Category Archives: What’s Hot

National Week of Making and Shapeways

The maker movement is no secret anymore and that’s a good thing. People the world over are recognizing the power of applying creative thinking to solve their unique challenges. Digital manufacturing tools like 3D printers only expand on the endless possibilities.

That’s why it’s exciting to be part of the 3rd annual National Week of Making (June 17-23). In his declaration President Obama states that “During National Week of Making, we recommit to sparking the creative confidence of all Americans and to giving them the skills, mentors, and resources they need to harness their passion and tackle some of our planet’s greatest challenges.” Our CEO Peter Weijmarshausen is at the White House for the Maker-to-Manufacturer Stakeholder event today to discuss the needs of makers looking to turn their ideas into full-time commitments. We’ll be sure to share notes from the event with our community once it concludes.

In direct response to the White House call to action for National Week of Making that encourages organizations to empower a nation of inventors and entrepreneurs by providing access to technology, Shapeways EDU and the The New York Public Library’s TechConnect Program announced a partnership to introduce creative minded patrons of the New York Public Library to the entrepreneurial side of 3D modeling and printing technology through a free, open-source curriculum. Among the many goals is to educate the public so they can further engage in the current digital era and become entrepreneurs of their own 3D creations. The collaboration will kick off in the fall with a pilot program offering multiple courses over a ten-week period.

Shapeways is also proud to have sponsored the Department of Education Career and Technical Education Makerspace Makeover Challenge contest. All participants of the contest, some 300 schools from all 50 states, participated in the bootcamp to learn the skills needed to have successful careers in the 21st century. The trophy was designed by Shapeways community member Ashley Zelinskie. In addition to the trophies we are also giving a 3D printing scholarship to one of the ten winning schools that has shown a commitment to 3D printing in education.

You can check out other projects and add to the celebration on social media with the tags #NationOfMakers and #WeekofMaking.


Cheerleader Uniforms (and 3D Printing) Are Going to the Supreme Court!

Posted by in What's Hot

Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court announced that it would be considering Star Althletica v. Varsity Brands, destined to be known as “the cheerleader uniform case.”   On its face, the case is focused on the somewhat metaphysical question of when a tennis skirt and tank top cross the line into being a cheerleader uniform.

However, as we’ve written about before, the real question in the case is how copyright should apply to works that mix creative and functional elements.  Copyright protects creative works but not functional works, so drawing that line can be incredibly important.  Unfortunately, currently there are at least 10 different (somewhat conflicting) tests that try and guide the analysis.

Earlier this year Sydney Lakin and Bill Koch at Stanford Law School’s Juelsgaard IP and Innovation Clinic helped us, along with Formlabs and Matter and Form, ask the Supreme Court to step in and pick one definitive test.

Why do we care so much?  Many 3D printed objects combine both functional and design elements.  Understanding if – and how – copyright applies to them is the first step in understanding licensing, use, and many other aspects of those objects.

We don’t know when the case will be heard yet (although we are sure it won’t be until after the summer).  We’ll be sure to keep you up to date on the developments as they come out.  In the meantime, if you have any questions feel free to leave them in the comments or tweet them to @MWeinberg2D.


Image courtesy petful.

That Dorne Dagger on the Season Six Premiere of Game of Thrones? We 3D Printed That. [SPOILER AHEAD]

Image Credit: Macall B. Polay/HBO

Game of Thrones, Season 6 Episode 1 | Image Credit: Macall B. Polay / HBO

When Ellaria Sand whipped a dagger out of her bracelet on Sunday’s Game of Thrones season 6 premiere, we gasped, but not for the same reason you did. For months now we’ve been keeping a secret: the designers from Game of Thrones partnered with Shapeways to create items for the show and this–this!–was the dagger we had 3D printed for them.

We were thrilled to get plunged right into the heart of the seven kingdoms in collaborating with them on this hidden blade. You know, THIS one, the Dorne Dagger:

Image Credit: Tommy Dunne, Weapons Master / HBO

Ellaria’s Dagger | Image Credit: Tommy Dunne, Weapons Master / HBO

Like all the designs that make up the rich, detailed world of Game of Thrones, the dagger is intricate and gorgeously appointed, thanks to the work of Sean Forsyth (3D designer), Tommy Dunne (Weapons Master) and David O’ Brien (Bronze Art Foundry). They chose to have it 3D printed by Shapeways in high resolution Frosted Ultra Detail which is the perfect choice for such fine details–as you can see from this behind-the-scenes peek at what the dagger looked like straight off the printer.

