This fall, we hosted the Gift Card Holder Challenge, and you came through with some amazing submissions! Just in time for holiday stocking stuffers, we’ve picked some of our favorites. Discover a better way to give a gift card, below:
We love this gift card holder because it’s a great way to make that piece of plastic cash feel special and festive.
Gift Card Holder by Carl’s Puzzles
This gift card holder can fit all your loot from the holidays, or double as a business card holder. It can even be personalized with CustomMaker to make the perfect present.
Card Holder Box (Part 1 of 2) by Cady Carlson Designs
An innovative screw-in design makes this gift card holder into an ornament that’s ready to hang on the tree.
gift card screw in ornament with holes by Nibbles & Bits
It’s the cherry on top of Christmas morning: the stocking, stuffed with a few extra goodies. It’s also a gifting challenge. Stocking stuffers should be unexpected, interesting — and tiny. Luckily, our designers are experts at delivering big impact in small packages. Helping you to deliver gifts that are the opposite of boring. This week, as we highlight Last-Minute Finds for every budget, discover seven stocking stuffers they may end up liking better than their real presents.
1. Micro Pocket Fidget Spinner
Micro Pocket Fidget Spinner by Idle Hands Development
Fidget spinners have been big in 2016. Just add a couple of roller skate ball bearings, and you have a handy tool to keep your hands busy while your brain focuses. It’s true — fidget toys can actually help us focus. Plus, this one is small enough to keep your fidget toy obsession on the DL.
2. Santa-Approved Cookie-Dipper
Little Dipper by Craig Kaplan’s Mathematical Art
Some people just want a milk-soaked cookie, and not an entire glass of milk. We suspect that Santa is one of those people. So he’ll feel pretty good about leaving behind the Little Dipper in your little one’s stocking.
3. Bacon Mobius Strip
Bacon Mobius Strip by Joaquin Baldwin 3D Printed Designs
Mobius strips are amazing mathematical objects (read all about them here), and when combined with shockingly realistic bacon details, rendered in full-color sandstone, this one could become a bacon-lover’s favorite — and most unexpected — holiday gift.
4. Kaladesh Die
‘Kaladesh’ D20 Balanced Gaming Die by Tiny Tokens
Trust us, the roleplayers in your life will go insane over this Magic the Gathering-inspired die.
5. Wow, Such Doge
doge by Ryan Kittleson’s Sculpture
Doge is the meme that keeps on giving. He’s adorable, and he’s just excited to be here. Give your giftees a dose of doge with this stocking-sized figurine.
These cool little tools are phone stands, phone grippers, and fidget toys all in one. Maybe the most useful stocking stuffer they’ll receive this year.
Check out our full selection of finds in our Holiday Gift Guide, and make sure to order soon. All of our holiday order deadlines can be found here. And let us know in the comments what you’d like to find in your stocking on Christmas morning.
The holidays seem to come around earlier every year. At Shapeways, where everything is custom-made to order, our holiday order deadlines are fast approaching. But, fear not, because this week we’re here for all your last-minute gifting challenges, whether you’re looking to fit a certain budget or just find that perfect piece for the person who has everything. Read on for four ways you can still Say You Made It this holiday season.
For 3D printing fans, December 3 is basically Christmas, Hanukkah, and Thanksgiving combined. It’s a day to celebrate, welcome new makers — and show everyone how versatile, fun, and inspiring 3D printing can be. Today only, follow us on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook and reply to our #3DPrintingDay posts with what YOU want to 3D print, and include the hashtags #3DPrintingDay and #contest. You’ll be automatically entered to win one of three prizes of $250 in Shapeways credits. Every purchase you make on the site will also enter you to win. Fine print is after the jump.
Shapeways Sweepstakes Rules
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.
Prize. Each of the three winning entrants will receive $250 in Shapeways printing credits.
Contest period. This contest is open from Dec. 3, 2016 at 12:01 a.m. US Eastern Time to Dec. 3, 2016 at 11:59 p.m. US Eastern Time. All entries must be received by Dec. 3, 2016 at 11:59 p.m. US Eastern Time.
How to Enter. There are two ways to enter the contest. First, you can enter the contest via Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram by replying to contest announcements tagged #3DPrintingDay with a description of what you want to 3D print and following Shapeways on the entry platform by the end of the contest period. All public responses must include the hashtags “#contest” and “#3DPrintingDay” in order to be valid and eligible to win. Second, you can enter the contest by completing any purchase on Shapeways during the contest period. All purchases on Shapeways are eligible for contest entry. Eligible participants can enter the contest multiple times.
