Author Archives: Aimee

Designer Spotlight: Steven Gray

This weeks Designer Spotlight focuses on Steven Gray, an origami loving 3D designer from Scotland.

Tell us a little bit about yourself: Who are you? Where are you located?
I’m a Glasgow, Scotland, born sci-fi geek dad with a background in IT and an interest in technology and gadgets that goes right back to the late 1970′s when all I coveted was my best friend’s Merlin hand held game. I hesitate to call myself a designer. I could say my hobby is 3D design but I’ve been making things as long as I can remember, out of cardboard, paper, glue. I love origami; the process of turning a single sheet of paper into something is fascinating. Give me a few squares of paper and I’ll make you an origami box!

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Designer Spotlight: Tim Eyes

This week we’re excited to highlight Tim Eyes, designer behind fabMOL. As a molecular biologist, Tim is using 3D printing to put all those tiny molecules into our hands so we can appreciate the beauty and also learn as much as we can about the molecular world!

Tell us a little bit about yourself: Who are you? Where are you located?
I’m a PhD molecular biologist based at the University of Manchester, UK. One key area of my research involves understanding the atomic structure of biological molecules such as proteins.


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Designer Spotlight: Sabela Sánchez & Carlos Alonso

This weeks designer spotlight we are featuring Sabela and Carlos of geekprints! We first noticed their unique bracelets and the shop has grown to have some amazing mathematical inspired products in both colorful and shiny materials.

Tell us a little bit about yourself: Who are you? Where are you located?
We are Sabela Sánchez and Carlos Alonso and we are located in Vigo (Galicia, Spain). Sabela is the creative powerhouse behind geekprints. She is an industrial engineer passionate about art and design. Carlos is the technical artist behind geekprints. Certified by Autodesk in 3D animation, modeling, sculpting, visual effects and video edition.


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Designer Spotlight: Anders Thøstesen

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This weeks designer spotlight is highlighting Danish student Anders Thostesen. Anders found Shapeways via puzzles and started creating on his own – now with a fun shop of jewelry and accessories!

Tell us a little bit about yourself: Who are you? Where are you located?
I’m a 15 year old boy living and going to school in Denmark. I’ve always been creative, but the world of 3D has really amazed me. Then I discovered Shapeways, which opened a ton of opportunities.


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Designer Spotlight: Antonio (Tony) Regidor

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This weeks spotlight we are highlighting Antonio (Tony) Regidor. A self-taught designer from Spain, Tony was first inspried by his love of classic cars. His shop has since expanded into his interest in SciFi, with amazing miniatures, home and gadget accessories, and he also creates lovely jewelry, allowing him to create unique, one-of-a-kind pieces for his daughter! With so many different sections, there’s surely something for everyone thanks to Tony’s imagination and skills.

Tell us a little bit about yourself: Who are you? Where are you located?
I’m a technical journalist involved on the motorbike world. 3D designing and printing is my hobby, not my job. I’m a science fan, I love technology, the 3D world, the classic cars and motorcycles, motorbike riding, the PC and Android world, photography. I love fixing things… And I need everything I do to be perfect! I’m from Barcelona, Spain, and I love my city too.


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Designer Spotlight: Agathe Schmid-Koenig & Bettina Meyer

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This week we are excited to highlight the lovely German duo, Agathe Schmid-Koenig and Bettina Meyer. Their shop, ringdesigner, is a lovely mix of jewelry design mixed with simple industrial design, and try to find basic forms to express an idea. Thanks to 3D printing, their ideas can be realized and shared with the world!

Tell us a little bit about yourself: Who are you? Where are you located?
We met at the Fachhochschule für Gestaltung in Schwäbisch Gmünd, Germany, where Bettina studied jewelry design and Agathe industrial design. After several years of professional practice in different towns we met again at International Design Center of Berlin in 2000 and have been in contact since. We are both interested in the new technology of 3D printing, and we started our jewelry project in 2014. Bettina is running her own jewelry gallery in Berlin, and Agathe’s office is near Heidelberg.


