Category Archives: Geek

Designer Spotlight: Ellen Mueller #TinyTuesday

For this Tiny Tuesday, we’re highlighting Ellen Mueller because we’ve fallen in love with her tiny depictions of office life.

Ellen is an internationally exhibited interdisciplinary artist who explores the everyday challenge of living with hyperactive news media and corporate management systems. She creates experiences that engage with social and political issues through imagery, performance, and installation.

While Ellen’s Shapeways shop reminds us a bit of Office Space (particularly this little stapler in red), a number of her designs are part of a cheeky, in-progress 3D print-on-demand sculptural street art project, she’s called Synergism. Each cluster of office-related objects is designed to fit into corner-shaped spaces– and Ellen is encouraging participants to print these subtle sculptures, and install them on office buildings they feel could spontaneously start leaking bureaucracy (DMVs, corporate headquarters, office parks, etc). Note: we’re not endorsing that anyone glue something to anything that doesn’t belong to you. Each design is 3D modeled in SketchUp and is defaulted to print in matte bronze steel. Ellen chose this particular material because of its connotations with other large-scale recognizable public sculptures, whether life-size portraits of politicians or members of military on horseback.

She currently works as an Assistant Professor of Art at West Virginia Wesleyan College, and while the school doesn’t have its own 3D printer, she uses Shapeways to give 3D printing access to her students. Side note: if you haven’t noticed, we’re all about students using our services!

We’re also particularly loving that while Ellen’s creating some incredible miniatures, she has some ideas for bigger, better tiny things if 3D printing limitations weren’t an issue, saying, “I would print tiny houses that are really well insulated. I think it would save a lot of energy.”

 

Welcome South Park to the Shapeways Community!

ATTENTION South Park super fans, technophiles and collectible geeks – South Park Studios have joined the Shapeways community and has opened their very own South Park Shop!  For the first time you will be able to purchase some of your favorite South Park characters – in physical form.

South Park four boys and street sign

The collector-inspired character line is printed in full-color sandstone and the shop will feature year-round introductions of new and old characters. South Park creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker have hand signed a limited number of Stan, Kyle, Kenny and Cartman figurines which select fans, who purchase the full set, will have an opportunity to win in these first two weeks of the South Park shop opening here at Shapeways.  (contest rules below)

The South Park shop also includes fan favorites like Candidate Garrison, Terrance and Phillip, Tweek and many more.  Each month a new character will be added to the shop so make sure you follow the South Park shop so you are the first to know when new characters launch!

So what inspired South Park Studios to join the Shapeways community? To celebrate their 20th season of South Park of course!  Fans around the world have continued to connect with the virtual world of South Park for two decades and now digital manufacturing can bring South Park out of the screen and into our physical world in a unique and dynamic way episode after episode.

3D Printing can offer a wealth of benefits including real time customization for fans and direct interaction with the brand. The South Park shop on Shapeways is the inaugural partnership with Source 3, South Park Studios and White Clouds.

Kudos to Viacom and South Park Studios for embracing 3D technology by setting an example in the industry and forging a stronger relationships with their fans.

tweek front small

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Getting My Game on at Gen Con 2016

This weekend I went to Gen Con 2016 in Indianapolis. The largest convention for boardgames, tabletop wargaming, role playing games and all manner of cosplay and geek culture. People worldwide descended on the Indianapolis convention center for 4 days of gaming, exhibitions, films and revelry.

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Shapeways was introduced to the Gen Con community years ago when several of our makers started using 3D printing to make dice, game pieces and miniatures to bring their video games to life in the physical world.   Being on the exhibition floor was almost overwhelming to see the vast number of ways 3D Printing could be used to expand the gaming experience. Vendors, Game Designers and artists cover the floor showing off their newest games and prototypes.   My gamer self was in creative overload!   I will try to keep this short and share my top, top favorites…

Some of my favorite miniatures are from Wraith of Kings by Cool Mini’s or Not.

