Category Archives: 3D Modeling

50% less lead time! Two Updates on Porcelain + 10 Maker Tips!

If you’re not already designing for Porcelain, it might be a great time to start.  Why is this?

#1: You no longer have to order your Porcelain pieces in order to offer the product for sale in the Marketplace! While we always encourage ordering your products for a quality check, this allows you to stretch your imagination a bit and offer some unique pieces to your customers.

#2: Porcelain products now ship in 10 business days (rather than 20) for US, Canada, New Zealand and Australia customers, and 12 for rest of the world. That’s a 50% decrease which means less waiting, faster unboxing, taking pictures, enjoying your product, and sharing with the world!

With this exciting news, we had a chat with our Porcelain team in Long Island City to see what they’ve learned, and if they have any new tips for designing.  Here’s the jist of it:

1. A 5mm wall thickness is ideal, but make sure that your walls meet our minimum 3mm thickness.

2. Models MUST stand on their own in the kiln; flat bottoms and selecting the correct orientation are key to getting your model on time.

3. If you are adding a foot to the bottom of your model it should be at least 5mm in height if you would like the rest of the bottom to be glazed.

4. Add a hollowed out core to models thicker than 35mm.

5. Holes in your models should always be larger than 5mm. Please keep in mind that depending on your geometry, the holes may still fill with glaze during the firing process.

6. Filleting the edges and corners of your work on the interior and exterior of your model will help with even glaze distribution.

7. For small models, like figurines or busts, solid models are both easier for us to cast and cheaper for designers to make. If it is less than 35mm thick, make it solid.

8. Make sure your orientation selection is correct.

9. Reference the materials page to make the correct glaze selection for your model. There are in depth explanations and sample photos that allow you to see how each glaze behaves. Sample tiles are available at the bottom of the page.

10. If you make a 2 part model, make sure you leave 1mm clearance for the thickness of the glaze. We get models where the top and the bottom of a jar will not fit together after glazing because the designer did not realize they need to consider that the glazes have an additional thickness.

Need some inspiration to get started? Check out this Molecule Sugar Bowl from designer DRogers.

Molecule Sugar Bowl

We were fortunate enough to get the insider scoop from Porcelain 3D Printing Engineer Mike Demeo on what makes DRoger’s design work so well:  ”This is a great example of a wire model; this works because firstly the wires are connected to a solid section which allows all the wires to fill during casting. Secondly the wires are simple, thick, and placed geometrically and symmetrically allowing us to be able to cut them in only a few sections making it possible for repairs and our gluing process.”

As is the story with 3D printing, sky is the limit! Here are a few more creations to get you fired up (no pun intended)!


Cheese Candleholder Planter from BlessThisMess


Anatomical Heart in a Mug by mila_mits


Knowledge Seeker Bookend by Likesyrup

We look forward to sharing more tips and inspired products on the many dimensions of Porcelain as our community continues to fuel the creation of a new kind of ‘ceramic’- near and far!

Innovations to 3D Scan Reflective Materials

Near the front of the Studio section of SIGGRAPH is a large, spherical contraption. Covered in circuitry and emanating an intense light, this object looks like something from science fiction. In actuality, the object is the output of a research project.  This high fidelity 3D scanner is capable of solving one of the biggest problems with current technology right now; scanning reflective surfaces.


I spoke with Borom Tunwattanapong, founder of Lumio3D and he explained how the scanner works.

“This is a 3D reflectance and geometry scanner. It will project basis illumination on the object inside. We extract the reflection of the object out and use multi- view stereo algorithm to reconstruct the geometry. The final result is an accurate geometry with the texture on it, which is viewable in 3D.”


Tunwattanapong demonstrated by placing a soda can inside of the scanner. A pattern of flashing lights strobed and the camera snapped shots 360 degrees around the can.


“When we project the basis illumination we can extract some information, including a diffuse map, specular and a normal map. The diffuse map will show the texture, the specular show what is reflective reflectiveness and the normal map shows the angles angles of the surface.”

These textures can be reassembled back onto the 3D model file in most software packages.

Given the complexity of this machine,  I was pleased to learn that parts of the machine were 3D printed by Shapeways. Tunwattanapong pointed out that he used Black Strong and Flexible to make the most complicated parts for the structure that holds the components together. He chose to print in this material because of it was much less expensive than CNCing the part.  The turnaround time also proved to be faster than if he had cut out the parts from metal, while still being strong and dense to hold the scanner together.