Winner Selection. Shapeways will select the winner from the pool of applicants on Dec. 6, 2016. There will be three total winners. Shapeways will be prepared to award any of the three prizes 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.
Winner notification. The winners will be notified via private message to their social media account if they entered by way of that account, and by way of the email address associated with their Shapeways account if they entered by way of a purchase on Shapeways. Upon contact, Shapeways may need to obtain confirmation of the winners’ eligibility. If Shapeways cannot contact a winner in a reasonable amount of time, a runner-up will receive the prize originally designated for that winner. If a runner-up cannot be contacted, Shapeways will select a third place finisher to receive the prize.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Other Restrictions. Users discovered creating multiple Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or Shapeways accounts in order to enter this contest will be disqualified from entry.
Additional Considerations. Sponsors are not responsible for (i) any typographical or other error in any communication relating to the Contest; (ii) lost, illegible, late, misdirected, or incomplete, entries or emails; (iii) interrupted or unavailable satellite, network, server, Internet Service Provider (ISP), websites, telephone, cable or other connections; (iv) any technical failure or jumbled, garbled, corrupted, scrambled, failed, delayed, or misdirected transmissions; (v) hardware, software or network malfunctions; (vi) other errors of any kind whether human, mechanical, or electronic; (vi) any damage to Participant’s or any other person’s computer resulting from participation of the Contest or downloading or uploading any materials.
Sponsor reserves the right, at its sole discretion, to (a) abbreviate, modify, suspend, cancel or terminate the Contest, without notice or other obligation, in the event that Sponsor is prevented from continuing with the Contest or the integrity or feasibility of the Contest is undermined in any respect, including due to fire, flood, epidemic, earthquake, labor dispute, tampering or other unlawful act, or if, in the sole opinion of Sponsor, the Contest is not capable of running as planned by reason of infection by computer virus, worms, bugs, tampering, hacking, unauthorized intervention, fraud, technical failures or any other causes which, in sole opinion of the Sponsor, corrupt or affect the administration, security, fairness, integrity or proper conduct of this Contest; (b) determine winners from entries received prior to action taken, or as otherwise deemed fair and equitable by Sponsor; and/or (c) disqualify any individual it finds to be tampering with the entry or judging or process or operation of the Contest.
This contest is not sponsored, endorsed, or administered by Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook. By entering this contest you agree to release Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook of all liability related to the contest.
As clumsy as it makes us feel, most of us drop our phones. Every. Day. What if there were a way to avoid it? And what if that solution was also fun — and multifunctional? Meet Knuckies - Phone Stands, With a Twist. The 3D printed phone stands, fidget toys, and phone-grippers make perfect holiday gifts, whether you’re stuffing stockings or adding handy accessories to a big-ticket tech gift purchase. Check out all they can do in the video below:
Knuckies attach easily and securely to any device with a simple double-sided mounting sticker. With a range of designs, there’s also a Knuckie for everyone from cat lovers to minimalists. And, while Knuckies make excellent phone stands, they also fold flat — keeping your device low-profile.
Anchor by Knuckies – Phone Stands, With a Twist
Triple Ring by Knuckies – Phone Stands, With a Twist
Cases for gadgets are usually purely a necessity. Sure, they can be gorgeous, but for the most part, they’re there to protect. But, what if a case could actually make your tech more useful? Startup bytten aims to do just that, creating stylish Fitbit covers that slide right on — taking the wearable from gym casual to sleekly stylish. This week, as we focus on holiday gifts that offer a Technical Advantage, we’re taking a closer look at a small business that wants to give your wearable technology a fashion upgrade.
True to bytten’s mission to “bring your fitness tracker’s style and personality to a whole new level,” the Lucas slide for Fitbit Flex takes inspiration from computer circuitry to create an intricate, cutting-edge look.
The Rasa slide for Fitbit Flex allows you to make their tech a personal statement, with custom text options available at no extra charge.
Bytten’s Fitbit cases are available for multiple models of the popular fitness trackers. The designers also enjoy experimenting and creating pieces in response to feedback from the Shapeways community. The image below shows the symbol collection, which was inspired by requests from bytten’s customers.
Check out bytten’s full collection in their Shapeways shop to make your fitness-tracking friends more stylish than ever. Plus, don’t miss our Technical Advantage collections for gift ideas that let you personalize, modify, and improve their favorite gadgets.
