As we brace ourselves in New York City for Sandy/Frankenstorm to hit tonight we will be wrapping our 3D printers in aluminum foil and locking our robots in a small windowless room on high ground. This does mean that our printers and distribution center in NYC will be closed down on Monday October 28th so there may be a minor delay in some packages in the US and Canada. We will still be printing and shipping from Eindhoven so there should be no delays in printing or distribution for the rest of the world, and our customer service team will still be able to answer all of your questions.
We are really, really close to signing up our 200,000th Shapeways community member and we know that word of mouth/social networks are the way most people find out about Shapeways 3D Printing in the first place.
We would love for you to help us spread the word so we can connect with our 200,000th Shapeways community member and as an incentive, we will contact the 200,000th member, ask them how they found out about Shapeways, and if you recommended them we will share the 3D printed love right back to you by delivering some special 3D printing to your door.
So this weekend, spread the word far and wide, recommend a friend to Shapeways and we will share the love right back to you.
PS. if the 200,000th person randomly found us, we will contact the 200,001st etc. until we find a social sign up.
Every Product Page on Shapeways has a Favorite button to the right so that you can let designers know just how awesome they are. The Wishlist Button helps you to keep track of the 3D Printed goodness you want to have and hold. Clicking either button will send love to the Feed, so everyone can see what 3D Printed products are popular at any one point in time. Let's take a look at the 10 most popular 3D printed designs for the past week in order of popularity from number 10 up to number 1.
There's one thing that a Shapeways shop owner loves (almost) as much as sales, and that is data. A few weeks ago we introduced an improved 'My Sales' page. Today, we're improving the Sales Overview Download (XLS) and it is full of data. The Sales Overview Download (XLS) is going to allow you to see exactly what models you're selling in which material, when it has shipped, and which country it was shipped to. With this data you will be able to create your own shop analytics which can help you improve the performance of your shop.
We will of course be improving the tools on your Shapeways Shop page to make it much easier for you to have insight into what is selling in your shop so you can optimize for sales.
Launched by Mayor Bloomberg at the Shapeways Factory of the Future, Next Top Makers is New York City's is challenge makers, designers, and engineers to create product prototypes.
New York's Next Top Makers is a challenge to prototype new designs
that have commercial potential. The goal of the challenge is to support
design-driven production, and promote a culture of innovation and
commercialization within New York City's industrial business, design and
Starting in mid November, makers, designers, engineers and others
will be invited to enter prototypes in the challenge. It is anticipated
that New York's Next Top Makers will be open for submissions until
mid February 2013.
Finalists will be selected by an expert judging panel, and will
receive assistance on the path to commercialization during the studio
phase. Assistance will include studio space from sponsor NYDesigns,
business support, and mentorship from industry experts such as Adafruit
Industries, Honeybee Robotics and Shapeways. It is anticipated that the
studio phase will run from April to August. Judges will award an
additional cash prize to the most promising winner following the studio
We work really hard at Shapeways to get your 3D prints to you as quickly and cheaply as possible with the best possible quality 3D printing available. Occasionally we run late on some materials due to machine malfunctions, sometimes a parcel get's lost by UPS and we even have old fashioned human error mess things up, but we will always correct our mistakes and continue to try to give you the best possible service. Anyone who has used digital manufacturing technologies knows it is not always easy, anyone who has tried to do a large run in a school, fab lab or industrial complex knows this makes it even more complex when dealing with multiple machines, file types and level of experience.
Today I spent the entire afternoon in my local
university's 3d printing lab. They have 2 different 3d printers, 1 is a
Zcorp color powder based machine, 1 dimension abs printer, a 5 axis cnc
and a cnc router, 2 50W CO2 lasers and a next 3d scanner.
After watching the staff deal with build table cleaning, print head
cleaning, part cleaning, wrong type of material in the lasers, incorrect
part fixturing in the cnc's, memory addressing errors on the 3d
scanner, incorrect file types, corrupt files, files missing textures,
non-mani files and a slew of other issues.
All on a much much smaller scale than Shapeways...the staff of Shapeways
should be commended for getting the volume of work done that they do!!!
Anyone who has a hard time understanding why your model might not be
quite perfect should go see a 3d print house and just stand around and
watch what goes on!
I have a much better understanding of the complexities involved with
this industry, going in the shop to machine my parts is a cakewalk by
I have been told I can come in anytime and print my own items, guess
what, I will still send my files to Shapeways. It is far easier to just
send my files in and get my finished items shipped right to me!
