Do you have guests coming to visit during the holidays? Are you already stressing about getting the house ready for hosting? 3D printed products make for excellent conversation pieces and can be a game changer at holiday events. About.com Home knows how special holiday celebrations are, and we’ve put our heads together to #ShapeMyHolidaySweeps!
Our friends at About.com Home have gotten a fresh new look and to celebrate that, Experts from their team in everything from Colors to Kitchens (and even Dogs) picked their favorite product on Shapeways. Check out the great About.com Home curation of products and vote for your favorites. 48 lucky winners will get the top voted product and a grand prize winner will get all 10! Be sure to pin and share your favorite product to help it get more votes .
Isn’t it fun to see Shapie products on a site as cool as About.com? Which product did you vote for?
Ever wanted to order a car on demand? Fantasized about when you design even more components of your life on Shapeways than you already do? Well, with the launch of Phoenix, Arizona, USA based Local Motors new 3D printed car, we’re now accelerating faster towards this future. Meet the Strati, Italian for layers, of course.
The car is 3D printed in 49 parts, aka less than 1/100th of the 5,000 parts cars that are traditionally manufactured are made of. The 3D printing of the Strati took 44 hours, but this 45 second time-lapse video is one you’re going to have to see to believe:
Local Motors is global innovation community, like Shapeways, driven to make our collaborative dreams into vehicular realities. They are a resource for sharing ideas, designs, prototyping and miro-manufacturing and given the humble vision of their founders, it’s no surprise this community created the Strati. Unlike other prototypes, this model is practical and functional. More of this car was 3D printed than other that has precluded it – including the chassis- and here are the specs to prove it:
Engine – 100% electric (not 3D Printed )
Features – electronic engine immobilizer, regenerative braking, disc brakes front and rear, rear- wheel drive
Transmission – Automatic, single speed
Battery – 6.1 kwh battery, 62-mile range, 3.5-hour charge time
Motor – 5 bhp or 17 bhp, 42 lb-ft torque*
Body – Approx. 212 layers, direct digital manufactured vehicle (DDMV), carbon fiber reinforced ABS plastic
Top speed – approx. 50mph*
Wheels – custom made by Fifteen52
The historic first drive of the #3DPrintedCar – Enjoy!
This is the third in a 10 part Shop Owner Bootcamp series counting down to Black Friday. We’ve covered reputation and photography in our last two posts and are looking at branding and collection building today. This is last post in the polishing your shop for holiday phase, next week we’ll begin talking about building the relationships necessary to optimize your sales over holiday.
Do you ever wonder what to design next? Or what makes a product sell? Do you have a product in your shop that outsells all the others and wish that you could get more products on that level? This week we’re focused on building your brand story and developing your collection through market research. I know that “market research” sounds boring and stale to the creative mind, but it doesn’t have to be! Shapeways Shop Owner mentor Vijay Paul is back this week to discuss how he became Dotsan, and how walking around Scotland inspired his stag and the “wired life collection” that followed.
Building Your Brand: Why it’s Personal (and Should Be)
Vijay highlights in this video how going from VDesign to Dotsan was a big turning point for his business. It was when he realized that this was going to be more than a hobby, and a place that people could come for products and art that he created for them. Many of you have developed your brands and logos, but are you giving your shoppers all of the story?
Every time someone buys something from your shop you have the opportunity to create a new brand evangelist. If they love your work, they’re going to come back to your shop time and time again, likely referring others who are interested in your products. They will expose your products, and in turn your brand, to their in-real-life communities. Ask yourself, have I highlighted my design process and inspiration in my shop? Have I armed consumers with a story they can tell about the creation of this product and increase the likelihood they’ll send others to my shop? If you have to hesitate, take this opportunity to refresh your shop and product descriptions. Your brand should tell your story.
Many of you have already developed great brands, so I challenge you to think about how that can be illustrated through out your shop. Perhaps watermarking your photos or integrating your brand into your avatar. People see your designer cards on every product page now, use that opportunity to remind them how awesome it is to buy from you.
Market Research: It’s as Easy as Going to Look at Beautiful Things
Every successful business has conducted market research at some point in their growth; and if they’re smart, likely multiple times at regular intervals. Vijay knew he wanted to design something that would appeal to a lot of people, and wandering around Scotland he noticed there were Stags everywhere. He saw them in museums, on signs, buildings and iconic Scottish settings. This observation drove his design decisions and gave birth to the Stag, which originally was a 3D render meant to live in 2D. After creating the render he was curious to see if it could work as a wireframe 3D print, I think it’s very clear that it did .
