Personalization is one of the most popular ways to make a gift special. Not coincidentally, it is one of the greatest things we can do with 3D printing! Luckily, it's easy too.
If you have a model that can be personalized, you can turn it into a co-creator. Good models that could be personalized include rings, tags, keychains, company logos, business card holders, and iPhone cases. The list is endless!
Making a model into a Co-Creator is easy. On your My Models page, under the description there is a link to make this model a Co-Creator
You will get this pop-up where you can specify what is able to be customized on your model whether it is adding text, adding an image or even changing the size. You also indicate how long it will take you to make these changes once someone has ordered your model.
Best Practice Examples.Kaetemi makes this customizable keychain that can have custom images.
This is the what the customer sees for kaetemi's model:
Another example is Ovidu Opresco's ring which is able to be customized with text and for ring size.
We're always trying to push the limits of what is possible with 3D printing here at Shapeways, introducing new materials and encouraging innovation. However, sometimes to grow, you have to let things go.
We've noticed that you haven't been as excited about glass over the last year, and we have a great opportunity to use these glass 3D printers for research and development. This means we will soon be bringing you new materials to replace glass!
Please note that December 6th will be the last day we will be offering 3D printing glass, so you have three weeks to place your orders.
What does this mean for you?
If you're a designer who has glass models available for sale, glass will be removed as a material option starting December 6th. You can, of course, still offer them in other materials. All you have to do is ensure those materials are enabled on your product page. We recommend testing these models in new materials before making them available for sale.
If you want to buy glass products, make sure you do so before December 6th to ensure delivery by the holidays.
Lastly, given that we will be using these machines for research, let us know what materials you would most like to see next!
Shapeways now has hundreds of thousands of 3D models just waiting to be 3D printed. Sometimes it can be a little hard to find exactly what you are looking for (unless you design it for yourself). Giving your design a descriptive title will help people find your product in both Shapeways and Google search, adding your model to a category is essential to them appearing in the galleries and adding tags makes it easier for people to discover products around a very specific theme.
To help make it worth your while to head in and tag your products, we are going to feature a new tag every Tuesday, and so, Tag Tuesday is born. This week we are featuring products tagged meme.
Categories & Tags. How can you help us help you get discovered in search? Categories and tags! On the model edit page, under the material picker, you can choose two categories to put your model into, and then create an infinite number of tags.
Categories are the indisputable "what" that defines a product, and they are mutually exclusive or at least have one primary purpose. Tags will still be used to share other attributes, like the occasion (e.g., holidays, gifts), suggested recipient (e.g., for him, for her, for mom), qualities (e.g., geeky, whimsical), or even potential uses (e.g., driving, photography). The wider the net you can cast, the more potential buyers you can catch!
Two great examples are jewelry and homewares. For a bracelet you would choose the categories Jewelry and Bracelets and then create tags to describe them: the color, the style and who they might appeal to.
Best Practice Examples. Kevin Wei has done a great job with the Cosma Silver Bangle using these tags: art, arabesque, architecture, facet, filigree, floral, lace, lattice, mosaic, romantic, silver, white, Valentine's day. These tags describe his design, and even suggest which occasion it might be appropriate for.
For a coffee cup, the categories For Your Home and Dining are perfect. For the Aero Cup, Kioro Design has used these tags to cover a broad range of searches: art, for your home, dining, ceramics, coffee cup, cup, espresso cup.
The more tags you use, the more likely someone looking for something like your product will find you. It is not redundant to use both the tags coffee cup and espresso cup, it just increases the chances that someone will find it in search, either on the Shapeways site or using a search engine like Google.
Do you have any other tips for getting found in search? Any questions? Feel free to share them here!
Stay tuned for next week's tip: the role of personalization and custom gifts in 3D printing.
As people rebuild their lives post Hurricane Sandy, the Shapeways team and community feel passionate about doing our part to help with relief efforts. 10% of your purchases on Shapeways.com today will go to the American Red Cross' Sandy relief effort. Additionally, products tagged "Sandy Relief" signify that the designer has pledged to donate all of their profits from today to relief efforts.
We want to thank each of you for participating and have highlighted some of our favorite products below.
A firefighter in Queens NY, where there was a fire on October 29th. (AP, via Atlantic Wire)
With so many in distress in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, including several members of our team who are recovering from damaged homes, our thoughts go out to everyone affected. We were very lucky to emerge relatively unscathed, but we know there are still many without power, food, and homes.
As people throughout the Northeast rebuild their
lives, the Shapeways team and community felt passionate about doing our part to help with relief efforts.
This Thursday, we will donate 10% of our sales revenue to the American Red Cross' Sandy relief effort: $0.10 on every dollar anyone spends on Shapeways.com (excluding markup) will go to Sandy Relief.
Shop Owners, we hope you will join us in our efforts! We've heard that some of you would like to donate your markups to charity for the day (big thanks to Shapeways community member Michiel Cornelissen for starting the conversation). We invite you to join us on Thursday by pledging to donate your markups for the day to Sandy relief.
We will supercharge your efforts: by tagging your products Sandy Reliefnot only will you be pledging to donate your markups, you will secure a spot on the Shapeways homepage as we'll be featuring those products from Thursday to Sunday.
We know there is still a lot of work to be done, but we hope you will join us in doing what we can.
This week we'll be sharing suggestions on function and form, namely how to choose the right materials for your products. If you are making a product for yourself, it's great to have unlimited choice and to be able to experiment with various materials. But if someone is buying your product, you want to help them choose the best material for your product so they have the best experience possible. For example, your customer probably wouldn't want a ceramic iPhone case or a wedding ring in Frosted Ultra Detail...
