Category Archives: 3D Modeling

New Pricing for Strong & Flexible Plastics and Steel

This is one of the most important blog posts of the year. We’re changing the way we price Strong and Flexible Plastic and Steel in a way that makes it more transparent, and better for you, our customers. This change is based on over nine months of research in our factories and an analysis of the over 2.6 million parts we’ve printed.

Why are we doing this?

We’re learning and iterating towards a pricing model that truly reflects cost as we gain experience and better understand the production process and range of products we’re capable of making. From the very beginning, we’ve strived for the most transparent pricing possible. But this is a new industry, and figuring out the cost of a single model inside a machine with 400 others is far from easy. It’s taken us this long to figure out what the right price structure should look like, and therefore how to give every model the “right price.”

We expect you to optimize your models for cost, and we want to make it so that when you do that, the models are getting easier – not harder – for us to make. Now, when your model gets cheaper, it’s because you’ve made it easier for us to make.  With your prices based on our manufacturing costs, our incentives are aligned.

Pricing in this way lets us lower the price of 75% of the models we’ve printed this year in White Strong & Flexible Plastic, and 85% of the models we’ve printed in steel. On average, across the marketplace, WSF models are now 20% less expensive, and Steel models are now 30% less expensive. This is the biggest price drop we’ve ever had on these materials, and we’re excited to see how it will enable you to make even cooler products than ever before. Unfortunately, some of the popular products on Shapeways are much more expensive to produce than we realized, and as a result will go up in price with the new price structure.

What is the new pricing structure and how will this impact you?

As you’ve learned from my blog post on the Selective Laser Sintering process, a huge amount of work and some very expensive equipment go into producing your products. Our new pricing structure reflects these realities by pricing models on three components:

  • Labor (part count): the number of things that need to be handled individually during production.

  • Material: the amount of material that is needed to manufacture your product.

  • Machine Space: the amount of space your product takes inside our 3D printers.

To see a more in-depth explanation of how we price, refer to this support page.

Starting today, and for the next week, you will see the new prices on the models you own. We offer this week as a way to get used to the new prices, and if you are a Shop Owner, an opportunity to prepare your shop for the change. There is no immediate change for products sold in shops, but we expect Shop Owners to change their product prices starting next week (here’s more info on how to update your prices). If you happen to be negatively affected by the change, you can still buy a few of your own models at the old price.

On October 7th, we will implement the new prices.

Below are a few models and their before and after prices to illustrate.

1. Basic iPhone 6 Case by Duann
Old: White, Strong and Flexible Plastic: $22.46 Red Strong & Flexible Plastic: $24.71
New: White Strong and Flexible: $16.31 Red Strong & Flexible: $17.31
Machine CC: 50.55 Material CC: 14.97 Parts: 1

2. Humble Drops by HenrikRydberg
Old: White Strong & Flexible Polished Plastic: $20.38 Red Strong & Flexible Plastic: $20.63
New: White Strong & Flexible Polished: $13.65 Red Strong & Flexible Plastic: $15.15
Machine CC: 20.1 Material CC: 12.25 Parts: 3

3. Parametric Faceted Bracelet uploaded by rstargrove, found on thingiverse
Old: Red Strong & Flexible Plastic: $64.72 Metallic Plastic: $112.27 Steel: $512.37
New: Red sf: $37.39 Metallic Plastic: $64.10 Steel $322.45
Machine CC: 81.73 Material CC: 63.3 Parts: 1

What are the new prices going to be exactly? Have a look at the materials pages for Strong & Flexible, Metallic Plastic, Elasto Plastic and Steel.

You’ll notice that in the Strong & Flexible family, the machine space and material prices are the same for all materials, making large models in finishes much less expensive. This is because the different finishes and colors are achieved with post-processing and all use the same 3D printers and raw materials. The difference is in labor, which is a fixed cost per part.