Think about your audience: are you trying to sell to people in your region/country or are you trying to sell to people who like a specific category of things? What is popular in the culture your products speak to? For example, if you are making masks, you should always be up on the latest cosplay fashions. If you’re doing household products, keeping up with industrial design trends can be clutch. If you’re modeling drone accessories, you should pay attention to what drones people are buying. I don’t believe Vijay ever expected to sell as many stags across as many countries as he has, but he went into designing it with the confidence that at least locally, he would receive some interest.
Build Your Collection: Your Best Customer is One Who Buys Again
There’s a famous marketing stat that 20% of your customers will be responsible for 80% of your future business; and Shapeways is no exception. Our marketplace is full of passion, and folks who have a great buying experience from you once are likely to brag about it. How can you keep them coming back? Ask yourself, what other types of things to people interested in your subject matter like? Have you ever asked your customers what other products they think would compliment the one they already purchased from you? Think about ways you can expand the collection and have multiple top-selling products. Our Interest Group forums are a great place to get the conversation going.
Sets are very appealing during the holiday season. Think about which of your products could go together and that could expand the story of your work/brand.
Alright everyone, we’re now just 7 weeks from Black Friday- we’ll be focused on building digital and physical relationships that will help your holiday sales in the coming weeks, so take advantage of the opportunity now to ‘dust the shelves’ and put a fresh coat of paint on your ‘open’ sign.
What brands and designers on Shapeways do you look up to?
It is with great excitement that we announce that there are now more than 20,000 Shops open in the Shapeways marketplace! WOOHOO! Cheers to you! This is truly an inspiring milestone for all of us here at Shapeways.
Shapeways set off a mission to help people make the products they actually wanted over six years ago. After seeing the design potential and talent in our community, we knew there had to be more people who would appreciate and value your work. Since then, our marketplace has matured into an entrepreneurial ecosystem of Shop Owners. Everyday we work hard to give you the tools and the exposure that you need and deserve to build your 3D Printing business.
Our Shop Owner community has doubled over the last 15 months! When I started working at Shapeways in May of 2013, we were just crossing the 10,000 Shops mark; to think we’re now over 20,000 is incredible. It’s thrilling to see more and more artists, designers and entrepreneurs making money off sharing their 3D printed creations with the world.
Congratulations! Pat your self on the back! You’re a valued member of the largest community of creatives innovating in 3D printing. We are proud and grateful to call you a Shapie.
Not a Shop Owner yet? Open a Shop today! For the existing Shapies, how long ago did you open your shop?
Together, we are about to make history. Today marks the beginning of manufacturing in space. Are you ready to take on the #MissionPrint Challenge? Here’s the launch video of SpaceX-4 that just successfully carried the Made In Space Zero-G 3D Printer to the ISS:
Video courtesy of SpaceX
Hearing mission control say “…and we have liftoff of SpaceX Falcon 9 Rocket and Dragon. CRS-4 is underway. A US commercial spacecraft launching from American soil delivers new technology and science to the International Space Station,” gives me and hopefully every other space lover chills. Knowing that that “new technology” is one that we all are fortunate enough to experiment with every day, the ability to additively manufacture on demand through 3D Printing, is inspiring. Remember, there is no overnight shipping to space; and it is physically impossible to traditionally manufacture parts in a space environment. We really are witnessing, and taking an active part in, making history.
Screen Shots here and below courtesy of FutureEngineers.org
This is the first in a series of NASA developed 3D Space Challenges that Future Engineers and our other out-of-this-world partners are happy to share with the Shapeways community. Encourage every K-12 student you know interested in 3D Printing to check it out, and remember, ALL students (university, college, trade schools, and professors too) get 10% off ALL their prints at Shapeways ALL the time. What a great excuse to “ground print” and prototype your space tools with us.