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Miniature painters were all over the floor showing of their techniques. For example I love this lighting effect of this glowing sword by James Wappel.

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Impressed by the quality of painted figures on the floor, I decided to try my own hand at it in the paint and take area, where we were generously given free figurines and a paintbrush by Gencon.

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I also attended to a workshop by David Dresch who gave some expert advice on how to create terrain for wargaming tables. Here’s my work in progress of adding grass and dirt below.

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Naturally Gencon is all about gaming, and I got the opportunity to play numerous great Role Playing games including Dungeons and Dragons. Here’s a scene from a short and fun campaign where we save christmas from being ruined by the minions of Cthulhu, featuring Dwarvenite Game Tiles terrain shown by Dwarven Forge.

Dwarvenite Game Tiles terrain Dwarven Forge shapeway

 

But of course, Gen Con is all about meeting cool and colorful new people. Whether they are in awesome cosplay costumes as your favorite video game characters, acting in a 6 hour LARP quest or just goofing around with some D20 dice, Gen Con was a blast to make new friends. The best part about Gen Con is the way it brings the gaming community together to play and be creative.

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What games do you play? Do you use 3D printing to make your game pieces? Are you making your own game? Let us know in the comments below!

5 Ways to Stay Entertained On a Long Airplane Ride

Imagine this scenario: You booked your flight too late and got stuck with a middle seat. You’ve got four more hours to kill but your phone is going to die and the inflight movie isn’t your cup of tea. The guy in front of you is snoring loud enough to drown out some of the noise from the crying baby sitting behind you. The good news is you planned ahead and brought some awesome 3D printed puzzles and games to keep you occupied until you’re safely back on the ground.

 

1: Flight boarding? Time to kick boredom to curb with board games! If you’re traveling with a friend,  why not challenge them to a scholarly game of chess?  This ultra convenient, credit card sized chess set can provide hours of fun.

Credit Card Chess Set by Innovo

Credit Card Chess Set
by Innovo

2: Wear your entertainment. Then wear this crazy cool steel puzzle that fits on your finger. Once you solve the puzzle you can put it back on.

Holistic Ring metal by Oskar_van_Deventer

Holistic Ring metal
by Oskar_van_Deventer

3: If you need a real head scratcher, try this horseshoe ring puzzle. The hours will fly by.

Horse Shoe and Ring puzzle by stop4stuff

Horse Shoe and Ring puzzle
by stop4stuff

4: Here is our final portable puzzle of this list, The Superstrings Cube. The puzzle gets bonus points for bold colors and convenient sizing for carry ons.

Superstrings by richgain

Superstrings
by richgain

5: Given the hours you’ve got in the air, this could be a great opportunity to start a role playing campaign with the passengers next to you. Roll a critical hit in this clever, foldable mini Dice tower.

Mini Dice Tower, foldable by Roolz

Mini Dice Tower, foldable
by Roolz

More in-flight fun

Sharks Across America

While you’re out celebrating the long weekend, it’s only fitting that you kick, relax and enjoy some waves… as long you’re willing to share the ocean with some of nature’s most feared predators! Undetectable, and willing to strike at any moment, Sharks are constantly looking for a good, tasty meal; so why not protect yourself by becoming one.

Here’s a few ways to tout your sharkiness.

Bookmark

You’re lying on the beach, reading, sipping a fruity, relaxing beverage in the sun while enjoying a warm summer breeze when suddenly…. DUN DUN. There’s a commotion. Oh no! The bookmark by StewMM, that you’re using also happens to have the same profile as the predator currently lurking 10 feet off the shore.

Hammer

Hammerhead sharks may not be particularly dangerous to humans, as they have been responsible for only 33 reported incidents since 2013 (and no fatalities!) But that doesn’t mean that you should cast fear aside. Wear this hammerhead pendant by Collective 3D when you’re floating around the gulf to show that you’re one of them.

