Our mission at Shapeways
has always been to enable anyone to make anything they want. First, we
built a system to allow Makers to design and purchase models for
themselves. Then we created Shapeways Shops to enable anyone to launch a
business and sell their products worldwide. Now, we want to make it
easier for Makers to gain access to the newest 3D printing materials on the market and test them with us. Think about it like one big, global 3D Printing R&D team.
excited to announce the launch of our first 'Maker Only' material: a
flexible, rubbery plastic called Elasto Plastic! The finish, color, and
properties are not yet ready for sale to a wider audience, but it's a perfect
material for any Maker out there who can work with a textured surface and
maybe a little extra powder arriving with their model.
The new, improved Elasto
Plastic is a great option for Makers as it is an incredibly durable
material with a lot of really interesting properties such as high impact
resistance, flexibility and compression (depending on the geometry), along with a high level of static friction because of the surface
texture. Though not strictly water-tight, it can hold liquids, but it does
not like high temperatures or fire. It is a valuable addition to our 3D Printing material options here on Shapeways that we are sure you will
find incredibly useful and fun.
Whew! What a whirlwind that was! Shapeways was at MakerFaire San Mateo last weekend, and as always, we had an amazing time meeting makers and sharing the excitement of 3D printing. The weather was great, and there was lots to see. Pictures are worth a thousand words so here's a few...
Today we are excited to show you a fresh new design for our category pages. As we grow and bring more people to our site, we want to make sure that they are able to find all the amazing 3D printed products designed by our community!
Mecube is an easy (and addictive) app to 3D design and 3D print direct from your iOS device. The intuitive interface is a simple 'voxel modeler' where you add cubes together to make a 3D form like assembling single blocks of Lego together. You can use the same process to cut away or even 'skew' cubes for some slightly more complex variations. Each voxel can be assembled as a solid color or you can go back and paint each surface, by touching a surface multiple times you increase the saturation of the color, this allows for quite a large variation of colors from such a simple interface.
This Mother's Day, surprise mom with something better than the usual dozen roses: a custom creation, made just for her.
With a few weeks left before the big day, you can create a gift from scratch, customize an existing product (like ceramics for the kitchen), or choose from hundreds of beautiful designs in the Shapeways marketplace. For inspiration, check out these products below that are sure to get her bragging to her friends.
Take your vacation memories to the next level with loci, a 3D Printed sculpture of your flights.
With loci, users are able to highlight important flights to them, such as their
honeymoon or a memorable summer adventure, through a custom software.
The software also connects to Tripit or Foursquare data to help make the
tracking process a bit easier.
Each loci comes with a special card with a map featuring all the airports flown to in order to help the user visualize his or her travels. The card also displays a chosen title, total distance traveled, number of airports visited and the number of flights taken.
The product is currently a prototype made by Netherlands based interaction and sound designer Andrew Spitz, who also co-created a soon-to-be-released iPhone app called Flying. A large part of the app is the ability to track one's flights, so he hopes to eventually include loci directly in the app.
Sometimes we see some of our really popular products on Shapeways enter the world using other manufacturing processes. On some occasions, due to licensing reasons a product may no longer be available on Shapeways if it is being produced by another manufacturer, and sometimes it remains available simultaneously as a 3D print and a mass produced item when the designer retains all ownership of IP. We are always incredibly proud to help a designer take their product to market no matter which way they go, a little sad if they leave Shapeways, like sending a child off to college, but happy for the designer's success.
The latest product looking to go down the mass production path is a recent favorite on Shapeways, the MagSafe Adapter Key Ring by jbobrow now hitting Kickstarter as the Keybit. Jonathan's Kickstarter campaign pays tribute to the speed and ease of 3D printing and taking a product to market with Shapeways in his video and in his rewards which includes a Shapeways 3D printed version at reward levels over $30. Jonathan also offers a one on one google hangout to help a backer over $200 take their own product to market using 3D printing.
Check out the video and support Jonathan on Kickstarter.
Check out fellow community member Lily Su's fine arts exhibition, Alchemy & Art - Part 1, opening this Friday and Saturday in New York's Lower East Side.
The exhibition focuses on the use of 3D data as a tool for creating work that partakes in the dialogue of contemporary art, and it will feature 3D prints from Lily Su and Heidi Lee with collaborative efforts from designer, artist, and instructor Stuart Rentzler.
