We saw so many people take advantage of our Cyber Monday store credit offer that we had to bring it back. That's right, all buyers who order in the next 48 Hours (by Midnight on Wednesday, Pacific Time) will receive a $10 Shapeways Credit via email.
You can still order lots of 3D Printed products in time for holiday delivery (check order-by dates for specific materials in your country here).
The fine print: $10 Store Credit will be issued to all customers who order between 12:00am on December 10th and 11:59pm on December 11th, Pacific Standard Time. Limit 1 credit per customer. Redemption instructions will be delivered via email within 21 days.
Still have a few people on your nice list you've yet to check of? Or ready to treat yourself after a busy November? Here's a little gift from us to you:
Save $5 on all orders over $25!
Use promo code “StockingStuffer” at checkout now through Monday at Midnight PST.
Share your favorite Stocking Stuffers with us using the hashtag #ShapewaysStockings. Win your favorite prints, courtesy of Shapeways!
The fine print: This promotion is non-transferable and is valid up to 5 times per customer. It may not applied to past orders or be combined with other discounts or promotion codes in one order. Only 3D prints count towards $25 pre-tax minimum, not Sample Kits, Gift Cards, shipping, or wrapping. If you order a model during the promotion period that cannot be printed and has not been successfully printed before, we cannot apply discounts to future orders (even if these models are repaired). If you return your purchase, you will be refunded the amount paid. Shop owner markups will not be affected by this promotion. Offer expires December 9, 2013 at midnight Pacific Time.
Feel like the Holiday season is flying by? So do we! That's why we wanted to give you a friendly reminder about your Holiday deadlines by material. You can see a full list of Material deadlines on our Holiday planning page, but here's a quick overview as the Brass family's cutoff is today!
Have you secretly wished someone would stock your stuffing with a Shapeways gift? Or if stockings aren't your thing, perhaps surprised you with an end of year treat? If so, this contest is for you! And so is this beautiful $10 staircase ornament from PrettySmallThings:
Over the holiday weekend, everyone did a fantastic job of sharing their favorite products and shops on Shapeways. To keep the momentum going through December, we're launching the #ShapewaysStockings campaign!
- Enter now through the end of next week - The #ShapewaysStockings hashtag is the key to your success - You can enter as many times as you'd like, because sharing is caring! - Have fun finding new products on Shapeways :)
Did you know Shapeways has an API? New companies are forming around it everyday!
MYMO is a great recent example of Shop Owners taking advantage of the API. I sat down with them at their office to discuss the launch of their jewelry app, MYMO, that lets users combine any two letters or numbers in an elegant form factor. Our Alan Hudson helped them set it up, has worked with them a lot. He even connected them to a geometry generator. Rex, their developer, built MYMO off the Shapeways API which let him leverage his existing coding database.
We are all so grateful for the brilliant, creative and inspiring community we get to engage and interact with every day. Regardless of what your plans are today, or who's sitting at your 3D Printed table (this one by PrettySmallThings), we just wanted to take a moment to remind you how much we value having you as a Shapie. So, from all of us, Thanks .
The Shapeways crew took some time this week to capture our sentiments surrounding the Holiday Season. When asked "what are you most grateful for at Shapeways?" Here's what we had to say:
Are you a fan of Dinosaurs? Or a recent #Dinovember bandwagoner? If you just answered yes, and should you like your Dinos in cinematic form, you've likely seen the work of David Krentz. Given his feature in our recent Bronze launch, the timely nature of viral heartwarming dinosaur stories, and in an effort to showcase some of the Shop Owners we're so grateful for, I give you...
Interview with David Krentz: "I still pinch myself that someone pays me to make dinosaurs."
We're just one week away from Thanksgiving here in the US and the buzz surrounding Black Friday is already louder than Midtown Manhattan. We want to see all Shapie Shop Owners break their sales records in the next two weeks so consider this your friendly reminder to get ready for the surge of traffic!
Here are 5 tips to help you get there:
1) Tag: Tag your products well! People will be searching the site at a faster rate than any other day of the year 2) Photograph: Post those great photos you've had trapped on your iPhone, Photos sell more! 3) Merchandise: Organize your shop! Do you offer a wide variety of products? Curate them well for easy shop ability 4) Title: Make sure your title is descriptive, your model description includes keywords that people may search to find your product and your photos are up to date - we are running a marketing campaign through Google Shopping and your product may show up if people search for those keywords 5)Share: People are looking for new and interesting things to buy every holiday season, so take advantage of the opportunity to share your shop with friends! Tweeting: "Check out the deals going on in my Shapeways Shop and give a unqiue 3D printed gift this holiday" or "Hey #BlackFriday shoppers, check out my custom product line" etc. goes a really long way! Many of you shared the gift guide, and it's showing in the sales of your shop .