Tools designed for this challenge are judged on the following well-rounded criteria:
40 Points – Innovation and Creativity of the Solution
20 Points – Ability to communicate the design through the Text Description and/or Finalist Interview
20 Points – Quality of the 3D Modeled Geometry and compliance with the Design Guidelines
20 Points - Usefulness of the design in a Space Environment
Kids are powering innovative developments in 3D Printing across the unique web of our industry’s reach. They are opening shops on Shapeways, printing on desktop printers in their classrooms, and mod-ing their toys at home. There are dozen of touching stories of kids literally enabling the future of 3D printed prosthetics. And perhaps most profound of all, they can see what we can’t. Young minds aren’t limited by the bounds of conventional design and manufacturing constraints. Freed of this parameter, they are capable of leveraging the technology and materials available in unique new ways. Inspired by their potential, Future Engineers has an awesome lineup of prizes for the top contestants. The winner of the challenge will even have their tool printed in Zero-G’s on the ISS and get to watch live from Mission Control. While the #MissionPrint Future Engineers contest is for K-12 students in the US only, we will be featuring innovative designs by makers of all ages on our blog between now and when winners are announced on January 30th, 2015.
Are you ready to accept the #MissionPrint Challenge, stop dreaming and start doing? Keep us posted on your progress in our Space Forum and be sure and tag your space tools #MissionPrint. The best way to ensure your products will be astronaut-ready is to prototype on the ground, and we can’t wait to help.
Imagine… being able to design tools for astronauts in outer space, that could be printed in space, using materials found right there, out in the galaxy. Sound like the start of next Armageddon-esk blockbuster? Well, it’s not.
Launching today, is SpaceX CRS-4, another historic Dragon spacecraft on a mission to the International Space Station; but this time, it carries more than supplies and moustronauts. This spacecraft is taking a specially tested, groundbreaking new 3D Printer designed by the our friends at Made In Space, to the International Space Station for it’s first in-space testing. This marks the start of a new era, the first step in bringing on-demand additive manufacturing to outer space.
There are many challenges when designing for printing in 3D. For starters, there’s nothing to hold anything material in microgravity. Even after solving the gravity dilemma, the printer has to get off the ground, and endure 9G’s of force during launch. Ensuring precision with an extruder stabilized by no gravitational force was a problem our friends at Made In Space were committed to solving. After four years of extensive testing on microgravity flights and research at their NASA Ames office, their dream of 3D Printing of space is now being realized. You can watch the this historic moment live during the wee hours of the morning, a sleep sacrifice I’m personally more than willing to make.
After this initial round of tests, including the printing of 21 demonstration parts, Made In Space looks to recycle broken tools, space waste, and even regolith (aka moon dust) as material for the printer. The fact that this space man could be made of the moon dust we first saw Buzz Aldrin’s footprint in someday, quite soon, is absolutely mind blowing.
Oh, and about those Moustronauts. SpaceX will also carry 20 mice that will live on the ISS for 6 months, approximately a quarter of their lifetime, allowing scientists to study the effects of prolonged zero gravity exposure. This data can then be extrapolated out to apply to human life and weightlessness tolerances. Currently, astronauts spend six months in space at a time, missions to mars could take two years or more. The only way to see the effects of prolonged space travel, is to get help from our furry rodent friends. I can’t help but wonder, if things get out of control, will they have to 3D Print mousetraps?
All jokes aside, what is the biggest challenge you see with 3D Printing tools in space? What tools do you want to design for astronauts?
Calling all jewelry lovers! We’ve teamed up with some of our wonderful designers to host not one but two contests this month.
Daily Facebook Giveaway:
We are giving away 10 amazing pieces of jewelry on Facebook! Visit our Facebook page each weekday through the end of September for a chance to win. We want to spread the word about our incredible designers, so all we’re asking is that you “like” our posts. Check back each day to see the newest giveaway!
Pin Your Favorite Jewelry on Pinterest:
Our designers are getting ready for fall and the holidays, so we want to see what inspires you for the season. Pin your favorite fall jewelry from Shapeways and beyond for a chance to win $500 of your Shapeways picks!
How to enter:
Create a Pinterest Board titled “Fall Finds”
Pin at least 10 fall flavored accessories by September 30, 2014
At least 5 must be Shapeways products (your prize, if you win!)
Tag each pin #ShapewaysJewelryContest
Five (5) winners will be selected! Winners will receive their Shapeways pinned products, up to $500 in value. If you pin more than $500 of Shapeways products, we will work with you to select your prize products.
Don’t know where to start? Check out some of our favorite 3D printed jewelry in gold, sterling silver, stainless steel, and even colorful nylon plastic.
The Fine Print: If your Shapeways products cannot be successfully 3D printed, we will work with you to select alternative prize products. Shapeways employees and their families are not eligible to win. Contests end September 30, 2014.