Ellaria's Dagger, 3D Printed in Frosted Ultra Detail | Image Credit: Tommy Dunne, Weapons Master / HBO

Ellaria’s Dagger, 3D Printed in Frosted Ultra Detail | Image Credit: Tommy Dunne, Weapons Master / HBO

It was then shipped to Weapons Master Tommy Dunne, who did the meticulous work of finishing the dagger and bringing it fully to life.

Ellaria's dagger | Image Credit: Helen Sloan / HBO /

Ellaria’s dagger | Image Credit: Helen Sloan / HBO /

“I have always wanted to incorporate 3D Printing into armoury, and this was our first chance in actually doing so,” Tommy shared with us. “The outcome of the Dorne Dagger far exceeded my wildest dreams from our original drawing concept, so it was a great first experience in using this technology in our field. It was a delicate scene to shoot, but the producers of the show loved the dagger so we’re really happy with the results.”

We are too, and we can’t wait to see what the producers of this show bring us next!

Are you a fan of Game of Thrones? Then click on the pictures below to shop the Game of Thrones inspired designs in our Marketplace.   Complete with dragons of course!


What would you want to make for the show? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

3D Shaver – Personalize Your Shaver With 3D Printing

3D printing technology and online customization tools are opening up new possibilities in manufacturing a personalized product. And what could be more personal than shaving?

That was Philips’ thinking when it opened up its classic men’s shaver for personalization. The 3D Shaver, developed in partnership with Shapeways and Twikit and custom designed by you, is currently being offered by Philips in a limited edition trial.

3D Shaver Tool

Shavers can be configured with different handle designs and colors at Once ordered, the custom parts are 3D printed and dyed at Shapeways’ factory in Eindhoven and shipped to Philips in the Netherlands for final manufacturing and assembly. The shaver is then packed in a custom box and shipped to you within 2-3 weeks of placing an order.

3D Shaver 4 Colors (800vers)

The 3D Shaver is exclusively available in The Netherlands. There are only 125 3D Shavers available and only two shavers can be ordered per day. A large number already have been sold, so you’ll have to move fast to get one.

We’re excited to partner with Philips on this and they have long shared Shapeways vision for the future of 3D printing; we were founded in 2007 in Eindhoven as part of Philips’ lifestyle incubator and look forward to working with them on more personalized products in the future.

Is 3D Printing the Next Industrial Revolution?

“Is 3D printing the next industrial revolution, or just hype?”

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We get asked this question a lot. The answer, as Peter Weijmarshausen, Shapeways Founder and CEO, has been sharing this past month in talks at SxSW and Inside 3D Printing NYC, and in interviews with Xconomy and, is a resounding yes—digital manufacturing will be the third industrial revolution and will change the who, what, where and when of how goods are made.

Until now, several factors have been holding this manufacturing revolution in check: 3D printing needs to be less expensive, have faster turnaround, offer more materials, produce better quality, and print in full color. The very things we hear regularly from you! 3D printing technology has not innovated fast enough to keep up with demand and not at the rate we’ve grown to expect from software. The same 3D printing machines Shapeways started printing on eight years ago still run today, and run as well as new machines on the market.

But that’s about to change.

“The fact [that] we see huge corporations with huge budgets and resources starting to take industrial 3D printing very seriously means that the qualities and capabilities of those machines will start to rapidly evolve, which is exactly what the industry needs,” Pete told Xconomy.

“We also see a lot of money pouring into new startups, which is something I also asked the investment community to do, into companies like Carbon3D, Desktop Metal, and Formlabs. We see big companies and small companies starting to tackle the technology challenges the industry faces. As a result, the end user will get much better products exactly as they want them.”

HP, and possibly Canon, is coming out with new 3D printing technology this year that will be 10-100x faster than current machines. It will print more materials, print them at a fraction of the current cost, and the quality will be significantly higher. Not to mention, they’ll also print in full color.

Combine these innovations with three major trends—the rise of megacities, globalization and digital disruption—and the grounds for an industrial revolution have been set.

Who produces products will shift from major brands that mass manufacture goods based on market research to individuals who will design what they want when they want it or who will work with designers to create what they want.

It will change what gets produced. With the ability to produce goods on demand, the huge investment to mass manufacture disappears and more experimentation can occur. A variety of new products will come into existence—with digital files sent from around the world to be printed locally.