Tunwattanapong predicts that this scanner could be useful in the manufacturing industry to help engineers analyze the structural integrity of parts, as well as the medical industry for scanning organic materials. Additionally, this tool could be used to scan common household objects, artwork and jewelry that have reflective surfaces.

We’re excited to the future of 3D scanning, and technology like the Lumio3D will continue to expand the types of materials capable of being captured and turned into a printable 3D object.

Designer Spotlight: Joaquin Baldwin

As a long-time member of the Shapeways Community, Joaquin Baldwin has not only mastered the art of optimizing his designs for different materials, he has also managed to flawlessly photograph his creations. 

With two amazing collections specifically designed for Porcelain, Joaquin shared more with us on how he makes his creations shine by amplifying the strongest attributes of this material while taking advantage of the color spectrum.


What was it like designing for porcelain, did you need to approach your designs differently?

I approached the designs based on function and specific glazing color options. The colors are vibrant and very specific, so I wanted to make objects that played with all of those unique combinations. For function, they are all planters, but with very small spaces so they can only carry tiny plants. The size limitations were tough to deal with, and so was the minimum thickness for walls, but luckily the material cost is calculated by surface and not volume, so making things thick and heavy is not a problem, but making them too detailed can be troublesome.

What inspired you to make two related series of products this time rather than the more eclectic array of designs you’ve done previously?
It’s a brand new approach I’m taking for these and a couple of other series I’m working on. I’m planning on selling items in gallery shows and local stores and wanted them to be presentable as sets, with an artist statement and more solid conceptual roots. I have a lot of inexpensive designs in my shop already, but I was missing higher-end home decor items, and since I’ve been having fun decorating my home recently, I thought this was something worth investing in.

I created two series, the Samsara Series (based on organic shapes that act as fossilized vessels for new life), and the Geometric Series (based on a synthesis of polygonal shapes that naturally occur in minerals as well as in plants), thinking that having a contrast between organic and polygonal shapes would be the best way to explore the limits of the porcelain material.


The photographs you take are consistently top notch, what’s your process for taking them?
I have a very cheap lightbox with very cheap lights. Sometimes I let sunlight from a window hit the lightbox instead of turning on my crappy lights, or use a super strong flashlight and move it around until it looks right. Terrible process, really, but I do have a good macro lens (Canon 100mm), a good tripod, and lots of experience with Photoshop to clean up the pics. I try to overexpose the background to have a pure white with just a hint of a shadow or reflection below, and have some fill light from both left and right, and try not to use too much frontal lighting. Sometimes my exposures are up to 4 seconds long since I use a macro lens up close or natural light indoors, so the tripod is a must. Balancing the lights and shadows in Photoshop is really important, and also trying to not abuse contrast and saturation, so that the materials look like the real thing and not exaggerated.

I always take a main photo in pure white, and then take some more natural ones, which vary depending on the model and concept. The white keeps the storefront consistent, that’s always my main goal, to look professional. I’ve seem some do it with black, that looks sleek as hell too, but I would need better lighting equipment to deal with black backgrounds.

I had some amazing floral design work done by Birch & Bone which really helps bring the photos to life, it makes them stand out with great color palettes, and it also showcases the potential of each planter.

What brought you to 3D printing with Shapeways?
Animation is what got me into this. I made a CG short, I had the main character modeled already, and thought it would be great to have a figurine of it. It all started from there, and then I became a bit obsessed with the idea of having a physical copy of whatever 3D designs I came up with. Being able to pay for the hobby with an online shop just made it all work out great.

How do you promote your work?
I share it on social media, and also post a few links on Reddit if I think they are relevant (I don’t like spamming). If it goes viral I’m all like “Oh yeah, that’s what I’m talking about” and I don’t have to do any promotion, it’s all done for me, so I hope that every idea resonates with people and that it gets shared enough. If it doesn’t go viral, I self-flagellate and cry myself to sleep for not doing a good enough job. I guess my biggest strategy is to trust strong ideas, since I don’t have the time or resources to be actively promoting, this is still just a hobby for me.


  • Really, really amazing photography. The detail shots, context for use, angles and “empty” planters are so helpful for shoppers to see every detail they need before purchasing
  • Thoughtful, unique collections (more reason to buy more than 1 thing!)
  • Sections for easy shopping
  • His Porcelain planters. The perfect antidote for adding a splash of summery color to your home!
  • Inspired product descriptions. We particularly loved reading the stories behind his Smilodon Skull Planter and Chocolate Molecule Mug. 