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Designer Spotlight: Edrice Waliyar

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This week, as we early celebrate Father’s Day, we are highlighting designer dad Edrice Waliyar. Edrice is a freelance artist living in France with his wife and daughter. His shop is full of wonderful designs, from jewelry to memes and artwork.

Tell us a little bit about yourself: Who are you? Where are you located?
I’m a freelance 3D artist and designer from France. I mostly do characters for indie games and 3D printing, and as time goes by the amount of work shifts more and more towards the latter. This allows me to work from home, and to take care of my two year old daughter; it’s a privilege to be able to do your dream job and watch your kid grow, something I can do thanks to the support of my wife.


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Call for Blog Stories

Posted by in 3D Modeling

We love hearing all stories that have to do with 3D printing – especially when they come straight from our amazing community. With such a wide range of designers with all different interests, ideas, businesses, hobbies, etc. there is never a shortage of great content. We want to give you the chance to tell us your story! Posts can range from Kickstarter campaigns to tutorials, product inspiration to small business starting stories. We’ve pulled just a few to get your ideas rolling.

If you have a product or story you’d like to tell, fill out the form below and let us know your story. We’ll be in contact if we’d like to feature you!

Designer Matt Smith raises funds to recreate an original sculpture using digital sculpting techniques and 3D technology. Read more »

Small Business Building
Gabriel Prero, a Shapeways shop owner who partnered with a friend to start a totally new business – BioSpawn. Using Gabriel’s knowledge of 3D printing and his friend’s love for bass fishing, the two set out to make fishing lures with more detail than you could find anywhere else. Read More »

Shapeways in the Wild
Shop owner Melissa Ng scans and prints custom masks for the new JiHAE music video featuring actor Norman Reedus. Read More »

Product Features
Artist and Designer Tomoo Yamaji who was inspired by the Transformers cartoons from the 80′s and 90′s has designed a fully functional, detailed, 3D printed, assemble yourself transforming robot. Tomoo felt that there was a need for a grown up version of transforming robot toys and decided to use Shapeways 3D printing to bring this impressive design to life. Read More »

Designer Spotlight: Gabriel Prero

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This week we are highlighting Gabriel Prero, amazing owner of Cufflink Junkie. We interviewed Gabriel back in 2013 and wanted to catch up; looks like the shop has grown a ton, with lots of commision orders! We especially like that Gabriel has chosen two specific niches between cufflinks and Hebrew lettering – always great to look for those sweet spots for shoppers. The shop has clearly expanded into more than cufflinks, so make sure you take a look.

Tell us a little bit about yourself: Who are you? Where are you located?
My name is Gabriel Prero, and I’m an Industrial Designer based in Chicago. I wear a few hats professionally. I design home storage, organization, and garment care items for Home Products International, I’m the co-founder and Chief Design Officer of BioSpawn Lure Company, and I run my own Industrial Design consulting studio, Prero Design LLC. I’m a proud Dad to 3 (and husband to 1). And I design cufflinks.


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Turn your selfie into a customizable figurine with Insta3D Maker

Posted by in 3D Modeling

Insta3D is a new, free mobile app that makes an animated avatar. They took that app a step further and created Insta3D Maker, a web service that is currently connected to Shapeways for 3D printing where you can turn yourself and friends into customizable 3D printed figurines – all you need is a selfie! We sat down to chat with the creators of Insta3D Maker to hear about where their idea came from, what challenges they faces and how they got into 3D printing.

What was your original idea with this app?
For most people, 3D technology is not easily accessible – it is very complex, time-consuming and expensive. With Insta3D Maker, our customer can get a customized and printable 3D model without any 3D modeling effort. And, anyone can get their avatar 3D printed in color with just one selfie on the website.