We are excited about this new way of pricing and at the same time are empathetic to the ones which are hardest hit by these changes. In the end, we believe this is the right thing for everyone in the Shapeways community, making 3D printing more accessible and affordable for everyone. Definitely share your thoughts by commenting below or discuss with our community in our repricing forum.

best,

Pete / CEO Shapeways.


 

Shapeways Launches SVX, a Voxel Based File Format for 3D Printing

Shapeways has created a new SVX format for transmitting voxel data for 3D printing. After much research we found no existing format that satisfied our requirements. Our primary design priorities are simple definition, ease of implementation, and extensibility. There are plenty of things you could dislike about the STL format, but it’s brevity and simple implementation are not one of them.

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A voxel is a 3D dimensional pixel. Most 3D printers work internally with voxel like representations. Your 3D model is sliced into 2D image slices, each pixel represents a dot of material that the printer builds your object with. Voxel formats allow direct control over those dots. One promise of 3D printing is that complexity is free. Sadly with STL files we’ve had the disconnect that more complexity equals more triangles equals larger files. Above a certain limit you just can’t use triangles to specify the details you want in a 3D printed model. Whether that information be material allocation, density, RGB color both internal and external or a custom id that could be used for another variable, not yet available in the 3D printers on the market.

Another area that is interesting for voxel usage is in making printable objects. A mesh for 3D printing needs to meet certain mathematical properties. It is easier to write voxel software that meets these demands. This makes the barrier to entry much lower for writing creators and its especially easy to include 2D imagery into your designs. See ShapeJS for some examples. One area that is typically tricky is turning voxels into triangles. We’ve worked hard to provide some nice routines for much high quality conversion to triangles when necessary. When you upload a voxel model to Shapeways you’ll be leveraging that work, just concentrate on making the voxels right and we’ll handle the triangles if needed.

You can view the new format specification at: SVX Format. We’ve added support for voxel uploads at Shapeways so you can start sending full resolution voxel files now!


 

Enter The “You Are How You Eat” Design Contest

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

Design Milk contest

To enter, create a design that:

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

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

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

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

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

Happy designing!

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


 

 

Fascinating 3D Printed Animatronic Honey Bee

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

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

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3D modeling of the Bee design

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Animatronic Bee fully articulated printed in nylon plastic 

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The wings were printed in Fine Ultra Detail

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

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

 


 

The New Shapeways 3D Printing Factory in Eindhoven, The Netherlands

Today we have some awesome news to share. After almost four years in our factory and office in Eindhoven we are moving to a new location! It’s much bigger, even more amazing, and in the center of the city!

Want to see it? You can! We have teamed up with Dutch Design Week to celebrate the opening! We’re offering public tours of the factory from Tuesday, 21 October – Friday, 24 October so you can check it out yourself.

Shapeways new factory entrance

Inside the new Shapeways factory.

Some background: when we first moved to our current location in 2010 it was a great step up from our first office at the High Tech Campus. The office was bigger (although we were sharing with two other companies) and we had a massive space for our own distribution center. We even had plenty of space for our own printers.

Now, we have grown out of the current space. After adding 30 people to the team, many tables to our distribution center, and 12 3D printers we are in need of something even bigger!

What we wanted for our new office and factory was a great location to enable even more community members to visit, more space for our office, and plenty of room to expand. We have found it! The new Shapeways factory is right in the middle of Eindhoven on the Kanaaldijk, has plenty of space, and the location has quite some history. It started as a DAF trucks factory, then it was used as one of the offices of Diesel jeans, and most recently by a marketing company. With such a colorful mix of history we feel right at home.

Over the last three months our team in Eindhoven and the landlord and his team – thanks Bob – have moved mountains. The factory is now in use! We’re still moving in some equipment but we’re almost done.

The Buildout of Shapeways new 3D printing factory in Eindhoven

The Buildout of Shapeways new 3D printing factory in Eindhoven

Looking back I can still remember when we moved in to our previous location. It gives me the perspective to see what can be accomplished in just four years. I can’t wait for the next four.

