Category Archives: Shop Owner

How to Open a Shop + Tips for Success

Have you opened up a shop on Shapeways yet? It’s incredibly easy, and we’ve created a new tutorial video to show you how it’s done. If reading step by step is your thing, we’ve got that too!

Did you know that by simply adding a banner and a shop logo you will help your sales? And that shops that have descriptions sell more than those that don’t? We’ve dug into our data a bit and found three simple things you can make sure you have in your shop we think are most important:

  1. Description

  2. Google Analytics

Get started opening your shop today, or update your settings to give your shop a nice Spring cleaning!

Quick Tips to Spiff up your Shop for the Holidays

Tis the season to deck the halls & paint the walls spirit of the holidays! Well, okay, it will be in a few weeks. Until then, you can begin to get started thinking about how to boost the spirit of your Shapeways Shop to optimize for sales the holiday season.

#1 Add New Product Photos – Recently, we discussed some helpful hints on how to take beautiful photos of your products for your shop

#2 Enable the right Materials – Make sure you have the right materials for sale on your products. Don’t miss out on valuable sales – our Porcelain and precious metal materials will surely be a hit this holiday

#3 Shop Banner/ Avatar – If you don’t have one, you need one. ASAP! If you do have one, take a look and see if the look and feel is still in line with your brand. It may be time to brighten up for the holidays

#4 Product / Shop Descriptions – Go through your products, and read the descriptions OUT LOUD. Does it flow? Is it still relevant, or is the info out of date?

#5 Link your Social Media Accounts – At the top of your shop page, you can link to your twitter account. This can be hugely helpful if a customer comes across your page and is interested in getting status updates long term

#6 Product Display Order – Did you know that in your shop inventory page, you can change the way your products are assorted on the page? To reduce your bounce rate, boost your best selling items to the top of the page

#7 Visual Coherency – If you’ve gotten someone to your shop page, you’ve already completed 80% of the battle. However, this is the part that makes or breaks the sale. It’s important to keep in mind the branding and language that you used to navigate people to that shop in the first place – and keep it consistent throughout.

Got any other tips or questions on spiffing up your shop this holiday? Come join in the conversation over in our FORUMS page to give and get feedback from your peers!

Product Photography that Pops!

In this article, we are going to dive into the importance of taking product photos and give you some inspiration on how to make your products stand out.

First, we’ll discuss why taking photographs and videos of your products is becoming more and more important.

Over the past few years, we have seen the rise of social media platforms: Instagram, Pinterest, Youtube. Without question, these platforms do one thing best: they enable people to share lots and lots of beautiful visuals quickly and easily.

The power of beautiful visuals is that people will just share your product for you; if your images are a real hit they will populate throughout channels of the internet and drive traffic to your page effortlessly. Just Look at GoPro – the success of GoPro comes partially from the product, but mostly their success stems from the beautiful videos that were uploaded and shared all over Youtube.

Pinterest, one of the most successful media platforms, is also one of the top driving social media sites that convert traffic to sales. Pinterest has a vast number of categories, but all of those top-trending categories share the same thing in common: beautiful, aspirational photos. (Bonus: Pinterest will let you tag your photo with the URL leading straight to your shop, so consumers can buy right when they see your photograph!)

Photographing your 3D print is to breath life into your idea once again; and to give your design an opportunity to flourish on the internet.

Now, time to brainstorm.

If you’re a highly visual person, simply asking one of these questions may be enough inspiration to get you the visual you’ve been seeking. If that’s the case – then go recreate the photograph in your imagination!

For everyone else, let’s get started with our brainstorming session!

  • What is the product?
  • What are its obvious aesthetic qualities? Function, color, size etc.
  • What are some hidden functions or attributes that you find interesting? These are things that may be obvious to you, but not so obvious to the customers.
  • What inspired you?

It’s very helpful to consider these questions when setting the scene for your photography. Understanding the answers to the question and being able to communicate them clearly to your customers visually can really improve your sales this holiday season. As an example, take a look at the product photography of this Bike Planter, designed by community member Colleen Jordan.

Screen Shot 2015-10-19 at 8.17.03 PM

Above, we have the static 3D render created by Shapeways Digital Preview. While 3D renders are good way to get an idea of your product in it’s initial phases, it’s ultimately not the best image to share to your potential buyers. The stark image gives no context to the functionality or of the product, and leaves me with more questions than anything else. This is where the point about hidden attributes comes into play.

In order for the customer to understand the full value of your design, it is helpful to be illustrative in the way you set your scene and tell the story. This particular product holds two separate functions: to hold plants and attaches to your bike.

With one single photo – all of my questions are answered! It’s like magic. Not only does this shot perfectly highlight the product, the consumer now understands the functionality, scale, and intention of the product they are considering purchasing.

Bonus points: Natural lighting and aspirational undertones makes me WANT to share this pic!

Well.. perhaps you don’t feel that your product has some hidden attribute or functionality that you want to show the world. That doesn’t mean you don’t have room to have some fun and spunk up your images!

Background textures (and colors!) are a great way to make your product pop. When considering background texture, or a surface for your product, try to imagine what would appeal to your customer base. If your products have a modern edge to them, you may want to look for a more sterile environment, perhaps all white or a clear acrylic type surface for your image. If you imagine your product in a rustic environment, seek out a piece of wood with some prominent grain texture to snap a pic of your design on.

Human element is a great way to bring your product to life and give the viewers a relatable presentation of your items scale. Using a model to photograph jewelry or wearables is a great way to get your customer to start day-dreaming about your pieces on themselves.  However, be careful when choosing a model that you are being inclusive not exclusive in how you want your product seen.  It is also ok just to show a hand or neckline so that the product is the focus and not the model.  If you want the photo to be a story about the relationship then focus on how the models are relating to one another and then have a secondary photo of your product as a close up.  This is when collages can be great!

Props are another exciting way to build visual balance in your photos, as well as make them more interesting and visually appealing. In this example, the product is the elusive eggcup, photographed with the tip of a fork and plate within the frame. Are we being sold a fork? No, definitely not. Does the prop make the visual more interesting? Yes, most definitely.  The key is for the prop to have a reason for being in the “story” of your visual.

Got some awesome 3D Printed Product shots you want to show off? Hashtag us with #ShapewaysHoliday for a chance to be featured in our holiday gift guide!

Want feedback on your Holiday product shots? Hit us up on our FORUMS and join the conversation to give and get direct feedback from our community members on how to improve your holiday shots!


Better With Shapeways video series kicks off with Will Haude of 3DBrooklyn

Here at Shapeways, we are inspired by the creativity and enthusiasm of our community and are passionate about enabling you to make anything you can imagine. This week, we’re launching a series of videos to celebrate our community and inspire others to bring their ideas to life with Shapeways.

Today, our spotlight is on Will Haude, creator of  3DBrooklyn. He says “3D printing empowers me to create whatever object I can think of, because that’s exactly what it does. Shapeways lets me print in a range of high quality materials that I cannot print with my printers. It’s great to have a manufacturer and marketplace on one site.” Watch his video below to see how he brought to life a 3D printed bike blinker with Shapeways and littleBits.

Want to win $100? Each day this week, we’ll be launching a new video featuring a designer and their 3D printed product. Share the video of the day on Facebook and tag it with #BetterwithShapeways, and you will be entered to win $100 in Shapeways credit! See below for details and make sure to come back, see all five videos, and enter the sweepstakes each day.

#BetterwithShapeways Sweepstakes Rules

1.     Eligibility. This contest is operated by Shapeways.  It is open to Shapeways users in the United States over 13 years of age at the time of entry who live in a jurisdiction that does not prohibit this contest.  Employees, officers, and directors of Shapeways and their immediate family are not eligible to enter.  Individuals may enter more than one entry into the competition but may not do so by way of automated means.  By entering this contest, you agree to be bound by these Rules.

2.     Prize. The winning entrant will receive $100 in Shapeways credit to make a purchase on

3.     Contest period. This contest is open on Monday, September 28 from 10:00am EDT to 11:59pm EDT.

4.     How to Enter.  Share the video or a link to the video on Facebook and tag it with #BetterwithShapeways.  You may also enter by sending a postcard with your name, phone number, and email address to:

Attn: Contest Department
419 Park Ave. South
Suite 900
New York, NY 10016
Postcards must be received by the end of the contest period in order to enter.

5.     Winner Selection.  Shapeways will select the winner from the pool of applicants on Tuesday, September 29.  There will be only one winner.  Shapeways will be prepared to award the prize to a runner-up in the event the winner cannot be contacted in a reasonable amount of time.  Shapeways will determine the winner by randomly drawing an applicant from the entire pool of applicants.

6.     Winner notification. The winner will be notified via email.  Upon contact, Shapeways may need to obtain confirmation of the winner’s eligibility.  If Shapeways cannot contact the winner through the contact information in their Shapeways account in a reasonable amount of time, a runner-up will receive the prize.  If a runner-up cannot be contacted, Shapeways will select a third place finisher to receive the prize.

7.     Taxes.  The winner will be solely responsible for paying all federal, state, and local taxes that may be due on winnings and, as a condition of receiving the prize, Shapeways may require the winner complete tax documentation.

8.     Liability and Jurisdiction.   All federal, state, and local laws and regulations apply; void where prohibited.  All disputes arising out of or connected with this Contest will be resolved exclusively by a court located in Manhattan, New York, USA.  Decisions by Shapeways regarding the interpretation of these rules are final.  By participating in this contest, you agree to release Shapeways and its agents from any and all liability, claims, or actions of any kind of injuries, damages, or losses to persons and property which may be sustained in connection with the receipt, ownership, possession, use, or misuse of any prize.  Shapeways reserves the right to amend these official rules and to permanently disqualify from this contest any person it believes has intentionally violated these official rules. Shapeways reserves the right to suspend or cancel this Contest in the event of hacking, security breach, or other tampering.  Any questions regarding this contest should be directed to

Sketchup tips from Steven Gray: Part 1, scaling and measuring

Shapeways Shop owner Steven Gray of MyGadgetLife shares some advice for designing with the amazing free design tool Sketchup. 

Sketchup Make is a great free tool for getting into 3D printing. And the export output is compatible with ‎Shapeways!

So here I’ve put together a few tips that I discovered along the way that will help you big time on the road to your first 3D print.


1. Choose the right template. Sketchup will prompt you to choose a template the first time you start it. This choice is remembered on subsequent sessions (but it can be changed) – and there’s even one for 3D printing! But I wouldn’t select this template, preferring at first to have a completely clean canvas to work from. So what’s the best template to choose? Personally I go for the woodworking template. It offers a neutral background, no horizon and clean corners (choose an architectural template to see what I mean).

If you want to change the template, go to the Window>Preferences>Template (Windows) or Sketchup>Preferences>Template (Mac) and pick another one. The chosen template will activate on the next new window opened, so you can’t update an existing design to different template. But (top tip) you can cut and paste objects from designs using a particular template to another window with a different template.


2. Use the metric system. Of course I’m in the UK so we use metric anyway, but seriously, if you’re not already, why not? It will improve [your 3D printing] life immeasurably (no pun intended!).


3. So you’re using metric? Good job! Now think 1000x times bigger! The thing is, ‎Sketchup is/was aimed at the building design sector, and as such it’s accuracy starts to break down when you begin to work with sub-millimeter values. The solution is to work in *metres*! That’s right, for every mm multiply by 1000 – Sketchup can handle it.


In fact when I’m designing I don’t think in dimensions as such, rather than units of measure. So half a mm is 500 units in my Sketchup model. 10cm would be 10000. And so on. (Don’t get confused by rotation – 90 degrees is still 90 degrees, no scaling here!)

The great thing about this scheme is that when you go to upload your model to Shapeways, all you have to do is choose ‘millimetres’ as the scale and, boom, the systems Shapeways use scales the model to the correct size. You will not receive a 20 meter diameter ring in the post!

4. Type in your dimensions. When you start a line with the pencil tool, or begin a circle, you’ll quickly notice the cursor ‘sticks’ to one of the axes (this is the Sketchup ‘inference engine’ at work). Once Sketchup ‘knows’ which direction you’re taking the line, just start typing in the dimension – it will appear in dimension field at the bottom right of the window. The same approach works for moving, rotation and scaling, the push/pull and offset tools – just type the value you require, then press Enter.


5. While talking dimensions, use the measure/guide tool often to get a handle on wall thickness, separation distances etc. If you’re having trouble getting the tool to ‘stick’ to one of the axes, or perhaps you’re trying to measure from reference point, hit a cursor key on your keyboard – this has the effect of constraining the tool to an axis. (You can use this constrain tip in other situations where you need a tool to ‘stick’ to an axis.) The keys are left – green axis(Y); up/down – blue axis(Z); right – red axis(X).


Behind the product: Wimbledon edition!

Posted by in 3D Modeling, Shop Owner

We talk a lot about inspiration at Shapeways because we’re interested in knowing how the amazing designs we see come to be. Whether it’s an idea that’s been brewing for months or something that just came to you in your sleep, we want to know the story!

Recently, we were introduced to Rob Bartlett of Caxton Rhode. His recent designs were inspired by Wimbledon, and we caught up with him after the tournament to find out more.

Who are you/where are you located?

My name is Rob Bartlett and I am the Creative Director & Designer at Caxton Rhode in Wimbledon. I live in South West London, England.

What is the inspiration and story behind the designs?

Being based in the same town as the most prestigious tennis tournament on Earth, is a great privilege. As my entire business is based around creating exclusive one-of-a-kind designs, I set myself the challenge of designing something Wimbledon related for each of the final seven days of the event.

Please describe the process you use to create the final product.

All of my early ideas start life as a series of hand drawn sketches. I am strong believer in having a solid story in place first, prior to attempting to develop anything further. As this particular design challenge was centered around a very recognizable event, there were already a host of ready-made icons to focus in on. The end products themselves (a tennis racquet bottle opener and strawberry cocktail stirrer) were chosen partly because of their wider summertime connotations, but also because I was thinking consciously about the printable materials and their size constraints. (They also just happen to be really beautiful looking objects too).


How did you learn to design in 3D?

I taught myself this time last year (July 2014). I was staging a return to Tent London, a trade show during London Design Week and wanted a statement piece to sit amid my interior design scheme. 3D printing was the big thing last summer and so I decided to create (and had Shapeways print) a fully functional lampshade for the show. I have always been fascinated with 3D and often dabbled during my 18 years in graphic design. However, it always seemed a graphics package too far. Of course, it is amazing what the looming deadline of a show will force you to do.


Who are some of your favorite designers or artists. Has anyone on Shapeways inspired you?

In terms of traditional media, I am lifelong William Morris and Ukiyo-e superfan. I love design and designers that make you stop dead in your tracks and question, just how on Earth they managed to do the things they did. Especially in context of the time in which they lived.

In terms of designers with their products on Shapeways, Bathsheba’s Klein Bottle Opener is a future Design Museum piece to my eyes. It is a modern classic and the first 3D printed piece I saw and suddenly understood the magnificence of this emerging media.

What opportunities do you believe printing in 3D brings to artists. How is that demonstrated in your work?

I truly believe that 3D printing (and other emerging manufacturing techniques) will have a profound affect on every aspect of our lives. I encourage all of my clients to celebrate personal taste and being able to design and produce products for their own exclusive use is extraordinary. This is without doubt the next golden age in design and the most incredible thing for me, is that we are only just approaching the starting line. When you look back at figures like Morris, you quickly realize that he was someone pioneering completely new techniques and charting new ground in his time. Great design isn’t about standing still and feeling nostalgic. It is and always has been about progress. I genuinely feel that we owe it to the craftsmen and women of the past to do something worthy during our time in charge.

Do you have other 3D printing objects in mind?

3D and 3D printing for me is an integral part of my designers toolkit. Every time a new material is released or a process improved, I instantly start thinking about ways of putting it to use. I am patiently waiting for a ‘multi material, single print’ process to emerge in order to really bring a number of ideas to life.

How did you first hear of 3D printing?

I have been aware of it for years but in all honesty, it was Shapeways that made it make sense to me. I think it is now something that most people have heard of and understand to be possible, but are still yet to experience it’s potential.

Thanks so much for your time, Rob! Be sure to check out more of his work and inspiration over here.

Ora Cufflinks: A story of design and collaboration

One of the great things about being a part of the Shapeways community (in our humble opinion) is the amount of talented designers you are able to connect with. We love seeing community members connecting on our forums, Twitter, Facebook and more. Sometimes those small connections lead to even more, as shown through this beautiful collaboration between two shop owners. Gabriel Prero and Bathsheba put their two talent forces together to create some amazing cufflinks. What we love the most about this product is that it really showcases each designer individually.

We asked them both a few questions about how this all got started. Read on to learn how the idea came about and their (great!) tips on working with other designers.

How did the idea for this collaboration come about?

G: Strangely enough, it came about through the Shapeways Crew. I was doing a Crew presentation for the School of Design at the University of Illinois Chicago, and was sent a sample pack of various Shapeways models. One of those was the ever-iconic Ora by Bathsheba. I’d seen it before online, but never in person, and I was taken aback by just how striking it is in person. Pictures really can’t do it justice. And it’s just a pleasure to hold and play with. So I figured I’d send Bathsheba a note letting her know how much I loved the piece. She replied that she had gotten many requests for cufflink versions, and asked if I’d be interested in the collaboration. Needless to say, I jumped at the opportunity.

B: Well, it started when Gabriel wrote to me that he had got one of my “Ora” pieces and liked it.  People have asked me for cufflinks of my designs before, but since I don’t really wear French cuffs it would be work for me to figure out what makes a good cufflink, and I’d always left those queries on the suggestions pile.  So when I saw Gabriel’s shop, which is a very nice presentation by someone who clearly knows his links, I though why not ask?

Why did you choose to do something with the Ora design?

G: The initial idea to make it a cufflink really belongs to Bathsheba. I was more in the right place at the right time:) Though I do think it lends itself very well to this scale. To shrink any sculpture down risks losing some detail, or having a print fail. The Ora scaled beautifully, and printed successfully right off the bat.

B: Most importantly it was Gabriel’s choice — since he did the work of adapting the design and photographing the product, definitely it should be something he likes.  On the practical side, not many of my designs can be printed in steel small enough for this application, so that narrows down the choices.

How long did the process take?

G: From initial email until the listing went live, about 6 weeks. Though the actual design work went pretty quickly. Most of the time were just back and forth emails and waiting for the Shapeways box to arrive.

B: From the beginning of April to late May, so quick as these things go.

What was the best part about working with another designer?

G: Often when I do custom work for customers, they’re unfamiliar with the CAD or 3D printing process. Collaborating with someone as experienced as Bathsheba, it was nice to speak the same language, and share experience.

B: He’s awfully good!

Any future collaborations coming up?

G: We’ve talked about “cufflink-izing” some of her other creations, so we’ll see!

B: We might do some more links if this one goes well.  Meanwhile I’m always open to suggestions!  I’m a fan of licensing deals; they’ve generally been pleasant and productive, so I try to answer any reasonable email.

Any tips on how designers can best work together?

G: I think the best tip I can offer is to just start the conversation! One of the things that keep surprising me about the Shapeways community is that the members are so open for exchanging ideas and giving meaningful feedback. Don’t be shy approaching someone you admire whom you’d consider to be in a “league above”.

B: I think it’s important to have a good contract.  The assets in play here were on Gabriel’s side, expertise in designing cufflinks and a platform to sell them; and on my side the design itself, and experience with licensing transactions.

The first three of these things are sort of obvious, but I’d like to unpack the last one.  I have a nondisclosure agreement which allows me to share the design file with less risk — you pretty much have to do this to evaluate the possibility, and without an NDA the risk is all on the designer’s side.  Having that handy gets rid of a major source of worry and distrust.

Thanks to both of you for your time and insight! Make sure to check out both their shops for even more amazing design.


New Shapeways classes on Skillshare

We’ve heard from our community that videos are one of the best ways to learn about 3D printing. From tutorials to our How I Made It series, they are a great visual to use when picking up tips and tricks to up your 3D printing game.

In the past we’ve worked with our friends over at Skillshare to create videos that show you the ins and outs of 3D modeling. Today we’re excited to announce the launch of another series of videos that anyone can use to learn about running a small business on Shapeways.

An Online Skillshare Class by Lauren Slowik, Shapeways Designer Evangelist for Education

Enroll For Free

Our marketplace is growing everyday (there are more than 23,000 shops!) and that means thousands of people have used their 3D design talent to start a small business. While we try to make things as easy as possible for our shop owners, there are still a few ways they can make sure their shop stands out from the crowd. From crafting a shop description to merchandising your products to rocking social media, these short, fun videos will give you all the tips and tricks to creating and running a shop on Shapeways.

As if that wasn’t good enough, Skillshare is offering our community the chance to sign up for a one-month Premium account for just $.99! Use code SHAPEWAYS when signing up.

Check them out and let us know what you think!

Browse Shapeways in Local Currencies

Today, we introduced a new feature that will make the Shapeways shopping experience better on a more global scale. Until now, shoppers could only see prices in USD and EUR. Starting today, shoppers will be able to browse the marketplace in USD, EUR, AUD, GBP and CAD.


When you visit the site, you’ll now have an option in the footer to change settings and view prices in different currencies.


It’s important to note that all payments will still be processed in USD or EUR (that depends on your shipping country, and we’ll let you know in checkout). The only difference will be the price you see when viewing your products.

In addition, shop owners can access a price preview of their products in these currencies on the Selling page. This will give a glimpse of what your customers will see when they visit your shops.

Happy browsing!

New Solution for Shop Owners to Manage Images

Yesterday we made an improvement to how you can manage an important aspect of your Shapeways Shop: Images! We are aware that there have been some discrepancies with product images for the past few months, and this fix should address some of those issues. For the last few months, we’ve been getting feedback from the community that you’d like to be able to set the order of the images on your product page. We’ve listened to that feedback and are excited to share that today you’ll have full control over how images are prioritized on your product pages, product box and carousel.

Our new image management interface for Shop Owners to have greater control over how their images are displayed on the product page.
View from Model Edit page: Images prioritized as 1, 2 and 3.


View from Product Page: Default image 1 is first image, and images labeled 2 and 3 are second and third in carousel. 

Currently, you have the ability to set a default image for your default material of your product.  With our new release, you can not only set the default image for your default material, but also order the photos in your carousel in the product page. Additionally, if you have multiple images for a product in a particular material whether or not it’s your default material, you can now prioritize which image we show when a customer is looking at that specific material. Here’s how:

The first thing to know about the new image table is that the order of the photos in this table will be the order of the photos in your product’s image carousel on your product page. To move an image up or down in priority, simply change the priority number to the desired rank, and your photo will move up or down in the table. This means your #1 priority image is going to be the first image in the image carousel on the product page. Your #2 priority image is going to be the second image shown in the image carousel and so on and so forth.

Second, you now have control over not only the default image of your default material, but also the default image for all other materials.

View from Model Edit page: Control the default image for your default material and non-default material alike while setting the order of the images displayed in the image carousel on your product page.

View from Product Page: Image labeled 2 is Blue Strong & Flexible (non-default material) but is default photo when Blue Strong & Flexible material swatch is chosen (as opposed to image labeled 4 above).

The default image for your default material is the most important image of your product, as it is the photo shoppers will see while browsing the marketplace and when landing on your product page unless they have selected a specific material while browsing. So how do you set the default image for your default material? It will be the highest priority image in the image table tagged with your default material. So that you always know what your default material is when looking at your image table, we’ve labeled all images tagged with your default material with a ‘Default Material’ label. We’ve also labeled your highest priority image tagged with the default material as ‘Default Material – Default Image’ so it is always clear what your default image for your default material is.

So what happens when a customer searches for your product in a specific material or clicks on a material swatch on the product page? How do we know which image to show? You now additionally control the default image for all materials, not just the default material. The default image for a non-default material acts exactly the same way where it’s the highest priority image in the image table tagged with that material. For example, if the shopper selects your gold swatch on the product page (and silver is your default material), we will start at the top of your priority list, and go down the list until we find the first image that is tagged with the material ‘gold.’

This means if you have multiple pictures of your product in any material, make sure to prioritize your favorite photo of your product in that material above the other photos in that material so it will be the default image for that material.

While we’ve recently removed Not For Sale items from the marketplace, they do still remain available on your designer profile page. If you have a public product that is marked Not For Sale, the image shoppers will see on the product page will be your highest priority image in your image table. This is all to say that products marked Not For Sale appear the exact same way as products that are available for sale.


View of Not For Sale: Image prioritization settings are saved

So in sum, you will now have control over: 1) the order in which your images are displayed in the image carousel on the product page, 2) the default image for your default material, 3) the default image for each non-default material, and 4) the image shown when your product is not for sale.

We appreciate your ongoing patience while we are working to fix open issues concerning images on the site. Because of the learned complexity of open image issues, we are releasing features that address open issues today. As always, thanks for all the feedback, and we hope this helps!

The Hate Project

Posted by in Community, Shop Owner

With almost 25,000 shops on our site, we could spend all days browsing the amazing products our community has for sale. We’re always interested in seeing what new things pop up and how customers are finding new shops.

A few weeks ago we noticed a shop called The Hate Project was very popular. Obviously we were very curious and connected with the shop owner to find out more about the shop and how they attracted customers.

Tell us a little about yourself!

My Name is Rob Baptie and I started a small social experiment called the Hate Project based on selling goods via the internet from California and giving the money away to charitable causes.

What’s the story behind your shop?

The Hate Project is a crowdsourcing endeavor based on the idea that together, smaller donations that might be deemed insignificant can make a huge difference when lumped together.  This idea/project was born out of trying to help a friend whose nieces were stricken with Cystic Fibrosis raise money for their foundation.  This process is documented here: The Hatedust Project .

To date we have given away about $195,000 to different charitable groups like and The Make-A-Wish Foundation. Why HATE? I like the idea of repurposing a negative into a positive. HATE comes from what we decided your insides would do if you ate too much of our pepper concotion called Hatedust.

What’s the story behind your designs?

The designs mainly involve variations on my pig based theme. I started fundraising for Make-A-Wish by donating pig bbq’s for their charity.

What inspires you?

I am inspired by the good in others.

What brought you to 3D printing with Shapeways?

The ease of operation Shapeways brings to my efforts.

How did you learn how to design in 3D?

I don’t! I have a good friend, Wes Newman, do it for me and he is GREAT!

How do you promote your work?

I promote via my Facebook Group: The Hate Project

Anything else you want to share?

I’d just like to thank all the HATERs who have supported this idea over the last 18 months. 100% of our net proceeds have gone to helping others.  This idea is nothing without their ongoing support.

Thanks, Rob! We always love seeing our community use their creativity for good. Also, be sure to check out the website to learn more about the project (and to find out what Hatedust is!).

From finance professional to 3D designer: How I got started with Shapeways

Dain Penman is a member of Shapeways Crew and the owner of the shop Madasu Designs

I have been 3D modeling, uploading files and printing through Shapeways for around six months now and wanted to share my journey of how and why I got into 3D modeling. I work in the Finance industry, but studied industrial design for one semester straight out of school. So the interest in design has been ticking away in the back of my mind for some time now.

I reached a point where I was seeking a new challenge, but with a mortgage and a baby I didn’t feel I could make a bold leave-my-job-pursue-crazy-idea type move without being completely irresponsible. I had a few product ideas and looked at Kickstarter to fund one – however when I reached the point of actually launching a campaign I realized my heart wasn’t in the product. And if I couldn’t get excited about it, how could I expect anyone else to?

So looking to products that I could get excited about, I decided to attempt to make coffee cups. I worked on designs and tried (rather unsuccessfully) to model some cups out of clay as prototypes. I had planned to use the clay cups to make molds and cast coffee cups in resin – however none of the commercially available resins were food safe, which I felt was a necessity for something containing hot coffee! I briefly looked into using an overseas supplier to make my cups for me, so I could just design and sell. The barrier was the requirement to order a minimum amount of each design – even stocking only a few designs would be very expensive and take up precious space in my house!

Some attempts at clay cups – not very successful!

Some attempts at clay cups – not very successful!

Around this time I started thinking about 3D printing, of which I had very limited knowledge. A few Google searches gave me some names and I discovered Shapeways!

Initially I was designing different coffee cups, but before I could get an order ceramic production ceased. I like to look for the silver lining and in this case it encouraged me to look at different materials and the different ways I could use them.

Shapeways render of one of my early cups in red.  Will soon get this printed in porcelain!

Shapeways render of one of my early cups in red. Will soon get this printed in porcelain!

There have been a few highlights in my Shapeways journey so far:

  • Uploading my first model and seeing the renders make it look oh so nice onscreen.
  • Receiving my first shipment in a Shapeways box.
  • Setting up my shop Madasu Designs in January this year and receiving my first sale.

Right now I am working on building out my product range, growing my social media presence and trying to get some more sales. It is interesting to reflect on the journey that brought me to Shapeways, particularly that in hindsight Shapeways would be useful in the different steps I took:

  • Prototyping to prepare for a crowdfunding campaign and making a working model.
  • Prototyping for mold creation for materials not available through 3D printing like silicone and resins.
  • Product development and iteration before committing to order through a mass-manufacturer.

That said, I am very happy with utilizing Shapeways 3D printing to build my business at this stage. It allows me to focus primarily on the design side, which is what I really enjoy, while Shapeways takes care of production and shipping.

3D Racetracks lands licensing deal with major European motorsports complex

As we’ve talked about in recent weeks, we think it’s becoming more important and relevant for larger organizations and brands to open up their Intellectual Property and allow their fans to create products based on some of their favorite characters, and the like. As Hasbro has done with SuperFanArt, we’re always happy to see our designers working with companies to expand creativity and innovation. It continues to be a topic of discussion, and we’re thrilled to be a part of the conversation.

