Category Archives: 3D Modeling

Shop Owner Bootcamp: Own Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday

This the tenth and final post in our Shop Owner Bootcamp Series counting down to Black Friday. Appropriately, today’s tips are all about how to win Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday. We make an effort to embrace all global traditions in our community, but given that a significant portion of our shopper traffic comes from the United States, we want you to be prepared.


Take a deep breath. Look around at the products you’ve created before you. And get in the zone. We are entering the highest traffic time of the year here at Shapeways, and we want you to capture as much of it as possible, bringing excited new customers to your shops. We try hard to showcase the diversity of great products on Shapeways, but with nearly 3 million models uploaded, it’s impossible to feature everyone. Below is a guide for how you can optimize every day in the holiday shopping weekend coming up. If you’re looking for personalized shop advice, be sure and sign up for our Shop Owner Sessions over the weekend and next week.

Three Golden Rules:

  • Schedule posts on your preferred social platforms: Shapeways shoppers come from around the world – you never know when they’re watching. Buffer is my favorite for this, and Tweetdeck works great as well.  Both are free and work seamlessly with all your twitter accounts. This will help pace your content if you get caught up with a customer during the day.
  • Respond to People Quickly: People are looking to buy between Black Friday-Cyber Monday more than any other time of the year.  This also means they’re looking to transact quickly. Be extra responsive to private messages, product comments, and engagement on social media. Showing people they matter goes a long way.
  • Be Shameless: Yes, we all want to avoid being spammy. Telling people about something they want or would be interested in however, isn’t spammy. Include educational tips and designer scoop on how you make your creations, how we 3D Print them etc. and include a product in every post. By giving your audience something (awesome behind the curtains info) you appear as much like an educator as you do a business oriented person. We’ll be looking to share your posts with the greater Shapie community, so keep ‘em coming!

Three Important Days

  1. Black Friday: Historically the theme of Black Friday is “doorbusters” aka Early-Bird deals for shoppers. Take advantage of the buzz online by including #BlackFriday in your communications. Consider experimenting with lower prices on a few of your pieces early in the morning to see if you can increase demand. If you’re putting an item on Sale, be sure an indicate in the product descriptions so your shoppers know to take advantage of this special deal! Historically very popular in the US.
  2. Small Business Saturday: A lovely day branded initially by AmericanExpress, #SmallBusinessSaturday is meant to celebrate the Independently owned businesses in our communities, both digital and IRL. Take the opportunity to tell people about your business, the collections you have available now, and the direction you would like to take it in the future. Though started in the US, it has spread across the globe. Take this day to tell your story through your products.
  3. Cyber Monday: The mother of all online shopping days. A global phenomena that brings more people to E-commerce land than any other day. Schedule the most posts across the most networks on this day. We’ve got some great surprises in store on-site, so be sure and check it out. #CyberMonday is the tag to go with, and discounts are the currency. Don’t feel like you have to have a sale, however, as many of you are already so modest with your markups.

Alright, what final questions can I help you with Shapies?



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.

Screen Shot 2014-11-20 at 3.14.45 PM

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 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 (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!


Introducing 3D Printed Porcelain & Saying Goodbye to Our Current Ceramics Offering

We’re really excited to share a new, exclusive material at Shapeways: 3D printed porcelain.



3D Printed Porcelain R&D

For the past year and a half, we’ve been exploring new options for ceramics based on the feedback we’ve heard loud and clear from our community. You told us that you want ceramics that are faster, more durable, more functional, and more colorful. This material didn’t exist, but that didn’t stop us. We created an R&D taskforce who have been working hard in our secret lab to develop a new way of 3D printing beautiful, durable porcelain. This is our first major investment in end to end material R&D.

The new 3D printed porcelain is groundbreaking, with quality and detail that mirrors traditional ceramics processes and the design flexibility of 3D printing. Utilizing a castable porcelain body created by Dr. Stuart Uram of Core Cast Ceramics with the support of Albert Pfarr, we developed an innovative process for producing 3D printed porcelain products. By combining the SLS printers that produce our Strong and Flexible Plastic with an innovative porcelain casting process, we can create detailed and durable products that are fired and glazed just like conventional ceramics. Using the best of 3D printing and traditional ceramics, we’re able to create the sort of quality you could only find in high end, handmade porcelain.