Are you interested? To visit the factory during Dutch Design Week, go to our meetup page and sign up!


 

Congratulations, Shop Owners! Shapeways Now Powers Over 20,000 Shops!

It is with great excitement that we announce that there are now more than 20,000 Shops open in the Shapeways marketplace! WOOHOO! Cheers to you! This is truly an inspiring milestone for all of us here at Shapeways.

sav-shop-owner-pop-text

Shapeways set off a mission to help people make the products they actually wanted over six years ago. After seeing the design potential and talent in our community, we knew there had to be more people who would appreciate and value your work. Since then, our marketplace has matured into an entrepreneurial ecosystem of Shop Owners. Everyday we work hard to give you the tools and the exposure that you need and deserve to build your 3D Printing business.

Our Shop Owner community has doubled over the last 15 months! When I started working at Shapeways in May of 2013, we were just crossing the 10,000 Shops mark; to think we’re now over 20,000 is incredible. It’s thrilling to see more and more artists, designers and entrepreneurs making money off sharing their 3D printed creations with the world.

Congratulations! Pat your self on the back! You’re a valued member of the largest community of creatives innovating in 3D printing. We are proud and grateful to call you a Shapie.

Not a Shop Owner yet? Open a Shop today! For the existing Shapies, how long ago did you open your shop?

 

 


 

Shop Owner Bootcamp: The Importance of Taking Photos of 3D Printed Products

Shop Owner Bootcamp is a 10 week series aimed to help Shop Owners prepare for holiday. Week 9 is focused on product photography and the importance thereof.

Have you been thinking about taking photos of your products but been making excuses for why you don’t need to? Keeping your shop up is no easy task, but a little effort upfront leads to significantly greater sales. If sales aren’t enough, we are constantly looking for great models to feature on Shapeways and promote through our press and media opportunities. Most publications won’t print renders, and there is nothing more disappointing than not being able to feature a Shop Owner because we don’t have any photos of their great products. Plus, photos help build your reputation too, as Vijay discussed last week.dragonfly-shapeways-paul-liaw

I was a very late adopter of iPhoneography, despite having been a smartphone user for nearly a decade. Admittedly, I’m not sure I would have felt 100% genuine telling you to shoot your holiday collection on your phone before last week. Paul Liaw, the designer behind NeoNouveau is a legend; an award winning digital artist, a Adobe showcased 3D Printing designer, and is this week’s Shop Owner mentor. When not 3D modeling, he brings the lucky community team at Shapeways cheesecake!

Sav-Paul-Nat-Shapeways

This week’s challenge is to take photos. Products that have sold, sell 10x more when they are photographed. It is impossible to stress enough how much photos can make a difference in your sales. Use these quick tips to make your products sing:

  • Use a single tone background – while white is classic, any solid color can do. Don’t have a plain table or desk? Lay down some 2D Printer Paper or a bed sheet. It’s amazing how far you can get with resources around the house.paul-bracelet-alligator
  • Stabilize your camera or smartphone; books, tables and trees work in a pinch – the easiest way to screw up a great shot is to blur it. I always shoot products here at HQ on our white Ikea desks, with my iPhone in landscape mode, resting on the table.
  • Shoot multiple angles – without the ability hold your product in their hands, customers want to see every angle. Pretend you’re taking it out of the Shapeways box for the first time and capture the angles you examined first. Even if you feel silly taking the photo, it could be the one that makes the sale. No need to hold back with the shutter, thanks to our smartphones, a tap is all it takes to discard extras. Paul-Liaw-Fish-Side-Shapeways
  • Always shoot in landscape – our product photos are 625 x 465 and its much easier to crop them when you’re shooting horizontal. In fact, if you’re shooting in landscape, you’re likely already framing your products in this ratio.
  • Show Scale – The average consumer can’t visualize millimeters the way we all can. People, pets, currency, common household items, even fingers cad add crucial context for your consumers.fish-coin-paul-liaw-shapeways
  • Tag materials in your photos – this is the easiest way to set customer expectations. When the material in the image matches the swatch the price reflects, the anxiety surrounding a first time buy is eased. It’s easy to forget this important step; and yet we see it convert to sales, and with material filters, it really helps surface your great products. Click the camera icon in the upper right hand of your product photos to check and set the material tagged in each.
  • Compare Materials and Finishes - Not everyone is as familiar with our materials as we are, showing the difference makes a difference. For example, here are Raw Brass (top) and Raw Bronze (bottom) version’s of NeoN0uveau‘s wheat bracelet. Paul-Liaw-Wheat-Bracelet-Shapeways
  • Have fun! Customers will be drawn to your personalities and you can tell a lot about yourself and your brand through your photos. We encourage you to upload as many photos as you want, invite friends over and get creative with your product shoot.

