Use your Shapeways Shop to promote yourself, your products and your brand.
The better the images and description of your products and the more information you give about yourself and your motivation, the greater the chances are that someone with similar interests and taste will find your designs and purchase them.
1. The Photographs:
As per the photography tutorial, the importance of the images of the items in your shop cannot be underestimated. Your designs are judged online by the viewers initial glance at the image you supply. Make it a good one! Once you have good images of you design make sure the clearest image is the thumbnail seen in the gallery and also post high resolution images to Flickr with a link back to your page.
2. Title and Description:
Make the title describe your model as clearly and concisely as possible then write a more detailed description including information potential buyers may want to know about the materials, function or care. Also include a little information on the inspiration for the design, was it designed as a gift, for a specific function, is there a story behind it? This will help potential buyers relate to the product in a more personal way and also give bloggers something to write about if they want to mention your design. 3. Shop Description
Take a few minutes to write a little about yourself and your designs, you do not have to use your name, age or sex, just a little about your background and inspiration behind your designs. Again this helps potential customers understand that a sale can be a fairly intimate interaction between human beings, something not possible through standard mass production, something fairly unique to Shapeways. It also give information to bloggers who may want to mention you and your designs.
4. Detailed Description, Banner & Logo
In the detailed description reiterate your shop description with richer information, promote yourself and your designs, include links to your blogs, flickr, facebook, twitter, youtube pages whatever. Write a little more about your product designs or hobbies that feed into your use of Shapeways so people can understand more of where you are coming from and give Google a chance to pick up some more key words about your designs. Do include a logo, even if it is simply a photograph of you or one of your favorite products. This will also help your peers and Shapeways staff to recognize you in the forums. Get yourself on Photoshop or Gimp and make yourself a banner, whether it be text, a composition of your designs, a detail of an image, anything to help communicate the personality of your designs, your brand.....
5. Take it a step further.....
So that is the basics to keep your shop interesting and informative, to take it a step further you could really develop your own brand, with consistent images, icons and text throughout your store, use the same format for your personal blog and use the same icon as your avatar in other forums and social media pages.... This will help to build up Brand Recognition more on your personal brand soon.....
Above you can see Oskar Puzzles with a description, banner, logo and consistent images in his shop giving a recognizable 'brand identity'.
Firstly, I would like to thank Joris for his work in helping Shapeways grow its community. We are happy to say that Joris will continue to blog for Shapeways together with Duann, they both plan to provide you with thought-provoking reading material, interesting designs, and nice-to-knows.
As the Shapeways community is very important, we have ensured we have lots of experience available to make sure we take steps in the right direction. Bart, who many of you will have seen on the forum, will be available to help. Bart Veldhuizen has been helping out Shapeways from the start, he is also responsible for www.blendernation.com, so a seasoned 3D designer. You will have seen Bart together with Joris in our latest Shapeways Live video which for now he will continue to host every second Wednesday at 8PM CET - for exact dates see our events page.
So keep posting your comments on our blogs, on the forum, and on our Twitter and Facebook pages, there are still many of us Shapies who are interested to hear your feedback so we can keep on improving and growing.
Have any specific questions, we are always happy to help, feel free to contact us.
Dear community members, I will be leaving Shapeways as per tomorrow. I'll continue to do some Shapeways blog posts but will no longer be your Community Manager. I'm leaving Shapeways in order to pursue other opportunities.
The past two years have been the most invigorating & exciting of my life. To be able to let Shapeways grow from a group of beta testers to a large and vibrant community with tens of thousands of members, tens of thousands of designs and more than 8000 models ordered a month was an incredible experience.
Those first few months were rather chaotic. It started with a bang with articles on TechCrunch and Boing Boing. We were inundated by email, questions & problems (and in one fell swoop thousands of members). Materials had to be introduced Black Detail, White, Strong & Flexible; Transparent Detail, Full Color, Stainless Steel, Glass, High Gloss Glass and above all else we were impatient.
Impatient to show you what you could do using 3D printing technology. We were getting to grips with letting you "upload and print" but already working on the Creators, the Co-Creator platform and all the other features you've seen. The learning curve was steep, not only for our growing community but also for us. Nonmanifold, open edges and coming to grips with software packages we'd never even heard of meant we were learning all the time. Bugs were popping up everywhere, as if we were gallivanting around the jungle tossing sugar cubes every which way. At the same time we had to organize and visit events such as SIGGRAPH, Dutch Design Week and Makerfaire. As a net result I've explained 3D printing to more people than I'd ever think I'd meet in a life time. Somewhere along the line I managed to write 347 blog posts: some of dubious quality, many in dire need of editing but hopefully some good ones in there somewhere.
