We were happy to have Joshua Harker visit us at the Shapeways HQ in New York City to finally meet after 3D printing SO MANY of his skulls. We took the opportunity to record our part of our conversation about how he used Shapeways 3d printing and Kickstarter to take his career into a new direction, how on demand 3D printing makes it possible for artists and designers to realize their ideas, and how platforms like Shapeways and Kickstarter make it possible to reach a massive audience with no financial investment or risk. In short, 3D printing and the 3rd industrial revolution as celebrated by his latest Kickstarter project, Anatomica di Revolutis.
The full interview runs for around 15 minutes and covers much of Joshua's amazing success over the past 12 months, check it out.
I haven't been able
to find any in stores, and it seems mind-numbingly obvious that this is
what people really want on their tree. A limited time offer, this model
is available THIS YEAR ONLY. A perfect, unique gift for zombie and tech
Digitally sculpted from scratch, this is not a modification of any
Once your shop is set up for holiday sales, you're well on your way to being optimized for selling into the new year. These last few tips are going to help you set up a longer term strategy for maintaining a good shop.
By now you've hopefully been running a successful shop, your friends and family flock to it, bloggers are driving traffic, and you've got good data from google analytics to show you whats happening and how to adjust it.
The next step is advertising. A quick and easy introduction to advertising is by using Google AdWords.
You create ads and choose keywords, which are words or phrases related to your products. Your ads appear on Google and when people search on Google using one of your keywords, your ad may appear next to or above the search results. This means you're advertising to an audience that's already interested in you. Read more and get started
Why bother with advertising you ask? Shapeways designer Seth Alexander of Masterworks shares his story:
I have a different ad with different keywords for each set of dice and more general ads for related products such as DND. I'm currently running 8 ads, each with 5 or more keywords.
For my Steampunk Dice ad I use these keywords:
Steampunk, steampunk shop, steampunk gear, steampunk theme, steampunk dice, steam punk shop, steam punk gear, steam punk dice, steam punk theme
Generally, you want to avoid very general keywords such as 'dice' or 'Shapeways' since these tend to draw a high click-through rate but no sales. This means you will be paying a cost per click but getting nothing in return. The keyword 'Steampunk' is debatable because it's so general but I decided to leave it because Steampunk itself is a niche market.
AdWords has doubled my sales from approximately 25 sales/month to 50 sales/month. It costs me approximately 25% of the monthly Shapeways income at my current settings. So the net profit is a 50% gain from AdWords. I would need more time to study the statistics as this is only a 3 month analysis, but I believe it is worth it!
As you probably already know, getting linked on major news sites and blogs has the largest effect and AdWords will add visibility, so those stories are more likely to appear.
What an inspiring story, thank you Seth!
And there you have it, our top tips for your shop. Happy shaping and wishing you lots of sales!
2012 has been remarkable year here at Shapeways.Our
community grew dramatically, hundreds of thousands of
your designs emerged from 3D Printers, and the world has
officially woken up to the possibilities of 3D Printing -- not as a
SciFi dream but as an accessible tool to make ideas real.
most excitingly, we're starting to see a world in which you can get
exactly what you want, and not have to settle for what is available.
Your innovation and creativity inspires us on a daily basis, empowering us to go from one rickety shelf to a fully operational factory in Long Island City in a matter of months, joining our ever expanding facility in Eindhoven. As we make major investments in localizing production, our team continues to grow on both continents in order to make the impossible a reality.
So thank you all for inspiring us, and without further ado, here's a snapshot of the 2012 in numbers:
Though many of you may be winding down for the holidays, Shapeways production is in full force. We're all working really hard to ensure that your holiday orders get to you on time. Within the last couple of weeks, we've seen an unprecedented amount of orders at both of our production facilities in Eindhoven and LIC. Here's a little glimpse into our day to day...
Eindhoven swimming in boxes, flooded with holiday orders.
We also hit a new team record for items shipped yesterday at our LIC facility.Naturally, a team chant ensued... go team go!
Check out the awesome space, bring 3D prints to share, mingle with other Shapies and meet our special guest all the way from Eindhoven... Mitchell Jetten, better known as our Customer Service agent extraordinaire, and creator of awesome model trains!
3DEA Pop Up Shop
Corner of 29th and 6th ave
RSVP on Meetup.com and sign up to hear about all our upcoming meetups. Sneak peak... 2013 will bring Factory of the Future tours!
Need an excuse to escape the family over the holidays? Got a new year's resolution to learn 3D modeling? We're feeling the sprit of giving here at Shapeways and have a great present for you!