In addition, there will be live demonstrations, including Kinect body scanning and 3D printing with Ultimaker and Up! desktop printers.
Whether you're fascinated by evolution theories or not, check out this amazing replication of Charles Darwin's first ever sketch of a tree of life by joabaldwin.
The detailed replication pays homage to Darwin's original sketch found in his private notebook, "Notebook B on the transmutation of species," 1837-1838.
The finches perched upon the end of each branch represent the
A, B, C and D marks on the original drawing. Each is slightly
different; the more apart the finches are from each other in the
evolutionary tree, the more distinct are the differences between
From a side view, the shape of the printed tree mirrors Darwin's sketch exactly.
This fantastic piece also comes in the form of a necklace.
As taken from Darwin's notebook itself, "I think ... Case must be that one
generation then should be as many living as now. To do this and to have
many species in same genus (as is) requires extinction. Thus between A
& B immense gap of relation. C & B the finest gradation, B &
D rather greater distinction. Thus genera would be formed.—bearing
Today marks a milestone for Shapeways. On behalf of the
Shapeways team, we are truly excited to announce a new round of financing of $30 million led by
Andreessen Horowitz, with Chris Dixon joining our executive board. Our existing investors – Union Square Ventures, Index Ventures, and Lux Capital – also participated in this round.
All of our investors believe, like us, that 3D printing has the potential to completely change the world. With this funding, we will grow our team (we’re hiring!), build more factories around the world, and solve challenging technology problems. Though many people have heard about 3D printing, we have a ways to come. We will make our service much easier to use. We will explore the frontiers of 3D printing materials, enabling YOU to make and purchase any product imaginable.
As we embark on this next phase in our company’s journey, we wanted to take this opportunity to look back at how far we’ve come.
3D Printing is Changing the World
When we started in 2007, very few people had even heard of 3D printing outside of the engineering and design communities. It was mainly used for prototyping. Today, 3D printing has taken the manufacturing industry by storm and everyone is talking about this groundbreaking technology. President Obama even recently called out 3D printing as one of the important technologies that can bring manufacturing back to the USA.
We believe that 3D printing is fundamentally changing the manufacturing ecosystem in its entirety – how and where products are made and by whom. For the last century, big companies were in charge: they determined what consumers wanted and made those products in large quantities using mass manufacturing. Now, thanks to 3D printing, those days are over. This technology enables everyone to create unique products on demand, putting the customer in control and localizing the manufacturing process.
How Shapeways Fits In
We founded Shapeways in 2007, but weren’t a typical startup: we made things. And we built our business around four key elements:
We want to enable everyone to turn their ideas into reality. We pioneered the first customization software called Creators, or 3D printing apps, and we’ve now made this technology accessible through our API. Over 1 million designs have been uploaded to Shapeways.com to-date. And not only can you work with a designer to customize a product, you can also create a product from scratch with easy-to-use templates.
Back in 2007, 3D printing was expensive. We knew that if we wanted to make the technology affordable for everyone, the price needed to drop. We’re proud that we have already succeeded in lowering prices significantly, but we‘re not stopping there. Remember, the cost of an iPhone case was about $70 in 2008. Today, it’s below $20. We believe we can lower the cost much further and this will result in lower prices for everyone using Shapeways.
In the early days, in addition to higher costs, the variety of materials was limited and the quality of the products made was quite low. Today, we offer over 30 materials and finishes, including high-quality sterling silver and food-safe ceramics. We plan on adding many more.
Shapeways Shops enable anyone to launch a business and sell products worldwide. Today, the Shapeways marketplace is comprised of over 10,000 shop owners. They are the future of small business: they don’t have inventory, they rapidly iterate on products, and they have direct access to customer feedback. We will continue to invest in tools and resources to ensure they become even more successful.
Our community is a very important part of Shapeways. You share the belief that 3D Printing is incredible and are as passionate as we are about making products. In the forums and during meetups, you continually surprise us with the ideas that you bring to life. We are thankful for your passion and inspiration.
Looking back, we are encouraged by how far we have come. But we are even more excited for the incredible journey ahead. We hope you will join us for it!
This weekend we sponsored the NASA International Space Apps Challenge in New York. All around the world, over 9000 people collaborated to work on 50 different challenges ranging from a chicken farming in your backyard to lassoing asteroids.