Author Archives: Eric Ho

About Eric Ho

I am the social media specialist and digital marketing Guru at Shapeways.

Shapeways and ExOne Steel 3D Printing Community Meet Up In Pittsburgh

Posted by in Community 1 Reply

Last week Shapeways hosted it’s first community joint meet up with ExOne in Pittsburgh. ExOne is a production partner of Shapeways with whom Shapeways works closely to offer the best steel 3D prints to our community. Local designers, makers, students, and community members in the Pittsburgh and Ohio area got the opportunity to visit the ExOne 3D printing facilities. They were able to meet with members of the Shapeways community team, get a tour of the steel 3D printing machines, learn more about our current steel material options, and get to engage and interact with fellow designers.

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Community members were able to get a walk through of the steel 3D printing process from planning, model checking, build planning, printing, post production, and finishing.

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We got to talk about our exciting updates and launches this year including ShapeJS, Designer For Hire, 3D Tools, and our Pilot Materials program.

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Designer and Shapeways shop owner Jeremy Burnich (pictured above) spoke about how he started 3D printing with Shapeways, advice on building your brand, and his experience 3D printing in steel.

Here is a Video montage of the event

Shapeways Steel 3D Printing video

Have you 3D printed in steel before? If so how has your experience been and what type of designs do to make for steel.

Introduction to Shapeways Newest Community Managers

We are EXTREMELY excited to welcome Andrew Thomas and Kat Kinkead as the newest members of our community team!

Andrew and Kat are not only active members of the community, they are veterans of the Shapeways NYC team. Kat and Andrew have previous experience working in our “Factory of the Future” in Long Island City. When it comes to 3D Printing, they know it best: from post processing, overseeing daily ops, and owning their own shops, they’re a perfect fit for our Community team!

Q&A with Andrew

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If you could design a couch or a rocket or a shoe, which one would you pick and why?

I’m not really interested in any of these options. I like to make more or less useless things like this. 3D printing is revolutionary because it enables personal manufacturing, so I don’t need to choose ‘between’ designing anything anymore. I can just make what I want even if its not functional or a good mass market idea.

What does the future look like in 5 years? 

Probably blurry, unless I get a new prescription for my glasses.

If you could host a meetup anywhere in the world, where would you choose? 

I like to think about how 3D printing would work in very isolated environments and what it could be used for (provided I had design tools and an internet connection) which might not be a great idea for a meetup. So maybe I’d have a meetup in New York, then a year later everyone would have to travel to someplace else in the world by their own means and share what we’ve made along the way.

What drew you to Shapeways? What are you looking forward to the most?

I’ve been working at Shapeways for almost 2 years now in the (amazing) customer service department. Its given me a very good insight both into the interests of our community and the inner workings of Shapeways from all sides of the business.

I’m looking forward to continuing to build the Shapeways community into an amazing and inclusive place to be a designer.

If you could be a superhero, who would it be? 

I love Kuro and Shiro in the manga Tekkonkinkreet. I like that its unclear what their actual super powers actually are. They seem to be able to fly because they’re always on top of buildings and power lines but you never actually see them do it. Sometimes they are depicted as animals like cats or birds. Its hard to know if these are real or imaginary powers and its never explained why they got them. I like that sense of mystery.

 

Q&A with Kat

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If you could design a couch or a rocket or a shoe, which one would you pick and why?

I would design a rocket with a couch inside it. That way, I could chill-out and travel to space, simultaneously.

What does the future look like in 5 years? 

The future is awesome and full of personalized products, made on demand for you. Right now, we have the amazing ability to customize hardware products, but I think the future holds great opportunity for this in the fashion and apparel world. I can’t wait to be wearing something that’s 3D Printed every day!

If you could host a meetup anywhere in the world, where would you choose? 

I would love to host a meet up in Japan. When I was there recently, most designers I came across were unaware of the technology. I would love to tap into that market and show designers how they can harness this kick-butt technology.

What drew you to Shapeways? What are you looking forward to the most?