Our friends at Tinkercad are offering Shapeways community members 50% off for two months on any of their plans. So on their "Personal" plan this means you can store 100 models on TinkerCad for just $9.50!
Tinkercad is a powerful 3D modeling tool available right in your browser, letting you create designs within minutes. They also have a plug-in with Shapeways, so you can 3D print directly from within Tinkercad too.
Just enter this coupon code at sign-up: ShapewaysTC2013
Happy Holidays and Happy Shaping!
The fine print: Code is valid until 01/10/2013. Code can only be used once, but will apply to two months. Existing Tinkercad users are also eligible to use the code.
This week we take a look at the animalistic 3D prints in the Shapeways galleries.
Every Tuesday we update the Shapeways homepage with your designs based on a particular tag. This week we are featuring products with the tag animal to curate the homepage, and show some of the massive diversity of designs within a set theme. Be sure to tag your designs so that we, and others can better find your designs. It only takes a few seconds and makes your design infinitely more findable. If we can find your design via your tags, and feature them on the Shapeways homepage you will see an immediate spike in traffic, and hopefully sales too. If your design on Shapeways has some animalistic qualities, be sure to tag it animal and it just may make it's way on to the Shapeways homepage too....
A Look at the Colors We Launched Earlier This Year.
Earlier this year we launched some new colors and improved the process for our existing colors to make your 3D prints smoother, with more reliable colors. We just wanted to share some images of the current colors across variable geometry, from curved to flat surface, angular sections, emboss and engraving. You can see that the color is quite consistent across the diverse range of geometries. The only significant difference being where the text is engraved or embossed, where small details look to hold slightly more color. We have also noticed that some thin, wiry parts can look slightly darker, with more saturated color than solid, flat surface.
Now that we have these colors locked down, what color Nylon would you like to see us introduce next? Let us know with CMYK or Pantone colors?
We do not always know exactly what everyone is 3D printing with Shapeways, Every now and then we see some odd forms coming out of the 3D printers and we speculate what they might be. A sliding bracket to connect a camera to a dog, a rolling half mount to amplify bird calls, or a weirdly flapping crawler to take flight over Japan? Check out the videos of the ornithopter that was modeled in Autodesk 123D and 3D printed with Shapeways as it is first tested, then launched into outdoor flight. If anyone understands Japanese and would like to translate the site, please feel free to share more information on the project.
Chopper automatically partitions a given 3D model into parts that are small enough to be 3D printed and assembled into the original model.
A recent paper by Linjie Luo, Ilya Baran, Szymon Rusinkiewicz, Wojciech Matusik of Princeton University presented at SIGGRAPH outlined software designed to partition large 3D models into smaller 3D printable ones. Check out the video of the 3D printed parts being assembled, fairly seamless.
3D printing technology is rapidly maturing and becoming ubiquitous. One of the remaining obstacles to wide-scale adoption is that the object to be printed must fit into the working volume of the 3D printer. We propose a framework, called Chopper, to decompose a large 3D object into smaller parts so that each part fits into the printing volume. These parts can then be assembled to form the original object. We formulate a number of desirable criteria for the partition, including assemblability, having few components, unobtrusiveness of the seams, and structural soundness. Chopper optimizes these criteria and generates a partition either automatically or with user guidance. Our prototype outputs the final decomposed parts with customized connectors on the interfaces. We demonstrate the effectiveness of Chopper on a variety of non-trivial real-world objects.
This is a great step forward for desktop 3D printers that sometimes have a relatively small build area. We do not see too many projects that are too large to be printed in Shapeways 3D printers other than the occasional architectural model.
Would you use this tool if it were made available?
This weeks Designer Spotlight focuses on Isaie Bloch, an incredible artist who uses the capabilities and limitations of 3D printing to inform his designs.
Tell us a little bit about yourself: Who are you? Where are you located?
I'm a Belgian architect and CG artist under the name of Eragatory. After receiving my first master degree in architecture, I joined the postgraduate program Excessive in 2010 lead by Hernan Diaz Alonso, at dieAngewandte, Vienna, Austria. My ongoing research and design ambitions are focused on the correlation between craftsmanship and additive manufacturing within several creative domains including Architecture, Fashion and Plastic arts and the digital methodologies blending in between them. I have been working as an artist in the field of hyperrealism exhibiting in Belgium, Italy, the Netherlands, China, Dubai and the USA, creating a range of art-pieces reaching from small prints, to 3D printed sculptures and huge hand manufactured installations. I have also been working together with designer Iris van Herpen on several sculptural dresses which have been shown on the catwalks at the Mercedes-Benz fashion week in Berlin and the Paris Haute Couture Show.