Thank you so much, Joaquin, we are looking forward to seeing more beautiful porcelain and can’t wait to hear about your next discovery. Make sure to check out Joaquin’s shopTwitterFacebook,Instagram and his website! To be featured, email

Spin It To Win It Contest Winners!

There’s no doubt that Gravity Sketch provides endless fun and incredible access to simplified 3D design and printing. Which is why we partnered with them to create the Spin It To Win It Contest where contestants utilized the features in Gravity Sketch’s app to create their most unique and personalized spinning tops ever.


With 30 entries, choosing a winner was no easy task. The incredible talent and creativity that went into every single top created is unfathomable, and we’re amazed by our community’s dedication every day.

But, without further ado, here are the winners of the 2016 #SpinItToWinIt contest!

In third place, twoshay’s Gravity Prop Top was light, fast and stable. It’s design allows a straw to be aimed at it and further propelled past the initial spin point. How many times do you think you could spin it?


Second place was awarded to the defender of rain storm, the Umbrella Top by PamC. The uniqueness of this top was unparalleled by its ability to spin. That’s right, it spins! We love the creativity that went into this design.


And finally, our First Place contender. Sethdesigns created this amazing Blue Angel Number 6 top to honor fallen Marine Corps Blue Angels pilot Capt. Jeff Kuss (#6). But it wasn’t just the story behind the top that we loved. It’s bi-level design, accompanied by the detail and ability to spin left us amazed.


Thanks again to all the contestants, and a huge thanks to Gravity Sketch. We’d love to continue seeing the amazing products you’re creating using Shapeways and the Gravity Sketch app, so please tag us with #Shap3dByMe on social media to show off your creations!

Spin (Click) To See All The Gravity Sketch Entries!

Advocating for a Clear Test on Copyright and 3D Printed Objects

This may be one of our last blog posts about Star Athletica v. Varsity Brands, the cheerleader uniform case we’ve been writing about since last year.  As you may recall, while nominally about copyright and cheerleader uniforms, the case is really about how copyright protects objects that combine decorative elements and by contrast, does not protect functional elements.

Since so many 3D printed objects combine both decorative and functional elements, this is an important question for the 3D printing community.  Conversations about licensing 3D printed objects cannot happen until everyone understands the types of rights that actually protect those objects.  Right now there are at least ten different tests geared towards figuring out if and how copyright might protect an object that is both functional and decorative.  Unfortunately, this situation has not yet proven to be helpful.

Fortunately, the U.S. Supreme Court will have the opportunity to settle on one test soon.  In February we urged the Supreme Court to take a look at this case, and in May it decided to do so.  Late last week we, along with the International Costumers Guild, the Open Source Hardware Association, Formlabs, Printrbot, the Organization for Transformative Works, the American Library Association, the Association of Research Libraries, and the Association of College and Research Libraries joined a brief written by Charles Duan and Meredith Rose at the public interest organization Public Knowledge.   Although the brief does not push for a specific test, it does ask the Court to select a single test that is clear and easy for the greater community to understand.

In the next few months the Court will schedule oral arguments in the case.  After that – probably next year – an opinion will be declared.

We will be sure to keep you posted as events unfold.  In the meantime, you can read the brief here.  In addition to the substance, you should take a moment to appreciate the font that Charles designed exclusively for Supreme Court briefs – exceedingly rare among lawyers – to master the inclusion of imagery in legal briefs.


Feature image from petful.

Our New Favorite Way to Build

We love to see what new projects our Shapeways Shopowners are working on, when we saw Urbano Rodriguez‘s new TriToy series our jaws dropped. A simple concept of connecting two pologyon shapes to build complex forms has unlimited potential.  We talked to Urbano to learn more about what exactly went into this fun, new building system.


Tell us about your new project the TriToy, where did you come up with the idea?

Since I start making models to 3D print, about two years ago, I try to make things that really bring a new concept of design, and at the same time, a creative approach to solve simple things. Of course, some of these designs, only come as a result of a large research, and many sketches, trying to achieve a harmony with these two things.

Through my research, in what I was seeing some amazing low poly, and wireframe 3D printed models, I realized that almost all of them, are made by many joined triangular shapes, and suddenly, I thought how amazing would be if I have a modular triangle- a triangle that would encompass building not one, but many shapes as you desire, so this way, the idea to TriToy was born.