I began working at Shapeways in 2012, as one of the first members on site at the Long Island City factory. After working there for two years (post processing ALOT of FUD, WSF & FCS), I left for a little while to go be a designer evangelist in the fashion industry. Working in the fashion industry helped me realize that I have a true passion for working with design communities and introducing them to 3D printing. There’s really no better place to do that then Shapeways. I am so stoked to be back!

If you could be a superhero, who would it be? 

Probably the Grey Hulk. He has all the same awesomeness as green hulk, but minus all the anger issues. In fact, he’s pretty sarcastic.

Five Tactics To Use On Instagram To Promote Your Shapeways Products

My favorite social media platform that I’ve been using in 2015 has been Instagram. Unlike Facebook and Twitter, the attention graph and organic reach of Instagram is the highest amongst all of the social media platforms out there. There are very few Ads, no ridiculous newsfeed algorithm, and it’s completely mobile.

Instagram has emerged as a leading platform for small businesses and niche communities to promote their products and generate visual awareness around their content. Instagram posts receive over 50% more engagement per follower (likes, comments) than Facebook and Twitter.  The engagement rate on average for brands is 4-5% on Instagram, much higher than the <1% we see on Facebook and Twitter per post.

In this post I want to highlight five specific tactics that I use on Instagram to promote my Shapeways shop and that you should be using as well.

1. Search Key hashtags and Engage

When promoting my products on Instagram I choose not to play defense and expect users to discover my Instagram account and content, instead I play offense and actively search potential customers and consumers who are sharing relevant posts. I do this by searching the specific hashtags that my product targets and begin liking, and commenting on their content making them aware I have a product that they might be interested in. For example I’ll search all the photos that have the hashtag #Tardigrade, filter through relevant photos of Tardigrades, read their photo descriptions and identify if they express interest in Tardigrades with keywords in their photos that say “I want one”, or “I love Tardigrades”. Then I’ll follow up with comments on their photo saying “You love Tardigrades? I have a 3D printed one on my page”.

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2. Link to your website on the location section of your post

Instagram doesn’t allow clickable links on post, no problem. Just add the link to your website on the location section by creating a “custom location” and just type the link to your website instead of an actual location. This will add visibility to your website for consumers. You can also direct users to the link on your bio which is clickable as an alternative. Either method works.

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3. Utilize Repost and Regram apps

Once I began selling a large quantity of my 3D printed products I began reusing customer photos that were shared on Instagram to promote them again with the Respost app. It essentially allows me to repost their photo, thank them for being a customer, and promote that product again. The respost app is essentially Instagram’s way for “retweeting” and “sharing” another users content on Instagram.

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4. Instagram Direct Messaging

Instagram launched photo direct messaging to users back in 2013. It’s a useful way to send direct photos to individual users and start a conversation. This feature has been very useful for getting in touch with influencers and other users who have a larger audience and reach than you. You can get in touch with them and ask them if they can cross promote your content. I would recommend the best course of action is to not go after big celebrities but instead go after relevant accounts. I first found success of this by DMing photos of my Thorgi figurine to niche Instagram users in the Corgi community. The reception was welcoming and I got quiet a few accounts to post and link back to my account and promote my product the lead to a increase in sales.

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5. Share Creative Video Content 

These are several content creation techniques and applications you can use to get creative with your content creation instead of just sharing static photos. Videos and short form micro content like slow-motion action videos, stop motion, slideshows, and Hyperlapse videos are a great way to get your audience hooked and wanting more.

 

Incorporate these tactics into your Instagram strategy and you’ll begin seeing better conversation and engagement. Are you currently promoting your Shapeways products on Instagram? If so be sure to incorporate #Shapeways in your photos so we can help discover and surface your work.

Artist Uses 3D Printing To Combine Love Of Printmaking and Beer

Posted by in Community, Design

Graham Stephens is a Maker and Artist based out of Portland, OR. Graham has a passion for Printmaking and focuses on  print making projects that range from engraving, woodcutting, and sketching. He recently opened a Shapeways store and launched his first product in the marketplace, the Ink Brayer Bottle Opener. Graham’s Bottle Opener combines his love of printmaking and everything print related with his love of delicious craft beer.

