By Julian Kollataj, our Production Planning Summer Intern in the Eindhoven office, who returned to Arcada University of Applied Sciences in Helsinki, Finland, where he's studying Plastics Engineering. Who's moved my manufacturing?
So much has happened over the past three months, that I thought I'd like to share with you, the Shapeways Community, some reflections of my internship at Shapeways before those memories start losing their freshness.
I was wondering where to begin this blog. But then it clicked: first, I was in The Netherlands, the land of Gouda, Edam, and Leyden - and famous for their windmills, dikes, clogs, and bicycles! I've now added 3D Printing to this list of associations, because Shapeways is founded there, of course! Then, the thought of cheese led me to the book and parable about change, Who Moved My Cheese? The book came to mind because of the changes that have gone on within Shapeways and how they are positively affecting the manufacturing and consumer industry. It also came to mind because of the growth which I've had as well. (Hmm, thinking about cheese, I was wondering if they can do 3D printing in chocolate, what about cheese? And look what I found - printed cheese!).
So, the internship started at the end of May. I moved temporarily from Helsinki, Finland (currently the World Design Capital 2012), where I'm studying Plastics Engineering and coaching tennis, to join the Shapeways Production Planning Team. Before arriving, I had some ideas of what to expect, but nothing quite like what I was going to experience. In less than three months, I saw Shapeways grow with: more people joining the company; the launch of the new look and feel; a few new 3D printers installed to add greater capacity; and, the biggest change yet was the migration to a completely new software infrastructure for Shapeways' employees, partners, and you, the community members. I even got to be a part of celebrating Shapeways turning four years old, which was loads of fun!
While all of this was happening, I grew too: in understanding and
having a deeper sense of appreciation for the behind-the-scenes
processes of what it takes to get your idea (or rather, an STL file) to
your doorstep; seeing all those amazing models come through and being
inspired to take up more intricate 3D modelling myself; and, what I
thought most valuable, getting a feel for what it means to be a part of
such a dynamic group of motivated people coming together at a start-up
company. As a side note, my foosball skills improved considerably thanks
to the tough competition, though unfortunately I never made a
'klinker,' but did get to crawl (under the table after losing 10-0),
Every day at Shapeways, thousands of people make their ideas real with 3D printing, and as a result, the Shapeways community is igniting a culture of creativity. For many, though, 3D printing remains an unbelievable, futuristic technology that creates physical objects from thin air.
We know firsthand that seeing is believing. So we're thrilled to launch a series of films about 3D printing, our creative community, and how this incredible technology is changing all of our lives.
This first video provides an inside look into the Shapeways vision, community, and 3D printing magic.
If you're inspired, help ignite the culture of creativity and share the film!