Today, we’re excited to talk about one of our amazing shop owners, Jeremy Burnich, who recently struck up a licensing agreement with motorsports complex, Nürburgring, to produce four Nordschleife track sculptures – including the unique topographic models, a design only available through 3D Racetracks.

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We caught up with Jeremy to talk a little more about his designs and how this deal came to be:

Can you tell us a little more about the inspiration behind these tracks?

I started making these track models because I am pretty obsessed with MotoGP – Grand Prix motorcycle racing. There’s a few places where you can get track sculptures in wood but they are close to $300+. Since I was designing jewelry and other items for Joy Complex I decided to try making models to be 3D printed. When I came up with the idea of making these tracks, all I really wanted to do were the circuits on the current MotoGP calendar. That’s how it started. It got a little more serious after I showed them to my local MotoGP friends. They really dug them. I printed a few more and shared the photos on Reddit and the response was very positive.

After that I decided I wanted to make something REALLY different and it just so happened that when I did I was glancing at an article on the new (at the time) Circuit of the Americas in Texas. I was admiring the elevation changes and that’s when it hit me – no one had ever done topographic models before, only outlines. Topographic models would be sort of hard to make traditionally, but 3D printing is kind of perfect for making them. That’s when I started hunting for elevation data and experimenting with designs!

What is your favorite part of designing these tracks?

As a MotoGP fan, I suppose my favorite part is that I get sort of more acquainted with the circuits my favorite riders compete on. Being sort of hands on with the topography really makes me appreciate the sport even more. Also, I guess it’s the same reason anyone builds a model airplane, train or spaceship – to be transported somewhere else. To feel closer to a place or maybe even a time. In the end, I thought it would be neat to hold my favorite tracks in the palm of my hand. You really feel connected to the particular track when you’re holding it. It’s strange. Really, it makes you want to see a race even more, so I guess it feeds the obsession. My other favorite thing is when they sell! Each track I sell goes into my MotoGP fund for my trip to COTA or Indy. If I sell a lot, maybe even a race in Europe!

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How did you connect with Nürburgring?

I posted a picture of the track model on their Facebook page and tweeted about it, but because I used their logo without permission they kindly asked me to stop. However, they also asked me if I was receptive to working with them and perhaps officially license the track model so that I could use their logo. After that, we were emailing back and forth until we hammered out a contract we were both happy with. 

What’s next for you? Any fun new designs coming up?

I’m in negotiations with another big European racing facility, and I’m always adding new tracks or refining the designs on old ones. I am also working on a collaboration with my friend Alex Alexander who runs the shop Mini F1 Drivers. We should have something pretty soon! He’s doing amazing work and has a few official products of his own. He’s big into Formula 1 and with me being in MotoGP, maybe we can corner the 3D printed motorsports market! 

Great stuff! The Nürburgring North Loop models will be available at the Online Nürburgring Store and in their paddock shop. They are also available to purchase directly from 3D Racetracks on Shapeways.

Share your Shapeways products anywhere with our new Product Widget

The Shapeways widget is an easy way to share your Shop and favorite products outside of Shapeways. We are excited to add a brand new embeddable widget to showcase a single product, as well as an update to our existing Shop Section & Favorites Widget.

Embeddable widgets are a tool for sharing products outside of Shapeways and are a great way to grow your shop’s presence online and drive more traffic to your shop on Shapeways. You can use them to showcase your shop and designs on your own website, or to share products that you love on forums or other sites that you are involved in. Pretty much any site that allows you to add your own custom html is ripe for sharing your Shapeways products!

New: Product Embeddable Widget

We have a new embeddable widget showcasing a single product. It is simple to find the link to embed a product: a link has been added on the product page for each product.

The embed code for your product underneath the Buy Now button on each product.


You can also find it on the Product Details page for each product that you have.

We have made it easy for you to update the dimensions and remove the Buy Now button to make the widget fit perfectly wherever you want to use it, you can learn more about customizing the new widget in this tutorial.

We are excited to see how you use these new and updated widgets, but we are also eager to add more customization options based on your feedback! Feel free to give us suggestions for future versions in our feedback form here and please share your examples with us in the comments or on Twitter.