Earlier this summer, we wrote about Stopping the Slow Lane, a push back against the FCC’s intent to propose rules that would allow Internet service providers to charge websites to access a “fast lane” and slow down every site that doesn’t pay. Now, we’re almost at the deadline. September 15th is the last day that the FCC will accept public comments before they make their ruling. Shapeways submitted a formal appeal to the FCC, where we outlined how we support an open internet so we can continue to provide a platform where entrepreneurs like our 19,000 shop owners can flourish.
Today is an internet-wide day of action for Net Neutrality. You may have noticed some of your favorite sites have the “please hold, loading” spinning wheel on their homepage – is this the future you want? Neither do we!
Original Post:Did you watch the Apple announcement? Are you excited about the new iPhone 6/6plus? Are you counting the seconds until you can get your hands on the Apple Watch?
UPDATE 9/11: Some amazing Shapeways Community Members put together a <beta> 3D CAD file of the Apple Watch! It’s based on the specs Apple announced, and while not Apple official, should serve as a great starting point for all interested in designing Apple Watch accessories. You can download the .stl of the Apple Watch design files here. Special thanks to Michael Christensen for sharing this in our Apple forum!
I’ve been counting the minutes for months now and seeing Phil show off the iPhone 6/iPhone 6 Plus and seeing Super Evil Megacorp’s gaming experience made me drool millions of pixels in anticipation of their September 19th launch into the world. The new iPhone camera has Focus Pixels, which means you’re essentially carrying a DSLR in your pocket. Just imagine, our 3D scans will be sharper than ever!
Shapeways has always been one of the first to market with accessories when new consumer electronics come out. Our communities ability to responsively create designs and leverage our short lead times is unparalleled by any other accessories company in the world. The cases that you’ll see in the Apple store were modeled months ago and have been in production all summer. Alongside the new phones, Apple announced a new line of silicone and leather cases, but I think we know our Nylon looks the coolest when it comes to pimping your iDevices. We are eager to see what cases, stands and accessories you make for this new line of apple products and will handsomely reward those who do it best (details to come when the design files are announced by Apple later in September).
Shapeways has a long history of being one of the first to market with iAccessories. We were keeping the iPhone classy back in early 2012 with this 4/4s MacPro Case:
We gave you the design files the moment they were available for the exciting new iPhone 5, hosting a contest around it. The Sweater Case by ArtizanWork that won is still a favorite of ours to show off at events and through our crew kits!
We also brought you the iPad Mini files that same October. All in all, we power over 2600 products that fall in the iPhone category. Let’s round out our Apple Fan Boy and Girl offerings and incorporate all these awesome new products.
Now you can start brainstorming the iPhone 6 and iWatch cases you want to design in our Apple and iGadgets thread in the forum. Hit the sketchbook or the sketchup and get creative! The bigger form factor gives you more design real estate than ever before. We will update this post and announce a contest as soon as Apple releases the Design Files.
On a fun historical and sentimental note, this Apple Fan Girl can’t help but ask, 30 years after Steve Jobs announced the Macintosh (the anniversary is today) do you think Apple is still as innovative as they were under Steve?
Earlier this week the United States Copy Right regulators ruled that the infamous Monkey Selfie photo that went viral cannot be copyrighted. This quickly prompted Dutch designer Peter Rossdale to 3D model the monkey selfie and bring it to the life for everyone to own as a 3D print in full color sandstone. You can order one of these Monkey Selfie 3D prints here.
“As an Amsterdam based graphic designer I’ve got 14 years of experience in designing websites, magazines. As my career evolved, I got more and more involved with photo/videography, 3d modeling and animation. All this experience comes in handy in designing 3d printed products. And I hope many more interesting designs will be created via Shapeways!”
The Monkey Selfie 3D model was sculpted using ZBrush which you can see in his video. It’s amazing to see designers inspired by viral trends bringing cool products to life with 3D printing. Which viral trend do you think we’ll see next as a 3D print?
The 3D Printshow Global Awards acknowledge inspirational work that has helped develop and elevate the art of additive manufacture, as well as those businesses that have risen to the challenges of the marketplace, flourishing in what is a highly competitive industry.
Happy game day, Dutchies! To celebrate the World Cup and Dutch success, designer Flip Vossen tested his 3D modeling skills to create the one and only, Flying Dutchman! We interviewed him about the process because it’s instances like these that remind us why we love what we do. 3D printing allows everyone to create, produce and show off products so quickly, they are still relevant.
How long did it take for you to model this?
