Dice, mods and cases for electronics dominated August top models sales. Below are the top ten products for the month. Great job shop Owners!
Dice, mods and cases for electronics dominated August top models sales. Below are the top ten products for the month. Great job shop Owners!
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).
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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!
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 AlphaK9.org 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 https://www.facebook.com/
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!).
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!
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.
There have been a few highlights in my Shapeways journey so far:
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:
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
Updated: Shops & Favorites Widget
We’ve also updated our existing Shop and Favorites Widget to keep it up to date and resolve some issues it had in the past. If you are new to the shop widget, you can use it to embed a widget of your whole shop or a specific shop section, or your favorites or wishlist. You can learn more about how to set up and use the Shop, Shop Section and Favorites Widgets here.
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.
Have you ever wished your 3D prints would arrive faster? That you could order on a Tuesday and receive parts the same week? Today we have some very exciting news for you:
You’ve convinced us to give it a try. You’re all invited to sign up for our Rush Pilot! Anyone can sign up, and we’ll slowly let users over the coming weeks in accordance with our capacity. You’ll be notified via email when you’re in.
Important Details about 2 & 3 Day Rush:
Rush offering is for unpolished White Strong & Flexible only with a bounding box < 150x150x200mm
Target Ship Day for North America, Australia, and New Zealand: Leaves our factory in 3 business days for orders made before 2pm CET / 8am EDT. Orders placed after that time will be counted towards the next business day.
i.e. Order placed on Tuesday 7am EDT, parts are shipped end of day Friday. Order placed on Thursday 4pm EDT, parts are shipped EOD following Wednesday.
Target Ship Day For All Other Geographies: Leaves our factory in 2 business days for orders made before 2pm CET / 8am EDT. Orders placed after that time will be counted towards the next business day.
i.e. Order placed on Tuesday 7am EDT, parts are shipped end of day Thursday. Order placed on Thursday 4pm EDT, parts are shipped EOD following Tuesday.
Rush orders are twice the price of regular WSF (pricing may change in the future)
You can use the ‘Print it Anyway’ option along with Rush if you choose.
Beta users will have a rush option added to checkout flow. All rush parts will need to placed in a separate shopping cart in order for the rush option to appear.
Check the material status page before you order to make sure we have capacity before placing your rush order. This is an experiment, and we physically have a daily-maximum volume capacity for Rush. While we will always do our best to make it happen, we may not always have room to accommodate your order. If you place an order that we won’t be able to deliver on time, customer service will reach out so you can cancel your order and place it again as regular White Strong & Flexible.
What do you look forward to making faster with RUSH?
What was your 2014 3D Printing Highlight? There are so many great Shapeways stories to tell from 2014, the team here has had a hard time narrowing it down for our Year in Review. Really, what matters to us is what mattered to you! We asked the community what their 3D Printing highlights of 2014 were, and here are some of your great responses:
He also noted, “Small Business Bootcamp was definitely a highlight for me personally. Was amazing to be in a room with so much talent and knowledge in one place. The HP color printing announcement was pretty exciting. Looking forward to seeing how that pans out for HP and Shapeways.”
Corretta Singer, who lives in Jamaica but somehow managed to meet up with us in London on our UK roadshow and in New York City also agreed, “Shapeways Small Business Bootcamp was Awesome.” Corretta is the Queen of the Caribbean as the regions top Shop Owner and as an island hopping 3D evangelist and educator.
For Shop Owner and beloved forum moderator Stony Smith, it was hitting an important Shop milestone “September 5th, 2014: 5000th unit sold.” Full steam ahead, Stony!
Fernando Sosa, a Shapie veteran, launched a new Shop and brand this year, Political Sculptor. He confirmed 2014 was “the birth of 3D Printed Political Satire,” all starting with his hilarious Chris Christie Bridgegate Sculpt.
Gil Rivera, a rising Shapeways star said “being recognized by the white house! also being selected as a Shapeways “designer for hire!” were his Shapeways highlights. Some of ours too, Gill!
I am a closet anatomy nerd and when I read Rachel Case’s tweet it gave me chills. Her highlight was “making custom brain jewelry for my neuroscientist wife — from an MRI scan of her brain!”
Rachel was so inspired by the experience, she even opened up a Shop! Good thing Valentines day is on the way (hint hint, babe).
For many, it’s about 2014 was the year they introduced their friends to Shapeways. Shapie legend Ryan Kittleson was one such example, “A lot of my friends already know how to do 3D modeling, so it was only natural that they get involved with printing their work on shapeways.” Also, he added, “getting that Shapeways package in the mail is like Christmas day any time of the year!” Much Agree, Ryan.
Mark Greenwood, an Englishmen and avid coffee drinker needed a serious solution when the bracket that holds the milk in his refrigerator broke. His highlight was “designing and 3D printing the bracket to help keep milk in the fridge!” An ingenious Shapeways hack, Mark, nice work. He was even kind enough to blog about the experience.
Alexis and Ross used our White Strong and Flexible Plastic and made the dress out of 400 individual pieces!
Designed by Isis was most excited by “the birth of my lily bracelet” this year. We can see why!
Many of you know the magic of giving a 3D Printed gift and this time of year we’re lucky enough to hear many of them. This one from Thom May was particularly fun. “I made this figurine of my niece and gave it to my sister for xmas. seemed like a hit!” We were also happy to hear that appreciates the quality, “it came out great! the printed steel is so cool: definitely anxious to try more!”
One of my favorites comes from Tommy Serrien on Twitter, who said that his highlight was “the face of my girlfriend when i gave her these one of a kind 3D Printed earrings! ” We know the feeling, Tommy!
What was your 3D Printing Highlight of 2014? Share yours in the comments here or with us on twitter @shapeways for a chance to be featured on an upcoming blog.
Did you know today is Small Business Saturday? A day focused on supporting your community and the independent businesses within that. Online small businesses count too, and that’s why today is my favorite of this wild holiday weekend. There is a lot to celebrate today, alongside the over 22,000 small business owners powered by Shapeways 3D Printing. Remind your friends and family when they shop from you store on Shapeways, not only are the getting a great deal this weekend, they’re also supporting the maker movement and the small businesses within that.
Learn more about the people behind Shapeways 3D Printing powered businesses through our Designer Spotlight series. Celebrate your creative independence and remind others to #ShopSmall! What small business on Shapeways is your favorite?
Shapeways now has over 22,000 shop owners who are building their businesses using 3D printing. The ability to build a 3D printing powered business is very new and we are proud that it is our community at Shapeways who are leading the way in developing best practices for these creative, small business owners. To further support and celebrate our shop owners we organized our first ever Small Business Bootcamp on October 24th, 2014 in New York City. It was a day of entrepreneurial and design inspiration that offered concrete advice on business planning, marketing and designing 3D printed products from Shapeways shop owners with support from Shapeways staff members.
3D printing offers the opportunity of mass customization and making products you want, not just what is available. As Wayne Losey of Modio and creator of Modibot said as he discussed his discovery of 3D printing and possibility for customization after working in the toy industry, “We don’t live in a world where everyone loves Elvis. We have choices now.”
Wayne was just one of the speakers who shared ideas and resources the Bootcamp and you can find videos of the full sessions from the Small Business Bootcamp on our YouTube channel. We hear a lot from our community of shop owners and designers about where you feel you need extra information, guidance and inspiration as you build your business. We worked to highlight shop owners in our community that stand out as examples of marketing, branding, product development and their ability to create a unique business and audience.
The morning of the Bootcamp focused on business basics from a 3D printing perspective. We kicked it off with a keynote talk from David Gillespie, Shapeways Vice President for Manufacturing, about how 3D printing is driving the future of manufacturing and why he is excited to be working to solve the design and business challenges our community presents encounters. He was followed by Susan Taing, founder of bhold, who discussed her process of product development and iteration and how to choose a “winning” product. Melissa Ng, of Lumecluster, discussed her business planning process and how she finds and shares inspiration as an entrepreneur. Kacie Hultgren of Pretty Small Things and Jeremy Burnich of Joy Complex discussed how they brand and market their shops with Global Community Manager Savannah Peterson.
In the afternoon we focused on practical tips for designing and maximizing the potential of Shapeways and 3D printing in your business. Thomas Ellison, Customer Service Team Lead, about the basics of intellectual property for 3D printing. Design Evangelist for Education Lauren Slowik moderated a panel with 3D printed metal sculptor Bathsheba Grossman, artist Ashley Zelinskie, and Wayne Losey about how they have found a niche and established themselves in their fields using 3D printing. The day ended with a panel on how to optimize your designs for the materials Shapeways offers and featured presentations from Rob from Gotham Smith and Christian Brock of Wulong Toys along with Raphael Stargrove and Gabe Leader-Rose, Shapeways Physical Product Managers.
While 3D printing is a great way to create custom products, when you are launching a business there is always more to do to market and present your products to the world. In the spirit of the day, Bathsheba remarked, “The plain object, or the art, doesn’t sell itself – it’s the aura around it. 3D printing helps that, although it was easier 10 years ago. It’s starting to go away.” This also raises a challenge: as 3D printing becomes more widespread, what new challenges will arise for small business owners?
What do you think will the future of 3D printed business will hold? We plan to make this conference an annual event and look forward to your suggestions of what additional topics you would like to cover or delve into more deeply, and speakers you would like to hear from.
If you are in New York and would like to talk more about the small business of the future and how new technology is empowering small business owners, please join us for a Small Business Saturday Brunch at Wix Lounge on Saturday November 29 from 1 to 2:30 pm. You can find more details and RSVP on the Wix website!