Here’s what you can expect from 3D printed porcelain, only available at Shapeways:

  • Amazing Colors – From cobalt blue to matte black, 3D Printed Porcelain will be available in classic colors that call upon the porcelain tradition.
  • Durable & Functional – Porcelain is dishwasher, oven, and microwave safe. You can even make baking dishes and pizza stones!
  • Gorgeous Detail – Porcelain enables you to design with very high detail and thin, translucent glazes.
  • Big & Bold – The strength enables thick and larger products, so we’ll be able to help you scale to the whims of your imagination.


Community R&D and Pilot

To start, 3D printed porcelain will be available in a limited pilot with the goal of improving our process and design guidelines. When we are ready to deliver amazing results to the masses, we’ll open this up as a material available for sale to shoppers in our marketplace.

If you are an experienced designer and would like to be considered for the pilot, Sign up here. We’ll start with a small group and expand as we learn more.



What does this mean for the current 3D printed ceramics?

You have probably noticed that ceramics has been plagued with problems for a while. For the last several months, our production partner for ceramics has been operating with significant delays. In order to ensure we set the right expectations, we’ve had to increase lead times from 13 days to 18 days to 22 days over the course of the last year.

At 22 days, our production partner was only shipping at 30% on time, which is simply unacceptable. We increased lead time to 45 days in October to set more accurate expectations, but whether you’re creating products for your business or waiting for a gift, these delays are unacceptable.

Given the uncertainty and delays, we had to make a hard decision and, as of today, will stop offering the current ceramics materials for the foreseeable future. Designers selling in ceramics are in the loop and will be key partners for us in the pilot and future R&D. We’re incredibly disappointed to have to take this step, but you deserve better.

Still reading?
Our goal is to make 3D printing affordable and accessible so that you can make amazing products. Unfortunately, current 3D printed ceramics just didn’t cut it anymore. We’re excited to bring an entirely new material to the design community and more than anything else, we cannot wait to see what you make! Here’s a teaser of porcelain in action:


Dinovember: Discovering Endless 3D Printed Bacon in Space


DINOVEMBER has taken over and things are getting crazy at Shapeways HQ! After all our recent news about 3D Printing in Space with our friends Future Engineers, Grumpy Cat, Doge, Jebediah and some other 3D printed friends blasted off to see what the buzz was all about.

Upon arriving in a land far, far away, they were greeted by their pal Rawr Dinosaur. As they all gathered around to catch up and talk about space life, something truly magical happened. A bacon mobius descended from the atmosphere and provided endless space bacon!

See all the fun unfold in this stop motion film:

On a slightly more serious Dinovember note, did you know they uncovered new dinosaurs this year? Giant vegans, no less! How cool is that? You can check out these featured dinos and many others on our dinosaur featured page! If you’re feeling extra inspired, you can enter our Dinovember weekend contest and model your own dinosaur!


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.

Screen Shot 2014-11-13 at 9.34.30 AM

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 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):

moto 360


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

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:



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.



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?


Designer Spotlight: Brian Chan

This week we are thrilled to highlight Brian Chan. His shop, Creations by Brian Chan, are some amazing pieces of art. From articulated sea creatures to costumes, Brian has a serious ability to bring 3D modeling to life.

Tell us a little bit about yourself: Who are you? Where are you located?
I’m an independent designer and university instructor living in Cambridge, MA.


Continue reading


Make A Shapeways Holiday Wishlist And Win Up To $500

The holiday season is upon us and it’s the perfect time to begin thinking about giving the most unique and unexpected gifts for your friends, family, and loved ones. Shapeways is here to your shopping rescue with our 2014 Shapeways Gift Guide! To encourage you to gift 3D this holiday we’re launching the Shapeways Holiday Wishlist Contest.

There will be a daily winner Monday-Friday for posting their most wanted 3D printed product and when the #ShapewaysWishlist contest is over, one lucky winner will be selected to win $500 in store credit towards printing their wishlist! Contest runs through November 23 11:59 ET.

To enter all you have to do is the following:

1) Create a wishlist on Shapeways with at least 10 products. To add products to your wishlist , hit the “Wishlist” button under buy on the product page. It will automatically add the product to your wishlist. Access your wishlist by clicking on your lists

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2) Share your Shapeways wishlist on Facebook or Twitter and be sure to mention @Shapeways.

