Category Archives: Education

Shapeways on Capitol Hill: 3D/DC 2016

It’s easy to think that great technology advances are inevitable, that they will flourish and provide the best possible world for the people making them. But in reality paradigm shifts like 3D printing are aided by a host of people working to make a future they think will be an improvement. This week Shapeways got to participate in discussions with hard working people who see the potential for 3D printing to improve our lives in miraculous ways. In a series of 5 panels, 3D/DC took place on Capitol Hill in Washington D.C. By providing a platform for discussion in front of Congressional policy makers, myself and the other participating in the panels got to have a voice in the discussion about where 3D printing will go next.

Led by Public Knowledge, a group that promotes freedom of expression, an open Internet, and access to affordable communications tools and creative works, hosted the fifth 3D/DC at the Rayburn House Office Building in Washington D.C. on April 13-14, 2016. My panel was all about discussing the best ways that students and teachers can promote STEAM education. My fellow panelists were high school educator Joseph Williams, 3D education software developer Sophia Georgieu of Morphi App, and student makers Becky and John Button.

In short, 3D printing will only be effective in education if students like Becky and John have unfettered access and qualified help from educators to pursue their inventions. Children are already taking to technology learning tools like Minecraft and littleBits to augment their understanding of concepts. During this panel all of us stressed that the community around makerspaces, that having access to other interested people, is equally important as getting your hands on some 3D modeling software. As you can see, kids like John will make the most of anything you put in from of them, but they need our help to use it in the right learning environment.

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Thx to @publicknowledge for letting me join my panel-mates @einsteinunicorn @MorphiApp @jswilliams at #3DDC2016 - via  @laurenlacey April 14, 2016

Shapeways EDU Spring 2016 Grant Winners!

We are pleased to announce the Spring 2016 EDU Grant Winners. The Shapeways EDU Grant is $1000 in printing support awarded twice a year to university level students and professors whose proposals push the boundaries of the materials and technology available in the 3D printing. This spring’s grant recipients are:

Shawn M. V. Jones - Northeastern University, Boston, MA
Shawn will be prototyping a SCUBA flipper for amputees that can also function as a prosthetic device on land.

Pablo Gonzalez – Fashion Institute of Technology, New York, NY
Pablo will be employing 3D scanning along with printing and traditional fabric draping for his senior fashion show.

Jonathan Gerhard – James Madison University, Harrisonburg, VA
Jonathan is transforming complex mathematical knot studies from theoretical 2D problems into tangible objects mathematicians can hold in their hands.

Akshay Goyal - Harvard University, Cambridge, MA
Akshay’s project Soft Tectonics investigates systems for design and production of
transformative objects through a study of structural collapse and functionally graded material.

Tom O’Mahoney - University of Manchester, Manchester, UK
Tom is creating scientifically accurate reconstructions of fossil humans for use in research and academics and sharing his research via open source.

Past grant recipients have completed projects in the fields of applied psychology, product design and mathematics, to name a few. The fall 2015 grant recipients Shanna Chan, Catherine Zheng and Melissa Zucker reflect on how they implemented their project Lunar Gala 2016 Strain – Abraxas and what challenges they overcame and learnings they gained.

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What part of this project could not have been realized without 3D printing?
We would not have been able to realize our vision for our finale dress, which involved intricate parametric patterning that could not have been made with any other fabrication method.

How did support from Shapeways enable you to realize this project?
The Shapeways Grant allowed us to increase our budget and physically be able to 3D print the more detailed pieces within the last look. This helped us realize our whole concept of our line, which depended on a transformation of flowing geometric lines into more complex parametric form. Without the grant, we wouldn’t have had the materials to successfully create such complex

How did this project contribute to your growth as an artist or designer?
We explored alternate ways of fabrication and learned to expand our knowledge of both digital fabrication and mixed media design. We pushed ourselves to learn and use digital modeling software and to design various design iterations that allowed for any buffer room within modular 3D printed pieces.

What was one challenge that you needed to overcome or one thing that surprised you when you were working on this project?
For our fashion line, each article of clothing was custom fit to its respective model. For the pieces made with more traditional fabrication methods, fitting was simple. However, for our 3D printed pieces (and with the breastplate especially), ensuring a good fit was challenging since we were creating 3D models on Rhino software. Because we did not have access to 3D scanners, measurements had to be extremely exact and modeled on our software with great precision. From this work, we learned to be accurate about dimensioning and to be proactive about timing, since we were a little pressed for time with the 3D prints.

Enter the iD Tech 3D Model contest!

Posted by in Education

Like most technologies, 3D printing has gotten to the point where students are learning about it at a younger age and it’s becoming an engrained part of their lives. From hands-on experience with desktop 3D printers at their schools to introductory lessons with 3D modeling software, students are quickly becoming a part of the maker movement. We are committed to helping more students learn through our Education program, and now we’re excited to partner with companies who truly encourage learning at a young age.

Recently, we introduced a contest that encourages students to explore their creativity through 3D printing. In partnership with iD Tech and Dremel we are inviting students to model their own Minecraft-inspired design. Using Autodesk software, students K-12 (in the US only) can create products inspired by the beloved game. Three winners will be chosen, and each will receive prizes to continue their education of technology and 3D printing.

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We’re thrilled to be working alongside companies like iD Tech and Dremel who are focused on bringing tech to students and encouraging those of all ages to pursue STEM-related fields. As younger generations learn more about 3D printing we’ll see the industry move forward in ways like never before.

To learn more, check out the contest page on iD Tech!

Shapeways EDU $1000 Grant – Deadline Extended!

Posted by in Education

Attention university students: Apply to receive up to $1000 in 3D printing to support your project!

The Shapeways EDU Spring 2016 Grant deadline has been extended to Thursday, March 31st! So you still have two weeks to get your application materials together and submit them to education@shapeways.com

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A piece from previous grant recipient Alexis Walsh’s graduate collection ‘Lysis’ from Parsons School of Design.

Not a designer or engineer? No worries, we’ve awarded grants to students doing work in psychology, computer graphics, fashion and more. If you’re pushing the boundaries of 3D printing or experimenting with new applications for 3D printing and design then your project more than qualifies. See shapeways.com/education for complete grant application details.

Highlights from Makerfest India with NYC-Based Lady Tech Guild

The Lady Tech Guild is a collective of professional women who are 3D artists, designers, biohackers, educators and entrepreneurs in the 3D industry, with decades of experience and specialized knowledge in our fields. We support like minded girls and women to become resourceful, inspired creative professionals. We empower women by connecting them to technology and to each other.

Many of these ladies are also Shapeways community members doing amazing things for women and girls in tech. Below is a highlight reel from their recent trip to Ahmedabad, India where they were invited to participate in Makerfest 2016.

The group was also included in the Times of India coverage of the event. For Information on the LTG please visit their website ladytechguild.com

Fashion Spotlight: Jenny Wu LACE

This is a guest post by Shapeways Community member Jenny Wu.

I received a grant from Shapeways to work on a 3D printing project with another emerging fashion designer, Jordana Howard of Echo and Air. The initial concept for the project was rather simple, but the execution of the project opened up a world of possibilities. I realized the project was going to be a pursuit that I will be working on for quite a long time. A bit of my background, I am an architect and partner at the Los Angeles based firm, Oyler Wu Collaborative.

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photo courtesy of LACE

A few years ago, I saw a void within the 3D printed fashion market that I thought I could fill. Most 3D printed fashion falls into two categories: the ultra avant-garde, iconic couture pieces that have graced various well known fashion runways to pieces designed by DYI makers who are exploring 3D printing technology. My collection positions itself somewhere in between, creating high end pieces that are highly wearable (literally comfortable to wear) but bring forth innovative design that utilizes my background in digital modeling to exploit 3D printing technology to its fullest. Last Fall, I launched a line of ready-to-wear 3D printed jewelry collection called LACE by Jenny Wu and have received overwhelmingly positive responses from both the tech and fashion world.

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Recently, much of the advancement in 3D printed fashion has been focused on creating entirely 3D printed clothing, shoes to accessories. For the grant, I was interested in merging 3D printing with conventional methods of fashion making. Similar to my own research in architecture, our office has develop new techniques of working with both digital fabrication with conventional wood or steel fabrication to create work that cannot be done solely based on one expertise. I approached Jordana Howard, a fashion designer based in Los Angeles, for this collaboration because of her interest in unconventional assembly and details in fashion. We have been working back and forth in understanding how to develop new details in combining these two very different ways of working to create a piece of clothing. The first piece is still in its nascency. We started by patterning a conventional piece of clothing and then looked at how fabric could weave into the 3D printed elements so that they become one cohesive garment. Over the past few months, we have had to understand the different technologies and methods to understand how to create something innovative. In the coming months, we hope to put some of these efforts into the details of a ready-to-wear garment that will inspire new ways of thinking about 3D printing in fashion.

Keep up with new LACE designs on their instagram feed.

Guest Post: The Benefits of Attending a Technical University

We get lots of questions from community members asking about how to break in to the industry of 3D printing. It’s a big industry and there are many applications. One way to learn about them is to attend a technical school to get in-depth training. This is a guest post by Lauren Willison, Director of Admissions at Florida Polytechnic University discussing the advantages of attending a tech school.

High school students interested in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) disciplines can attend a technology school to gain the necessary skills and knowledge to lead innovative high-tech industries upon graduation. These types of educational institutions are geared towards students who have decided to pursue a technology-based education. Technology universities generally offer introductory general education courses, electives and hands-on internships.

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On the other hand, students who are industry-focused and commuter-based should consider attending a technical school. In general, technical schools are centers that specialize in specific subject areas. Students often attend these universities for less than two years and can specialize in areas such as computer technology, business administration, culinary arts, electronics, medical assisting, legal assisting or automotive technology.

A technical school has small class sizes and students receive personalized attention with classmates and professors. Students interested in specific career paths, such as engineering or information technology, can gain skills and the necessary knowledge to work in specific industry areas such as manufacturing or business. Students will be equipped with the necessary experience to get into the workforce quicker.

Students enrolled in a technology university have a broader area of focus and more course options, as they are enrolled in school longer. Technology universities focus on applying real-world solutions to solve the nation’s challenges. Students have the ability to work with 3D printing systems and interdisciplinary environments with digital objects, printing hardware, software development and emerging technologies. In 3D printing labs, students are able to combine engineering, information technology and computer science with advanced prototyping in order to manufacture 3D technologies and techniques.

In particular, the Rapid Application Development (RAD) Makerspace Lab at Florida Polytechnic University, Florida’s newest university dedicated to STEM, is a hybrid manufacturing systems environment with 55 3D printers and digital object scanners, making it one of the largest MakerBot innovation centers in the world. Students are able to work alongside professors and industry partners in the lab and gain experience designing, testing and generating innovative ideas.

Individuals who attend a tech school in Florida with a focus in a STEM disciple face higher employment rates as these industries are rapidly hiring. The nation’s economic growth will be driven by the rising demand for knowledge workers in sectors such as engineering and technology. Graduates must have an understanding of advanced science, mathematical principles and problem-solving skills. These students will come from technical schools and technology universities with the necessary skills to solve complex problems of our nation’s future. Individuals with knowledge in STEM disciplines will make contributions in most aspects of the economy, including business, healthcare, manufacturing and finance.

Lauren Willison is responsible for supporting the Executive Director of Enrollment Services and the Associate Director of Admissions in managing recruitment efforts. She develops and coordinates on- and off-campus events, as well as manages the campus visit experience.

Georgia Tech Design Entrepreneurs: “Design, Print, Profit”

This is a guest post by Georgia Tech student, Josh Dycus

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In the past if a designer wanted to turn an idea of their’s into an actual product to be sold and used on a consumer level, years of development, thousands of dollars, and excessive materials had to be used throughout the process. Now, with the powerful capabilities of 3D printing, a designer can go straight from an idea to an actual product ready for the consumer in the matter of months – with very little money out of their own pocket.

