Category Archives: Video

3D Printing Custom Headphones is Normal

3D printed custom headphones are now available through the Normal app by former Quirky insider Nikki Kaufmann thanks to $5 million in venture backing.

normal 3D print headphone

The super simple app guides you through a photo based ear and face scanning process to configure the headphones to exactly meet your ear shape.  This is possibly the first 3D printing apps designed to make functional products, not a figurine or toy, a major step towards the ubiquity of 3D printing to power customized products.

There are already over 10 million 3D printed hearing aids in the world, now with apps such as Normal, we can expect to see more customized consumer products hit the market.

Speaking of Quirky, check out the video below and download the app to customize your earphones now.


How I Made video: #icant Personalized Necklace

#icant personalized 3D printed pendant

Follow along with our merchandizer Aimee in this 2 minute tutorial. Aimee shows you her process for designing a custom pendant using nothing more than a pen, a piece of paper, a camera phone and our 2D to 3D creator app.

Try for yourself with the 2D to 3D creator app here and a tutorial: How to use the 2D to 3D converter app. We’ll be seeking more entries to the series How I Made so if you’ve got an idea for a short video add it in the comments or contact education [at] shapeways [dot] com. Happy making!


Wake Up to the Smell of 3D Printed Nescafe Coffee (Alarm Cap)

What better way to wake up in the morning then with the chirping of birds and the aroma of freshly brewed coffee.  The team at NOTLABS have collaborated with Publicis Mexico with a little help from Shapeways 3D printing to create the Nescafe Alarm Caps.  

The alarm awakens you with the soft sound of chirping birds and a ring of LEDs illuminating the cap, to turn the alarm off you must unscrew the cap (and make yourself a cup of Nescafe).  This elegantly simple idea was realized thanks to Shapeways 3D printing and Arduino based electronics that are accessible to anyone.

It is a prefect example of a major brand taking inspiration from the maker movement, using innovative design firms to create short run products to keep their brand fresh and agile.  Nescafe do not need to invest in 10,000 units to meet minimum order quantities to take their product to market.  Like Shapeways shop owners who understand one of the key assets of 3D printing, that supply exactly meets demand, Nescafe can inspire and supply a key market, whether they be Nescafe lovers, influential celebrities or Folgers fanatics.

We are seeing more and more major brands start to approach 3D printing to connect with their customer base in a more bespoke way, with the democratization of manufacturing with digital fabrication, the biggest firms need to act small to keep up with the rapid innovation possible with smaller agile design firms and even individuals.

Check out the video to see the Nescafe Alarm Cap in action, is that how you would like to start your day?

Also be sure to check out the full unboxing at NotCot and the making of at Cool Hunting that features a couple of images from inside the Shapeways 3D printing factory in NYC.

Thanks to Jean and Shawn at NotCot for the images


3D Printing Shoes with New Balance (VIDEO)

Check out this sexy video from New Balance showing the process of 3D printing their shoes using the exact same 3D printer you have access to through Shapeways.

By giving anyone access to the exact same machines, materials and post processes, Shapeways gives everybody to prototype and create products with the same material qualities as the biggest brands in the world, with access to the best technology.  Where companies such as New Balance need to invest hundreds of thousands of dollars to access these 3D printers, in this instance laser sintered Nylon using an EOS 3D printer, the same as in our factories in NYC and Eindhoven. These 3D printers are just a mouse click away with no investment on your part.

New Balance 3D Print Shoe Shapeways


Shapeways and The Today Show: Check out the KLG and Hoda dolls

Kathie Lee and Hoda reveal how you can create a miniature print of yourself using 3D printing this morning on The Today Show. The segment touches upon Shapeways and what one can do with a 3D printed “Mini Me”. The 3D printed dolls on the show were modeled by designer Ryan Kittleson

In case you were unable to tune in, you can watch the full clip here, starting at 1:45. 

Thinking of getting a 3D figurine of yourself? We are currently doing 3D body scans at the Museum of Arts and Design (MAD) in NYC through June 2014. You can also use our ShapeMe app which enables you to create your own little sculpture of yourself. 


Ana Rajcevic + Autodesk + Dazed Digital + Shapeways = 3D Print Creations

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Shapeways recently worked with Autodesk and Dazed Digital to produce a series of 3D Print Creations using 123D Catch. Ana Rajcevic pushed the limits of what is possible to 3D printing (and the skills of our AMAZING post production team at Shapeways).  

Starting with a sketch then a hand made model, Ana then 3D scanned the plaster model with 123D Catch which was then taken into Maya where 800 hair thin spikes were patterned around the form then 3D printed in Nylon in our factory in NYC.

Check out the video below. 