How did you decide to use the colored Strong and Flexible Plastics, what advantages did this material provide for your design?

After I developed the basic idea, and designed the first attachment system, I quickly needed to 3D print a prototype, to make the tests and see if the project was really feasible. The colored Strong and Flexible Plastics was my first choice at Shapeways. The material characteristics, short production time, and lower cost made the material ideal for my project.


What was the process like iterating on this design? What did you learn through printing?

The iterating process, in fact, was not quite easy with the TriToy project, and I needed to print 3 prototypes, until achieve the result I desired to the toy.

The first prototype, showed me that the idea and design were really feasible, but the attachment system didn’t work as I expect.


I completely redesigned the attachment system, and printed the second prototype, which worked great.  This prototype was way better than the first one, but after some days playing, and building many shapes, I realized that some times, the pieces get stuck together when I try to detach them.  So I needed to go back to the design, and change again some details in the attachment pins, and finally, the third prototype worked great!

All of these processes proved that even when you are sure about a design, you’ll really only understand the feel needed when you have it materialized in your hands.  Knowing this helps to ensure that you have a finished, and ready to market, product.

See the Tritoy in action below and order here!

Shapeways Supports EU Net Neutrality

Shapeways has long been a supporter of Net Neutrality, so we were happy to be able to join a letter from the European startup community in favor of strong open internet rules in the EU.

Shapeways started in the Netherlands and has continuously relied on a neutral Internet to reach our customers. To the same extent, the Shapeways community uses the open internet to connect with other members and customers around the world.

Fundamentally, our letter asks the EU not to weaken net neutrality rules with loopholes.  Regardless of whether they are called  ”specialised services,” “data cap exceptions,” or “class-based traffic management,” loopholes that allow ISPs to pick winners and losers undermine the core ideas of net neutrality.

All of this and more is why we join the call for strong net neutrality rules in the EU.  We will be sure to let you know what happens as this process develops.

Feature image: Public Knowledge under CC-BY-SA 2.0 

What Happened on Alpe d’Huez Last Month?

A few weeks ago we announced our collaboration with Marjolein and team as they embarked on their challenge of climbing the Alpe d’Huez.  We’d like to share few snapshots from the event, which took place in June, and tell you a little more about how those involved made it happen by charting unfamiliar territory and uniting through a shared sense of purpose.

Team WilMarion

From left to right: Thijs, Imma, Jos, Marion, Marjolein, Lucien.

So what happened exactly? Marjolein tells a bit how she is experiencing the ride:

And catch a full recap of the ride here:

The outcome?  The entire team raised over € 18,000, and the six of them in total climbed the Alpe d’Huez an impressive 16 times!  If you watch the video carefully,  you can see the entire team is carrying two specific Ribbon shaped accessories with them. The items were designed for Marjolein and her team to show our solidarity in their cause against cancer. While the items were made exclusively for this event, you can own them too to support the cause! The Ribbon Pin and the Ribbon Bottlecage can be bought in our Shapeways Ribbons shop through the end of July. Per sale € 5,- will be donated to Pink Ribbon to support their research on breast cancer.

Ribbon Pin

Ribbon Bottlecage

A list of all 3D Printed products used during the event at Alpe d’Huez can be found here.

Bringing Creative Commons and 3D Printing Closer Together

Last month  Creative Commons hosted a meeting with members of the 3D printing community to discuss how Creative Commons licenses can continue to work well with 3D printed products and files.  Shapeways was thrilled to be included in the  initial meeting and our hope is that this acts as a catalyst  for a more impactful collaboration between 3D printing and Creative Commons.

The purpose of the initial meeting was for the community to gain a better understanding of how the Creative Commons licenses work with 3D printing today as well as identifying key areas for improvement moving forward. We have raised some questions about the dynamic between Creative Commons and 3D printing in the past, and part of the initial meeting was to revisit these topics with other groups.

While this was the first major Creative Commons and 3D printing meeting, we expect that it will not be the last.  The discussion was wide ranging and freewheeling, and it is probably safe to say that there are a number of opportunities for collaboration going forward.  This is an especially opportune time to begin the collaboration as Creative Commons is in the initial phase of a 5 year plan to reinforce and grow the Commons.

We will continue to discuss the collaboration as it evolves and the initial meeting was successful in helping us to flag a few key areas for focus.  Through discussion, attendees were able to confirm the areas of concern that were generalizable beyond one or two parties.  You can read Creative Commons’ debrief here.  Two of those areas, a micro and a macro, deserve mention here.