Maker screenshot 1

You mentioned that 3D printing was not part of the original plan – how did it evolve into the final product you have now?
For our Insta3D mobile app, our original plan was to use the cute avatar and sell the accessories by IAP (InApp Purchase), including hairstyle, movement, apparel, etc. During the first demo with our Japanese customers, they were highly interested in printing themselves as a figurine. They even suggested us to change the style from 5 heads to 3 heads in order to make the figurine cuter and less realistic. We were able to update and make that happen within one month, and now Japan has been selling their figurines via our mobile app for couple months. I believe Insta3D is among the first CG (Computer Graphic) and printing combination apps in the world, and customers can play and print as they wish straight from their personal smart phone. (Currently available in Japan, and wish to deploy it to US market via Shapeways in 2 months)

How did you learn 3D modeling? What other technology did you know/use to create the app?
Our core technology is in the cloud, we need one photo to generate the face, and basically, we collect the feature spots in everyone’s face, send and compute the data in the cloud.

What challenges did you run into while creating the app? What challenges did adding 3D printing add?
Honestly, we learned that 3D Printing and CG is very complicated. The numbers of polygons are totally different! We can only play the avatars with less than 10,000 polygons on mobile smoothly. For printing, we need to upscale polygons to at least 300,000 polygons to get the high quality figurines. We overcame the problem and made this happen in the past year after we established Speed 3D.

Have you promoted your app? You mentioned it getting up to #5 in an app category – how did that happen!?
Several popular bloggers and social media influencers shared their Insta3D avatars on their social media sites. Magically Insta3D became a fab on the Internet overnight. So we know the power of social media and we can leverage that and build up a community to promote our mobile app to get more user feedback.

Maker screenshot 2

How has 3D printing changed how you plan next steps for your business – if at all?
Currently Insta3D 2.0 is very popular in the US already, but it is only the CG mode. We plan to launch a new version Insta3D 3.0 with newer 3D engine, and it will be available for both CG and printing mode within one app. Customers can make the figurines they see in the CG mode and go to print; it is a big project for us and we wish to co-work to Shapeways to fulfill the printing part.

What updates do you see for Insta3D Maker in the future?
We are collecting more user feedback to make the next steps of Insta3D maker, I think it is very early-stage now and wish to work together with Shapeways to get customers feedback to fine tune the products.

It’s really amazing to hear about this process and especially wonderful to see two techonolgies merge so seamlessly. The team of Insta3D is clearly working on some wonderful things in the 3D world, and it’s great to see that just a section of their business can be fully run by 3D printing. Customizable, personal figurines are not only fun to make “yourself” with no 3D modeling skills required, but make great gifts for graduation, wedding cake toppers, Mother’s and Father’s Day and beyond! Help them with user feedback by downloading the app and creating your own, customized avitar. We’ll patiently wait here in the US (and Europe!) until we can get our very own figurines. Check out the video of Dan, one lucky Shapeways employee who already got his own 3D avitar!

Are you working on an app that uses 3D printing? Tell us about it!

Designer Spotlight: Haydn Bao

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This week we are highlighting Haydn Bao, one of three behind the awesome drone shop, Fusion Imaging. A talented group of three hailing from Australia, Haydn is the product designer of the team. Haydn gives us some insight into why 3D printing and drone accessories work so well together, as well as where their inspiration came from. With a shop full of great branding and drone accessories, we are very excited to highlight Fusion Imaging.

Tell us a little bit about yourself: Who are you? Where are you located?
I’m Haydn Bao, the designer among a small team of drone enthusiasts based in Sydney Australia. We originally designed components for ourselves, but soon many others wanted us to purchase our designs. That’s how Fusion Imaging was born.

Designer Photo


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Designer Spotlight: Chris Fischer

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This week we are highlighting Chris Fischer, a New Yorker, 3D jeweler and one talented 17 year old! Chris’s desire to model started with wanting a pendant for his mom, and couldn’t find what he was looking for. He’s since grown an amazing shop full of unique jewelry.

Tell us a little bit about yourself: Who are you? Where are you located?
I’m a high school student just north of NYC and I’m currently 17. Growing up, I was always fascinated with building things, whether it was out of sticks and rocks or Legos. Now that I’m a junior and approaching college, I finally have the opportunity to study engineering.