Ana Rajcevic is an award winning fashion artist whose work spans sculpture and fashion design. Previous pieces have existed both as studio creations and as objects of contemplation within exhibition contexts, in Rajcevic’s pursuit of objects that exist as “’fashion artefacts’ in the truest sense”. This duality was brought to the fore explicitly with “Animal: The Other Side of Evolution”, a set of resin headwear that resemble hyperevolved extensions of human skeletal structures


Victoria’s Secret Snow Angel Spreads Her 3D Printed Wings (VIDEO)

At Shapeways we believe nothing is sexier than 3D printing, especially when we are 3D printing the snow angel outfit for Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show which airs tonight, December 10 at 10pm/9 Central on CBS

Designed in collaboration with Bradley Rothenberg along with Victoria’s Secret and Swarovski’s design team to create the outfit based on a fractal snowflake which we 3D printed in our factory in NYC.

Victoria's Secret Shapeways 3D Print Angel Wings

Supermodel Lindsay Ellingson will be wearing the 3D printed outfit that was designed to exactly fit her body based on a 3D scan.  The outfit includes a corset, wings and hat, each of the components is made from hundreds of snowflakes which interlock to move like a fabric or stand rigid to creat the sculptural angel wings.  The entire outfit was 3D Printed in lightweight Nylon then encrusted with millions (yes millions) of Swarovski crystals then paired with Victoria’s Secret lingerie.  The overall effect is a glimmering, icy outfit that perfectly showcases the ability of 3D printing beautiful, complex forms.

Check out the video of Lindsay Ellingson modeling the 3D printed angel wings as a teaser for tonight’s show. 

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Nervous System Releases ‘Kinematics’ Jewelry Customization Apps (VIDEO)

Nervous System have just released a new Kinematics jewelry range coupled with a customization app to create unique 3D printed jewelry based on interlocking components. While this is a beautifully simple interface to create customized 3D printed jewelry, it is the potential for draping and compression to fit a large design within a small 3D printer build size when using a process such as Shapeways Selective Laser Sintering that really makes this an impressive application for 3D printing.

Kinematics is a system for 4D printing that creates complex, foldable forms composed of articulated modules.

The system provides a way to turn any three-dimensional shape into a flexible structure using 3D printing. Practically, Kinematics allows us to take large objects and compress them down for 3D printing through simulation. It also enables the production of intricately patterned wearables that conform flexibly to the body. Kinematics produces designs composed of 10’s to 1000’s of unique components that interlock to construct dynamic, mechanical structures.

Each component is rigid, but in aggregate they behave as a continuous fabric. Though made of many distinct pieces, these designs require no assembly. Instead the hinge mechanisms are 3D printed in-place and work straight out of the machine.

Above for example, you see a full scale dress design that would be far too large to fit into even our largest printer that can take parts up to 650x350x550mm in Nylon.  By converting the structure into a series of self folding connections the entire dress could be compressed down to the smallest possible form (whilst maintaining enough distance so parts do not sinter together) and then be 3D printed in our EOS slective laser sintering 3D printer in one entire print.  We would then unfurl the dress from the print build, air blast the excess Nylon powder out of the dress and it would be ready to wear.

This project evolved out of a collaboration with Motorola’s Advanced Technology and Projects group which challenged Nervous System to create in-person customization experiences for low cost 3D printers. The genesis of the project is discussed at length in The Making of Kinematics post on the Nervous System blog.

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Testing the Melting Point of Nylon 3D Prints (VIDEO)

Some of you may be subjecting you 3D prints to extreme forces like impact, sheer weight, constant flexing and maybe even a little heat, but have you ever wanted to know how hot you can go?  Shapeways material tester Brandon has shared a video on his YouTube Channel heating Shapeways Nylon (WSF) 3D prints in mineral oil to deformation then melting point.

“To test I heated WSF in mineral oil and tested how it behaves at higher and higher temperatures. The material starts to soften at around 155-165C and starts to significantly deform and melt at around 170-180C.”

The video runs for around 17 minutes but the good stuff (deformation) starts to occur around 155c at the 10:00 minute mark and total failure at around 15:00 minute mark at 170c.

Thanks again to Brandon for sharing, if you have an material torture tests please let us know in the comments on the blog. Below is some wet Nylon I tortured in the microwave


inkimals: Color, Scan & 3D Print Your Own Custom Designer Toys

Just launched on Kickstarter is inkimals, a simple tool to help you color, scan and 3D print your own customized designer toys based on four playful templates by AMINIMAL Studio.

As well as the color and scan templates, AMINIMAL are seeking funding on Kickstarter to develop an interactive app so that you can tweak your character in 3D to perfect the awesomeness.

Your backing will help the to develop the software to make this app real and backers of $30 or more will get their inkimal in their hands, 3D printed by Shapeways in full color.

Monsters 3D Print Shapeways

AMINIMAL Studio is a Brooklyn-based company focused on researching complex systems and emerging technologies as an approach to designing 21st century products. 