We're lucky enough to catch stories of Shapespiration that are shared on social media, and we want to see more! You are literally creating products and models that have never existed before; and it is mind blowing. It confirms our collective mission to helping you achieve your dreams .
Contest Time: This week we want you to share something that makes you thankful, or expresses your thankfulness. Either a new creation or an existing one. Feel free to go as deep as you want and ask yourself, "What am I most thankful for as a result of 3D printing and/or Shapeways? Is it new metals, faster shipping times, or repriced ceramics? Is it that perfect memento you designed for your sweetheart? Model it or capture a video, we'll be rewarding both categories!
Of course, must be your own design
Explain the meaning in your model. How it makes you thankful or expresses your thankfulness
Other than that, let your creativity flow!
Enter by posting your model in our forum, or sharing your video on our Facebook page
Deadline: Midnight in Hawaii on Friday, because we are also thankful for the beach, or at least I am...
Have you ever wondered if your toys play around in the night? Or hoped that they do? #Dinovember is the month for you then! Some very creative folks posted to medium this week about a tradition they have in their family every November that involves some serious Dinosaur shenanigans. We're all about taking creatures from the past and making them a part of the future here at Shapeways, so here are a few of our favorite dinos!
Is someone in your family asking for pet this holiday season? Want one that doesn't make a mess or require food? Meet the newest members of Theo Jansen's Strandbeest 3D Printed Animal Family, Gracilis and Larva! Be sure and watch the video of Theo talking about these "animals" and how they survive in their "habitats." You can see them crawl around, and learn how Larva was optimized for cuteness (seriously).
Have you ever wondered how to go viral? How to see a traffic spike in the five to six figure range? Well, while it does take a bit of timing and luck, there is a formula to it. Today, Christopher, our resident reddit master and general knower of all things cool breaks down how to design timely products and go viral! Take it away, Chris!
I’m going to start this blog post by making the following statement; virality is often based on the following few criterias:
Cleverness and Wit
Innovation & Originality
… or any combination of the above.
When attempting to create virality, it is important to think about the above aspects in context of sharability. Let’s face it; it’s easy enough to get your friends to share something for you. What becomes a true test of virality is how many of your friends’ friends re-share what they saw.
Then you might say: “Great! They shared stuff; I’ll be popular very soon!”
To which I say, hold your horses just a little there. It is also important to understand your product and target audience/market fit. For example; it may be very easy to get a cool 3D printed cat themed product viral and shared within Reddit; however if attempting to broadcast this on other websites/communities with a different culture and set of inside-references, your product might not get shared at all.
Which brings up an interesting question: do you design for a specific community (supply/demand model), or do you design something completely different that plays on other tangents of virality (new market creation model) and attempt to hit a cross-section of existing communities and markets.
Well, the answer to that is you. In almost all cases, that choice beckons what you, yourself, are truly passionate about, and what will make you put the extra effort into making your product become a hit. Whether it’s something you create for a personal or innovation reason, or it’s something you think is “hilariously awesome” and want to use to make other people smile with, and dig the idea that just snuck up on them. From there on out, it’s all about letting your inspiration and creativity lead you.
You can even combine markets and interest factors with pop-culture and contemporary inside-references. For example, things like “Twerking iPhone 5 Case” or “Internet Meme Poker Chips Set”, right now, have a virality potential that is higher than for example just “my new iPhone 5 Case”.
In almost all cases, when you find yourself looking for inspiration to create that runaway hit that everyone talks about; scour the media; the interwebs; popular online communities; and your friends for fads, interests and clever references that you can incorporate into your designs.
The bottom line of virality is to keep everything mentioned above in mind while you are creating. It’s easier to hit virality with existing trends and fads than it is to do with something completely new and original. At the same time though; the rewards (both financially, and emotionally), scale across that spectrum of easy to tough.
Ultimately, you are your own master, and experimenting with examples that hit nicely across the spectrum of inspiration from “riding a bandwagon” to “this is completely groundbreaking” is what is going to give you the experience needed to nail a product/market fit.
Have you ever dreamed about your products gracing the shelves of big department stores? Or doing a collection for a huge household brand?
Big name brands are very interesting in the 3D Printing spaces, and as it continues to penetrate the mainstream consumer market, big brands often reach out to incorporate our Shop Owners and designs into their product lines. Today we are excited to announce a partnership with featuring two Shapeways Shop Owners, Bathsheba Grossman, and Roger Pearce!
Roger Pearce was chosen for this opportunity because he entered and won our pendant contest a few months back. Neiman Marcus loved the design, and are offering it personalized through their website as an exclusive Shapeways on Neiman Marcus collection. If Roger hadn't been proactive in entering the contest, he may never have had this opportunity. hinthint We do at least one contest a week, so be sure and check the blog and the forum for the latest, the contests often give you secret insight into the Shapeways roadmap.