The little action camera that can go almost anywhere has inspired a serious following, from newbie adventure-seekers to serious videographers. Some of the GoPro’s biggest fans are makers whose accessories help achieve professional-grade results. Like designer Dan Newman of My GoPro Kit, whose mods range from filter attachments to tools for capturing aerial 3D shots. As we shine a spotlight this week on holiday gifts that offer a Technical Advantage, discover a few tools that will help your favorite GoPro fans get truly pro results.
Capturing 3D shots using GoPro’s Dual Hero System can be a challenge for objects that are more than 10 feet away. The GoPro HERO 3+ 3D System allows for wider lens separation, ensuring crisp coverage of subjects between 10 and 50 feet away — perfect for wider-parallax shooting like aerial photography.
GoPro HERO 3+ 3D System: Wider Lens Separation by My GoPro Kit
This base for a motion-control rig lets you capture dynamic time-lapse photography using a model train track. At the link above, Dan also shares full plans for the time-lapse rig system, so get making!
The Sun hood and 37mm filter holder for GoPro not only helps you attach filters to your camera, it also ensures that you maintain resolution while using ND filters, even in bright sunlight. Add this to your toolkit for flawless full-sun coverage.
Sun hood and 37mm filter holder for GoPro by My GoPro Kit
Follow My GoPro Kit to keep up to speed on all of Dan’s innovations, and find dozens more ways to give everyone on your list a Technical Advantage this holiday season in our Holiday Gift Guide. What are some of your favorite high-performance GoPro accessories? Let us know in the comments below.
Tech lovers like to stay on the cutting edge. But, traditional mass-produced devices have their limitations. The truly gadget-obsessed require unique accessories and modifications to take their tech to the next level. Thankfully, Shapeways offers hundreds of gifts that can personalize, modify, and improve almost any popular gadget. This week, as we focus on ways to give everyone a Technical Advantage, we’re taking a closer look at five clever add-on gifts for your tech-obsessed friends.
1. Anchor Their AirPods
EarPod attachments for active people by Amznfx
When Apple announced those indispensable accessories for the iPhone 7, wireless AirPods, opinion was split on whether it’s possible to avoid losing the tiny devices. Shapeways designer Fernando Sosa decided to turn that issue on its head with his EarPod Attachments for Active People. Help your favorite Apple-lovers hold onto their AirPods with these handy accessories.
2. Make Their Fitbit Wearable Anywhere
Lucas slide for Fitbit Flex by bytten
Designer Bytten has some brilliant ideas on how to make the FitBit more useful. This piece, designed by Lucas Goossens, takes inspiration from computer circuitry to create a cover that takes your tracker from fitness tool to fashion statement.
3. Help Them Track Their Tracker
Wallet for Tile (Tracking Device) by Dearborn 3D Design
The Tile is an ingenious tracker for your most important items, but… how to keep track of the Tile itself (if you want to keep tabs on something other than keys)? This Tile-compatible wallet solves that problem, while providing an efficient, compact place for your money and cards.
4. Keep Their GoPro’s Vision Sharp
Lens Cover for GoPro by 3dprintingdog
GoPro has given us a technology that can go anywhere — but its curved lens can lead to scratches that can ruin the view. This customizable GoPro-compatible lens cover will help your adventure-loving friends protect their cameras while leaving their mark.
5. Give Their Photography a Boost
Bounce Buddy – Bouncer for the internal flash! by Wile’s Wonderbox
The Bounce Buddy diffuses the harsh light of a camera’s flash, creating a perfectly soft look for those times when only a flash will do. This allows shutterbugs to leave the external flash at home and still capture the moment.
For even more ways to help your giftees better their tech, check out the Technical Advantage collections in our Holiday Gift Guide. And, let us know in the comments how you would modify your favorite devices with 3D printing.
Last week, Shapeways sponsored the Hacking Arts Conference at MIT in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Hosted by the MIT Media Lab, the three-day conference brings together students and professionals from technology and the arts to discuss interdisciplinary creativity.
Shapeways’ Community team was there to greet panel goers and give them a chance to get their hands on some of the 3D printed materials and products available in the marketplace.
The conference also included a hackathon and some amazing performances. Below is a moment from audio/visual artists the Holladay Brothers during the opening ceremonies.
A video posted by Andrew Thomas (@andrew.s.thomas) on
The Hacking Arts Conference was also a great opportunity to see old friends. Artist and Shapeways Shop Owner Bathsheba Grossman came by to play with some of her math-inspired Klein Bottle openers, printed in a variety of materials.