Thanks again Shapeways for making this all so easy!
Thank you BVR, we will continue to work really hard to make 3D printing easy for you, your schools, everyone...
You may have seen from yesterday's blogposts that we were honored to have Mayor Bloomberg cut the ribbon at the groundbreaking of the Shapeways Factory of the Future, with 3D Printed Scissors, of course.
We modified the design ever so slightly, introducing a slight curve in the blade to compensate for the 0.6mm gap that ensured the moving parts did not sinter together but there was still an easy shearing motion between the two blades. Then without further testing (yikes) we put the design on top of the build so that Mayor Bloomberg could take the scissors from the powder, clean them off and cut the ribbon.
Here you can see the progress with Mayor Bloomberg looking a little surprised that they worked perfectly straight out of the 3D Printer while Peter and Marleen look on relieved/joyous. It was a fantastic event and a massive thanks go out to Mayor Bloomberg and all elected official and press (including Betabeat and Gizmodo who gave the scissors some love) who attended along with the entire Shapeways team for making it happen, especially Carine and Elisa who spent HOURS in preparation....
Shapeways Director of Industrial Engineering Kegan Fisher (@keganfisher) shares our vision for the future of manufacturing as we cut the ribbon on our NYC Factory of the Future.
When we opened the doors to the Shapeways NYC office, we dreamed of building a factory nearby. A factory that would provide the thousands of designers and innovators in NYC a place to bring their products to life.
We are incredibly excited to announce that today marks the beginning of our Factory of the Future in Long Island City. We are cutting the ribbon on our new space with a little help from our friends...including Mayor Bloomberg of NYC and Kenneth Adams, President & CEO of Empire State Development.
Last month we signed a lease, sat down to ideate, and began construction on a massive 25,000 square foot space. Not only will it house 30 to 50 high definition, industrial-sized 3D printers, but it will also be a hub of innovation, research and development, and continuous community exploration.
Historically, the word factory brought up connotations of assembly lines and jump suits and iron and cement. It reminded us of the factory Henry Ford created and has been replicated time and time again.
But today, I am proud to say we are giving the word factory new meaning. One that replaces mass manufacturing with mass customization. One that empowers the independent business, the craftsperson, the hobbyist, and the entrepreneur. We are building a factory that gives everyone the ability to create, where the only barrier to entry is imagination.
We are very excited to share that we have improved our dying processes and quality and are launching new colors in our Strong & Flexible family!
Starting today, you will be able to order 3D prints in our dyed & polished red and purple, as well as two new colors: Royal Blue and Hot Pink. The new dyes are a potent mixture of pigment and dye which saturates both the surface and the interior of the nylon plastic. The results are vibrant and consistent, and means that the colors will last longer and appear brighter.
Most excitingly, all Colored Strong & Flexible plastics will now be polished first. By polishing and then dying, 3D prints look and feel like final products and the quality rivals what you can find in a store. We have gotten great feedback on the quality, consistency, and aesthetic and hope you like them!
This is the first of many more colors we will be introducing. We chose to add blue and pink based on your feedback and we can't wait to see what you design for these colors.
New Colors: Properties and Design Guidelines
The design rules are slightly different as the models have to withstand polishing first. The bounding box for polished colors is slightly smaller at 150x150x150mm and the minimum for unsupported wires is 0.9mm.
For more details, please see the Product Detail page here and refer to the design rules for polished products. Remember, you can still order White and Black Strong and Flexible in unpolished.
To celebrate this new addition and help you prepare your shop for the holiday season, all colored Strong & Flexible plastics will be 10% off until October 31st.
Thereafter, the prices will be:
White Strong Flexible - $1.50 startup, $1.40 per cc - no change
Black Strong Flexible - no price change
White Strong Flexible Polished - $2.00 startup, $1.50 per cc
Colored Strong Flexible - $2.25 startup, $1.50 per cc
What this means is, excluding black, everything over 2cc will now be cheaper. That's right, not only are we introducing new polished colors, we're making them cheaper too!
Your Shapeways Shop: What does this mean for you?
Shop Owners, as of today, you will have the ability to add these colors as a new material option with enough time to get some samples before the holiday season kicks off.
If you currently have colored products in your shop, these will be added automatically enabled, though we will not automatically enable blue and pink. That's up to your discretion.
If you do not have colored products in your shop, you will have the opportunity to add these material options starting today, October 17th.
So try them out! Print your models in these vibrant new colors and get ready to be amazed at the vibrancy and finish! Let us know what you think! What colors would you like to see next?