What’s the greatest barrier between you and great photographs? How can we help?


 

Mission Print: Shapeways Partners with Future Engineers to 3D Print Tools Designed by Students for Astronauts in Space

“Your Challenge, Should You Choose to Accept, Is To Design A Space Tool”

spacexlaunch

Photo courtesy of SpaceX

This weekend, the first 3D printer launched into space.  This week, we’re proud to announce our partnership with Future Engineers, ASME and Made In Space on a series of NASA developed Space Challenges meant to empower innovative youth to design tools that can be printed and used in space.

Video courtesy of FutureEngineers.org

Together, we are about to make history. Today marks the beginning of manufacturing in space. Are you ready to take on the #MissionPrint Challenge? Here’s the launch video of SpaceX-4 that just successfully carried the Made In Space Zero-G 3D Printer to the ISS:

Video courtesy of SpaceX

Hearing mission control say “…and we have liftoff of SpaceX Falcon 9 Rocket and Dragon. CRS-4 is underway. A US commercial spacecraft launching from American soil delivers new technology and science to the International Space Station,” gives me and hopefully every other space lover chills. Knowing that that “new technology” is one that we all are fortunate enough to experiment with every day, the ability to additively manufacture on demand through 3D Printing, is inspiring. Remember, there is no overnight shipping to space; and it is physically impossible to traditionally manufacture parts in a space environment. We really are witnessing, and taking an active part in, making history.

ISS Prize

Screen Shots here and below courtesy of FutureEngineers.org

This is the first in a series of NASA developed 3D Space Challenges that Future Engineers and our other out-of-this-world partners are happy to share with the Shapeways community. Encourage every K-12 student you know interested in 3D Printing to check it out, and remember, ALL students (university, college, trade schools, and professors too) get 10% off ALL their prints at Shapeways ALL the time. What a great excuse to “ground print” and prototype your space tools with us.

Shapeways prints

Tools designed for this challenge are judged on the following well-rounded criteria:

  • 40 Points – Innovation and Creativity of the Solution
  • 20 Points – Ability to communicate the design through the Text Description and/or Finalist Interview
  • 20 Points – Quality of the 3D Modeled Geometry and compliance with the Design Guidelines
  • 20 Points - Usefulness of the design in a Space Environment

Astronaut Doug Wheelock explains further:

Video courtesy of FutureEngineers.org

Kids are powering innovative developments in 3D Printing across the unique web of our industry’s reach. They are opening shops on Shapeways, printing on desktop printers in their classrooms, and mod-ing their toys at home. There are dozen of touching stories of kids literally enabling the future of 3D printed prosthetics. And perhaps most profound of all, they can see what we can’t. Young minds aren’t limited by the bounds of conventional design and manufacturing constraints. Freed of this parameter, they are capable of leveraging the technology and materials available in unique new ways. Inspired by their potential, Future Engineers has an awesome lineup of prizes for the top contestants. The winner of the challenge will even have their tool printed in Zero-G’s on the ISS and get to watch live from Mission Control.  While the #MissionPrint Future Engineers contest is for K-12 students in the US only, we will be featuring innovative designs by makers of all ages on our blog between now and when winners are announced on January 30th, 2015.