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It took Graham three iterations and prototypes before arriving at his final version of his bottle opener that is large and strong enough to reliably open a bottle with ease, but also maintains the look and feel of a tiny ink brayer. 

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 The Ink Brayer Bottle Opener 3D printed in stainless steel

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Video of Ink Brayer Bottle Opener in action

Graham’s Ink Brayer Bottle Opener fits great in a pocket and can fit a key-ring. It makes a great gift for anyone who loves printmaking. Graham started using 3D printing for his own personal pieces over the years and plans on listing more of his designs on his Shapeways shop Diode Press in the future.

Have you ever used 3D printing to combine your love with another interests? Let us know in a comment below.

 

3D Printed Father’s Day Gifts Designed by Dads For Dads

Posted by in Community, Curation

This Father’s Day give something unique, original, and aesthetically pleasing to show dad how much you care. For the modern dad, giving the gift of a 3D printed product from the Shapeways Marketplace can be thoughtful and personal. On Shapeways some of our community members are father’s themselves, so we’ve rounded up a few interesting products and gift ideas designed by Shapie Dads for Dads.

1) Fatherhood Knot Pendant by designer and Dad, Dan Foley

This Celtic design is sometimes referred to as a “fatherhood knot” or “father’s knot”, often it is a child that gets it as a way to remember their father. Occasionally a father and a child will both have one to represent that bond. It’s often done as a tattoo in this way

2) Ethanol Molecule Bottle Opener by designer and Dad, Steven Gray

Looking a little bit like a dog, this molecule model is made from steel and is an ideal gift for the beer loving dad in your life, or just anyone who loves beer!

3) Toothbrush Holder / Stand Submarine by designer and father, Kurt Drubbel

Remind your dad to be a kid again with this fun apparatus to put in toothbrush in when he’s done brushing his teeth.

4) Ghost Spinning Top by designer and father, Michiel Cornelissen

This is a a lightweight, 3D-printed stainless steel spinning top unlike any you’re likely to have seen. When it spins  it creates a fascinating, semi-transparent outline of a top. Show this to your dad and he will surely be impressed.

Michiel Cornelissen with his daughter living the good life. Can you spot the elephant in the background?

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5) Voodoo Doll by deigner and father, Edrice Waliyar

Now your dad can You can play with his own Guybrush threepwood voodoo doll!

6) Ll Bean Sonic Snow Tube GoPro Mount by designer and Dad Jeremy Mikesell

A video shot with a GoPro Hero2 on a 3D printed mount for the LL Bean Sonic Snow Tube featuring designer Jeremy and his kid.

7) Espresso cup holder by Dad and designer Henrik Sozzi

This cup holder apparatus will make your dad feel like he’s  drinking  coffee in a espresso cup at your home!

8) S’more pendant by Dad and designer Michael Williams

Give your Dad this adorable 3D printed S’more pendant (non-edible) to remind him of the times you two spent around the camp fire making S’mores. Who doesn’t like S’mores?

How are you spending Father’s Day this year? Did you design something special for your old man? Let us know in a comment below!

 

Japanese Designer Creates 3D printed Transforming ‘STINGRAY’ Toy Kit

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. The product comes in kit form and needs to be assembled by the customer. All parts already have the screw holes, so they can be easily assembled with screws. No adhesive is required.

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(The kit is printed in White, Strong & Flexible nylon plastic unpolished) 

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 (STINGRAY kit unassembled) 

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Tamoo’s robot kit and parts were designed using the 3D CAD software Rhinoceros

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Here is a video of his transforming sculpture

Tamoo Yamaji’s STINGRAY kit currently sells for $190 US on his Shapeways shop. You can find the instructions on how to assemble it on his website here. We have seen a growing number of talented digital artist designing custom 3D printed toys and figurines, especially designs that are aesthetically pleasing and challenges traditional manufacturing methods.

What are some custom toy ideas you’d love to see designed by our community members for the Shapeways marketplace? Let us know in a comment below.

