The Humblefactory is a product development consultancy that offer strategic and design consulting in open hardware, user-assisted co-manufacture(hacking), and product design strategy.
The tide is definitely turning when a design consultancy that specializes in product hacks gets invited to be a TED Global fellow....
Dominic Muren is the founder and principal of Seattle based The Humblefactory as well as being a coordinator of the Design Studies program at the University of Washington with his own research is in developing open platforms for hardware with an eye toward increased user agency, object repairability, and hackability with their Three Pillars of Humblefacture.
Check out the videos of Dominic discussing The Digifab Ecosystem (Shapeways is mentioned briefly in the second video at around 22:40) at Seattle Dorkbot to the sound of the Makerbot music. The ecosystem of digital fabrication can be divided and grouped into a phylogeny of individual technologies, all of which Shapeways is involved in: