Category Archives: Design

Video: iPhone 6 Case Semi-Finalists Reviewed, Finalists Announced!

Remember that iPhone 6 3D Printed Case Contest we hosted a few weeks ago? We waited to print the cases until the backlog of repricing orders had been cleared, and finally have them in-hand! I took the time to review the top 10 semi-finalists, and am proud to announce the final four. Everyone who participated did a great job, but like all initial prototypes, some need a few design adjustments to be ready for the main stage.

Curious as to which cases are making their way to Ethan Imboden at Frog Design in California for final review? You’ll have to watch the video to find out:

Now that you’ve seen them, which case would you like for your phone?


 

Be Extravagant With These Beautiful 3D Printed Home Accessories

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again, our community of designers make some seriously beautiful products. Some of our favorite gifts to give this season are those that truly showcase the unique properties of 3D printing and turn anyone into a fan. These are the type of gifts that demand to be seen, and are perfect for your friends and family who need a little help sprucing up their home!

ZooM lampshade

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Hyphae lamp

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Quaternary tree mobile

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Warthog bottle stoppers

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Twist lamp

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What’s your favorite 3D printed home decor piece? Tell us below!


 

Movember Madness for Friday Finds

As we hit mid-November, how are your mustaches shaping up gents? In case Movember-Mania missed you, it’s an annual event held around the world are to raise awareness of men’s health issues. Community member Rick Stringfellow decided to make 3D printed Movemeber really special at his work….

Each year EA’s Art Department in Canada hosts a charity show to raise money for the Movember foundation. Along with growing as many real mustaches as possible, we hold the ‘Moshow’ where our artists create and present mustache inspired art.

This year I decided to use 3D printing to build a series of art pieces that are inspired by the seven deadly sins. Each Mustache was modeled in Modo3D then printed in detailed plastic with Shapeways. I then finished each printed model using Krylon acrylic paints and primers. The ‘Lust’ mustache was covered in gold leaf and then sealed with a clear Krylon finish.

Having worked in 3D for over 30 years this is my first venture into 3D printing for pure art – I learned a lot during this process and will definitely be working on some more creative adventures with Modo3D and Shapeways.

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Though we can’t compete with these artistic marvels, here’s some of our team clowning around with some 3D printed ‘stache attachments. Happy Friday!

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3DP4E Launches 3D Printing for Young Artists Exhibition

Shapeways is proud to support start up 3DP4E (3D Printing for Everyone) and their mission to empower through design, technology and entrepreneurism. Founded by visionary and tech enthusiast Ronald Rose, 3DP4E strives to bring 3D printing to schools, libraries and museums.

Part of 3DP4E’s mission comes to fruition today, with the opening of a new exhibition presented in tandem with the Children’s Museum of the Arts, entitled INTO THE THIRD DIMENSION: 3D Printing for Young Artists. The show features works from museum’s permanent collection alongside a 3D-printed element or detail from each selection. The juxtaposition of the two-dimensional works with the three-dimensional replications encourages the viewer to compare and contrast the two forms. There’s also a educational film that shows the steps taken to turn a 2D-drawing into a 3D-printed object will be shown, allowing visitors to learn more about the process and unique quality of the 3D printing process.

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On most Saturdays throughout the exhibition, CMA visitors will have the opportunity to take part in a drawing workshop called “Experimenting with Dimensions,” led by a CMA Teaching Artist. A handful of CMA visitors will be selected at random at the end of each workshop and will have their own drawings turned into a three-dimensional Shapeways-printed sculpture.  The 20 individuals selected will be invited for a presentation ceremony at CMA in January or early February once the three-dimensional prints have been completed. Check out www.cmany.org for more information about hours and specific workshop times.

Also launching this week is Kid’s Creation Station, a new website presented by 3DP4E that provides young artists with a platform to create, share and take their artwork to a new dimension. The website translates the fantastic creatures and things created by children from flat drawings to actual figures, giving children’s drawings new depth. The online portal will provide the opportunity for kids to scan drawings into a portfolio management system, tag and share their images, view other children’s artwork, and ultimately print a 3D model of their artwork.

Check out the family friendly exhibit at the Children’s Museum of the Arts through January 11th.


 

Shapeways in Italy: Inspiring students at the Crea©tivity Summit

We are thrilled to be part of the 9th edition of Crea©tivity, which is being held in the Piaggio Factory in Pontedera, Italy on November 20th and 21st. A conference focused on students of design, we will have a small exhibition and our very own Sara will speak in one of the keynotes and Ruud will participate in the Pecha Kucha Night.

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Furthermore we are happy to see community member and Shop Owner Silvia Nencini speaking at the Pecha Kucha night as well. You might remember her joining us in our booth earlier this year at the Mini Maker Faire Trieste with her 3D Printed algorithmic coral-like jewelry so it’s great to see how much she has grown in the past months. We hope to run into more community members from the area as we would really like to hear your stories in 3D design, definitely drop us a line if you’re visiting Crea©tivity.

Also – as a small tradition we are hosting a Meetup. We’re planning to host this on Saturday, 22nd of November in Firenze. For details check out the event on Meetup.com (we still need a location so if you have a good suggestion feel free to reach out!).

If you are in Italy, we hope to see you at these events this weekend:

Thursday 20th & Friday 21st of November Crea©tivity in the Piaggio Museum in Pontedera
Saturday 22nd of November we’ll be in Firenze for a casual 3D printing meetup. RSVP here

Italy, see you soon!


 

Software for Artists Day Sunday November 16th

Shapeways is proud to sponsor Pioneer Works first Software for Artists Day on Sunday November 16th. The day-long event in Red Hook, New York will bring together artists and developers to illustrate the many new software and hardware tools available to contemporary art practice.  It will involve lectures, demonstrations, and conversations which will demystify the most sought-after technology in use today.

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Participants will be able to attend four 45-minute lectures over the course of the day and will also be able to participate in “soapbox sessions” in which they will have 3 minutes to present a project in order to attract interest and/or advice from other artists and technicians.

Shapeways will be on site with some products to show and tips and tricks about using the free software on our site.

Pioneer Works, Red Hook, New York

Sunday November 16th

10am – 7pm

Register here - hope to see you on Sunday!

If you can’t attend, here’s a brief preview of the software available on Shapeways now:

Shapeways API - The Shapeways Upload API enables web and desktop applications to submit 3D models and harness the power of the Shapeways marketplace. You can control pricing, available materials, and add markup to models that are for sale to our community. Read more about the Shapeways API  or join us in our developer forum.

ShapeJS - This tool makes parametric 3D modeling accessible for programmers. If you know Java Script, you can use this tool to generate 3D printable geometry, ias simple as a few lines of code. Read more about the power of ShapeJS here, or jump into the discussion on our developer forum.

Need more inspiration? Check out these amazing 3D creator apps that have been made so far. Got a cool app you’re working on? Tell us about it in the comments!

 


 

Shapeways October Top Sellers & Viewed 3D Printed Products

Have you ever wondered what products sell best on Shapeways? What products are going viral and getting the most traffic? Well, thanks to your feedback and with some help from friends of ours at 3Dprint.com we’ve started a new series. Every month, we’re going to share the top 10 marketplace sellers on Shapeways as well as our top 10 viewed products. Below is a peek at last month’s leading models.

Shapeways October Top Sellers

1. & 2.  Moto 360 Bumper Case by Raelx

These are some of the first and only Moto 360 bumpers on the market and they are only $8! We were very excited to see these take off and get picked up by all the gadget media. Our only hope is that Raelx makes additional versions (he has a short and tall currently) in our premium metals… Here Shapie shopper Michael Shulteis shows off his in our red strong and flexible plastic (found on twitter):

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3. Itty Bitty Sad Keanu by neuralfirings

A Shapeways veteran all-star, Sad Keanu saw a huge bump in traffic after we helped celebrate Keanu Reeve’s 50th Birthday by throwing him a 3D Printed party on vine:

You can see the rest of the Top Sellers in October over on 3DPrint.com

Shapeways October Most Viewed Products

2. Origami Crane Skeleton by Joabaldwin 

Joaquin Baldwin’s crane is very well designed, and this fantastic image tells the story immediately. It’s hard not to be a bit mesmerized when you see it for the time:

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8. Spitfire My Little Pony by Christophe Vidal

The new additions to the SuperFanArt family have been incredible, Spitfire being one of the fan favorites! Christophe has designed many products on Shapeways, and his My Little Pony modeling is helping him reach new audiences.

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You can see the full list of top viewed Shapeways products from October of on 3dprint.

What do you hope to see make Novembers list?


 

Design Contest: Help Shapeways & Occipital Bring 3D Scanning to iPhone 6 & iPhone 6 Plus

Shapeways has teamed up with our friends at  Occipital, makers of the Structure Sensor & Skanect, to bring you a design contest:  the Structure Sensor Case Design Contest for iPhone 6 & iPhone 6 Plus!

Occipital is calling on the Structure & Shapeways communities to help extend the  3D scanning power of the Structure Sensor by coming up with a great 3D-printed attachment case for iPhone 6 & iPhone 6 Plus, so you can scan anywhere, right from your phone.

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There’s $1000 in prizes from Shapeways & the Structure Sensor Store for the best designs! They’ll also be made available right here on Shapeways, with no added markup, and Creative Commons CC0- licensed for everyone in the community to print or download.

You have until Wednesday, November 12 at 11:59pm PST to submit your entry. Don’t miss out – there’s only one week left! Find the full contest details, starter materials, and how to enter here. I’ll be judging your designs so show me what you’ve got and GOOD LUCK!

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One of the thousands of 3D scans made with the Structure Sensor

 

 


 

Target Opens Up Shapeways Shop With Customizable, Exclusive 3D Printed Gifts for Your Holiday

 

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We’re excited to announce today that Target is the first major retailer to embark on 3D printing with Shapeways, debuting an exclusive holiday collection of customizable charms, rings and ornaments in the Target Shapeways Shop.

Shapeways and Target share a philosophy of making great design available for all, whether you know how to 3D model or prefer to tweak and tinker. You can choose from over 150 exclusive, one-of-a-kind products created by Target’s design team. The best part? You can personalize your product, from the material to color to engraving. The keepsakes can be shipped anywhere in the U.S. and can be purchased for as low as $7.99, so you can find and create the perfect gift at any price point.

This partnership marks big steps for the 3D printing industry, helping people see the amazing benefits of technology and create more easily:

  • Target’s products can be easily customized, making getting what you want even easier. Like other customization and DIY tools we offer, this marks a big step in giving everyone the ability to design their own product.
  • 3D printing is proving to be a viable option for product development across all stages, for independent designers to larger teams. Moving beyond prototyping, the Target at Shapeways Shop features finished 3D printed products in materials including Steel and Silver.
  • Target’s designs are being displayed side by side with those of our vibrant community. This highlights just how talented our community is and the amazing products that are made every single day through 3D printing.

In order to create customizable products, Target is using ShapeJS, a developer tool we launched earlier this year that makes adding your personal touch to products even easier. Using this technology, Target enables you to “be the designer,” truly styling products without having to open up CAD. If you’re interested in using ShapeJS to customize products, try it out here.

Our goal has always been to make 3D printing more accessible and affordable, and we’re thrilled to partner with Target to make this possible for more people this holiday season.


 

Hire a 3D Modeler & Designer: The Three C’s

Getting in the DIY spirit and want to hire a designer to bring your project to life? You’ve seen the directory of Designers for Hire, read about a designer you like, and now you’re ready to get started. Even if you’ve never hired a designer before, keeping the three C’s in mind is a good guide: Clarity, Communication and Cost.

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Clarity

Knowing what you want is half the project! The more specific you can be, the better chance you will get exactly what you want.

When talking about your idea, sketches, photos, Pinterest boards, magazine clippings and even screenshots of elements you like are all really helpful in communicating what you like. Photos are especially useful whether it be similar items that represent your idea or elements of different objects that you would like to incorporate.

It also helps to be specific about your preferred style, finishing touches and how your completed product will be used. If you know what material you would like the finished product to be made it, that helps immensely, as the 3D printing guidelines vary between materials and may influence the design itself.

If you’re still in the ‘concept’ phase (say if you are designing a new functional product) and are seeking project guidance or inspiration, be sure to choose a designer who has those skills listed as their specialty.

Designers are creative problem solvers. Once you have given them a clear outline of your requirements, let them do their creative thing and come up with creative solutions.

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Communication

Designers are experts in bringing ideas to life, and most of this magic happens through effective communication. Throughout the creation process, it’s important to communicate openly and frequently with your designer to ensure that they have a clear understanding of what you want, and you know their schedule. They should be asking you just as many questions are you are listing specifics.

Throughout the process, be honest but polite. If your designer is making something that isn’t going in the direction you were imagining, let them know. Many designers are more than happy to modify their designs as long as they have clear direction. I recommend highlighting what you liked (the more specific the better) and exactly what they need to improve on. Don’t just say “I don’t like the hard edges”. Explain why: “The hard edges make it feel minimalist and modern, I am looking for a romantic, organic feel”. The latter statement is much more useful.

In the end, designers like being able to use their own creative judgment to improve ideas. So while it is important to be specific, leave them some space to work their magic to delight you.

Depending on your project, it may be a good idea to formalize your agreement in writing. This digital contract should include all of the specific details that you and the designer agreed upon, including timing and pricing.

The process of bringing an idea to life

 

Cost

Which brings us to the last and most important point: Money. Two things to keep in mind here are how much you are willing to spend and understanding the design process.

Part of having clarity around your idea is knowing how much are you comfortable spending. Three things to consider may help you get an estimate beforehand:

1. Finished product or 3D file? Do you want just a 3D printable file that you will upload and order yourself? Or do you want a finished item? Material cost comes into play here – if you want a silver ring, part of the cost will be made up of the silver itself, and part for the design.

2. Time and labor. Larger or more detailed projects can sometimes take more time to complete, and therefore cost more.

3. One of a kind design. If this is a one of a kind item, it’s not something that you could buy in a store even if you wanted to, so the price may be a little higher than you would expect. If you are working on a brand new product, it’s worth investing in a good design. There is really no way to put a price on how incredible it is to hold something that you imagined, so keep that in mind!

4. Similar items.To get a sense of the general cost of an item before you hire a designer, look for similar items and get a sense of the price. For instance, if you want to make a piece of jewelry, browse our jewelry category section to find a handful of custom items that are of a similar size and scope. The average cost of those items is often a good starting point for you to discuss your budget with a designer.

It also helps to understand the process. Designing is a process that takes time and effort. You may not be aware of all of the “behind the scenes” work that takes place including creative brainstorming, sketching, drafts, revisions and renders. Asking your designer about the process involved in making your specific idea will help you understand the level of work involved.

Communication is key here as well! Talk to your designer as some charge by the hour, some charge by project and the complexity of your design will influence this. The more detail you can give them, the better they are able to estimate a price for you.

3D printing gives us the unique ability to make custom things to order, helping you get exactly what you want, and not just what is available. While we at Shapeways do what we can to give access to the best materials at the lowest prices, ultimately the design is what sets a product apart, and this is where the skill lies. Translating an idea into a physical object is a designers skill, and this alchemy is worth paying for!

How you work with a designer comes down to your project but keeping in mind the Three C’s should help you minimize stress and get exactly what you want. Have you hired a designer on Shapeways? Tell us about it in the comments! If you are a designer, what other tips would you offer for potential clients?

Happy creating!


 

Local Motors Launches New 3D Printed Car

Ever wanted to order a car on demand? Fantasized about when you design even more components of your life on Shapeways than you already do? Well, with the launch of Phoenix, Arizona, USA based Local Motors new 3D printed car, we’re now accelerating faster towards this future. Meet the Strati, Italian for layers, of course.

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Image, video and specs courtesy of Local Motors

The car is 3D printed in 49 parts, aka less than 1/100th of the 5,000 parts cars that are traditionally manufactured are made of. The 3D printing of the Strati took 44 hours, but this 45 second time-lapse video is one you’re going to have to see to believe:

Local Motors is global innovation community, like Shapeways, driven to make our collaborative dreams into vehicular realities. They are a resource for sharing ideas, designs, prototyping and miro-manufacturing and given the humble vision of their founders, it’s no surprise this community created the Strati. Unlike other prototypes, this model is practical and functional. More of this car was 3D printed than other that has precluded it – including the chassis- and here are the specs to prove it:

  • Engine – 100% electric (not 3D Printed ;) )
  • Features – electronic engine immobilizer, regenerative braking, disc brakes front and rear, rear- wheel drive
  • Transmission – Automatic, single speed
  • Battery – 6.1 kwh battery, 62-mile range, 3.5-hour charge time
  • Motor – 5 bhp or 17 bhp, 42 lb-ft torque*
  • Body – Approx. 212 layers, direct digital manufactured vehicle (DDMV), carbon fiber reinforced ABS plastic
  • Top speed – approx. 50mph*
  • Wheels – custom made by Fifteen52

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The historic first drive of the #3DPrintedCar – Enjoy!

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At $20,000 USD, would you drive a Strati? I’ve certainly signed up for the newsletter to be kept in the know…


 

Shapeways iPhone 6 Case Design Challenge: “Extend the Function” Semi-Finalists Announced

Have you checked out all of the great iPhone 6 cases already on Shapeways? In honor of Apple’s latest launch, we challenged Shapies to “Extend the Function” of their iPhone 6 through an awesome case design.  It took a lot of deliberation to narrow it down to these top 10 from the great looking cases the Shapie community came up with, but by focusing on the function the entries extended (app or otherwise) we were able to make the tough decisions.  We’re excited to see who Ethan Imboden, our guest Designer Judge selects as our winners. You can browse all of the entries by searching “SWiPhone6” on our site. Below are the top 10 entrants, in no particular order.

Keep your coif classy with this iPhone 6 Slide Out Comb by jfuhrman:

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iPhone 6 case with “steady selfie stick” by Facetious cuts out the awkward upper shoulder selfie:

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Adapt your phone to any viewing environment with this iPhone 6 case CELLULAR with 2 Add ons by The Midnight Raid.

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Turn your iPhone 6 into a portable speaker with this iPhone 6 Speaker, Kickstand and “More” case by Fusion Imaging:

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This iPhone 6 case by Entity Development comes with interchangeable backplates making iPhoneography easier and keeping your headphones from tangling in your pocket.

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Analogue meets digital when cross-stitching and 3D printing come together with this iPhone six Cross-stitching Frame Case by Diogenic Design.

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The phone may be bigger but your subjects don’t have to be with this handy Macro Case from District 2 Design:

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This iPhone 6 Controller Case by Paralogical Design could be the stocking stuffer for every gamer we know:

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13 year old Shapie Natalya_A knows that iPhones often live on our desk near other supplies, so we designed this iPhone 6 desk/dash caddy, case and charging station:

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While the volume of your iPhone is limited, this iPhone 6 Safety Whistle Case by Shopshopshop ensures it will be heard:

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And just because this is an incredible example of responsive design, we had to include a mandatory honorable mention to Amznfx and his epic bendgate iPhone 6 case that went viral over the last two weeks. Clever and awesome!

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Which of these cases do you want for your phone? Which case do you think “extends the function” of the iPhone 6 best?


 

Shop Owner Bootcamp: Five Reasons You Should Tag Your 3D Prints

This is the fourth in a 10 part bootcamp series counting down to Black Friday. We’ve covered reputation, photography and market research already and this week we’re talking about tagging.

How is your work currently being discovered? There are now millions of models on Shapeways, and the best way to stand out from the crowd (aside from photographs of your great products and collections) and be discovered by shoppers is by tagging your products properly. Yes, it can be monotonous, but it is literally how we and others discover many of you. Since the tag is a plus sign, there was no more fitting lead image here than Lucas Goossen’s Solid Plus Pendant.

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Here are five reasons taking the time to tag your models is worth it:

Tags Equate to More Sales Through Organic Search (aka SEO) – Tag words help your products get found on and off our site. The more people that find you organically, the more “popular” your products become in our search engine, leading to greater sales. For example, when I search “Drone” Shapie MaikelsDesigns takes the top spot.

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Niche Communities Have a Home on Shapeways - the products that are most unique are often the most successful on Shapeways. Products that fulfill needs not met by other markets. The search terms on our site are always very specific. Think about the words your target audiences uses and would use to search for you and be sure to include them. When shoppers view products like yours, they often are served your products in the “related items.” Looking at the Pitch Control Lever of Maikel’s above, Shapie shoppers are served products from four related drone mod designers:

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Trending Tags Lead to New Shopping Hubs- We’ve built awesome features now that allow us to create tag pages. Connect with people who model similar things in our interest groups forum and come up with a shared model tag. Share the tags on social media so shoppers (and us) can easily spot them. You can always post in “feature this” on our forums, include the tag you & others are using, and we’ll direct shoppers looking for products like yours straight to you! Here’s an example of the DJI Phantom Niche Hub:

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Tags are Often How We Curate our Newsletter & Homepage- Wonder how we pick the products on our homepage? Aside from catching them in feature this, we find them by searching key terms. Recently we searched “space” for our space themed newsletter and “pumpkin” for fall finds. Thinking about seasons and holidays your work may be popular at is a great way to get extra eyes on your products.

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There is a Higher Chance Your Products Will Get Advertised if They are Tagged Properly- Tags can lead to your products being featured in our retargeting and Ad Words campaigns. Not only does properly tagging benefit you through the promotions we run, the models we feature, and relevant surfacing based on customer searches, it can even get you advertised courtesy of Shapeways.

Bonus: Tagging is also a way to sort through your shop inventory!

The best time to test tags is the holidays. Apply your learnings from google analytics, monitor which of your products get the most hits and optimize your collection’s tags based on that data. It’s great for your sales and makes our curation easier. Remember, we generally only feature products with photos, and tag those beautiful creations so they can be found by the whole Shapie community.

What tags do you wish had a more prominent home on Shapeways?


 

Enter The “You Are How You Eat” Design Contest

Like to eat? Like to design? Combine those two passions by entering the “You Are How You Eat” design contest! We’ve partnered with Design Milk, Adobe, and Alessi to bring you this contest, which asks you to reimagine the everyday tools we use to eat.

Design Milk contest

To enter, create a design that:

- Is a completed design product concept;
- Is designed for the average adult male and female consumers in any country, who eat food using a utensil;
- Demonstrates an innovative approach to eating;
- Demonstrates your abilities as both a designer and communicator to convey new ideas through one image, title and description.

The contest will be open through October 19, and then judging for finalists will begin. The judges, including our very own Designer Evangelist, Lauren Slowik, will be looking for innovation, creativity, functionality, completeness of design, and adherence to creative brief. Then you – the design community – can vote for the winners!

The Grand Prize winner will receive $1,000 cash courtesy of Alessi, 1 year of Adobe’s Creative Cloud Photography plan (includes Photoshop), $200 of credit to Shapeways so you can 3D print your design*, and your design prominently included in a feature on Design Milk

Two (2) Runners up: 1 year of Adobe’s Creative Cloud Photography plan (includes Photoshop), $100 of credit to Shapeways so you can 3D print your design*, and your design included in a feature on Design Milk.

To see the full contest description, read the rules, and to enter, go to: http://design-milk.com/enter-eat-design-contest/.

Happy designing!

*Note that the designs 3D printed by Shapeways will not be food safe


 

Fascinating 3D Printed Animatronic Honey Bee

At Shapeways we’re accustomed to seeing incredible 3D printed designs and DIY projects using Shapeways 3D printing. Today we wanted to highlight a nature inspired 3D printed animatronic Bee project by designer Jonny Poole of innerbreedFX. Jonny was contacted by his local bee sanctuary seeking to add some animatronics to their tour.

Jonny took it upon himself to take advantage of Shapeways 3D printing and SLS technology to design a fully articulated Bee using the Shapeways strong and flexible nylon material. Here are some photos of from project.

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3D modeling of the Bee design

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Animatronic Bee fully articulated printed in nylon plastic 

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The wings were printed in Fine Ultra Detail

Screen Shot 2014-09-26 at 12.05.01 PMThe final result of the Bee! You can purchase the articulated honey bee on Jonny’s shop here.

We’ve noticed a few amazing 3D printed insect designs on Shapeways. For example check out the articulated mantis by designer Brian Chan and the Bee Keeper Chess set by designer Ricky McRae. Do you have a DIY project you’re working on that you want to share with the community? We’d love to see it, share it on the “Work In Progress” section of our forums here.