This 3D Printed Steel Sculpture Is Amazing!

San Francisco based Designer and Artist Tareq Mirza has a passion for exploring the possibilities in traditional metalwork and 3D Printing/Additive Manufacturing for artistic and educational purposes. We recently came across his blog and instagram where we discovered his amazing 3D printed metal sculptures. This Shadow Self sculpture really caught our attention, the sculpture was designed in Zbrush. The sculpture itself was 3D printed in steel through a local metal 3D printing provider and the centerpiece was printed in brass with Shapeways.

 

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3D Printed Shadow Self Sculpture by Tareq Mirza

 

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 Brass center piece printed by Shapeways with garnet stones

Tareq is also the owner of the Shapeways shop Ektera where he sells this cool Vampire Head Bottle Opener.

We enjoy seeing community members that push the boundaries and create jaw dropping designs. We want to see more of your designs, especially on instagram where we discovered Tareq’s incredible work. Follow Shapeways on Instagram @Shapeways and tag us in your photos and your designs might get reposted on our page.

What is the largest design you’ve 3D printed and in which material? Let us know in a comment below!

Mani Zamani’s Epic 3D Printed Toy Collection

Shapeways allows designers to leverage 3D printing in an interesting way, whether they are making innovative designs, custom products, or designs that are simply not possible without the use of 3D printing. A very eye catching Shapeways shop by designer Mani Zamani creates incredible SLS (Selective Laser Sintering) 3D printed toys that wouldn’t otherwise be possible without 3D printing technology.

Mani’s 3D printed toy collection called “Extra Terestri Aristocrats” are printed in our nylon plastic material and are available in various dyed colors. His toy designs are unique and take on complex and unimagined shapes. Some of his toy designs are printed with moving parts and are fully articulated without any assembly straight from the 3D printers.

 

 

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Here is a video of some of the models of Mani’s 3D printed toy collection which are also available for sale on his Shapeways shop.

Have you ever designed a 3D printed toy? If not our nylon plastic material is a great material for pushing the limits for what traditional toys are suppose to look like. Explore more 3D printed toys and creative designs from our community on our marketplace here.

Designer Proposes With Beautiful 3D Printed Crystalized Hearts Ring

Posted by in 3D Modeling, Community, DIY

When the love of 3D printing meets the love of another person, a marriage between the two usually occurs. Belgian designer Kurt Drubbel recently proposed to his long time girlfriend with a gorgeous 3D printed engagement ring he designed. This unique piece is covered with tiny crystalyzed hearts (visible up close only). The ring was prototyped in alumide and finally printed in polished silver.

Kurt and his fiancé have a 2 year old daughter together. He presented the 3D printed ring to her on a ferry on a rough sea at night, between the islands of Malta and Gozo. The answer was an overwhelming yes.

Here are some photos of the ring printed in polished silver

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Video showing the prototype and final ring

On behalf of the Shapeways team, we want to congratulate Kurt and his fiancé on their engagement! Do you have a 3D printed love story to tell? We’d like to hear it. Shoot us a email to community@shapeways.com.

Designer Turns Brain Waves Into 3D Printed Sculptures

Imagine if you can visualize your thoughts into brainwaves and then turn those brainwaves into a 3D print. Architect and Artist Ion Popian deals with human perception and how we understand our environment and what effect that has on the individual and the greater community. This is why he created The Mental Fabrication Project. The Mental Fabrication project uses a NeuroSkyelectroencephalogram (EEG) sensor  to capture data on the brain and creates a 3D model based on the brainwaves.

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Behind the Scenes. Mental Fabrications Project from Ion Popian on Vimeo.

Ion uses Shapeways to 3D print his brainwave sculptures and his work has been exhibited in galleries like SoHo’s HarvestWorks gallery. You can learn more about Ion and his work on architecture fabrication projects on his website here.

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Help Shapeways 3D Print The Next Big Meme Contest!

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We all love memes — they’re hilarious, introspective, and sometimes downright deep. It’s time for us to expand our collection in the Shapeways marketplace, and we want you to help us pick our next meme!