Bathsheba Grossman is "lifetime" Shapie and respected artist across the global design community. Always pushing the boundaries of what's possible with the technology, Bathsheba's refined sculptures and products are often already known by the big brands that approach us. She is a fantastic designer we love working with, and someone I feel lucky to know personally.
What Brands have you dreamed of working for?
Remember, new Shapeways customers save $15 on their order of $75 through midnight pacific time tonight with code "ghost" - Happy Halloween Shapies!
Have you ever wished our materials were cheaper? We have too! We’re committed to make 3D printing accessible to anyone, and today, we’re excited to announce that we’re repricing our ceramics to be more consistent with how we price the rest of our materials - by volume of material used instead of surface area. We’re also making it easier for you to calculate and compare pricing: This means that most existing ceramic models will become much cheaper like this candle holder by Virtox!
We've recently launched a bunch of new materials at Shapeways, so for today's Shop Owner Challenge, Raphael, one of our Materials Geniuses, shares tips for selecting the best material. Enjoy!
When picking materials for your model, think about how the material will help to position it as a product. Is it an exclusive piece that you want to only offer in Premium Silver? Or a versatile design that looks great in a range of materials and price points? Using different materials, a single design can become a variety of different products. For example, a model of a ring could become a fun, inexpensive piece of costume jewelry Alumide, or a precious keepsake in Polished Brass. Each deserve unique photos, descriptions, and price points.
Choosing the right materials for your products isn’t always easy, and has a huge impact on the value and success of your product. Here are some tips from the materials team to help you make the best choices.
Brass, Bronze, or Steel? With our recent launches, there are a wide range of steel finishes, and high-detail cast metals available. Both make for great products, but at different price points and levels of finish. Steel tends to be a bit rough, almost vintage looking, and lower resolution, with a lower price point to match. Our various steel finishes, including Gold and Nickel and Bronze offer the highest surface quality and consistency, while Patinas such as Matte black, and the basic steel is better for more rustic or steampunk pieces. To achieve much higher resolution and surface finish, our Brass and Bronze use the same casting process as Silver, and reproduce the finest details at high-end shopper ready quality.
Polished vs. Raw
While all our steel finishes are polished to improve print quality, Brass, Bronze, and Silver use such a high resolution production product that we’re able to offer both Raw and Polished version of these materials. Both are shopper ready materials, so the choice here is mostly an aesthetic one: Raw is rugged and rustic, while Polished is elegant and refined.
While we offer unpolished WSF and Alumide, you should think of these as low-end materials for prototyping and functional parts. Aside from special cases such as large or delicate designs and functional parts, we’d recommend disabling WSF for shoppers and directing them to polished materials, including Polished WSF, Polished Alumide, Black Strong and Flexible, or Colored Strong and Flexible.
Polished vs. Premium Silver The difference between Polished and Premium Silver often causes confusion. Both are polished, but the key distinction is the amount of polishing time invested in polishing internal details and hard to reach spaces. A simple ring may look very similar in both finishes, while something like Bathsheba’s Ora pendant will look very different;
Many successful shop-owners already have amazing miniatures on Shapeways that they offer in FUD or Detail Plastic. With cast brass and bronze, you can now offer these models in all their glorious detail to a much wider range of customers, and at a higher price point. When we launched these materials, we bought some popular miniatures in brass and bronze, and they haven’t left our desks since!
While you’re at it, you may want to consider enabling you models in Detail Plastic as well. While FUD offers stunning resolution, functional parts and supports the fine parts that miniatures enthusiasts love, our black and white detail materials offer a more shopper ready finish that can make these designs accessible beyond the finish-it-yourself market.
While great for visual models and items which don’t see extensive wear, our Black and Dyed Strong & Flexible aren’t recommended for things like iPhone cases which see constant surface wear. They look great at first, but eventually the dye can wear through, creating lighter spots in the finish, and potentially disappointing your customers. White Strong & Flexible doesn’t wear through in this way, but because it’s white it can look dirty with wear. For functional parts, or things where you don’t mind a bit of a worn-in look, this can be just fine. If that’s not what you’re looking for, Polished Alumide is a great alternative.
On the materials team we’re surprised Alumide isn’t a more popular material: it’s relatively inexpensive, polishes up to be very smooth, and wears well. The speckled grey color hides wear and helps to prevent discoloration, making for long-lasting products. The powder has the same color throughout, unlike our Dyed Strong & Flexible plastics; you can keep it in your pocket all day and the color will stay consistent. All that, and it sparkles too!
For smaller and more precious items, Brass and Bronze, in both Raw and Polished finishes, are durable solid metals that will wear beautifully, adding to their character. Steel is similarly long-lasting, but offers lower resolution, and a lower cost. Gold Plated Brass, is durable, but can eventually wear through if exposed to constant rubbing on clothing, skin, or when used as functional parts.