Svetlana Blum Briscella and John Briscella are the creative minds behind AMINIMAL. 

As designers and innovators, Svetlana and John have demonstrated 3D printing as a method for manufacturing high quality products for companies such as MakerBot, the MoMA Store and Shapeways. Their compilations of designs include the field test jewelry collection, the Makerbot Mixtape, the Makerbot Watch, overall design of the Makerbot store and the Shapeways sake set creator.


[VIDEO] Tour of the Museum of Arts and Design interactive space

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I’m thrilled by Shapeways interactive space at the Museum of Arts and Design and can’t wait to share it with our New York community tonight at our meetup. For those of you not in New York, I made a short video tour of the space, so you can at least be there in spirit!

And for those not in the area for now, the Out of Hand exhibition will run until June 1st 2014 at the Museum of Arts and Design in New York City, so you have plenty of time to visit.

Shapeways thanks EOS, Occipital, Formlabs, Rhinoceros, LIFT Architects & RUSH Design for their support.


Video: Happy Halloween from Shapeways, to All Beloved Zombies, Witches, Vampires and Other Creatures of the Night

Shapeways halloween and 3D Printed madness

Dear Shapies,

For a long time now, we’ve been keeping a horrible secret from our community. We’ve tried very hard to give the impression that our team is made of fun-loving humans who would drop everything at any hour of the day to help make your ideas real. However, the truth has a way of sneaking up on you, and it’s time that you hear the truth…

We regret to inform you that we are actually, not human. Our Customer Service team was attacked by zombies, witches and vampires last Halloween, and have since attacked the entire Eindhoven office. You have to see it to believe it:

Trust that this will not change our commitment to you, and we hope that this does change your impression of us. Perhaps just bring some garlic and stakes to the next Meetup, just in case…

Wishing you all a happy, and safe, Halloween.


How to Make the Biggest 3D Prints from the Smallest 3D Printers

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Skylar Tibbits of 4D printing fame has developed a system he has termed Hyperform to create the longest possible 3D printed chain from a relatively small 3D Printer.

Using the Formlabs 3D printer and a process where a chain is printed in a Hilbert Curve within the build area to print the largest possible object (once expanded) from the space available.  

Printing a very long chain is a proof of concept for what could become a more efficient way to program large objects into a 3D Printer.  For instance, if you wanted to 3D print a chain mail sweater (you know you do) you could design the interlocking parts to collapse or fold into the smallest possible space using a physics based algorithm.

By collapsing an item into the smallest possible bounding box you can increase the density of the print and there for make the item more economical to 3D Print.  A long chain unfurled would cost a lot more than a chain compressed to as small as possible. especially if it hit the Shapeways density discount where models that have greater than 10% density (material volume divided by bounding box volume), volume above the first 20cm3 is calculated with a 50% discount.

Maybe it is time to start compressing your designs into the smallest, densest possible form to make the most of the economy of 3D printing too (but don’t make them too close or the parts will fuse together and you will have a very dense, unfoldable model.  


What Does the 3D Printer and the Synthesizer Have in Common

In a recent interview for Dezeen, architect, industrial designer and artist, Ron Arad stated that 3D Printing is abused by designers, in much the same way as musicians used synthesizers in the past.

“Synthesisers were abused completely and so is this technology we’re talking about” Ron Arad

Now while this statement may have have an element of truth, it is worth exploring the comparison in the context of Ron’s position in the design world, and what this concept opens up.

First, let’s compare the 3D printer and the synthesizer.

The first analogue synthesizers made it possible for one instrument to make a massive range of sounds. Professional musicians used these expensive synthesizers to emulate existing instruments in a recording studio and on stage, to broaden their palette of available sounds, whilst only needing to know how to play the keyboard, not strings, woodwind, brass, etc.  At the same time some more experimental musicians started to experiment with the synthesizers to make sounds that were otherwise impossible, tweaking resonant filters and using effects to make sounds that were unique to the synthesizer.

The first 3D Printers (or rapid prototyping machines) made it possible to make a massive range of shapes. Engineers and designers used these expensive 3D printers to emulate products quickly in their studios and workshops, to test parts before manufacturing.  For many years this remained the case, the 3D prints were expensive and only used to emulate other materials and processes.  

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Watch Now: Small Empires 23 Minute Episode Featuring Shapeways 3D Printing

The viral epicenter of the digital world, Reddit, consistently surfaces some of the best products on Shapeways, and many of our favorite Shapies are also active Redditors. Rather serendipitously, The Verge just launched a new series called “Small Empires,” hosted by Alexis Ohanian, co-founder of Reddit, which focuses on New York based startups. We’re humbled to be chosen as their fifth Episode and had a total blast giving their crew the full tour of HQ and our factory in Long Island City, NY. 

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