Factories will no longer need to be enormous and located where labor is cheap with products shipped worldwide from these central locations, putting a strain on environmental resources like the crude oil used to fuel container ships. Instead, small factories can be housed in or right outside of major cities, with products customized to suit that city’s needs and culture.

And time to market will be drastically reduced—shrinking from months or years of lead time to research, test and market products to mere days.

We already see this revolution happening at Shapeways, but it’s not real for most people yet. They may be aware of 3D printing, but they haven’t tried it because they don’t see why they should. There are two killer apps evolving this year that, added to the innovations in 3D printing technology, will make 3D printing mainstream.

  • 3D scanning—The reaction we’ve seen to being able to create scans of people at parties or of loved ones to send to family members has been overwhelming. There is an instant emotional connection, as well as an intellectual understanding of how a digital file can be turned into a tangible, physical object. With the next generation of phones being equipped with scanners, wide spread adoption is close at hand.

  • Customization—The time and expense needed to make customizing mass produced goods, like sneakers, a good experience has been enormous. We’ve been developing tools, like CustomMaker, that enable people to customize designs on Shapeways, such as adding your name or picture to a product. Since CustomMaker’s launch, over 2,000 customizable products have been added to the site with more being created every day. By opening up product customization on this level, more and more people will expect to be able to put their personal stamp on the items they buy and will seek out 3D printed goods.

And there is so much more to come. What we make is defined by how it can be assembled, but with the evolution of 3D printing technology and of new materials, how materials and shapes merge will change completely. Even 4D printing could become a reality—where items assemble themselves out of the box due to a reaction with light, or heat, or a chemical being added to it.

As Pete shared with, “People have been led to believe that 3D printers as they are today are close to what is possible — I think the opposite is true. We are at early days in this technology. So many things will become possible that people haven’t thought possible, it’s going to revolutionize how we make products.”

To read more about Pete’s keynote at Inside 3D Printing NYC, check out his interviews with and Xconomy.

Tell us what you think about the next industrial revolution in the comments, or share your thoughts with Pete on Twitter: @Weijmarshausen.


Trademark and Copyright Safe Harbors

On Friday we, along with our colleagues at Etsy, Foursquare, Kickstarter, Makerbot, and Stratasys, filed comments with the United States Copyright Office regarding how copyright works online.  The Copyright Office had requested the comments as part of a study it is doing in the laws that allow websites like ours to let anyone with an account share their work with the world.

Specifically, the study was on what is known as Section 512 of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA).  This provision is what gives structure to our copyright complaint process.

The provision is important, but imperfect. It was drafted in 1998 – eons ago in internet time – and it is good that the Copyright Office is taking the opportunity to ask questions about how the provision is working in the real world.

While there are plenty of things that we could have mentioned in our comments, our focus was not strictly on copyright.  Instead, we collectively decided to explain to the Copyright Office how trademark is impacting copyright online.

We have raised this issue before.  Back in October, as part of a similar group we filed a similar set of comments with the White House Intellectual Property Coordinator. We also highlighted the impact that trademark complaints have in the Shapeways transparency report released in February.

At its core, our concern is that Section 512 establishes a carefully calibrated balance between users, rightsholders, and online platforms.  It incorporates checks and balances designed to give everyone an opportunity to be treated fairly.

However, the entire system is limited to the world of copyright.  When rightsholders incorporate trademark claims in their takedown requests – something that, as we highlight in the transparency report, happens often – those balances disappear.  As a result, no review of the Section 512 system is completely without an understanding of the broader context that it operates within.

This is not the last word, or the only word, on this issue.  As mentioned earlier, even the parts of the Section 512 system that are directly tied to copyright are imperfect.  Many of the other comments submitted to the Copyright Office draw attention to those imperfections. Similarly, the just released study by Jennifer Urban, Joe Karaganis, and Briana Schofield on this process contributes important data about how the system operates day-to-day to the conversation.  If you are interested in this issue it provides a fantastic resource.

For now we will continue to operate within the current legal structures and balance the rights of everyone connected to the Shapeways platform.  At the same time, we will work to make sure that policymakers understand how the systems designed in law operate in practice.  As with the previous comment, we hope that this provides an opportunity to policymakers to reexamine the scope of safe harbors and reevaluate them in light of the goals they were intended to achieve.