Here’s a snapshot of the contest deadlines, for full details check out FutureEngineers.org.

spacedates

Are you ready to accept the #MissionPrint Challenge, stop dreaming and start doing? Keep us posted on your progress in our Space Forum and be sure and tag your space tools #MissionPrint. The best way to ensure your products will be astronaut-ready is to prototype on the ground, and we can’t wait to help.

To infinity… and 3D Printing beyond Earth!

 

 


 

Made In Space and SpaceX to Deliver First 3D Printer to Space

Imagine… being able to design tools for astronauts in outer space, that could be printed in space, using materials found right there, out in the galaxy. Sound like the start of next Armageddon-esk blockbuster? Well, it’s not.

dragon-lab-e1410581931375

Launching today, is SpaceX CRS-4, another historic Dragon spacecraft on a mission to the International Space Station; but this time, it carries more than supplies and moustronauts. This spacecraft is taking a specially tested, groundbreaking new 3D Printer designed by the our friends at Made In Space, to the International Space Station for it’s first in-space testing. This marks the start of a new era, the first step in bringing on-demand additive manufacturing to outer space.

MIS_Printer_black

There are many challenges when designing for printing in 3D. For starters, there’s nothing to hold anything material in microgravity. Even after solving the gravity dilemma, the printer has to get off the ground, and endure 9G’s of force during launch. Ensuring precision with an extruder stabilized by no gravitational force was a problem our friends at Made In Space were committed to solving. After four years of extensive testing on microgravity flights and research at their NASA Ames office, their dream of 3D Printing of space is now being realized. You can watch the this historic moment live during the wee hours of the morning, a sleep sacrifice I’m personally more than willing to make.

After this initial round of tests, including the printing of 21 demonstration parts, Made In Space looks to recycle broken tools, space waste, and even regolith (aka moon dust) as material for the printer. The fact that this space man could be made of the moon dust we first saw Buzz Aldrin’s footprint in someday, quite soon, is absolutely mind blowing.

Astronaute Wireframe by Vidal Design

Oh, and about those Moustronauts. SpaceX will also carry 20 mice that will live on the ISS for 6 months, approximately a quarter of their lifetime, allowing scientists to study the effects of prolonged zero gravity exposure. This data can then be extrapolated out to apply to human life and weightlessness tolerances. Currently, astronauts spend six months in space at a time, missions to mars could take two years or more. The only way to see the effects of prolonged space travel, is to get help from our furry rodent friends. I can’t help but wonder, if things get out of control, will they have to 3D Print mousetraps?

All jokes aside, what is the biggest challenge you see with 3D Printing tools in space? What tools do you want to design for astronauts?

 


 

Win 3D Printed Jewelry from Shapeways

Calling all jewelry lovers! We’ve teamed up with some of our wonderful designers to host not one but two contests this month.

Daily Facebook Giveaway:

We are giving away 10 amazing pieces of jewelry on Facebook! Visit our Facebook page each weekday through the end of September for a chance to win. We want to spread the word about our incredible designers, so all we’re asking is that you “like” our posts. Check back each day to see the newest giveaway!

Pin Your Favorite Jewelry on Pinterest:

Screen Shot 2014-09-18 at 3.31.01 PM

Our designers are getting ready for fall and the holidays, so we want to see what inspires you for the season. Pin your favorite fall jewelry from Shapeways and beyond for a chance to win $500 of your Shapeways picks!

How to enter:
  1. Create a Pinterest Board titled “Fall Finds”

  2. Pin at least 10 fall flavored accessories by September 30, 2014

    • At least 5 must be Shapeways products (your prize, if you win!)