The Design, Print, Profit project begin with drawings on paper — possibly the shortest segment of the process — before moving quickly into 3D modeling. From the 3D models, multiple test prints in plastic (in numbers close to the 40′s) are produced to help develop form and fit. This process ensures that the final result is exactly as the designer had intended; and only takes a fraction of the time that traditional prototyping (making molds, forging by hand, etc.) would take. Once the final form has been decided upon, the file is sent off to Shapeways to be 3D printed and produced in metal; resulting in a beautifully finished product ready for market.

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Design, Print, Profit is showcasing a series of rings made my Georgia Tech students this Friday. Be sure to check it out if you are in the area!

UNICEF Innovation Summit and The aNYThing Conference: 3D Printing and the Future of Education

This past week I had the privilege of being invited to speak at the first UNICEF Innovation Summit. Start Up to Scale Up: Global Innovations for Children and Youth Summit was held in Helsinki, Finland. Comprised of tech and impact innovators from around the world we were hosted in the gorgeous Finlandia Hall for two days of panels, presentations and discussions about the future of tech in the lives of children around the world.

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On the Future of Skill panel I was joined by moderator Kathryn Myronuk Faculty & Coach: Synthesis & Convergence, Singularity University, Roshan Paul CEO Amani Institute, Virginia Tam co-founder of Lean In China and Kristina Kaihari, Counsellor of Education at the Finnish Ministry of Education, Finland to discuss how to prepare today’s youth for the jobs they will do in the future. We all agreed that it is important to incorporate 21st century skills like self-learning, collaboration and perseverance in the face of failures into the modern classroom. The complex world issues that today’s youth will inherit call for creative problem solving and resiliency in order for new ideas to succeed. 3D printing is a powerful tool to tackle some of these very problems, turning software tools into physical tools and allowing new ideas to be tested rapidly and improved upon. Later on during the conference I held a workshop and discussion panel on the advantages and ares for opportunity in incorporating 3D design and manufacturing into the education space.

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On Thursday November 5th I had the pleasure of talk about Shapeways EDU at the aNY(Additive New York) Thing Conference at SUNY New Paltz. In this first annual conference speakers from presented new concepts and ideas from a range of applications of additive manufacturing across art, design, engineering, education, agriculture, manufacturing and medicine.

3D printing the universe for the visually impaired

Posted by in Education, Space

Whether the wonders of the universe interest you or not, it’s hard to deny that it’s amazing to be able to see the planets through a telescope, or even just photos. Unfortunately, for those who are visually impaired it’s not that easy.

Recently, a new campaign launched to develop a program that will use 3D prints to teach astronomy and astrophysics to visually impaired students. The team consists of former and current NASA astrophysicists and engineers, university professors at UNAM in Mexico and Johannes Kepler University in Austria, and education specialists of both visually impaired and sighted students. Working with researchers at NASA, the group has developed an initial set of 3D files of astronomical objects. These, along with lesson plans, will be delivered online to classrooms to supplement the teaching both subjects.

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In their words:

“We aim, with assistance from scientists and educators at NASA and universities around the world, to develop a program that will use 3D prints to help teach astronomy and astrophysics to visually impaired students. Our goal is to develop a long-term and sustainable solution for bringing visually impaired students the wonders of the Universe, motivating them to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).”

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Aside from being able to help a great cause, the rewards are pretty fun. Ranging from NASA patches to the world’s first 3D printed nebula to a personal, guided tour of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, backers can definitely get their money’s worth.

Find out more information and donate here!

 

Shapeways Global Meetups in Athens, Greece

On Oct 2nd, 2015 Shapeways hosted it’s 4th community meetup in Athens, Greece with the Athens School of Fine Arts. The Meetup took place at the amazing Circuits and Currents Project Space where local designers, students,  and academics, including members from the Museum of Paleontology all came together to participate in the Shapeways Athens meetup.

We had a whopping turn out of over 250+ people for the Shapeways Meetup in Athens – we had our crew members give presentations discussing 3D printing material, 3D software, and a crash-course on how to use the Shapeways website.

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Our Meetup consisted mostly of a discussion with the audience, where Shapeways community members were able to answer questions and demonstrate 3D printed designs.