What's the story behind your designs?
I generally seek to design pieces dedicated to the geometrical capacities of 3D printing. In my opinion it does not make sense to use 3D printing for the production of regular objects unless they are intended to be prototypes. Just like all production methods all of them have specific characteristics 3D printing offers the incredible advantage of being able to produce almost any type of intricate geometry. And that specifically is the characteristic that I want to project in my work as much as possible. Highly ornamental, specific geometrical conditions and subverted aesthetics are elements which will always be found in my work. The Floralia vases are a design that balances on the edge in-between functionality, digital aesthetics, mass customization and object-oriented eclecticism. In contrast to contemporary thought and design, which views things as the aggregation or assembly of smaller bits and parts, in Object Oriented Design new objects emerge out of an ecology of interaction of multiple and heterogeneous objects. Through a process of formation or computation, highly differentiated, contradictory concepts and structures can become one object, without resulting in an incongruous collage.
Pink Floraria vase printed in Full Color Sandstone
What brought you to 3D printing with Shapeways?
For me personally Shapeways offers the ideal balance in between a very good online service (which is really hard to find) quality, price, materials and production time. Being able to get a direct quote and first checkup of your 3D model instantly is very useful. It speeds up your design process a lot, since you don' need to wait for several days in order to know if you should make this or that differently according to your estimated price. The whole website is so clear and easy to use, the web shops are pretty good looking and not complicated in any way.
How did you learn how to design in 3D?
As an architecture student I was confronted with the possible use of 3D tools. We were not forced to use any of them but it was very clear for me that these tools were going to be a great help according to my own aesthetic and geometrical preferences. So I started to instruct myself using a lot of tips and tricks that I found on the internet. Because of my attraction to ornamental overload and high resolution geometries I acquainted myself to the types of softwares which would not be directly related to architecture like 3DS Max, Z brush and Meshlab.
How do you promote your work?
I try to get as much exposure as possible by publishing my work on design and 3D printing related blogs and magazines. I organize workshops once in a while and during those I lecture about my work as well. All my work is published on my Eragatory blog as well.
Green Floraria vase printed in Full Color Sandstone
Who are your favorite designers or artists?
My interest is pretty wide according to artists I follow. Differing in physical or digital disciplines and status, some are very known and could be on the edge of being commercial and others might just be students or unknown artist with a very good oeuvre. But all of them have a touch of absurdness, eccentric material usage, high resolution intricacy and would preferably have a high level of tolerance for mistakes. Abhominal, Barry x ball, Henrique Oliveira, Jan Manski, Jerry Judah, Mrmann, Katsuyo Aoki, Lebbeus Woods, Michael Hansemeyer, Juliaan Lampens, Wolfgang Tschapeller, Stephan Balleux, Mack Scogin Merril Elam Architects would be a good representation of what I seek for in the creative industry.
Anything else you want to share?
I can not stipulate it enough, despite all the magical 3D tools on the market it is still very important to have a design intent at the beginning. I use these tools as a new set of crayons impowering me to form my ideas not as a series of digital trics generating random geometry. It happens way too often that people get mislead by automated fuctions in 3D software, generally resulting in mainstream/predictible/d?j? vu results. We should be subverting the logic of perfection: what used to be about mastering the perfect result of non-perfect processes should now be about the production of misfit and the grotesque through perfected processes.
That's some incredible advice for budding 3D designers, thank you Isaie! You can see more of his work on his Shapeways Shop or his blog.
As 2012 comes to a close it is time to look forward to 2013 and what exciting new things we can do at Shapeways. One thing we really love is to experiment with 3D printing new materials and post processing. What would YOU like to see us introduce next year?
Should we look at new colors or new finishes, new metals or new ceramics, different plastics or something completely new like 3D printing wax? We have a few ideas and have been experimenting behind the scenes but would love to know what you would like to see next and why. We will read EVERY comment and investigate what is possible. So, what is it going to be???
Let Us Know What Models You Would Like to See in Friday Finds Using @Mentions
Usually for Friday Finds we trawl the Shapeways site, check the It Arrived and Feature This threads in the Shapeways forums, search Flickr, YouTube and even Pinterest. This week we are asking you to use our new @mentions feature to let us know which 3D printed products YOU think should be featured in this weeks Friday Finds.
To suggest a product, simply mention @ElisaRichardson and tell her why we should feature the product on Friday Finds.