Micro-Challenge: Attribution

The question of attribution presents a specific challenge in the context of 3D printing.  It is a “micro” challenge in the sense that it is highly specific, but its impact can be widespread.


Fundamentally, the question is: what does it mean to give attribution in the 3D printing community (this was a large part of our earlier discussion about 3D printing and Creative Commons)?  When someone uses a CC-BY license, what do they expect that attribution to look like?

This question actually breaks down into two parts: attribution in the file and attribution in the object.

The file attribution part may be the most straightforward.  There are a number of new 3D printing file formats which are currently under development.  Many of these formats include the ability to attach specific license information to files.  With this capability, giving attribution may be as simple as adding (and maintaining) the correct metadata in a file.  While there are a number of implementation challenges, file metadata does at least appear to be the place to focus on for file attribution.  Building visibility for this feature among developers of new file formats goes a long way towards solving this problem.


Attribution in the object is less straightforward.  Some 3D printed objects integrate the designer’s name directly into their surface, making attribution automatic.  However, those cases are the minority.  For other objects, what is the best way to give attribution?  Thingiverse provides physical attribution tags, which can be great for displaying objects at trade shows or at galleries.  However, they may not work in other contexts.  For example, it is probably unrealistic to expect people to hang physical attribution tags from 3D printed bracelets or earrings.  Developing a system on how to handle these types of situations will take time and collaboration.

Macro-Challenge: Applicability of Copyright-Based Licenses

You can expect to hear a lot more about this issue going forward.  This concern is larger than 3D printing, although for various reasons 3D printing is an area that tends to throw it into stark relief.  Briefly, Creative Commons licenses are based in copyright.   However,  unlike the photos, movies, songs, and stories that formed the original core of the Creative Commons, not all 3D printed objects are eligible for copyright protection (this paper takes a deeper dive into why that is and what it means).  For those objects, the terms of the Creative Commons license are not enforceable.

The implications of this incompatibility are potentially far reaching, and the initial meeting was not the time to describe them all as other topics took precedent.  Even explaining the problem can be complicated, and one thing that we will be working on going forward are more and better ways to communicate this challenge to the community.

Keep an eye out for more to come soon. For now, we are excited to be developing a community of stakeholders who will drive the collaboration with Creative Commons to bring you the most valuable information.  We will continue to keep you up to date on these efforts and plan to invite community participation as these efforts expand.  Until then, please comment with any questions or concerns.

Model Train Clears the Way

We are always thrilled when our Shopowners and and their buyers collaborate.  Stonysmith recently shared this incredible project  by David Wolf in our forums.  So, how did this train become so incredible exactly? David inserted a controllable motor into a Z Scale Model Railroad Train engine to let the snowplow spin in a realistic way.

Stony notes “Here is some incredible modeling. This is the kind of thing where I declare that I am just making the canvas, and it takes a real artist to turn it into artwork.”

Railroad Snow Plow - Zscale

By StonySmith / David Wolf

Check out the video below for this plow in action, and the original thread, which details the process David followed to assemble the 3D printed parts.



We are continuously inspired by the way our community collaborates and hope to share more stories like Stony’s soon.  Have you partnered with another maker to create something phenomenal?  We want to know about it!  Email

Designer Spotlight: Sascha Hosey

Born and raised in Siberia, Russia, Sascha Hosey shares her incredible story of moving to America, and how her families generations of fur hat making inspired her to create these beautiful 3D Printed Headdresses.
Sascha Hosey models her 3D Printed Headdress

Tell us a little bit about yourself: Who are you? Where are you located?

My studio is located in Weehawken, NJ. I love the unobstructed NYC views from NJ side – it inspires me to create especially around sunsets – the big apple is shimmering with all shades of gold bouncing around the skyscrapers.

Sascha Hosey

What’s the story behind your designs? What inspires you?