I also got to dive into model trains, 3D puzzles, space ships, design schools, jewelry designers, Fablabs and many other communities we engaged. So not only has Shapeways let me meet a large number of people and these people have been very diverse. I've also gotten to learn about 3D printing and: graduation ceremony deadlines, N & H0, sculptural intent, live action role playing, remote control helicopters, replica steam boats, racing teams, 3d scans of clavicles, jet engines, fashion accessories, dinner wear, knives & forks, Snoopy, the Virgin de Guadalupe, LEGO swords, fractals, elves, chocolate molds, brass knuckles, Facebook games, UAVs, action figures, Second Life, insects, proteins, DNA, photography, stamps, RFID tags, augmented reality, watches, chess sets, manga, robot arms, fighting robots, board games, desktop wargaming and many other things. Opening up your eyes every day to new communities, new designs and new challenges was wonderful. Thank you all for letting me learn about your community!
We've spent the time since trying to encourage and marshal the incredible skill and energy level of the Shapeways community by holding contests and reaching out through You Tube, this blog and our lively forum. Whereas initially we were focused on just letting people upload to Shapeways, later on it became a question of inspiring people in creating more and more diverse things. The quality of work in the gallery and on It arrived (Ralph's idea!) has continually improved remarkably as people have mastered designing for 3D printing. The sheer variety of the designs on Shapeways right now is mind blowing. While I'd like to think I played a small part in this I know that it is really the community that made this happen.
Fairly quickly the first heroes started to emerge in our community. Whether by tirelessly submitting bug reports or suggestions, spending hours helping on the forum, writing tutorials or by spreading the word it was these community heroes that really have made Shapeways what it is today. Shapeways is a very high engagement community and it is these people's pioneering work that has made this possible. We've had members spend 10-12 hours fixing someone else's complex design and others have spent over a 1000 hours on Shapeways. We've seen hundreds of blog post and tweets by community members spreading the word.
These heroes were brought to us by sites linking to us and writing to us (over ten thousand!). I'd like to especially thank Bruce Sterling, Cory Doctorow, Boing Boing, the Wired Blogs, the guys at Makezine, Gizmodo and Engaget for bringing us talented creative people that have helped shape Shapeways. I'm intensely proud of Shapeways and the Shapeways community. Not only am I proud of what we've all achieved together so far but I know I will be proud of what you'll achieve after I've left. I would like to thank each and every community member from the bottom of my heart. Thank you for your friendship, ideas & encouragement. I am indebted to you for inspiring me with your creativity and hard work for this community.
New software (GA 3D) imports .gml files (Graffiti Markup Language)captured using Graffiti Analysis,
creates 3D geometry based on the data and then exports a 3D
representation of the tag as a .stl file (a common file format
compatible with most 3D software packages including Blender,
Maya and 3DS Max). Time is extruded in the Z dimension and pen speed is
represented by the thickness of the model at any given point. Roth then
have this data 3D printed to create a physical sculpture that serves as
a data visualization of the tag. For the Street and Studio
exhibition at the Kunsthalle Wein, Roth collaborated with an anonymous
local Viennese graffiti writer and had the GA sculpture printed in ABS
plastic. Graffiti motion data of his tag was captured in the streets
(for the first time) at various points around Vienna.
It is always interesting to see how the 'low-brow' arts appropriate technology such as motion tracking and 3D printing in a very clever low tech kinda way. The Graffiti Analysis Sculpture has a very loose feel that comes across similar to a mash-up between the Sketch Furniture series by Swedish trio Front Design and Johnny Lee's Wii remote hacks, both from 2007/2008. It would be great if the Z-Axis could be controlled by something other than time to give more control over the 3D model and make it a really intuitive sketch modeling tool. Sure this kind of interface may never be used to 3D model the latest mind blowing rubik's cube, but playing around with the Graffiti Analysis Capture Application with nothing more than a webcam and a torch is fun and very addictive...
could be a very important paper for Shapeways users (though it is an academic paper and not something that has been tested in the courts) that investigates the I.P. surrounding 3D printing for personal use.
