Designer Spotlight: Maikel Grootendorst

Posted by in Designer Spotlight
This weeks designer spotlight we are highlighting not only a great shop, but a popular shop within a very popular category. Maikel Grootendorst is the designer behind MaikelsDesign. From upgrade kits to landing gears and more, Maikel is a great source for all varieties of drone accessories. 
Tell us a little bit about yourself: Who are you? Where are you located?
I’m Maikel located in Utrecht, The Netherlands. I’m a freelance all-around designer in multimedia and product design. I’m also a part-time student at the University of Rotterdam where I study communications and multimedia design (CMD).

What’s the story behind your designs? What inspires you?
I always try to make my designs as minimalistic and as well-thought as I can. I find inspiration in everything around me and often in the smallest detail of things. Also the possibilities that 3D printing offers inspires me. Like the ability to print multiple mechanical parts as one single part, complex shapes, or even simple shapes that you can 3D print but are difficult or can not even achieve when you use traditional production techniques. (For example, my Power Battery door upgrade and Pitch control lever upgrade)
What brought you to 3D printing with Shapeways?
I bought a drone/multirotor for starting aerial video, a new hobby of mine. There where a few things on the drone that I didn’t like, for example the battery door and landing gear. So I started to design some upgrades for my drone and printed it through Shapeways where I ordered my first upgrades. Some of these upgrades I shared on the web where I got a lot of positive feedback and people start asking me where they could get it, and so my shop on Shapeways was born. Before I started my shop on Shapeways I had some prototyping experience with Fused filament fabrication and Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) 3D printers. Since then, 3D printing was one my new biggest interests, so I was always up to date about the latest news in this area so it was not hard to miss the start of Shapeways.
How did you learn how to design in 3D?
I studied product design at the University of Rotterdam.
How do you promote your work?
I promote my work on YouTube where you can find all of my product impression and instructional videos. I also promote my designs on Multirot forums like RC Groups.
Who are your favorite designers or artists? Who in the Shapeways community has served as an inspiration to you?
My favorite designers are Raymond Loewy, Apple designer Jonathan Ive, and Dieter Rams. These are my top 3 designers that inspire me.
If you weren’t limited by current technologies, what would you want to make using 3D printing?
I probably want to design and print my own race or mountain bike. I also like the idea of printing electronic devices with all different kinds of materials and parts from a single 3D printer.
Anything else you want to share?
Don’t let learning how to 3D model scare you. Just grasp one of the many easy-to-learn 3D drawing tools (like Google, Sketchup, etc.) and create something. Show what you have created to people on social media, on your blog or through forums etc. and when people like it they will ask you where they can get it, and your shop is born. 

WHAT WE LOVE ABOUT THIS SHOP:

  • Cohesive designs (all drone parts)
  • Great photography shots – overall view and detailed shots
  • Section searches
  • Great logo and branding

Thanks for the great interview, Maikel! We especially love your enthusiasm about just trying out 3D modeling and printing – it’s an important fear to try to dismantle. Don’t forget to check out Maikel’s shop, follow him on Twitter and watch some fun videos on his YouTube channel. As usual, if you’d like to be featured, feel free to email aimee @ shapeways.com!