Cocktail

Congrats! You’ve spent your entire vacation either becoming, or avoiding sharks at all costs. Whether you’ve survived braving the surf or stayed dry the entire time, you deserve an award. Display your trophy in your favorite beverage with this Shark tooth cocktail pick by BluGrn_design and celebrate not getting eaten… this time.

Surf To More Sharks

Whether or not you’re a nautical aficionado, check out our Sparks Across America page to see what designers in YOUR area are creating! Happy 4th of July Weekend!

That Dorne Dagger on the Season Six Premiere of Game of Thrones? We 3D Printed That. [SPOILER AHEAD]

Image Credit: Macall B. Polay/HBO

Game of Thrones, Season 6 Episode 1 | Image Credit: Macall B. Polay / HBO

When Ellaria Sand whipped a dagger out of her bracelet on Sunday’s Game of Thrones season 6 premiere, we gasped, but not for the same reason you did. For months now we’ve been keeping a secret: the designers from Game of Thrones partnered with Shapeways to create items for the show and this–this!–was the dagger we had 3D printed for them.

We were thrilled to get plunged right into the heart of the seven kingdoms in collaborating with them on this hidden blade. You know, THIS one, the Dorne Dagger:

Image Credit: Tommy Dunne, Weapons Master / HBO

Ellaria’s Dagger | Image Credit: Tommy Dunne, Weapons Master / HBO

Like all the designs that make up the rich, detailed world of Game of Thrones, the dagger is intricate and gorgeously appointed, thanks to the work of Sean Forsyth (3D designer), Tommy Dunne (Weapons Master) and David O’ Brien (Bronze Art Foundry). They chose to have it 3D printed by Shapeways in high resolution Frosted Ultra Detail which is the perfect choice for such fine details–as you can see from this behind-the-scenes peek at what the dagger looked like straight off the printer.

Ellaria's Dagger, 3D Printed in Frosted Ultra Detail | Image Credit: Tommy Dunne, Weapons Master / HBO

Ellaria’s Dagger, 3D Printed in Frosted Ultra Detail | Image Credit: Tommy Dunne, Weapons Master / HBO

It was then shipped to Weapons Master Tommy Dunne, who did the meticulous work of finishing the dagger and bringing it fully to life.

Ellaria's dagger | Image Credit: Helen Sloan / HBO / www.makinggameofthrones.com

Ellaria’s dagger | Image Credit: Helen Sloan / HBO / www.makinggameofthrones.com

“I have always wanted to incorporate 3D Printing into armoury, and this was our first chance in actually doing so,” Tommy shared with us. “The outcome of the Dorne Dagger far exceeded my wildest dreams from our original drawing concept, so it was a great first experience in using this technology in our field. It was a delicate scene to shoot, but the producers of the show loved the dagger so we’re really happy with the results.”

We are too, and we can’t wait to see what the producers of this show bring us next!

Are you a fan of Game of Thrones? Then click on the pictures below to shop the Game of Thrones inspired designs in our Marketplace.   Complete with dragons of course!

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What would you want to make for the show? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

The Best 3D Printed Gifts For Geeks

Are you looking for the perfect unique gift for a geeky friend or loved one (or even yourself)? Look no further than Shapeways this holiday season. If you’re like me, a tech geek who is experiencing electronics overload and is looking for a cool geeky gift to buy this year that doesn’t run of batteries, I’d suggest exploring a 3D printed product this year. I’ve taken the time to curate some cool 3D printed products that any geek would love this year. Here are my picks!

1) A Personalized 3D printed Wire Frame Astronaut by VidalCris

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2) Mobius Nautilus by JoaBaldwin

Why not give the gift of a Mobius Strip of Mobius strips?

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3) Wave by Egant - Wave is a toy that can unexpectedly transfer liquid using the physics of a syphon.

4) Wyvern Skeleton by Brian Richardson

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5) Stereographic projection grid by Henry Segerman

Do yourself a favor this year and give a product that makes your friends and family appreciate the technology of 3D printing, while making you look awesome for doing it!