The paper begins by introducing the history of 3D printing and describes recent
developments, including the emergence of RepRap (of course) and it's derivatives such as MakerBot, then on to some 'potential' uses for 3D printing including Spare Parts, Craft and Hobby Items, Educational Uses, Unique Requirements and Fashion Accessories. We have certainly seen a wide range of items on Shapeways that fall into these categories especially Craft, Hobby, Unique and Fashion/Jewelry but have not seen so many replacement parts, yet.
The paper looks specifically at the IP ramifications surrounding the 3D printing of an existing design or replacement part what might and might not be protected by IP law:
Under UK law... Purely personal use of 3D printing to make copies of household objects and spare parts does not infringe the IP rights that commonly protect such items, such as design protection, patents or trade marks. However, there are areas, such as the reproduction of artistic works, where IP rights such as copyright may be infringed. The advent of low-cost 3D printing may therefore pose challenges to several communities: manufacturers, who may be unable to enforce design protection against private users of 3D printing; artists, who may see a new forum for infringement of works previously difficult to copy, and users of low-cost 3D printing, who may face confusion as to what is legitimate and illegitimate use of the technology.
A few weeks ago Steve of Third Fate Creations approached us about showing off
his painting skills on some of the space ships on Shapeways. Steve
works with mini designers in a very selective way. He chooses designs
that inspire him and then paints them. Mostly this is for a fee and sometimes when Steve is really inspired it is in return for credit and keeping the painted mini. You can
check out the pricing and also a lot of airbrush and painting tips on his
We gave Steve a few models so he could show off his
skill for you guys and hopefully get you all to start thinking of the
possibilities of combining airbrushing with your 3D prints. For
Shapeways Steve painted two of Charles Oines intricate and wonderful
spaceships: the Ryuushi
Warleader and the Martian
Icaria Class Strike Cruiser.
Steve, "used an airbrush on all but the "gem/glass reflection
spots" and on
those used a 00 brush. The paint is a combination of GW, Createx, and
Autoair, depending on what effect I needed. It took, roughly, 4-6
hrs total time to prep and paint each one."
If you look at Charles' Shop
you can see that the models are tiny.The Dominator for example of 0.9
by 3.6 by 3.9 cm. The intricate painting detail that Steve managed to
with at this scale is just crazy.
From today until the 22nd of next month there is a significant discount
selected models on the site. Sean's Oloid is not $95 but $66. Basically models with a density higher than 10% that are larger than 20cm3 get
50% discount on the cm3 that exceed the first 20cm3. The discount is over the material price not the mark up of the designer so there will be differences between models. Why & how are we doing this? Have we gone nuts?
We strive to make Shapeways as accessible as we can. We want to
make it easier and more affordable all the time. Eventually it is our
goal to let you make anything. The more you order the more we scale and
the cheaper we can make it for you to order, this encourages you to order more etc.. This is a virtuous
cycle that benefits us both. Up and until now our pricing model has been encouraging you to make thin
tiny wispy things. Larger things and more dense things are
comparatively cheaper for us to make however. There is simply less cleaning
& handling involved per unit of size (and also per $1 in revenue).
Because of this we are able to, for a month and as a test, offer a discount on models that fit the following criteria:
only valid for the materials White, Strong & Flexible; Black Strong & Flexible; Summer Blue; Summer Green & Summer Magenta
only valid for products ordered from today until the 23rd of July.
They have to have a density that is higher than 10%.
On a White, Strong & Flexible model you will then pay the regular $1.50 per cubic cm for any model that is less than 20 cubic cm as well as a start up fee of $1.50 per model.So no change there.
On White, Strong & Flexible model larger than this you will pay a start up fee of $1.50. You will also pay $1.50 per cubic cm for the first 20 cubic cms. Any additional cubic centimeters are only $0.75 per cubic cm.
On a Black, Strong & Flexible model there is a $4 start-up cost + 1.78/cm3 for the first 20 cm3 + 0.89/cm3 for any consecutive cm3 over 20cm3
On the summer colors there is a $4 start-up cost + 1.99/cm3 for the first 20 cm3 + 0.99/cm3 for any consecutive cm3 over 20cm3
You can check density in your 3D modeling application (or totally old
school divide the bounding box by volume of your model).
The discount has been implemented on the site but it might take the site two hours to work through all the galleries.
The discount is over the material price not over the mark up made by the designer so there will be differences in the discount between designers.
This means that large White, Strong & Flexible models have become a lot cheaper on the site for this one month. We hope you guys have fun with this!