    • Tag each pin #ShapewaysJewelryContest

Prizes:

Five (5) winners will be selected! Winners will receive their Shapeways pinned products, up to $500 in value. If you pin more than $500 of Shapeways products, we will work with you to select your prize products.

Don’t know where to start? Check out some of our favorite 3D printed jewelry in gold, sterling silver, stainless steel, and even colorful nylon plastic.

3D Printed Rings

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Repeat Offfender Logo Ring by RepeatOfffender. See more unique rings in Gold, Sterling Silver, or Gold Plated Brass.

3D Printed Pendants

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Silver Shell Pendant by aeron203. See more unique pendants in Sterling Silver, Gold Plated Brass, or Stainless Steel.

3D Printed Bracelets

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Lines Bracelet by geekprints. See more unique bracelets in Sterling Silver, Gold Plated Brass, Stainless Steel, or Nylon Plastic.

3D Printed Earrings

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Pinwheel Earrings by JoyComplex. See more unique 3D printed earrings.

3D Printed Cufflinks

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Lieutenant Bar Cufflinks by bluelinegecko. See more unique 3D printed cufflinks.

3D Printed Necklaces

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‘Flourish’ Pendant by seanmcharg. See more unique 3D printed necklaces.

The Fine Print: If your Shapeways products cannot be successfully 3D printed, we will work with you to select alternative prize products. Shapeways employees and their families are not eligible to win. Contests end September 30, 2014.


 

Shop Owner Bootcamp: Build Your 3D Printing Reputation

This is the first in our new series, Shop Owner Bootcamp: 10 week countdown to Black Friday. Every week we will be discussing advanced tips and tricks for optimizing your holiday sales. This week’s focus is reputation. 

Can you feel it? The churn of excitement that only comes with Holiday season and sales? We are just 10 weeks away from Black Friday and it’s time to whip our Shops into shape.

Vijay-Paul-Dotsan-Stag

Wired Life Stag by Dotsan

This week we’re focused on Reputation. Customer trust is the single most important factor when it come to repeat business. Knowing that they can get something unique, custom, and awesome from you that works as expected is crucial to the growth of your business. How do you build this customer trust? Back when I was on the UK roadshow, Vijay Paul of Dotsan, one of the most trusted designers on Shapeways, was kind enough to discuss reputation and tips for building it with us.  He’ll be guiding us all as we ramp up to holiday with our new Shop Owner Series.

Video produced by Stephen Greenwood, with help from yours truly

Consider this checklist your challenge for the week:

  • Print Your Models- Much of what we create has never been done before, and unexpected things happen to even the best designs from the best designers. The only way you can ensure form and function will be as you hope and expect for your customer, is to print it for yourself first. We know that with nearly 50 materials offered now, from plastic to platinum, that printing in all of them may not be an option. That’s okay, focus on ways you can paint the best picture for your customers. For example, even if its not possible to print a product of yours in a premium alloy like gold or silver, our stainless steel finishes can give the customer a very good idea of what to expect.
  • Document Your Process- One of the most compelling things about Shapeways is that every product has a story. Taking photos of the iterations that didn’t make the cut and illustrating how you’ve improved a design over time lets customers know you care about your products. It gives them the confidence that you’re not selling something you wouldn’t try yourself, and shows them your keen design eye.
  • Engage With Your Customers- Shapeways now shares the user name of a customer if they made the purchased logged in. Make a note to check back with them after the product should have shipped and see what they thought! Encourage them to post their photos in the comments on your product page, letting others browsing know how great your work is. Be open to updating your design based on their feedback, these early adopters can give you great UX advice!
  • Be Yourself- In your brand, in the products you design, in the product descriptions you write. This is your business, your baby, and the more it aligns with who you are, the more it will sing. Talk about your inspiration for the piece in the product description, upload photos to your personal and shop profile; and make the Shapeways Shopping experience personal!
  • Complete your Profile- Seeing a face and lineup of great products instills confidence in any consumer. Knowing who is behind the brand encourages people to try it out. Uploading your avatar is more critical than ever, now that your designer card shows up on every product page. Include your twitter handle so shoppers can chat with you easily on the go. Make a sweet shop banner. Invest in this now, so when traffic floods your shop around holiday, you like the reputable, fabulous business you are.

