At Shapeways, it feels like the holiday season 365 days a year. As Andrew Walker of UniquePlastique so aptly explained, “3D printing is seriously addictive, the first time I got my designs in the mail it was like birthday, Christmas and winning an Oscar all at the same time. I love it!”
So what’s behind that magical feeling of creating your own product or finding the perfect gift? Here are five reasons to get a 3D printed gift this holiday season, and win the Oscar for best gift.
1. You’re supporting independent designers around the world
At Shapeways, you can discover innovative, hard to find and custom gifts. These original products are designed by some of the most creative artists, engineers and entrepreneurs who live and work in over 130 countries! Many of them are first-time entrepreneurs, so selling their first, second and even 10th product is a huge validation that people are interested in their work and vision. It’s also a signal that you really can make a living doing what you love! Hear it directly from Lucas Goossens of LucasPlus.
2. Everything is made to order, just for you (and your family and friends, and everyone you know and love)
3D printing enables you to create products on demand, when people order them. This is huge because it means there’s neither waste, nor inventory sitting on the shelves sadly waiting for Santa’s elves to sweep them off into the night. You can get custom gifts without the high price tag. Read up on how 3D printing at Shapeways works, or watch this video:
3. You can add your personal touch, without having to learn CAD
For many people, myself included, 3D modeling is still a bit daunting, though we have LOTS of tutorials that can help you get started. If you’re not ready to take the plunge into CAD, 3D printed gifts can be easily customized by working with a designer or using an app. Pretty soon, you’ll be unstoppable.
4. You’ll get reactions like, “OMG. Where did you find this?! HOW DID YOU KNOW?”
Does your best friend like drones…and GoPros? What if you could find them a GoPro mount for their drone? What if your little sister is obsessed with Celestia from My Little Pony or if your dad envisions himself an inventor and can’t get enough life hacks? 3D printing enables you to get exactly what you want, and not just what’s available. And that means you can get your loved ones exactly what they want too! Shop our gift guide for some of our favorite hard to find gifts, or explore the marketplace and find exactly what you’re looking for.
5. Because 3D printing is awesome (duh).
Give a 3D printed gift and you’ll be supporting an independent designer, reducing waste, and bringing an idea to life using one of the most exciting technologies of the 21st century. Lasers sintering loose powder layer by layer. Forms described by digital blueprints. Products that are literally impossible to make any other way. Time to keep calm and 3D print your way into your loved ones’ hearts.