Before I tell you how I came up with the idea to make 3D printed headpieces, let me tell you why I have a knack and passion for creating fashion items. I was born and raised in Siberia, Russia. My grandmother was an entrepreneur and had her own fur hat business. She would purchase rigid, untreated fur at the farm, soften it and make fur hats all by hand, and sell them at the local market in the freezing weather. Her hard work and dedication instilled in me a high level of discipline and commitment to pursuing my goals. My mom was an ENT doctor but she would also sew hats at night and on the weekends to supplement her income and support my older brother and I. She was a single mother. Enduring hardship early on in life made me appreciate the little things so much more and be grateful for all the abundance, comfort, and prosperity that I’ve created for myself. When I immigrated to the States at 19 years old all by myself, I was unstoppable in achieving things others could only dream of. It felt like nothing could hamper my personal and emotional growth and success. Then, the recession hit, and it became extremely difficult to survive, and, without the support of my family, it was that much harder to make ends meet. (Skype didn’t exist back then…we would go for months without even talking to each other) I got a Master’s degree in Marketing and Business, followed by a job as a marketing executive at a restaurant in LES, NY.

I decided to start my own fashion line to challenge myself. Boy, did I find that challenge and mert my fair share of disappointment along the way. All of the mishaps and failures on my path were huge learning experiences. I realized that the fashion industry is run by (for the most part) big egos, and fortunes are made by child labor and overworked, underpaid people in third world countries; it’s the industry that completely disregards the environment and wastes precious resources of those countries while producing disposable clothes that do not disintegrate naturally and create enormous amounts of waste. Many fast fashion retailers were able to hook people with super effective marketing messages that subconsciously forced them to crave more, buy more, and worry about the next big trend. I was faced with a conscientious and moral crisis. I lost my drive to make clothes and decided to get back into marketing so that I could help people establish an online presence and pursue their passion to create sustainable products, ease our CO2 footprint, and make the world a better, kinder place.

In the meantime, my openness and adventurous spirit brought me to Burning Man in 2011. There, I met so many likeminded people who were changing the world by applying 10 BM principles in their lives:

Radical Inclusion
Radical self-reliance
Radical self-expression
Communal efforts
Civic responsibility
Leaving no trace

The Burning Man experience completely changed the outlook I had on life. I realized how much potential we have to change things and how collectively powerful we can be by spreading love and sharing passion for sustainable living, spirituality, and mindfulness. A couple of years later my dear husband and I attended BM inspired parties here in NYC and something clicked: I realized that all of these people need headpieces, because it’s the hardest thing to make for a complete look. The lead times for hand made headpieces that are on the market are very long and designers cannot make enough headgear for all of the festival-goers. With the rise of 3D technology and Shapeways, I decided to give it a try and the very first piece we made was a complete success. It fit perfectly and was durable, lightweight and looked stunning. I was ecstatic because working with and making something special for Burners or any festival-goers is a dream come true. In addition, bypassing traditional fashion production made it so much more pleasant and fun adding peace of mind to the process. I always considered myself a geek, and, now, I work with legit technology geeks to make fun, creative headpieces come alive.
My inspiration comes from my friends, their passions and aspirations. I’m creating versatile collections for different characters. I’m living my dream.

What brought you to 3D printing with Shapeways?

Our friends Lana and John Briscella, – designers of the 3D printed jewelry, founders of recommended Shapeways to me.

How did you learn how to design in 3D?

I didn’t. I have an innate talent for drawing with a pencil. Ever since i was taught to draw in high school my works were frequently featured in various exhibits. So i just sketch my designs by pencil and the modelers create a digital blueprint of it in Rhino before we sent it to Shapeways to print.

How do you promote your work?

I wear my designs to parties. I vend at popular festivals. I hire amazing talent to do editorials. I garner the power of social media and word of mouth which spreads like a wild fire especially when the product is as unique as kova by sascha headpieces.

Who are your favorite designers or artists? Who in the Shapeways community has served as an inspiration to you?

I really like Eric Ho for his cute figurines, great marketing effort and ability to have his hand on the pulse of what’s trending.

Artur Dabrowski makes really creative designs as well.

If you weren’t limited by current technologies, what would you want to make using 3D printing?

Who said that we are limited?!? Definitely not with Shapeways…:)

Olya CrownBunny Ears Sascha Hosey

More by Sascha Hosey

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

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

Designer Spotlight: Austin Robey

This week, we’re putting Brooklyn based designer Austin Robey on the map.  New York City is known for its spectrum of personality and we love how Austin Robey’s products capture this very essence. Austin takes concepts that may otherwise be transient or out of sight, such as a winking face or city landscape, and transforms them into bold, tangible creations. In fact, if you take a look at his shop, you can see that his 3D emojis were meant to be held in your hand.  He’s also made iPhone cases of popular NYC and Brooklyn neighborhoods, so you and your emojis will never get lost again!