Our design intern Artur made a wind chime for you. This wind chime uses the musical properties of glass to full effect and mixes 3D printed glass with White, Strong & Flexible, fishing wire and wooden beads. Combinatory manufacturing ftw. The video is below.
Attention all SolidWorks users, following is a quick tutorial on how to export in Full Color from SolidWorks using a VRML file. The process uses the built in 'appearance' colors not any sort of image mapping so it is a relatively basic and easy process.
Step 1. Fire up SolidWorks and open or create a Part file. I have chosen to model a very clunky calculator looking telephone type object.
Step 2. Go to Photoworks>Appearance and in the sidebar you will see a dialog with color and mapping options, so you can select an entire part or just a single or multiple component such as faces. Repeat this process using surface selection to color up your model. Using darker hues in recessed areas may help to give the model more punch, you could also do some tricks like extruding really shallow text on a screen then coloring the text different to the screen to imply a digital readout.
Step 3. Once you are happy with the overall coloring of your model, you will need to scale it down to prepare to export as a VRML. Select Features>Scale and scale about centroid, uniform scaling at a rate of 0.001. This is because the VRML file reads any units as meters. (handy)
Step 4. Convert the file to VRML by Save As>VRML ensuring in the Options that you select VRML .97. Now you have saved the file you only need to upload the VRML file to Shapeways, you do not need to indicate the units as VRML are always in meters. You are now ready to order your full color 3D print colored using SolidWorks.
If I can figure out a way to include decals and material mapping I will be sure to let you all know, and don't forget the Shapeways Add-in for SolidWorks to upload your files direct to Shapeways.
We can now offer you two new glass materials: High Gloss Black Glass and
High Gloss White Glass. Open the floodgates of your creativity. What
images does their super shiny sheen conjure up in your mind? What will
you guys make with these materials?
The materials have a start up cost of $5 and will cost $6.99 per
cubic cm. Initially the start up costs for Glass were $15 so this
represents a significant price drop in the start up costs. The start up costs of the Milky White Glass has also been reduced by $10 and this material will cost $5.99 per cubic cm. Even though the design rules are the same, the gloss materials are nicer to the touch and stronger.
The materials are made by 3D
printing recycled glass. The fine powder is built up layer by layer and a
binding material is applied to the glass powder that will become your
product. When the 3D print is complete it is baked in an oven to fuse
the glass powder. Your products are then
subsequently enameled to get their glossy finish.
As you can clearly see in the Angel picture
there is a fair amount of "definition" from the 3D printing process in
the form of bumps and the like. The enamel smooths the 3D prints out
considerably and these prints are closed so not porous as the Milky
White Glass material is. The models are however far from completely
smooth. A lot
of the objects made with this process look really good and very arty.
But, significant warping may occur and the overall dimensional accuracy
of this process is still limited. 3D printing glass is amazing but also
very new and a very experimental process.
Joris Peels: Why are you interested in 3D printing?
David Bhella: I am interested in all aspects of 3D technology (rapid
displays and commercial 3D animation software), as my work is entirely focused on solving the structures of viruses in three-dimensions and I
find visualisation in 2D media deeply unsatisfactory.
I think that rapid prototyping is a really interesting way of allowing
one to appreciate the complexity and symmetry of viruses. Holding the
model in your hand is such a 'human' way of understanding an object.
Unfortunately the potential for understanding these structures at
high-resolution cannot be realised in this manner, because proteins are
extremely complex molecules, and a virus is a complex assembly of
proteins. So, the Herpes model I have printed through Shapeways is
comparatively low-resolution (about 2.5 nanometers resolution - the
object itself is 125 nanometers in diameter). We are now working at
better than one nanometer resolution. At this level the 3D shape of
individual protein molecules becomes visible, showing us how they fold
up. To show this as a polygon surface becomes less meaningful then, and
we have to start looking at more complex means of visualisation, also
the poly count becomes so high that commercial 3D software cannot handle
For the moment then, the strength of 3D printing is in teaching and in
public engagement (and in bespoke gifts for retiring professors). I am
really enthusiastic about the prospect of producing large metal
sculptures of virus particles that people can handle and walk around, I
think that the beauty and symmetry of viruses really highlights the
elegance of nature and evolutionary processes. As I am the scientist
responsible for public engagement in my department, I am lucky enough to
be able to dedicate some of my time to this area. Furthermore, my wife
is head of the science team in our local science museum (Glasgow Science
Centre), so I have access to a great venue for P.E activities, which is
staffed by motivated and enthusiastic science communicators who can
help me. A couple of years ago we created an art exhibition called
molecular machines (http://www.molecularmachines.org.uk/), which
got a lot of media attention. I think it would be great to produce a
molecular machines 2.0 that exploited the latest in 3D panel displays
and 3D printing.