To get started, when you upload your model to your shop, all materials are automatically
enabled. It is important to check if all the materials are
appropriate. Ask yourself:
1. Does my design meet the design rules for this material? 2. Would this product make sense in this material? 3. Do I have all materials selected still? If so, can I help customers decide by limiting the choices?
To select materials for your product, the easiest thing to do is to make a material selection when you are editing your product page for markup, description, or other details.
Overall, there are three things to keep in mind: design with the material in mind, use images that reflect the material options, and less is more.
We had over 70 entries to the 3D Print Contest for iPhone 5 Accessories with so many fantastic designs it was really hard for us to chose a winner among the high caliber of entries. There was one design that really caught the eye of the Shapeways team. As soon as we pulled one out of the 3D Printer to test it out, everyone was in love...
The product page is great but we really had to share a video so that everyone could see how the design captured our hearts and won $500 worth of Shapeways 3D Printing for the designer....
Every Product Page on Shapeways has a Favorite button to the right so that you can let designers know just how awesome they are. The Wishlist Button helps you to keep track of the 3D Printed goodness you want to have and hold. Clicking either button will send love to the Feed, so everyone can see what 3D Printed products are popular at any one point in time. Let's take a look at the 10 most popular 3D printed designs for the past week in order of popularity from number 10 up to number 1.
There's one thing that a Shapeways shop owner loves (almost) as much as sales, and that is data. A few weeks ago we introduced an improved 'My Sales' page. Today, we're improving the Sales Overview Download (XLS) and it is full of data. The Sales Overview Download (XLS) is going to allow you to see exactly what models you're selling in which material, when it has shipped, and which country it was shipped to. With this data you will be able to create your own shop analytics which can help you improve the performance of your shop.
We will of course be improving the tools on your Shapeways Shop page to make it much easier for you to have insight into what is selling in your shop so you can optimize for sales.
If you submit a link to your design on Reddit you have the chance of exposing your designs to thousands of people and increasing the sales in your Shapeways shop. We know of one Shapeways user who made the daily average of their annual salary in one day of sales on Shapeways when their design was going viral on Reddit....
We look forward to seeing your designs on Reddit soon.
We introduced Polished White Strong & Flexible Nylon 3D Printing back in May 2011 and have seen your prints coming out looking much more smooth and professional feeling. Those making twisty puzzles now assemble their designs without the need for sanding prior to assembly and those painting their 3D Prints can do so with less preparation time and effort.
One downside is the size of 3D Print that can currently be polished is limited to 150x150x150mm so not all Nylon 3D Prints can be post-processed in this way. To polish your 3D Prints we place them in a giant vibratory tumbler with an abrasive medium that smooths the surface. The tumbling process can be a little rough on really fine 3D Printed wires so the minimum thickness for these kind of features in your design must be at least 0.9mm, over 1mm is preferred.
We do not currently offer smooth color 3D Printing but it is something we may offer in the near future. The current dying process does not react well to polishing but if we were to introduce polished colors we may need to limit the size from the current 230x180x130mm to 150x150x150mm. The result is there may be a few models that cannot be printed in color, but all color models would be nice and smooth, less stepping, less rough edges.
Let us know what you think? would you like ALL of your 3D prints to one day arrive at your doorstep silky smooth, is there any other post processing you would like to see? Let us know your thoughts...
The Designer Spotlight for this week focuses on Wesley Gunter who takes inspiration from all around him and turns it into wearable 3D printed designs.
Tell us a little bit about yourself: Who are you? Where are you located?
I am Wesley Gunter (Krijntjes) a young Dutch designer living and working in Bergen op Zoom. I work at a Hi Tech Sheet Metal Processing plant welding, programming Mig and Tig Welding Robots and now and then I design a welding mold for the robots. I also have a little business of my own Gunter Art & Design.
What's the story behind your designs? What inspires you?
Me and my girlfriend see a lot of beautiful things in this awesome world and I do my best to transform those things into wearable 3D Printed designs. I also like food and light so now and then I design something in that area. Music, fashion and above all FUN are the keywords.
What brought you to 3D printing with Shapeways?
I wanted to make a keychain casting mold for the company I work for, I was looking for a milling company, but then I stumbled on Shapeways and thought why make a mold when you can print the design?
How did you learn how to design in 3D?
I had some experience with 2D in high school and when I had some free time at the company I worked for, I would play a little with the 3D software they have. Then I downloaded Blender on my own laptop and the shaping began. I knew how I would make something in real life so I approached my designing on the computer in the same way.
How do you promote your work?
The most promoting I do is with my Facebook page, and I also have a Twitter account @Gunterartdesign. I give almost every prototype I print away to family and friends so they can spread the word for me!
Who are your favorite designers or artists? Who in the Shapeways community has served as an inspiration to you?
Morten Linde designs very cool watches that I like a lot, and Nervous System and Museum of Small Things have the most amazing designs I have ever seen. They drive me to design cool things that I myself would like to have.
If you weren't limited by current technologies, what would you want to make using 3D printing?
If I had the time, knowledge and money I would love to 3D print an interstellar space craft that could fit me and my girlfriend and a bit of food drinks and go on a little vacation around the galaxy. I would like to encourage everybody to design the things they like the most and in a couple of years we all can buy custom products right here at Shapeways!
Check out his varied designs on his Shapeways Shop Gunter Art and Design.