Next week we’ll be talking about the importance of photography and tagging in the getting your products discovered. Feel free to get a head start!

What help do you need to take your shop to the next level? Feel free to ask for guidance here or in our Marketing Your Shapeways Shop thread on our forums.


 

Extend the Function iPhone 6 Design Contest

UPDATE: The 3D file available for free download has been tested for fit on an iPhone 6 and improved to ensure all apertures are in the correct location. (Sorry). Duann

Are you ready for your next design challenge? In honor of the new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6, and in our tradition of powering the coolest phone cases in the world, and our ability to bring some of the first cases to market, we’re launching “Extend the Function” an iPhone 6 case design challenge! The goal of the challenge is to extend the function of your phone or of your favorite app, maximizing the capabilities of the iPhone 6. 3D printing lets us combine form and function like never before and we cannot wait to see what Apple’s latest innovation inspires you to design.

Ethan Imboden

We have a special guest judge for this competition, Ethan Imboden, the Head of Venture Design at Frog. Ethan is a serial innovator and incredibly talented designer, we are all lucky to have him as our guest expert! He will be using his keen eye when evaluating the best combination of form and function in the winning case. The winner will receive $500 in Shapeways credit!

Duann, our resident designer of awesome things, has generously put together a basic case based on the specs apple released this weekend. You can find it in his shop on Shapeways and on tinkercad.

When designing functional products like iPhone cases it is really important to specify the right materials and wall thicknesses.  Shapeways Nylon (WSF) is by far the best material to use for your iPhone case.  Keep wall thickness and wires to at least 1mm thickness.  We have designed the case at 1.2mm so that you can engrave the design with a 0.5mm cut and still keep 0.7mm thick which is the minimum.  It is always best to add rounded edges so that the product is not sharp, and adding a fillet between perpendicular planes makes the connection much stronger, and will reduce the chance of the part cracking.

Enter the contest by uploading and tagging your model “SWiPhone6” on Shapeways. Share it with your friends using the hashtag #ShapewaysiPhone on social media for bonus points!

You have until Midnight on October 6th, here in the city that never sleeps. How are you going to step up your case design?

Terms and Conditions

  • No purchase necessary.
  • Maximum of five entries per person. By entering this competition, entrants will be deemed to have accepted and agreed to the conditions.
  • No cash or other alternative prizes available. The prize draw is not open to Shapeways employees or their families.
  • The promoters decision is final – in case of dispute, no correspondence will be entered into.
  • Winning entries will be documented and printed by Shapeways and may be used for promotional purposes.
  • Contestants models must be uploaded to Shapeways and tagged #SWiPhone6 to be considered.
  • Winners retain all IP as per Shapeways standard terms and conditions. Winners and winning entries may be required to take part in any publicity resulting from this competition.
  • The winner will be contacted by Monday 6th of October, 2014
  • Promoter: Shapeways, 419 Park Avenue South, #900, New York, NY, USA, 10016.

 

 


 

Announcing the 3D animation to 3D print contest

We are thrilled to team up with the 3D Modeling and Animation Group on Facebook to bring you an exciting opportunity to bring a unique character to life with 3D printing! If you are an animator who creates movies and video games, we invite you to join the 3D Animation to 3D Print contest to win Shapeways credit and the opportunity to hold any creation that you can imagine in your hand. The contest runs through October 15th and you can get all the details on the contest page.

Strong Dog by Bill Plympton from the Plymptoons shop on Shapeways

Strong Dog by Bill Plympton from the Plymptoons shop on Shapeways

To help launch the contest I talked with the 3D Modeling and Animation Group’s founder Justin Haynes about what inspired him to start the group and why, as an animator, he is excited about the possibilities of 3D printing.