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3) In addition to sharing your wishlist with us, post your favorite 3D printed product from Shapeways on Twitter or Facebook and mention @Shapeways using the hashtag #ShapewaysWishList for your chance to win that product. A winner will be selected each weekday.

Happy wishlist-making!



Friday Finds: Christmas & Holiday Decor

Welcome to Friday Finds: Holiday Edition! We’re starting the season off with some good ol’ holiday decor. Get your home in shipshape, or give some beautiful seasonal gifts to loved ones. Lighting, miniatures, ornaments, menorahs and more seasonal decor make the holidays more festive!



Clockwise from top left: Wave Ring – 1.5″ by OBjuanSnowflake Tea Light Ring by GHP, Santa Handwarmer Tea Light Holder by Kimotion, Rocket Christmas Ornament by ptrathos.




Clockwise from top left: Globenest by Gijs, Christmas Pinecone Decoration by macouno, Victorian Christmas Ornament Snowflake by mkermol, Thorn Die12 Ornament, Holiday Ornament: Circle Cage with 2014 Insert by Target.

More Decor


Traditional Menorah by Target


Snowflake Wax Seal by Lightbringer


Solstice Candle Holder by seriaforma


Check out more great Christmas & Holiday Decor in the Gift Guide. Don’t forget, all orders containing Gift Guide products get 50% off or FREE SHIPPING now until November 16th! Happy Holidays!


Top 3D Printed Gifts for the Holidays

This week was an exciting one for us here at Shapeways because we finally got to release our 2014 Gift Guide! Our community consistently designs and uploads thousands of amazing products, and this year was a true test of our self-discipline to not include everything.

With that said, we know gift guides can still be a bit overwhelming at times so below are a few tried and true products we’re positive your friends and family will love. Don’t forget, now through November 16th, customers in the US & Netherlands can use code GIFTGUIDE to get FREE SHIPPING on any order containing a Gift Guide products. Everyone else, use code GIFT50 for 50% off shipping on any order containing a Gift Guide product!

Now, onto some products!

For those friends who just love pretty things, you really can’t go wrong with this beautiful Moon Pendant. From the design to the “you can 3D print metal?!” wow-factor, it will make the perfect gift.

Moon Pendant

This Steampunk Dice Set is one of our most popular products across the site! Aside from being beautiful to look at, it’s a great addition for game collectors.


We all have (or are!) that one friend who never lets life get in the way of their workout. For them, this Fitbit Flex Holder is the perfect gift.


One of the most exciting parts of our year was announcing our partnership with Hasbro enabling designers to create and sell their own 3D printed My Little Pony figurines! There are so many to choose from, though Pinkie Pie is always a favorite.


Last (but certainly not least), the gift for anyone on #TeamInternet. There are a bunch of memes come-to-life available, but it’s really hard to pass up Success Kid. Grab him and your holiday season is sure to be a successful one!


 Check out more from our gift guide!


Five Reasons to Give a 3D Printed Gift this Holiday Season

3D printed holiday gifts

Future Bow: Mini by jbare design

At Shapeways, it feels like the holiday season 365 days a year. As Andrew Walker of UniquePlastique so aptly explained, “3D printing is seriously addictive, the first time I got my designs in the mail it was like birthday, Christmas and winning an Oscar all at the same time. I love it!”

So what’s behind that magical feeling of creating your own product or finding the perfect gift? Here are five reasons to get a 3D printed gift this holiday season, and win the Oscar for best gift.

1. You’re supporting independent designers around the world

At Shapeways, you can discover innovative, hard to find and custom gifts. These original products are designed by some of the most creative artists, engineers and entrepreneurs who live and work in over 130 countries! Many of them are first-time entrepreneurs, so selling their first, second and even 10th product is a huge validation that people are interested in their work and vision. It’s also a signal that you really can make a living doing what you love! Hear it directly from Lucas Goossens of LucasPlus.

2. Everything is made to order, just for you (and your family and friends, and everyone you know and love)

3D printing enables you to create products on demand, when people order them. This is huge because it means there’s neither waste, nor inventory sitting on the shelves sadly waiting for Santa’s elves to sweep them off into the night. You can get custom gifts without the high price tag. Read up on how 3D printing at Shapeways works, or watch this video:

3. You can add your personal touch, without having to learn CAD

For many people, myself included, 3D modeling is still a bit daunting, though we have LOTS of tutorials that can help you get started. If you’re not ready to take the plunge into CAD, 3D printed gifts can be easily customized by working with a designer or using an app. Pretty soon, you’ll be unstoppable.