3D Print iPhone 6 and Apple Watch Accessories

Update: Apple has released the design files for the iPhone 6/iPhone 6 Plus! Page 16 and 17 of this pdf have everything you need to know to design a case for these awesome new phones. Be sure and enter our contest and be one of the first iPhone 6 cases ever 3D Printed!

Original Post: Did you watch the Apple announcement? Are you excited about the new iPhone 6/6plus? Are you counting the seconds until you can get your hands on the Apple Watch?

AppleWatchRender

UPDATE 9/11: Some amazing Shapeways Community Members put together a <beta> 3D CAD file of the Apple Watch! It’s based on the specs Apple announced, and while not Apple official, should serve as a great starting point for all interested in designing Apple Watch accessories. You can download the .stl of the Apple Watch design files here. Special thanks to Michael Christensen for sharing this in our Apple forum!
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I’ve been counting the minutes for months now and seeing Phil show off the iPhone 6/iPhone 6 Plus and seeing Super Evil Megacorp’s gaming experience made me drool millions of pixels in anticipation of their September 19th launch into the world. The new iPhone camera has Focus Pixels, which means you’re essentially carrying a DSLR in your pocket. Just imagine, our 3D scans will be sharper than ever!
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Shapeways has always been one of the first to market with accessories when new consumer electronics come out. Our communities ability to responsively create designs and leverage our short lead times is unparalleled by any other accessories company in the world. The cases that you’ll see in the Apple store were modeled months ago and have been in production all summer. Alongside the new phones, Apple announced a new line of silicone and leather cases, but I think we know our Nylon looks the coolest when it comes to pimping your iDevices. We are eager to see what cases, stands and accessories you make for this new line of apple products and will handsomely reward those who do it best (details to come when the design files are announced by Apple later in September).
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Design files

Shapeways has a long history of being one of the first to market with iAccessories. We were keeping the iPhone classy back in early 2012 with this 4/4s MacPro Case:macpro case

We gave you the design files the moment they were available for the exciting new iPhone 5, hosting a contest around it. The Sweater Case by ArtizanWork that won is still a favorite of ours to show off at events and through our crew kits!
sweater case
We also brought you the iPad Mini files that same October. All in all, we power over 2600 products that fall in the iPhone category. Let’s round out our Apple Fan Boy and Girl offerings and incorporate all these awesome new products.

Now you can start brainstorming the iPhone 6 and iWatch cases you want to design in our Apple and iGadgets thread in the forum. Hit the sketchbook or the sketchup and get creative! The bigger form factor gives you more design real estate than ever before. We will update this post and announce a contest as soon as Apple releases the Design Files.

On a fun historical and sentimental note, this Apple Fan Girl can’t help but ask, 30 years after Steve Jobs announced the Macintosh (the anniversary is today) do you think Apple is still as innovative as they were under Steve?
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Monkey Selfie Becomes A 3D Print

Earlier this week the United States Copy Right regulators ruled that the infamous Monkey Selfie photo that went viral cannot be copyrighted. This quickly prompted Dutch designer Peter Rossdale to 3D model the monkey selfie and bring it to the life for everyone to own as a 3D print in full color sandstone. You can order one of these Monkey Selfie 3D prints here.

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Monkey Selfie 3D printed in Full Color Sandstone
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Monkey Selfie 3D print taking a selfie of itself (Photo by Peter Rossdale)

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Who is Peter Rossdale:

“As an Amsterdam based graphic designer I’ve got 14 years of experience in designing websites, magazines. As my career evolved, I got more and more involved with photo/videography, 3d modeling and animation. All this experience comes in handy in designing 3d printed products. And I hope many more interesting designs will be created via Shapeways!”

The Monkey Selfie 3D model was sculpted using ZBrush which you can see in his video. It’s amazing to see designers inspired by viral trends bringing cool products to life with 3D printing. Which viral trend do you think we’ll see next as a 3D print?