Creating this model actually took me longer than I had expected it would take me. It was the first time I 3D modeled a human figure and I decided to use the idea as a learning experience. In the past I had modeled many 3D printable product designs but never a model like this. I spent many days and night struggling with new programs and techniques to achieve the model I had set to design.
Can you share your design process with us?
I wanted to use the pros of many different programs so:
1. I started by 3D modeling a figure in poser
2. I then added soccer clothing
3. Closing surfaces and adding hair in Rhinoceros
4. Creating the Base in Solidworks
5. Merging & fixing meshes in Netfabb Pro
6. Uv Mapping in Rhinoceros (I would now found out this is easier to do in Zbrush)
7. Exporting file as VRML + textures.
How long did it take for your receive your model?
I received my model really fast! After uploading it I received it within 3 days so that was a great experience
Obviously that awesome game inspired you to do this, any reason in particular you chose this “move” over a general soccer/football figurine?
Well this match was the kick-off for the Dutch football team during the World Cup and it was immediately against the Spanish team who, as all Dutch people remember, won during the finals in the previous world championship. So I guess you can say it was time for payback.
To be honest I was really skeptical and I think a large portion of the country did not expect our players to win that night, but once the goals started pouring in this was the moment the entire country started to believe that there is a chance we might be able to win this tournament.
The goal from Robin van Persie was the perfect goal with precise timing and he did it with so much feeling for the ball it might well become the World Cup goal of the tournament. The image of him diving through the air quickly became an iconic image for the nation showing the strength and confidence the Dutch team brought to the World Cup. As an ode to this icon I decided to accept the challenge of turning this into a 3D printable object.
Would you have made this without 3D printing?
Without 3D printing I would never have bothered trying to create this model. 3D printing makes it really easy to produce an object in a short time period. Can you imagine producing this 2 years after the goal has been made? Without 3D printing I would have needed a fortune to invest in molds to start creating a figure like this.
What is your favorite part about 3D modeling/printing?
My favorite part about 3D printing is being able to create ideas and concepts and being able to hold them and look around them in real life. There is a big difference between seeing a product on your computer screen and holding it in your hands and viewing it in a certain environment.
3D printing makes it possible to share designs with others without the hassle of difficult production techniques and large budgets. Everybody can become a designer and share their creativity with the rest of the community.
AMAZING work, Flip! These are the stories that remind us how wonderful 3D printing is, ever expanding the possibilities of production, imagination, and creativity! Good luck today!
Jewelry is extremely popular on Shapeways – it’s always been one of our top selling categories. Talented jewelers are using 3D modeling software to create amazing designs that wouldn’t be possible to produce without 3D printing. With Shapeways, jewelers can give their customers access to unique products, created or customized personally by a designer, now in a wide variety of high quality materials.
Benefits for Jewelers of 3D Printing with Shapeways
High Quality, Great Value: 3D print in stunning precious metals for less than you’d expect.
No Need for Inventory: Make pieces when you need them, or sell directly through Shapeways
Endless Possibilities: Easily create intricate details and designs you can’t make by hand
Here at Shapeways, we’re proud to support jewelers. We’re one of the only 3D printing companies to widely offer these new precious metals to everyone, and, with our other jeweler-friendly materials such as 14k Gold, Sterling Silver, and Castable Wax, we now have the most options available for 3D printing jewelry!
Platinum: This bright silver-white material is extensively hand-polished to a smooth sheen. A rare metal, Platinum is recognized as being the most precious of all precious metals. Jewelers often select this material for its durability while consumers love it for its luster.
18k Gold: Brighter and more vibrant than 14k Gold, it contains a higher percentage of gold.
14k Rose Gold: Its pinkish tint adds a touch of warmth and romance to any design.
14k White Gold: For a more subtle look, it resembles silver with just a hint of gold.
I’ve been coding since I was 13 years old. I’d spend hours taking apart computers, putting them back together, and creating worlds of my own. Technology has not only impacted the way I solve problems, it’s framed the way I view the world. First with coding, and later with 3D printing, I found that my imagination was my only limitation.
Today, I’m thrilled to share that Shapeways is collaborating with Google on Made with Code to inspire girls to code. Our goal has always been to give everyone access to the best technology in 3D printing, and we’re now investing in that access for girls — a group that has historically been underrepresented in science and technology.
Made with Code offers fun and simple projects aimed at helping girls take the first step in learning how to code. The premier project of the initiative is a coding project based on Blockly, Google’s visual programming editor, in which girls can create a custom bracelet that we will 3D print in our New York City factory using EOS printers.