Tell us a little bit about yourself: Who are you? Where are you located?

My name is Austin Robey and am located in Brooklyn, NY. I have an academic background in architecture, a professional background in designing jewelry and accessories, and now have a studio called Make Mode, which helps people realize fun and inventive product ideas through digital design and 3D printing. As a side project from our 3D design services, we wanted to make a Shapeways store of some fun products we designed. It’s also called Make Mode.


What’s the story behind your designs? What inspires you?

I am inspired by the immediacy of 3D printing and its ability to help people quickly realize product ideas. It’s definitely a catalyst for innovation. That being said, I also enjoy the challenge of designing products around the limitations of 3D printers (size, material, cost). The idea of producing a product that can be manufactured locally on demand is fascinating. We thought that making 3D emojis would be a fun project because it really represents what is exciting about 3D printing – taking something digital and making it physical.

What brought you to 3D printing with Shapeways?
Shapeways has built an amazing infrastructure to produce and distribute 3D printed products. It’s marketplace allows us to sell products that we could not produce ourselves. It also serves as a useful service for iterative testing of designs.

How did you learn how to design in 3D?
I was introduced to 3D design tools while studying architecture at Pratt Institute. Architecture is great, but working in an architectural practice didn’t interest me, so I applied 3D design tools I learned in academia to other disciplines. I use Rhino, Maya, and Zbrush.

Who are your favorite designers or artists? Who in the Shapeways community has served as an inspiration to you?
I am inspired by the design community in New York City. Two people I know from Pratt Architecture are doing really interesting work: Francis Bitonti and Brad Rothenberg. Joris Laarnman makes very cool digitally fabricated furniture. Also, some designs that are coming from Nike research and development are exciting – like their 3D printed duffel bag.

If you weren’t limited by current technologies, what would you want to make using 3D printing?
If it wasn’t so expensive, I would want to design and print my furniture. Or maybe 3d print some more 3d printers.

Thank you so much for sharing, Austin! Don’t forget to check out Austin’s shop, Make Mode and website.

Rev Up Your Engines for Collector Car Appreciation Day

You’re zooming down the Hutchinson River Parkway doing twice the posted speed limit because the road’s been closed for your driving pleasure. You’re pushing every S-curve and cutting every apex, being sure to avoid the (inevitable) potholes that line this otherwise fast-paced road in upstate New York. Until….
You’re snapped out of your daydream, you glance over at the model of your classic 911 on your desk, just itching for the weekend.

Today’s your day; Collector Car Appreciation Day (Or, if you’re on Twitter, #CollectorCarAppreciationDay). Here’s a few ways to remember the sleek lines and impeccable engineering that went into your favorites.

It’s no doubt that the Porsche 911 is one of the most iconic shapes in history. So many people think “german engineered sports car” and immediately picture the once-air-cooled, rear-engined masterpiece. Remind yourself what it looks like under a delicate sheet in your garage, with this model by MakeAndModel


Maybe you FINALLY got around to upgrading your turbo in your newly imported Skyline. While these turbo cufflinks by Leander won’t help compress your waist to look thinner, you’ll be reminded why you spent those nights and weekends working on your R33 while out on the town.


The E30 M3 is, and will continue to be a near perfectly balanced sports car that remains a classic piece of BMW history. You deserve to constantly remind yourself of the hard work you put in not only finding your near one-of-a-kind legend, but also be able to show what you own with this keychain.

But this isn’t all we’ve got for Collector Car Appreciation day, dive deeper in clicking the button below and search our site for your favorite automotive masterpiece.

More Classics HERE

Your Summer BBQ Checklist

We know, it can be hard to remember everything you need to kick off the summer with the perfect BBQ. Luckily the Shapeways Marketplace has some great day-to-night picks ready so that all you need to do is grab your Grillmaster and pals.

1: Bottle opener. There’s no better time to have a beer than at a summer barbecue. If you want to open beer bottles without breaking those pearly whites, (or  using other beer bottles) this is the way to go. By JoshShand


2:  Acoustic speakers. Nothing makes a good BBQ great like some freshly amplified summertime tunes. The Wave iPhone amplifier by Sonido uses Fibonacci’s golden ratio to push the bass, treble and everything in between out by replacing batteries with math.


3: Delicious Hot Dog earrings. But really, what’s a BBQ without some good old fashioned randomized meat? Never leave your grill master wondering “Hot Dog or Hamburger” again. By Mayaland


Get Your Grill On