Giving Tuesday is here! It’s our annual chance to celebrate the generous spirit of the holidays by giving to our favorite charities. On Shapeways, there are plenty of ways to turn holiday gifting into an opportunity to give back, with many designers passing on their profits to good causes. From breast cancer research to marine conservation, the Shapeways community cares deeply — and their creations make perfect holiday gifts for your friends and family. Read on for five ways to give back this Giving Tuesday.
The HATE project turns negatives into positives, crowdfunding important organizations like Make a Wish and the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. Your purchase, along with those of thousands others, supports these and other worthy causes. Learn more about the HATE project here.
Ribbon Pin – Design by Debbie Claxton by Shapeways Ribbons
For a gorgeous, permanent way to show your support for victims of breast cancer, opt for this rose gold pin. Designed by Debbie Claxton, part of the proceeds from each pin purchase are donated to Pink Ribbon.
This week, we’re focusing on holiday gifts that offer a Technical Advantage — making tech both better and easier to use. Sometimes, this means making tech more accessible for everyone. Designer Tatsuo Ishibashi’s Mizu Laboratory does just that, developing beautiful, useful assistive gadgets that can help ease our interactions with everyday technology.
“Shippo”, Input Assist Device by mizulabo
What inspired you to start creating assistive technology through 3D printing?
Muscle force of the elderly decreases over 50% from that of youth, and I also sometimes feel weakness of grip strength. There are many self-help devices on the market to assist our daily life. But, it is difficult to find a favorite device to use because design and usability are not thoroughly considered. Existing mass-production methods cannot be adopted to make specific structures that satisfy both design and usability for the assistive devices. A 3D printer can do it easily!
Eating Utensil Holder by mizulabo
How do you identify the types of products that can be developed to make everyday items easier to use for the elderly (and others)?
It’s a general method that involves product, market, and patent research. Now we can take in a variety of information through networks, so I also often test products in a real market. And there are lots of needs in our daily life. I started from a relatively simple item, a cap and tab opener.
“Higaki”, Cap & Tab Opener by mizulabo
While these are assistive devices, they’re also incredibly beautifully designed, so that they’re basically utilitarian art. Tell me more about the design process and how you picked patterns for each item.
It’s a result of trial and error. First I simplify a function of a device. Next, I make a simplified prototype by using a desktop 3D printer. I then evaluate the function and durability. Afterward, I design it based on the simplified prototype. I usually repeat that process until a satisfactory result is obtained.
Finger Input Device by mizulabo
Check out Tatsuo’s Shapeways shop here. His gadgets are snazzy little gizmos that are more like life-hacks, suggesting that 3D printing is changing the assistive device game — creating tools that are more useful, affordable, and beautiful than before.
At the top of most wishlists, there sit a few dream gadgets: the latest wearable, a next-gen phone, a high-end camera. But, chances are the true tech lovers in your life have already found their perfect devices (after months of research, of course). That’s why, this week, we’re offering them a Technical Advantage in the form of accessories that will better their tech, taking gadgets from standard-issue to one of a kind. Read on for four ways to keep them happy this holiday season.
Earlier this week, we showed you how to take 3D printed model trains from raw prints to gorgeous finished pieces. It’s all part of our holiday celebration of how our designers and makers bring Tiny Worlds to life. Two of the gorgeous trains we featured in that post were created by Alexander Clark of Boxcar Models.
CNSM 203 – 214 MD by Boxcar Models
Like many of our model train designers, Alexander’s pieces fill a need not met by the market — and his process for creating them has been a journey of discovery. “Railway modelers always want ‘that’ model that is not available commercially, and that’s how I got started… if I wanted them, I knew I was going to have to make them myself,” he told us.
This desire led him down the path of 3D design. “Having an engineering background, I knew my way around a drawing and knew how to use a computer, so I learned how to draw a model that could be 3D printed. I started simple and produced what is basically an electrical cabinet. From there, things just grew to more larger and complex models,” he added. Those models don’t come directly from Clark’s imagination, but they aren’t always easy to source: “If I am lucky there is an engineering drawing of the model. If not, I have to either measure the real thing or source endless photographs and make a best guess at dimensions.” That’s when the design work really begins.
When creating the designs themselves, he strives for maximum accuracy, opting to draw his models in true-to-life 1:1 dimensions. Using additive fabrication software Netfabb, he then checks his models for printability, making any necessary fixes manually before scaling them down for printing. The final tweaks come after, when he makes a few adjustments for the material design parameters, “so there has to be a bit of compromise between 100% accuracy and what will actually print.”