Joris Peels: What do you do?
David Bhella: I work on many aspects of the virus life-cycle using
electron microscopy and image processing techniques to understand the
structures of viruses in three-dimensions. Viruses are the smallest of
pathogens to infect man and range from ~30 - 500 nm in size (A nanometer
is 1/1000th of a micrometer which is 1/1000th of a millimeter). They
reproduce themselves by invading our cells and hijacking the cellular
machinery to make thousands more viruses particles. As they have a very
small number of genes, they assemble from multiple copies of only a few
types of protein. They are therefore highly symmetrical, employing
either helical or icosahedral symmetry to make a shell (called a capsid)
that ferries their genome between cells while protecting it from
So, we take 2D images in the transmission electron microscope and use
image processing methods to average together images of thousands of
particles into a 3D reconstruction. I attach a raw image from the
microscope of a
Feline calicivirus. I am interested in this virus as it is from the same
family of viruses as the noroviruses that cause winter vomiting
Beginning next month we will enable Shop owners to offer complete and
final products to their customers. This will be done as a test for 2
months or as long as supplies last. We will offer silver plated earring hooks to the produced
earrings and a rubber necklace of 60 cm long with a nice bayonet lock to
any hanger (see picture below).
The bayonet lock:
To ensure your earrings and necklace hanger will include these
additional free add-ons every time they are ordered you will have to
take the following action:
1) send a mail to firstname.lastname@example.org with the model's name & ID, please put either earring or necklace in the subject line. 2) Shapeways will tag your model accordingly to ensure it will get the right treatment once ordered 3)
Once we start offering this service as a test run you will need to
clarify to your customers that they will receive a beautiful end
note: You will receive no notification once your model is tagged.
Sending the mail will suffice. This service will start by July.
Earrings: - The inside diameter of the hole were the hooks will be attached to must be at least 1,3mm - The
hook will be attached to the hanger using a "o" split ring. This should be
taken into account for the orientation of the hanger.
The orientation of the ring will determine how the earring hangers will show in someones ears. I have tried to explain in below. Blue is your design. We will always attach the earring in this manner so please be aware of that.
Necklace: - The inside diameter of the hole were the necklace will be put trough must be at least 3.5mm.
Ok Shapeways Rubik's Cubists, here is a concept ready to be realised, a Rubik's Cube with Braille....
With the concept by designer Konstantin Datz. The colors of the Rubik's Cube are replaced by Braille symbols. A sweet idea and a little more visually pleasing then the DIY Blind Man's Cube on Instructables (but perhaps this would not be an issue to the blind?)
It would be so nice in a conceptual kinda way if the braille read blue, yellow, green etc. considering it would be an abstract referral to a color that might never have been seen..
UPDATE: I just found a little more info from Datz and the braille does (of course) refer to the colors. Nice renders too.
SolidWorks users can now upload their files directly to Shapeways thanks to a proprietary add-in developed by Design Solutions and Shapeways, making it easier than ever for SolidWorks users to turn their 3D designs into physical objects.
This will automatically convert the model to STL format (as defined by the user settings in SolidWorks) and upload it to “My Designs” in your Shapeways account. The tool will also prompt users to enter any tags, provide a description and select whether the model is for sale or display only.(you will need to agree to Shapeways terms and conditions on the Shapeways site once it is uploaded).
As mentioned this is the BETA version which should be replaced with the second iteration in 6-8 weeks so please do provide us with any feedback you have in this time so we can improve the add-in so we can use this to improve functionality.
From today until the end of the month we will be holding a super quick SIGGRAPH competition. Just add the tag SIGGRAPH2010 to your best model to enter. There will only be one winner this time, winner takes all! This winner will have their model displayed at SIGRRAPH as the centerpiece of our stand. After the show we will also send you the model and give you an additional $250 coupon in 3D printing. We will be looking for the best, most impressive display model. The model can not cost more than $200 and must be inspiring as well as show people the possibilities of 3D printing. Don't forget only two weeks to design! Fame and fortune await! Enter now!