We would like to give a special shout out to the community members who helped put all of this together:

Dimitris Fotiou, Sculptor / Designer – Shapeways Crew Allstar, Event Organizer)
Katerina Kamprani, Architect, Shapeways Community Member
Chrysokona Mavrou, Architect, Shapeways Comunity Member
Antonis Kiourktsis, Architect, Shapeways Community Member
Antonella Nikolopoulou, Architect, Shapeways Community Member
Panayiotis Melis, Engineer, Shapeways Community Member
Stefanos Papadatos, Architect, Shapeways Community Member
Many thanks to Assistant Professor Jannis Skaltsas and the ASFA Career Office who offered us their space and helped us host this meetup. Also many thanks to Lars Andersen for providing us with awesome 3D printed pet sculptures from Arty Lobster.

Are you a part of Shapeways crew and have an idea for a meetup? E-mail us at Community@Shapeways.com and we’ll help enable you for your next meetup idea.

Thank you to all who participated in our Shapeways Athens event!

Dutch Design Week 2015

Dutch Design Week, hosted in our hometown of Eindhoven in the Netherlands, is a nine-day celebration of design innovation. From October 17 – 25, the city is abuzz with exhibitions, workshops, and parties, all to highlight the importance of design in our lives.

Shapeways Entrance

At Shapeways, we love to celebrate amazing products and the creative designers behind them.  So this year for Dutch Design Week, we’re joining in the fun by opening the doors to our Shapeways factory for tours and workshops and hosting a special party for our Community. Running throughout the week, our tours will show you how we bring products to life with our state of the art 3D printing process. Our workshops will help you get started with 3D printing, and are specially designed for beginners and kids.

See the schedule below to sign up  and stay tuned for more news coming from Dutch Design Week!

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Factory Tour dates:

Saturday, October 17 (13:30 – 15:30)
Sunday, October 18 (13:30 – 15:30)
Monday, October 19 (14:30 – 16:30)
Wednesday, October 21 (14:30 – 16:30)
Friday, October 23 (14:30 – 16:30)
Saturday, October 24 (13:30 – 15:30)
Sunday, October 25 (13:30 – 15:30)

Weekend Workshops:
Note: be sure to bring a laptop in order to participate. The Kids workshop is for children of 10 years and older.
ABC of 3D Printing – Saturday, October 17 (10:30 – 12:30)
ABC of 3D Printing – Sunday, October 18 (10:30 – 12:30)
Kids & 3D Printing – Saturday, October 24 (10:30 – 12:30)
Kids & 3D Printing – Sunday, October 25 (10:30 – 12:30)

Shapeways Community Party:
Friday, October 23 - TBD

Empowering the Childish Project at Helsinki Design Week

Posted by in Contests, Education

The importance of design keeps on growing at a global scale, proven by the fact that more and more international design events take place in major world cities. Last week (and well, technically a few days longer) creativity hit Helsinki in Finland. From September 3-13, the Helsinki Design Week attracted more than 120,000 visitors to more than 200 participating events. One of these events is the Childish Project from Kristos Mavrostomos and Anna van der Leij.

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As the name of the event already states, the Childish Project is fully focused on children who attended Helsinki Design Week. Before you get the wrong impression, this event was anything BUT childish! Ages ranged from 1 to 16, and the kids were able to draw the perfect plate for their favourite dish of food.

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With careful guidance from Kristos and Anna, 300 children unleashed their fantasy on paper and these were all presented in a huge exhibition as seen above as part of a competition. The 10 most unique drawings will come to life and be 3D printed in our own Porcelain material. 

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As you can see the kids had a lot of creative and colorful ideas. We can’t wait to see the top 10 designs come to life! The winning designs are being chosen while you read this, it will take some time for us to print but stay tuned to hear what happens next!

New York Fashion Week 3D Printed Garments Debut

On opening night of New York Fashion Week fifteen fashion designers, engineers and media artists unveiled their 3D printed fashion garments that they created during this year’s Computational Fashion Master Class at the Re-Making Patterns Opening. Printed by Shapeways, all of the pieces showcase how 3D printed fashion is evolving and becoming a reality

3D printed computational fashion garment

Computational Fashion Master Class is an initiative started by Eyebeam and Shapeways last year. The course is an unique opportunity for creatives from different industries to come together and develop garments that push the limits of 3D printing. Instructors and students address various design topics throughout the course, including materials and customization, that help the designers combine traditional fashion techniques and emerging technologies to create these pieces.