Making a Case for The Apple Watch | Shapeways Reviews

You open a door in a hurry and simultaneously smash your wrist on the doorframe. Sure it hurts, but you also hear a slight crunch. You look down, and sure enough, your brand new Apple Watch’s screen is smashed to bits.

Which is where today’s review comes into play. We’re taking a look at two Apple Watch cases with slightly different form factors.

Now, you may be thinking, “why do I need a case for my watch? I wouldn’t put one on my Rolex, or Omega” But that’s where the Apple Watch separates itself from traditional watches whose screens “take a beating”. The iWatch will get damaged far before a nice traditional watch will. So cover up!


The first case we’re checking out is Dungstar’s 14k rose gold plated cover. This attractive yet functional cover looks great, feels great and gives the device a cool, unique look.

Getting the cover on is simple and anchors it to the watch.


Pull the bands off your watch Snap the cover right on top, aligning the buttons.


Slide the bands back to lock into place.


Taking a look at this case you can see it offers pretty solid coverage around the entire case, while leaving the screen somewhat exposed. This makes sure you’re never blocked while using the watch, allowing full-motion access to all of the screen, without eliminating the sleek and minimalistic form factor.

The second protector we’re looking at is a 18k gold plated cover by Mstyle183. Assembly is the exact same as with the previous case, using the bands to lock the cover in place.


At first glance, the case looks almost the exact same too, but once you look closer, and start using the watch, you notice that it covers the screen quite a bit more. It helps to protect a bit more of the front of the watch, which makes it a little bulkier.

If you’re looking for a sleek, minimalistic case for your Apple Watch, Dungstar’s design is a great option. But if you want something that provides a bit more protection, definitely check out Mstyle183’s option. Check out our full video review here:

Do you have one of these cases? Let us know what you think about it. Leave your comments below, and let us know what you want to get out of these reviews.

Follow Dungstar on Shapeways here

Follow Mstyle183 on Shapeways here

Follow Seth on Shapeways here

SxSW 2016: 3D Printing Tech, Puppies & BBQ

I have never yelped “BBQ” as much as I have these past few days. I spent last week at SXSW with colleagues Mansee Muzumdar, Dan Grigoras and Shapeways CEO Pete Weijmarshausen. Our mission? To spread the word about the future of 3D printing (and, yes, enjoy great music, free beer and puppies—thank you, Mophie!). Our main event was Pete and Shane Wall, CTO at HP, addressing “The Next Industrial Revolution: Hype or Reality?” on the future of additive printing. This is a discussion that’s come up quite a bit over the last few months, and we came to SXSW to debunk it.

Peter Weijsmarhausen, Shapeways CEO & Shane Wall, CTO of HP at their SXSW Panel discussion

Pete and Shane discussed the future of 3D printing and the ground breaking innovations that are currently being worked on at HP.

Meanwhile, Dan, our Director of Supply Chain, rocked a 3D printing workshop with Stanford University…literally. The workshop kicked off with the pair blasting “Fergilicious” and tossing out 3D printed giveaways to the crowd. This proved to be epic enough to capture the attention of Good Morning America. Participants walked away with a new understanding of how to get started with 3D prototyping.

Dan Grigorias and Marcus Duvoisin during their SXSW Workshop

I, on the other hand, ventured away from speaking about 3D printing and spoke about the benefits of embedding social consciousness into your brand. On my panel were three amazing women founders and community builders, Marisa de Belloy, Tahyira Cordner and Jonna Pira. We covered the prioritization of community and the necessity of building products that have positive global impact.

Screen Shot 2016-03-08 at 1.34.20 PM

Our panel discussion was in partnership with TechStyleNYC, an events company started by fashion socialite Janine Just. We exhibited with a number of other brands such as Cool Effect, Bar Works and Kali.

All of these brands have one thing in common: using technology to give way to making fashionable & sustainable ubiquitous with one another.

Naturally, I helped host a few of our own meetups around Austin and made new friends  while sharing cool 3D printed giveaways.


Not to mentioned, I blinged myself out with the latest 3D Printed fashion from our designers LikeSyrup, LucasPlus and UniverseBecoming. I also 3D Printed a Flava-Flav style necklace to wear during the event, so that our community members could #SpotTheSpark and come find me to enjoy drinks and overall awesomeness.