Hero Forge, Making Custom 3D Printed Miniatures Easy

Posted by in 3D Printing, API, Apps, Design, DIY, Geek, Toys

Making custom 3D Printed tabletop gaming miniatures is about to get easier with Hero Forge App, and the Shapeways 3D Printing API.  The team at Hero Forge have raised support with a hugely successful Kickstarter campaign to create an app to make custom 3D printed figurines for table top gaming.

Following is the story of how the project came about, why they chose to use Shapeways 3D printing, and how this is a perfect case study, for helping people get exactly what they want with a customization app, and on demand 3D printing at Shapeways.

HERO FORGE ORIGIN STORY

About seven months ago, with bated breath and well-bitten nails, we at Hero Forge launched an ambitious Kickstarter campaign  proposing a new application of 3D printing: customizable tabletop miniatures. The idea was simple: using a WebGL-based app akin to a videogame character creator, users would be able to build a character from a library of parts, poses, and features, then get it 3D printed.

Hero Forge - Grid

The idea for Hero Forge actually came about when we went looking for a service like it, hoping to use it as customers. We’d seen slick WebGL-based apps and had seen all kinds of cool Maker Apps using Shapeways Developer API. We assumed something like Hero Forge would already exist. As it turned out, all the pieces were there but the service itself wasn’t. We decided to make it ourselves.

Going to Kickstarter for funding was a no-brainer. Kickstarter has an incredibly passionate gaming community that’s been jumpstarting role-playing and miniatures projects for years. We really couldn’t have predicted just how amazingly supportive our backers would be, though. We ended up hitting our initial goal within the first three days of our campaign then went on to unlock nine stretch goals. It was exciting to say the least.

WHY IS CUSTOMIZATION IMPORTANT?

There miniatures can mean a lot to tabletop gamers. A player might spend years playing as a single character, and having a mini that really matches their vision is a powerful thing. Unfortunately, finding a miniature that really captures one’s character can be difficult. Nearly all tabletop fans know the frustration of combing through poorly-stocked shelves or browsing low-resolution image galleries looking for just the right combination of features and equipment.

Hero Forge - Closeup 1

We have absolutely amazing team working on the tech, UI, and building a library of weapons, armor, poses, faces, and more. They’re making the building blocks that users will be able to play with, combine, and rearrange until they get something that is legitimately theirs. We want to offer a whole new level of parity between the character in their imagination and the miniature in front of them.

HOW IS 3D PRINTING FACILITATING THIS?

It’s great to have reached a point where 3D printing can do more than prototyping. We’ve gotten to a place where it can produce polished, finished products. There’s no doubt that 3D printing is an integral component of our service. No other manufacturing method would allow for us to produce one-off figures in a cost effective way. Using the Shapeways API provides other huge advantages, too. As a start-up, being able to let an established, proven name handle both manufacturing and shipping is a godsend. It lets us focus on what we really want to be focused on: building an amazing service and designing cool great arms, armor, and characters.

There’s a lot of freedom and flexibility of material offerings, too. We’re taking advantage of that flexibility, offering larger-scale statuettes in stronger, cheaper materials and higher detail, smoother materials for users who want more fidelity in their miniature prints. And in the future, if new materials hit the scenes, adding them to our offerings will be easy.

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At the moment, we’re focused on building an incredible service, and the Shapeways API and manufacturing team are proving to be amazing folks to have on our side. We’ve still got our sights set on launching before the year is out. We really can’t wait to see what people create with what we’re building.

Hero Forge - Group Shot

–Joshua Bennett, Co-Founder of Hero Forge

Photo Credit: MDK Photography (MartinDK108@gmail.com)

 

Update: Hero Forge’s website is up and running! Check them out.

Flowers Blast Off with the 3D Printed Rocket Test Tube Holder

Posted by in 3D Printed, Geek, Inspiration

What do you get when you combine a rocket, a test tube and 3D printing? Possibly the geekiest vase on the internet to beautify your home.

rocket test tube vase 3D print Shapeways The *rocket test tube holder 25mm by MrNib accepts a standard 25 mm (0.98 inch) diameter test tube to make a nice space age bud vase that you can give to your favorite rocketman, rocketwoman, or friend from another planet.