What’s the story behind your designs? What inspires you?
I like to think that my design style is quite diverse, and while one of my main focuses is simple, elegant, geometric designs, I am regularly inspired by everything around me. There so much in the world to look at, I wouldn’t want to simply focus on one thing. And as my skills improve and I learn more about 3D modeling, my designs improve as well. It’s so fun to look back and see how far you’ve come in just a couple years.

What brought you to 3D printing with Shapeways?
Three years ago I started looking for a pendant with three hearts for mother’s day. Luckily, I wasn’t able to find one, which led me to pursue a way to design one myself. Shapeways was the first site that came up and the fact that they used 3D printing to create real metal objects totally blew my mind. I was hooked instantly. And although it took me over 9 months to learn enough to actually make that three heart necklace, it’s now one of my most popular designs.

How did you learn how to design in 3D?
I have never had any formal training for design, let alone 3D design. It has always fascinated me, but I never knew how to make the ideas in my mind a reality until I found Blender. The main reason wasn’t that it was free, but that the online community is enormous. Multiple summer days, and nights, were spent without leaving my desk at all, simply watching tutorials and learning the ways. Without the community, I can say with absolute certainty that I would not be here.

How do you promote your work?
At the beginning of Fischfluous, I tried to use as many different social networks as I could, but I quickly found that to be much too time consuming and unproductive for a one-man show. Nowadays, I have focused my attention mainly on Twitter to announce new products and Shapeways and 3DFileMarket to sell them. And although I’ve managed to scrape by on a zero advertising budget, I imagine that will change in the coming months.

Who are your favorite designers or artists? Who in the Shapeways community has served as an inspiration to you?
The community was one of those things that I had not anticipated on getting into Shapeways. But it’s so cool to communicate within this network of 3D modelers that I never knew existed just a few years ago, like Ian Garrett on Twitter. Other than that, Nervous System continues to blow my mind every day with their generative designs and Michael Muller with his fantastic 3D sculpting. Fischfluous attempts to be a combination of those two design philosophies: mathematic yet handmade.

If you weren’t limited by current technologies, what would you want to make using 3D printing?
One of my biggest hopes for the future is interlocking metal parts. But I’m sure you geniuses at Shapeways will figure that out soon enough.

Anything else you want to share?
To anyone looking to join this amazing community, my advice would be to go for it. Just because you didn’t major in 3D design doesn’t mean that all hope is lost. Get online and start learning!


  • Really great photography
  • Great branding
  • Fun variety of products
  • Sections for easy shopping


Keep up the really amazing work, Chris. So amazing you’ve taught yourself and managed to get that pendant to your mom no matter what! Don’t forget to check out his shop, Fischfluous.

Designer Spotlight: Marion Russek

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This week we have a short interview with Marion Russek, miniatures designer of the shop Modern Dollhouse. Starting with wanting her own modern furniture, Marion has a unqiue approach to how she chooses what to 3D model and print. We wanted to highlight Marion to show a new approach to 3D printing – you don’t always have to design, rather work with what already exists!

Tell us a little bit about yourself: Who are you? Where are you located?
I am Swiss, live in the small but economically quite well known town of Zug and spent some 20 years of my live in Southern Africa. I am a ‘natural’ at bringing people together – that is why I have my own business as a headhunter for employers. No cat, no dog, but two grown up kids and my independence :-)

Marion Russek 1a

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Designer Spotlight Form!

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By now you’ve seen plenty of Designer Spotlight interviews from our lovely community. Shapeways shop owners give us an inside look on their backgrounds, inspirations and favorite ideas of what to 3D print if anything was possible!

The interviews are open to all Shapeways shop owners and we want to hear your story! Fill out the form below, and we’ll make sure to add you to the list. Keep in mind that we have over 20,000 shops, so don’t worry if it takes a few weeks.

Keep up the amazing work – we can’t wait to see what more you create.