LikeSyrup’s Arrow Dream Catcher Necklace & Lucas Plus’s Solid Plus Pendant

Community manager Kat Kinkead ready to hand out some 3D printed keychains

We also stopped by the DJI Drone Interactive Lounge, which allowed us the opportunity to fly a drone (in a netted area, of course) and wave our arms around to control a simulated drone flight on their holographic screen.


We managed to check out a few panels, and were able to stop by and see Abbi and Ilana of Broad City as they spoke about the evolution of their show into what has become today, and how that impacted their lives. (You can check that out here, for more info :) )


Overall, there was so much to take in while at SXSW, and a typical day had me averaging over 21,000 steps, yelping “BBQ” or “Breakfast Tacos” at least 8x a day…and at the end of it all, I felt like this:

Sleepy Puppies at the Mophie House event

Til next year, SXSW!

Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day With These Lucky Finds

Posted by in Community, What's Hot

In honor of St. Patrick’s Day, we’re sharing some of our staff’s favorite festive and lucky green products (green beer not included). Be sure to follow your favorite designers and comment to let them know what you think of their designs!

You’ll be rolling in clover when you start the day off with this mug from Rebecca’s list:

If you’re looking to wear a little luck around your neck, check out Kat’s list for pendants like this:

Need to dress up a lighter? Seth’s list has just the thing for you:

For something a little more understated, go for this ring from Aimee’s list:

Have a fun list you’ve been working on? We want to see! Share your lists of favorite products with us on Twitter.

Get Your Phone Off The Ground: Shapeways Review of ClipIt iPhone Dock

To show off some of the incredible products our community creates, we’re starting a brand new column; Shapeways Reviews.

So you travel a lot. Or maybe you attend lots of events, where there’s never anywhere to charge your phone except an outlet way up high, which means You’ve left your phone on the ground, next to an outlet charging, only to have it stepped on; or worse, figured “ah… this is fine, it’ll work” when leaving it swinging like a pendulum, where it inevitably falls or rockets off in a random direction.

One designer recognized that burden, and took to fixing it.

We checked out the ClipIt by Remi van Oers, an awesome little device that clips onto the stock Apple charging brick and lightning cable, holding up your phone as it’s plugged into a socket.

Assembly is simple:

Line up the hole on the ClipIt with the USB hole on the charging brick, and press fit it on.

Screen Shot 2016-03-09 at 2.42.02 PM

Screen Shot 2016-03-09 at 2.42.26 PMNext, plug in the lightning cable to the brick, securing the ClipIt.

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Route the lightning end into the small holder, and press fit in.

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Then just plug in, and slip your phone right on top. There’s a small extrusion to help hold the phone up while it’s charging.

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And there it is! Simple as that.

Want one of your own? Of course you do.  And be sure to follow Remi Van Oers on Shapeways for some more awesome products.

What do you think of the ClipIt? Leave us your comments below, and don’t forget to tag us @Shapeways with your products you want us to review, and show us what you’re making with #Shap3dByMe!


The Bust of Nefertiti: Who Owns the Copyright to 3D Scanned Art?

There is a lot to discuss following The New York Times’ Swiping a Priceless Antiquity…with a Scanner and a 3-D Printer about the Bust of Nefertiti in the Neues Museum that was surreptitiously 3D scanned by two German artists: Is their story of how they obtained the scan true? What does it mean for the ongoing dispute about the appropriateness of such an artifact residing in a German museum? Should more museums be releasing high quality 3D scans of their collection? Where can I get a copy of the file?

Some people also eventually start to wonder about copyright. Are the artists infringing on any rights by creating the scan? Do the artists have any new copyright in their scan? If the museum wanted to control scanning of objects, can they use copyright? If you are one of those people, this post is an attempt to give you some answers.

Is Scanning the Bust Copyright Infringement?

No. The bust itself is more than 3,000 years old. There was no concept of copyright when it was created (as far as I can tell—legal scholars of ancient Egypt, prove me wrong!), and we are well beyond the current life plus 70 years term of copyright protection today. The bust is firmly in the public domain and, at least from a copyright perspective, available for anyone to copy, remix, and build upon without permission.

Do the Artists Who Created the Scan Have Rights in Their Scan?

Most likely not. In the United States the creator of a digital scan does not get a copyright on the scan file independent of the object being scanned. The situation is a bit less clear in the EU, but there are strong arguments [outlined here] to come to the same conclusion.