A segmented friction ring near the top of the holder keeps the test tube from being loose when inserted. There is enough springiness in the design to handle slightly oversized test tubes.

Test tubes are not included but you can purchase them from supply stores like American Science & Surplus.

3D Printed Rocket Test Tube Vase Shapeways

 

What the Oculus Rift Acquisition by Facebook means for 3D Printing

The tech world collectively gasped and gossiped yesterday as Facebook announced its purchase of Oculus, a virtual reality headset originally launched on Kickstarter, for a cool $2 Billion Dollars. Safe to say that their 21 year old CEO and his team of are set for life, but what does this mean for the rest of us?


Our very own Brad Dickason rocking his Oculus Rift

In sum:
  1. Hardware is back
  2. People powered product > other stuff
  3. Communities are empowering the future of design meaning innovation is no longer dictated by big brand hegemons
  4. Shapeways, like Oculus, is at the epicenter of this next industrial revolution

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Use The DevoBots App To Create Your Own Devo Robot

Posted by in Geek

Developed by Kit Robot in collaboration with legendary experimental electronic pop band Devo, DevoBots is an app for Apple iOS devices to design your own army of DevoBots.

DevoBots is a 2 in 1 DEVO Synthesizer featuring unreleased DEVO sounds coupled with a powerful Devo Robot Maker & Photo booth:  

Kit Robot has been working in collaboration with pop icons DEVO to bring you this exclusive App featuring unreleased Sound Loops from the 1980s Devo Archives, allowing you to play and mix your own music using our unique DevoBots loop synthesizer.

Inspired by analogue synths and toy organs from the 1970s, we bring you a sound device reminiscent of DEVOs own synths utilizing their very own sound.

DevoBots is a digital robot assembly kit, like a digital Lego, paper dolls or Mr Potato Head. The user can create millions of robotic characters out of the box using our professionally created assets, mimicking the bands outfits and personas from the past 40 years.

Check out the DevoBots shop on Shapeways to see some of the Devo Robots 3D printed based on configurations within the app.

Then dance… 

Everybody’s dancing to Devo-Bots from Remo Camerota on Vimeo.

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Shapeways 3D Printing Helps to Bring Gazepoint Eye Tracking to Market

Posted by in Geek

Exciting new startup Gazepoint came to see us last week at SIGGRAPH 2013 in L.A. and showed us their awesome GP3 eye-tracker unit which demonstrates excellent use of Shapeways for prototyping and production.

gazepoint shapeways 3D Print

Gazepoint designed the housing and the matching VESA screen mount, creating several 3D printed prototype iterations, in the short span of under 2 months. The availability of 3D printing and the quick turnaround by Shapeways allowed the Gazepoint team to complete their design and bring it to market much faster than was ever possible before.   We were very impressed with the sleek and efficient design of this product and happy that our technology has helped get it to market.   An eye-tracker is a device that allows a computer to determine where you are looking on a screen. It tracks the user’s gaze point and can be used for control such as a game input, for usability such as web or advertising analysis or even for assistive communication for the disabled.

Much like Shapeways mission is to give everyone access to the tools of manufacturing with 3D printing, Gazepoint’s mission is make these eye tracking devices affordable and available to everyone and to spur development of cool new applications for gaze based technologies!

7 Foot Long 3D Printed Necklace Made From 185 Interconnected Octahedrons

VertigoPolka has designed a giant 7 foot long 3D printed necklace of 185 interconnected Octahedrons.  The super cool image may catch your eye but the price will blow your mind.  But if 7 feet of 3D printed awesomeness is too much for you there is also the original 36 Inch Octahedralink Necklace and the mid length 55 Inch version.  Or get all three and strut your stuff with 175 inches (4.45 metres) of 3D printed jewelry around your neck.

giant 3D Printed necklace on Shapeways