback haptic devices in 1993.
  • 3DS invented the ColorJet Printing (CJP) class of 3D printers and was the first to commercialize 3D powder-based systems in 1994.
  • 3DS invented MultiJet Printing (MJP) printers and was the first to commercialize it in 1996.
  • 3DS pioneered virtual surgical simulation (VSSTM) and virtual surgical planning (VSP®) as part of its portfolio of leading 3D healthcare products and services.
  • 3DS pioneered scan-based design with the release of the patented Geomagic Design X (XOR) software in 2006.

Today its comprehensive range of 3D printers is the industry’s benchmark for production-grade manufacturing in aerospace, automotive, patient specific medical device and a variety of consumer, electronic and fashion accessories.

More information on the company is available at www.3dsystems.com.