We’ve seen the photos and read the press release. But what’s the real story behind MINI’s recent 3D printing customization, where’s the technology come from and how can you get engaged with it? We wanted to find out.

The technology that powers it all is an Belgian software company Twikit. And MINI is its first automotive customer. The company’s clients include jewelry brands such as Austria’s Swarovski and Belgium’s BAUNAT, and the multinational conglomerate, Philips.

Behind the scenes the entire process begins with software called Product Creator. That’s where product developers and engineers set customization parameters on the parts that MINI has deemed customizable.

What’s really a game-changer is that customers can design and order their own personalized car parts themselves. By modifying and combining a wide range of patterns, text fields and graphics in real-time, they can build up their own unique design which can be ordered directly or saved and digitally shared.

3d printing

Once ordered, the Twikbot platform generates production ready files and directly connects through API with the BMW production facility in Germany. Those parts are then shipped to the customer directly. It’s all fairly simple with the site being fully responsive and fairly intuitive (despite the odd German to English translation now and again).

Go check it out yourself at Yours-customised.mini. It’s rather addicting.