Note that this is different than how photographs are treated. Why the difference? The short version is that copyright is designed to reward creativity. These types of digital scans may take a lot of work to be accurate, but they are designed to avoid introducing creative variation into the file. The goal of the scan is to copy the object as perfectly as possible – integrating creative interpretation would be counter to that purpose. (If this explanation feels incomplete to you, keep watching this space. We’re working on a whitepaper that takes a bit of a deeper dive into the issue.)

Can Museums Stop This Sort of Scanning?

Not with copyright. However, there are potentially other ways. Museums control access to the artifacts and can condition that access on all sorts of rules. Just as they can require you to pay a fee or leave your bags at the door in order to see an artifact, they can say that in return for access to the artifact you agree to not take a scan.

However, that sort of restriction has at least two shortcomings. First, enforcement is restricted to people who agree to the terms. That means that they can punish the person who physically accessed the object for violating the terms. But a person who just downloaded the scan never agreed to those terms – and therefore shouldn’t be held responsible for violating them.

Second, as this incident vividly illustrates, trying to prevent scanning may be a fool’s errand. While museums may be able to impose these sorts of rules, it may be better in the long run to create their own high-quality scans and release them instead of waiting for bootleg versions to leak out.





3D Printing at the Oscars

Posted by in What's Hot

We’ve got gold on our mind this week with our special sale (20% off your own models in Gold + select marketplace items), and this story on the announcement of 3D printed Oscar statues just added to the fun.

When it comes to the Oscars (or if you prefer, the Academy Awards), most of the attention is on the actors. And for good reason – this is one the biggest nights of recognition for them. While the “awards season” lasts a few months, the Oscars are typically the finale and fans can’t wait to see who will take home that iconic gold statue.

Many people don’t realize that the statues have changed over the years. Even if you watch the awards show every single year, you still might not have realized that the design and material has slightly changed since the first ceremony in 1929. The original award was made from gold-plated bronze, but due to manufacturing process changes it switched to gold plated metal just  a few years later. Since then slight design tweaks have been made over the years as well.



However, this year the Oscar’s organizers worked with a New York-based company to create statues that return to their original roots. The process started with 3D scanning the original 1929 Oscar, and combining it with the most recent (2015) version. The two designs were combined to “bring  the statuette closer to the original Oscar statue, with sharper features and a more art deco aesthetic.” From there the model was 3D printed in wax, hand-casted in Bronze and then plated in 24-karat Gold.

Be sure to check out the full story on to learn more about the process and see photos of how it all came together. And if it inspires you to create your own Gold, be sure to take advantage of our sale this week!



What CES tells us about the year to come

Posted by in What's Hot

CES (Consumer Electronic Show) has become the place to be at the beginning of the year. It is where the latest technology is unveiled and demonstrated, and gives us all a sense of what to expect in the year to come. Read below for more of what we saw and how it will impact the 3D printing industry:

The Scanners are Coming

Replicating items without having to learn 3D modeling software is going to be a breeze very soon. Personal 3D scanners are poised to be as common as smart phone cameras.

This technology allows you to create a 3D model of just about anything in seconds. While Shining3D demonstrated their super high resolution handheld 3D scanners, Intel showed off their new line of RealSence cameras that can be found in the next generation of PC’s, tablets and drones. Depth perception technology lets you create a 3D model in seconds. Online clothing sites can then use your model to make sure your next pair of pants or your new shirt is a perfect fit.



Drones Everywhere

Big drones. Little drones. For work or for play, drones are here to stay. The number of drone manufacturers is overwhelming. Industry leaders like DJI stay ahead of the competition with drones that fly farther, faster and longer with higher resolution cameras. Smaller companies are racing to make drones more affordable as this industry develops.

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With so many drones out there, being able to create custom pieces for your aircraft with Shapeways will help you stand out from the crowd.

3D Printing Medical Applications Are Making a Difference

UNYC exhibited a scoliosis brace based on a 3D scan of a person. This makes the brace less bulky and more comfortable, and encourages consistent wear which can reduce the need for surgery by 80%.


Wearable Wonderland

Wearable items are now available in various shapes, sizes and colors to match any style. Smart watches and fitness trackers are hitting the mainstream to keep us up to date while our smart phones stay safety in our pockets. There is even a kid friendly wearable designed by Doki to keep parents connected to their children. It’s exciting to see this industry continue to move forward because the tie-in with 3D printing is so natural. From fun accessories to functional add-ons, anyone can customize their wearable to make it even more personal.


