Did you know Shapeways has an API? New companies are forming around it everyday!
MYMO is a great recent example of Shop Owners taking advantage of the API. I sat down with them at their office to discuss the launch of their jewelry app, MYMO, that lets users combine any two letters or numbers in an elegant form factor. Our Alan Hudson helped them set it up, has worked with them a lot. He even connected them to a geometry generator. Rex, their developer, built MYMO off the Shapeways API which let him leverage his existing coding database.
How did you start designing these beautiful pendants?
Patrick 3D Modeled it in Tinkercad and gave it to Katie as a present using a J & E for their two kids, Jasper and Evie last Christmas. The goal is to make 3D Printing and custom products more accessible to a broader audience. Katie thought 3D printing was really cool, but Patrick is the one with the patience to figures things out, and how to make it accessible for people like Katie. When I received her necklace, it exceeded my expectations. “he impressed everyone at the family Chirstmas” Our kids argued over who got to order first. Just launched earlier this month.
So you aren’t 3D Modelers by day? No, we’re actually a design and Branding Agency by Day, at our company Ultravirgo. We do branding for the UN, non-profits, National Parkinson Foundation, Knight Foundation and more focusing on corporate identity, branding, collateral etc for bigger brands. We always wanted to get a side project off the ground, this was the one that they really wanted to make happen.
How did you get started with jewelry design?
Never had designed jewelry before. Had only done mostly print and 2D design in the past. This is my first 3D Object. I like designing systems within in brands, so applied this logic to the system of integrating of the letters and numbers together.
Tell me about your design process and settling on this current form factor.
Patrick has always loved typography and has created new typefaces for other products in the past, this one he designed specifically for the limitations of 3D Printing. Design with those parameters in mind. Fair amount of back and forth with Rex early on, two or three formal iterations and prototyping later, they were ready to launch. 6 months working on it part time.
Saw the news about the factory build out in Long Island City, chose Shapeways for Katie’s necklace. Then Patrick found the Shapeways team so helpful, there was no reason to consider another 3D Printing company.
How did you find working with the Shapeways API?
According to Patrick, Alan worked with Rex, their developer and it was seamless. “It just worked”
What is the biggest challenge facing 3D Printing Today?
More exposure and what is possible. “A lot of people are really surprised at what we could do with it” “Surprised that the manufacturing of actual products is possible” It’s been surprising, our parents and friends didn’t realize what you could do with it.”
How do you plan on advertising your shop?
We’re starting to reach out to our personal network of bloggers, have some facebook ads running.
Do you see this being possible with other designs in the future?
Yes. Definitely. We want to invite other designers to create typefaces for it. Smaller pendants, earrings, cufflinks. “We plan to expand both the product line and the design options” “The Graphic Design work and the tech world are not as connected as they should be” says Katie. They’re tackling this problem and integrating customization.
How did you decide which materials to feature in your shop?
We knew the silver looked really good and we didn’t want to overwhelm people with choices. you’re already selecting which letters and numbers represent you, we didn’t want the material options to add another later of distraction. High Quality materials were a must. Branding experiment aimed at a higher ticket market, the designer market, the true designer world. Wanted to positioned upscale. When I tell people, they say “I didn’t even know that was possible!” -Patrick
What is the future like for MYMO?
We’d like it to be a self-sustaining business.
Everyone is getting them for Christmas. Gifting a person thing is the need we’re solving. Creating a product worth buying as a consumer.
We started thinking about it with Monograms, many use cases, having kids, getting married, anniversaries. The number of things you can express in two characters has grown, 3D Printing has increased the amount of options. How many products could be customized and have personal meaning to you?
The designer can set up a system where the consumer can customize the design but still maintain the aesthetic.
Patrick and Katie are spot on! By allowing people to customize aspects of a design, they allow for the creative freedom we deserve when buying products. Learn more about the Shapeways API and ShapeJS here.