My name is Robert Schouwenburg, pleased to meet you!

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Since September 2007 I’ve worked for Shapeways as COO. My first
priority was to get the internet portal implemented and find 3D
printing capacity. In January 2008 we had our first prototype service
ready and we went into beta testing. I am still amazed that we got so
far in so little time. But there is still a lot to do.

One of our major challenges is to make 3D printing affordable. The
industry is really geared towards product prototyping and small series
production. And what we do falls somewhere in the middle of those two
– unique products at low prices.

Another challenge is to process 3D model files and validate them to
see if we can safely print them on our machines. Although software
exists which can do that, it is really not meant for automation. It
still needs a human engineer to interpret the data of the model.

So where did I come from? Well I worked for Sangine which was a spin
out of another startup called Aramiska. At Sangine we made satellite
communications equipment and software. Aramiska was an internet
service provider. I love using technology to do radical things. And
this exactly what I try to do here at Shapeways. To enable you to
design and produce whatever you can think of.

In my spare time — which is little as of late — I like to play with my
gadgets (Ipod, Acer Aspire One, MythTV), tend my garden or go out to
dinner to a good restaurant.

Cheers!

Robert