Unstoppable T-Rex by Ryan Kittleson

4. You’ll get reactions like, “OMG. Where did you find this?! HOW DID YOU KNOW?”

Does your best friend like drones…and GoPros? What if you could find them a GoPro mount for their drone? What if your little sister is obsessed with Celestia from My Little Pony or if your dad envisions himself an inventor and can’t get enough life hacks? 3D printing enables you to get exactly what you want, and not just what’s available. And that means you can get your loved ones exactly what they want too! Shop our gift guide for some of our favorite hard to find gifts, or explore the marketplace and find exactly what you’re looking for.

5. Because 3D printing is awesome (duh).

Give a 3D printed gift and you’ll be supporting an independent designer, reducing waste, and bringing an idea to life using one of the most exciting technologies of the 21st century. Lasers sintering loose powder layer by layer. Forms described by digital blueprints. Products that are literally impossible to make any other way. Time to keep calm and 3D print your way into your loved ones’ hearts.

Keep Calm and 3D Print by 3by3D


Explore the Shapeways 2014 Gift Guide!



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.


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!


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




3D Printed Mustaches to Maximize Your Movember

Movember (moustache + November) is upon us, which means that men across the globe will be growing their ‘staches to raise awareness of men’s health issues. It’s an annual event run by to “change the face of men’s health.”

This Movember, you’re not limited to hair follicles to grow show your support. Here’s a roundup of 3D prints to keep the Movember spirit going throughout the month.

Disegnouno’s Mug & Glass Accessory Collection

Mug & glass accessories Mustache 5

Mustache Ring by Cute N Comfy

Mustache Ring Size 7 by CuteNComfy

Mo-Beer by moflo

Mo Beer by moflo

Mustache Cufflinks by GothamSmith

Mustache Cufflinks by GothamSmith

Keychain Mustache by I Was Never Cool

Keychain Mustache by I Was Never Cool

Mustache Shaped Outlet Cover

Mustache shaped outlet cover by Walltosh

Mustache Pendant Necklace Slide

Mustache Pendant Necklace Slide


Friday Finds Six New 3D Designers for Hire

Happy Friday! For this week’s Friday Finds we’ve rounded up six new Designers for Hire. Sometimes, the best way to get what you really want is to work with one of our talented designers.

Whether you are looking to make that custom piece of jewelry, have a killer product idea or just need help with getting your 3D file repaired there’s a designer who can make your dream come to life.

We’re adding new designers regularly, here’s this weeks roundup:

First up, Scott Denton. With over 10 years in the 3D modeling and animation industry, he’ll help you create a custom cartoon character or a special piece of jewelry. He’s recently started making custom head badges for bikes, so you can really pimp your ride.


Robert Blinn is the lead designer for GothamSmith and a SolidWorks pro. He has modeled everything from animal jewelry to a life size hockey goalie and reverse engineered heels for fancy shoes and theft proof iPad cases. Contact him for all your product design ideas. He’s also based in New York City and happy to meet in person.


Antoine Boulay is a French CAD professor at the Ecole Boulle Paris and as a jeweler has worked with luxury brands like Chanel, Swarowski and Baccarat for over 20 years. Contact him to realize your fine jewelry and watch design ideas. He prefers to work in French, so if you are a Francophile, you’re in luck!

Corinne Hansen has been modeling for 4 years and is very familiar with Shapeways materials. As a jeweler, metalsmith and ceramicist, she specializes in 3D design, especially in creating costume props, jewelry and imaginative characters. Contact her to realize your most fanciful ideas!


On the other end of the design spectrum, we have Tim Solomon who specializes in engineering and mechanical design. He has been modeling for 10 years and uses his versatile skills to model everything from toys, statues and figurines to parts for cars, computers, washer/dryers and RC parts. Contact him to make replacement parts and complex mechanical designs.


Last but not least, our very own Andrew Thomas, a sculptor and designer with ample 3D printing experience of artworks, toys and prototypes. He  works as a customer service agent at Shapeways, so he knows the ins and outs of our design guidelines. He’s great at complex toy design like this working miniature Foosball Table, which doubles as an iPhone 5 case! Amazing!


Got your creative juices flowing? Browse our Designers for Hire now! If you’re a 3D designer and wish to be considered, please apply here.

Have a happy and creative Halloween!