Share your favorite memes on Instagram & Twitter with the hashtag #SHAPEWAYSMEMES until April 30th. We will choose one of the memes with the most shares to be modeled by one of our community all-star designers and put it up for sale in the Shapeways marketplace. Be sure to check if we already have your favorite meme in our marketplace before you share!

To help you build your meme collection in preparation for the new model, we’re giving you $5 off all memes and figurines in the Shapeways Memes Gift Guide until April 30th. Simply use the promo code SHAPEWAYSMEMES at checkout to save $5 when you order one of our memes.

The fine print: Offer is for $5 off any order containing any selected figurines. Eligible products are listed on shapeways.com/gift-guide/memes-and-figurines. SHAPEWAYSMEMES code cannot be combined with other discounts and is valid 5 times per customer. If you return your purchase, you will be refunded the amount paid. Expires April 30, 2015 at 11:59pm PDT. The winning meme will be determined by Shapeways using criteria chosen at Shapeways’ discretion.

 

 

3DPrintingDog Creates 3D Printed Kinetic sculptures

Some of the best designs we come across on Shapeways are the ones that take advantage of the printers we use to create incredible unique products we’ve never seen before. A Digital design studio called 3DPrintingDog based out of Philadelphia, PA uses the power of Shapeways SLS (Selective Laser Sintering) printing to make 3D printed Kinetic sculptures that come out of the printer with no assembly required. Here are a few examples of the designs that they’re making designed with Solidworks.

Deconstructed Bicycle Freewheel

 

Deconstructed Bicycle Freewheel

What are some of your favorite fully articulated designs you’ve come across on Shapeways? Let us know in a comment below or tweet us @Shapeways.

Five 3D Prints To Celebrate International TableTop Day

Posted by in Community, Curation, Games

International Table Top Day is right around the corner and we wanted to curate some of the coolest 3D printed products on Shapeways designed by community members to help you take your table top gaming to the next level this year. Whether you’re into RPGs or card games, these 3D prints are sure to impress your family and friends.

1) Celtic Dice Set by eondesigner

2) ‘Twined’ Dice D20 Spindown Life Counter Die by Foxworks

3) Catan Card Management designed by Carpemortis

4) Role Playing Counter Blades Set designed by Berian

5) HeroForge Custom 3D Printed Miniatures - Making custom  3D printed tabletop gaming miniatures gets real easy with the Hero Forge App.

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We have a very active and engaged tabletop gaming community on Shapeways and you can always explore more tabletop game inspired designs on our game category on Shapeways. What are some of your favorite table top games to play? Let us know in a comment below or feel free to tweet at us @Shapeways on Twitter. 

Animaris Geneticus Bellus: The Affordable, Elegant and more efficient Strandbeest

Posted by in What's Hot

Theo Jansen, the iconic creator behind the 3D printed Strandbeest collection on the Shapeways has launched the Animaris Geneticus Bellus. This new version of the 3D printed Strandbeest suits the new pricing system at Shapeways better therefore making the Animaris Geneticus Bellus not only much more affordable, but also more elegant and more efficient. A worthy addition to the 3D printed Strandbeest family.

This new version of the Strandbeest is now available for sale on Shapeways for $121 (USD) in white nylon plastic.

A video of the new Strandbeest in action can be seen here.

There is also new propeller propulsion add-on for the new version seen here.

The 3D printed Strandbeests continue to evolve and adapt to their environment and this new version has evolved and adapted to the Shapeways SLS printing constraints.

Unleash The Dragon With This Epic 3D Printed Dragon Door Handle

Looking for an upgrade to your average and boring door handle? Kai Bracher of the Shapeways shop Cabrada has designed an epic detailed dragon door handle 3D printed in stainless steel.

Here are some of the amazing photos of the dragon door handle which are also available for sale on his Shapeways store here.

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Dragon door handle video by Kai Bracher

Do you have an epic eye catching design that utilizes the amazing technology of Shapeways 3D printing? Share them with us on the feature this section on our forums.