Eleanor: What’s your background and how did you get into animation and what inspired you to start the group on Facebook? 

JustinHaynes

 Justin Haynes: I live in the extremely small town of Greenview tucked away in the mountains of northern California. It is in the middle of beautiful Scott Valley in Siskiyou County. My highschool offered a CAD class my Jr year that I took. In the class we also learned Rhinoceros Nurbs Modeling program.

I modeled as much as possible at school because I did not have a computer at home strong enough for modeling. I came in early, at lunch, and stayed after class working on models. The renderings on the school computers would sometimes take all night. So I wouldn’t be able to see a rendered image until the next morning.

I soon learned as much as the teacher and programs book could teach me so naturally I went online. I saw that there was no group specifically for modeling and animation on Facebook. Facebook was still rarely new at this point. I decided to create the group and it has grown far beyond my expectations.

How has the group grown and evolved? 

JH: Right now the group is the largest and most active 3d modeling and animation community on Facebook. We gain around 100 members every day.

The group has artist from all over the world from beginners to experts. Jobs have been offered and filled from this group. Artist collaborate across the globe.  New and growing artist get help from experts. And everyone gets to show off there work and receive feedback.

Working as a 3D artist is my dream. As of now I currently work 6/7 days a week at a lumber mill. Modeling and animation is a hobby at the moment.

The group is too large at the moment to moderate on my own. While working as a 3D artist is my dream, I currently work six or seven days a week at a lumber mill and modeling and animation is still a hobby at the moment. Fortunately, I have an amazing team of admins helping to keep the group as clean and helpful as possible.

I have bigger dreams for the group. I am working on getting a website up for the group and it will be amazing!

A model in process by Justin Haynes

A model in process by Justin Haynes

You are relatively new to 3D printing. What was it like the first time you got to hold one of your creations in your hand? 

JH: The first time I held a 3d printed model was a spring out of corn starch in high school. I thought…it actually works as a spring. My mind went off on everything I could now create and print! A working drum pedal? A bicycle? Anything!!!

Shapeways now let’s me create and print whatever I can imagine without having to own and hassle with a 3d printer! I am currently working on a ring for my girlfriend.

Do you have a creation that you want to bring to life? Enter the 3D Animation to 3D Print contest by October 15th! Visit the contest page for more details and for some helpful hints about getting started.

 


 

3D Print iPhone 6 and Apple Watch Accessories

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

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

AppleWatchRender

UPDATE 9/11: Some amazing Shapeways Community Members put together a <beta> 3D CAD file of the Apple Watch! It’s based on the specs Apple announced, and while not Apple official, should serve as a great starting point for all interested in designing Apple Watch accessories. You can download the .stl of the Apple Watch design files here. Special thanks to Michael Christensen for sharing this in our Apple forum!
iPhone6
I’ve been counting the minutes for months now and seeing Phil show off the iPhone 6/iPhone 6 Plus and seeing Super Evil Megacorp’s gaming experience made me drool millions of pixels in anticipation of their September 19th launch into the world. The new iPhone camera has Focus Pixels, which means you’re essentially carrying a DSLR in your pocket. Just imagine, our 3D scans will be sharper than ever!
iphone camera
Shapeways has always been one of the first to market with accessories when new consumer electronics come out. Our communities ability to responsively create designs and leverage our short lead times is unparalleled by any other accessories company in the world. The cases that you’ll see in the Apple store were modeled months ago and have been in production all summer. Alongside the new phones, Apple announced a new line of silicone and leather cases, but I think we know our Nylon looks the coolest when it comes to pimping your iDevices. We are eager to see what cases, stands and accessories you make for this new line of apple products and will handsomely reward those who do it best (details to come when the design files are announced by Apple later in September).
iphones

Design files

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

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

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

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