The exhibit is open until September 17th at South Street Seaport’s Culture District.

3D printed computational fashion garment

 

3D printed computational fashion garment

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How I got a license to turn Sophie Corrigan’s Pugtato into a 3D print

One of the most fun ways to choose your next design idea is through collaborations. This could be either through partnering with another designer on an idea or doing outreach and partnering with an artist with existing artwork. As a shop owner on Shapeways I recently partnered with UK based illustrator Sophie Corrigan to turn her Pugtato illustration into a 3D printed figurine. The 3D printed Pugtato is now currently available for sale on my Shapeways shop.

The way the 3D printed Pugtato came about began with me browsing Twitter for art inspiration and I came across an photo of a cute, adorable, pudgy hybrid between a pug and potato; a Pugtato. The original illustration and artwork was owned by Sophie Corrigan. The image resonated with me and I wanted to turn it into a 3D printed figurine so I reached out through email to see if she would be interested in licensing her Pugtato design to let me turn it into a 3D printed figurine. Upon reaching out, Sophie was very receptive to this collaboration. We discussed terms and conditions and agreed upon a licensing payment structure for the partnership. Once the licensing agreement was finalized and signed between both parties, I had the green light to make Pugtato into a 3D printed figurine. The 3D printed Pugtato figurine was modeled by designer Kostika Spaho based off Sophie’s pugtato illustration. Pugtato was printed in full color sandstone.

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What made Pugtato particularly attractive as a potential collaborative partnership design was that the owner of the artwork was not a A-list celebrity or corporation which made her easy to get in touch with. It was also a super silly design that fit the theme of my Shapeways shop. Pugtato has already proved to be a favorable seller on various other sites such as Etsy, Redbubble, DesignByHumans, and TeePublic. From a marketing prospective, the product has already proven that there is selling potential which would make promoting Pugtato receptive among previous customers from Sophie’s online shops. The best way to grow your customer base is to acquire a fanbase, which is why collaborations is great at bringing multiple fan ecosystems together.

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Is there an original piece of artwork that you would love to turn into a 3D print but don’t own the intellectual property? A collaborative licensing agreement might be the best course of action. Here are some best practices for going about it.

Approach your potential partner collaboratively.  There are several ways to get in touch with an IP owner, my preferred way is through email but there is also Twitter, Linkedin, Facebook, or contact form on the person’s website. Here was my email script to Sophie Corrigan which got the conversation started. My recommendation for outreach is to have a friendly tone of voice and try to resonate with the IP owner. Explain clearly who you are, what you are offering, and why this would be of interest to them.

“Hi Sophie,

My name is Eric Ho and I am the shop owner of the Shapeways shop Raw Legend Collaborations. Shapeways is the world’s largest 3D printing service and marketplace where anyone can make, buy, sell products. You can learn more about Shapeways here. I make cute 3D printed figurines and animals and your illustration of Pugtato on DesignsByHumans really caught my eye, I am a big fan. I wanted to reach out to see if you might be interested in collaborating with me on turning your Pugtato into a 3D print and make it for sale on Shapeways. I think a 3D printed Pugtato would go well with your audience. Would you be interested in licensing your design?”

Get the agreement in writing.  It is always a good idea to get a license in writing, and that is exactly what this is.  A written license helps make sure that both of you are on the same page going into the partnership.  It can also serve as an important reference if there is an unexpected dispute in the future.  What that written agreement needs to include can vary (and it can be helpful to talk to a lawyer about specific cases you have in mind, especially in an area as new as licenses for 3D printing).  Generally speaking you want to make sure that the agreement makes clear that your partner owns things like the copyright in the original image, that they are giving you permission to make and sell a 3D model, and how you will handle things like payment.  

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Interested in learning more about  different types of rights that may be involved with models and files here at Shapeways? Michael Weinberg, the head of general counsel here at Shapeways has written several blog post covering topics from IP, fair-use, and copyright.

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