Mini-me Nation

The longest line at CES was for the The Artec Shapify Scanning booth. The booth does a fast scan of your entire body and transforms it to a 3D model file that can be 3D printed. We are excited for big developments in this area for 2016 as we’ve already started offering 3D printing services for many scanning points.


Custom is Comfort

From 3D printed custom insoles to sunglasses made just for you, scanning technology will change the way you shop for clothes. Wiivv Wearables lets you scan your feet using your smartphone to 3D print an insole that fits the specific contours of your feet. 3D Systems has partnered with pq by Ron Arad to create custom glasses that fit perfectly AND look good.



At-Home 3D Printing Still Has Growing Up to Do

There are a ton of home 3D printers available and more coming on the market every month. Being able to compare the printers side by side at CES shows that the industry still has a long way to go before consumers can own a 3D printer that produces products in various materials, with a higher quality finish. For now, 3D printing services are the best bet for anyone wanting to be a part of the 3D printing revolution.



Did you attend CES this year? Let us know what new technology you’re most excited about below!

3D Printing and Star Wars

Posted by in Fashion, What's Hot

Whether or not you actually saw the film, we think it’s safe to say that Star Wars was the most talked about movie of 2015.



Like many big movies these days, the creators of Star Wars turned to 3D printing for many of the the film’s props. However, this time around they also used the technology for costumes which resulted in some incredible pieces. This story from goes into more detail on the various ways 3D printing is incorporated into the movie. It’s a really great read for 3D printing and Star Wars fans alike!

From the story:

“Fans got their first look at exactly how much 3D printing was used in the film when Disney debuted a truckload of costumes and props at both the 2015 Star Wars Celebration and the Disney D23 Fan Expo. Costumes were presented in enclosed glass cases with plaques detailing how each part of the costume was made, and 3D printing was integral to quite a few of the props. In fact, it is probably safe to say that many of the costumes wouldn’t have been possible without 3D printing, at least not in practical terms.”

While the iconic Star Wars prop will always be a favorite, it was really interesting to read about the various ways they used 3D printing to create costumes that would work for the movie. And in some cases, WHY they used 3D printing. For Anthony Daniels (who has played C3PO since the beginning of the franchise), his costume needed to be 3D printed for his comfort:

“I said, ‘I want to be in the costume, but I want it to be faster.’ So what they did was 3D print it. It weighs about the same, I would say, because the plastic is quite heavy, but it allows you to prototype things. So it looks exactly the same, but there are differences to the way it fits together that make it much faster to put on and take off, which is most important. It gets hot in there.”



The Shapeways community is filled with creatives and designers who love to show off their fandom through 3D printing, and our marketplace features some amazing custom products inspired by their favorite movies, games and more. With that said, it’s really cool to see that movie studios are using 3D printing for more fashion-related reasons. As the fashion industry continues to turn to the technology to elevate garment design, we’re seeing more “real life” use cases pop up, such as the Kinematics dress from Nervous System.


(Kinematics dress by Nervous System)

Seeing 3D printed fashion on the big (and small!) screen will continue to move this trend further. Even if it’s not a full dress, we’ll see more accessories and jewelry going to market thanks to 3D printing. As states, “it’s clear that with the next few years of blockbuster science fiction, action and superhero movies already slated that 3D printing will continue to play a major role in their creation,” and we think this means we’ll see it more in our own lives too.

Do you have a fashionable idea you want to bring to life? Check out the various ways you can get started!

Audi 3D printed a car and so can you!

Acclaimed car manufacturer Audi just unveiled a 1:2 scale version of the classic Auto Union Type C, the early sports car that beat the Mercedes Benz vehicles in the Grand Prix racing competitions back in the 1930′s. Even more impressive, this replica is fully working and printed directly in metal.



Produced with Direct Metal Laser Sintering (DMLS) Audi’s team recreated the vehicle part for part in 3D printed Aluminum and Steel. Check out the video below for more on the process.


What’s even cooler about this project is that everything used to create these replicas is available for Shapeways users as well! Our platform provides all of our community access to this technology. Any maker can print in our DMLS aluminum and anyone can buy or sell in our steel. Given all the resources, we all could be printing historic parts like these.

Even if you don’t need to 3D print the whole car, Shapeways gives access to a whole marketplace of scale vehicles for your gearhead’s delight.  From Grand Prix racetracks to other 1:120 scale german cars, 3D printing is enabling everyone to get the custom scale vehicles of their dreams.