Amtrak Horizon Cafe V2 Doors by Boxcar Models
We’re grateful that Alexander took on this unusual design challenge. Boxcar Models’ exquisitely detailed coaches, freight cars, and accessories not only allow enthusiasts to find models that wouldn’t exist otherwise, they also make for utterly unique gifts for collectors looking for rarer-than-rare finds.
CNSM 250 – 255 Combine by Boxcar Models
Check out Alexander’s full range of trains and accessories in his Shapeways shop. And whether you’re looking to recreate the past through scale models or create mods for your favorite miniatures, don’t miss the trains, trucks, figurines, and more in the Tiny Worlds collections of our Holiday Gift Guide. Let us know how your holiday projects are shaping up in the comments.
For slot car enthusiasts, it once took complex custom mods to improve the performance of their racers — until 3D printing made it painless. As we continue to zoom in on the Tiny Worlds our designers bring to life, we’re taking a look at a maker who makes it easy to create perfect holiday gifts for the slot racers in your life.
1/32 Spirit BMW 2002 Chassis for Slot.it pod by OLIFER Performance Slot Car Parts
One of the most respected names in slot racing, Olifer Performance Slot Cars, began its life as Olifer Racing, a champion 1970s slot car team. A second generation of Olifer racers decided to share their know-how with other enthusiasts, choosing to offer 3D printed chassis, motor mounts, and dozens more accessories on Shapeways.
Long Can motor mount – Slot.it compatible by OLIFER Performance Slot Car Parts
Olifer’s accessories and modifications, like this 1/32 MRRC Chaparral 2F Chassis for Slot.it pod, work with many popular models. They also improve a car’s performance and speed while remaining easy to add — and remove — in minutes with a small screwdriver and allen key.
1/32 MRRC Chaparral 2F Chassis for Slot.it pod by OLIFER Performance Slot Car Parts
CNSM 741 – 776 Silverliner Series Coach by Box Car Models
The holidays always evoke nostalgia for family traditions. For my family, one of these traditions was to put a model train set around the base of the Christmas tree. It was that finishing touch that said the holidays were really here. This week, we’re offering gift ideas from all the Tiny Worlds our designers create, and I hope you’ll be inspired to make model trains a part of your family’s holiday traditions.
Shapeways offers an enormous variety of model trains that are as detailed as those you’d see on tracks around the world. But, 3D printed models do require a few finishing touches. Model trains are printed in a number of scales and sizes, and generally produced in Frosted Detail Plastic. The post-processing of these trains in Frosted Detail requires a few tools:
Acetone or Simple Green
Synthetic Paint Brush Set or Airbrush Kit
Acrylic or Enamel Paint
Matte or Satin Varnish
Once the tools are assembled, you are well on your way to getting your perfect model train ready.
1. Model Prep
If there is any residual oil or wax support material left over from the production process, this can easily be removed using acetone or Simple Green solvent. You can simply dip and air dry the model. Or, using a paint brush, you can lightly spread the solvent on the train and air dry.
**TIP** If you notice an excess amount of residual support material or details are distorted, this may call for a reprint. Please send an image and order number to email@example.com.
2. First Coat – Prime
Primer is added as a first coat in order to provide a uniform surface and offer a stronger hold for your paints. Recommended primer colors include black, grey, or white. Your primer color selection will depend on the colors you decide for your top coat.
In order to keep the finest details visible, it is best to use a thin primer. For example, Krylon Color Master Primer will do the job.
Models can be painted in a variety of ways. The most common methods for painting a high-detail finish include airbrushing and hand-painting.
Airbrush painting is a great method for coating large areas of your design more quickly. This will require a fine-tip sprayer kit and masking to cover the areas that are not intended to be painted.
Hand-painting might be a bit more accessible to those who don’t want to invest in an airbrush kit. For this method, a range of small-sized synthetic brushes are recommended. The synthetic hairs do not fray, have a longer life span, and allow for finer points due to their stiffer structure.
With hand-painting, we suggest using acrylic or enamel model paints. First, add your larger base details using a larger brush. Then, with a smaller brush, use the lighter colors to make your details pop. Once painted, let the material dry completely before moving on to the next step.
4. Clear Coat
The final step to finishing your model train is to add a varnish. This will seal the paints and offer the appropriate sheen. Choose a matte or satin finish depending on your glossiness preference.
The varnish should be thinly applied and set to dry. Once dried, the model is ready to be displayed.
HO scale 1:87 CSX SD40-3 Wabtec Cab by Boxcar Models
This year, we hope you’ll make model trains a part of your holiday tradition, whether you make and give them as gifts or set them up for all to see. Who knows? Maybe hand-finishing model trains can be your new favorite family holiday pastime.