Category Archives: Product

Never Drop Your Phone Again

As clumsy as it makes us feel, most of us drop our phones. Every. Day. What if there were a way to avoid it? And what if that solution was also fun — and multifunctional? Meet Knuckies - Phone Stands, With a Twist. The 3D printed phone stands, fidget toys, and phone-grippers make perfect holiday gifts, whether you’re stuffing stockings or adding handy accessories to a big-ticket tech gift purchase. Check out all they can do in the video below:

Knuckies attach easily and securely to any device with a simple double-sided mounting sticker. With a range of designs, there’s also a Knuckie for everyone from cat lovers to minimalists. And, while Knuckies make excellent phone stands, they also fold flat — keeping your device low-profile.

Anchor by Phone Stands, With a Twist

Anchor by Knuckies – Phone Stands, With a Twist

Triple Ring by Knuckies – Phone Stands, With a Twist

Check out the full collection of Knuckies here. And for more ways to give your holiday giftees a Technical Advantage, don’t miss all of our gadget-lover gifts in the Holiday Gift Guide. Let us know in the comments how you keep a grip on your phone.

F1 Racing Miniatures And Memorabilia That’ll Get Your Wheels Spinning

It’s no secret that some massive changes have occurred in the Formula 1 Racing scene. Between constantly changing regulations, and John Malone’s Liberty Media – F1 deal closing last week in an $8B deal, F1 is set to become much more mainstream.
With the cars (and industry) racing around at 240MPH, you’re probably looking for ways to rep your favorite road racing sport.

Mini3DDrivers’s Mini Scuderia #7 car (and accompanying Mini Kimi Raikkonen driver) are just one of the whimsically accurate tiny cars offered in this F1- dedicated shop.

 Maybe you’re looking for an F1 inspired track to throw on your desk or wall.  3D Racetracks features a number of topographically accurate racetracks, including an officially licensed Nurburgring.

Want to celebrate the Ferrari 312T driven to victory by Niki Lauda and Clay Regazzoni? This 1:100 scale by Giles’s Designs can be used as a keychain or pendant. There’s also a number of other F1 inspired memorabilia in his shop, such as these miniatures.

Looking for more automotive & F1 inspired accessories? Check out my list here, and follow me on Shapeways to see what I’m looking at!

 

Click For More High Octane Cars

Designer Spotlight: Leon Oudehand

This week we’re speaking with Leon Oudehand from the Netherlands, who did a great job developing a simple yet useful life hack!

Leon Oudehand

Tell us a little bit about yourself: Who are you? Where are you located?
Hi, I’m Leon and I’m a product and packaging developer from the Netherlands. I work as packaging designer for a big FMCG company, but alongside that I love to design and create products that make life just a little easier, both for myself and for others.

What’s the story behind your designs? What inspires you?
I guess this is one of those typical “I had a need and couldn’t find the right product so decided to do it myself” stories where a product originates from a pure personal need. When the explosion of wallet projects on Kickstarter started a couple of years ago, I too got a little addicted to the minimal wallet trend.

Cavity Card

Typically, minimal wallets are great for cards and bills. However, few offer a “good” solution for carrying coins (or other small items). I tried going “cashless” or at least “coinless” for a while, but found that there’s still quite a few places that don’t accept cards, or don’t accept cards for small amounts. Time after time I ended up with loose coins in my pocket. After finding over 10 euros worth of coins in the washing machine, and another stash spread around the car, I decided I had to find a solution.

That’s when I came up with Cavity Card. A simple and light frame that can be mounted onto any card and creates just a little space for a few coins, a key or an SD card while keeping my wallet slim. At first, I just printed one for myself. But after a number of questions from friends and colleagues, I decided to open up a shop.

Wallets with cavity card

What brought you to 3D printing with Shapeways?
I learned about 3D printing as a tool for rapid prototyping in my job as a packaging designer. It’s been a great tool for very quickly getting something physical in your hands, which is great for very early stage tests and design evaluation.

Having studied in Eindhoven, Shapeways was the logical choice for me. A while ago I did a bit of a benchmark comparing it with a couple of other 3D printing services but found Shapeways still has the best balance between cost, range of materials and service.

How did you learn how to design in 3D?
I’m schooled as an industrial designer. So I learned 3D modeling at university. I’ve experimented with a couple of CAD solutions, but find SolidWorks to be the best fit for me.

How do you promote your work?
For a very niche product like Cavity Card, which is only relevant to people owning a minimal wallet, it’s difficult to reach the right people. I currently mainly use Instagram and Facebook to try to build a following. I’ve also been experimenting a bit with Facebook ads (although not too successfully yet).

Next to my Shapeways store, I also run an independent website where I sell Cavity Cards with self-adhesive strips and a backing card included packed in a nice minimal pack.


If you weren’t limited by current technologies, what would you want to make using 3D printing?
I’ve got plenty of ideas in my head that I’d like to work out and start making some day. I’ve got a couple of wallet concepts for which the limitations in size and accuracy currently limit me from producing it through 3D printing. I’d love to start printing more complex multipart products that offer more functionality. Multi-material parts (printed in one go) would also open up so many opportunities.

Who are your favorite designers or artists? Who in the Shapeways community has served as an inspiration to you?
In terms of design, I’m a fan of classic modernist designers like Mies van der Rohe or Eames. My favorite Shapeways designer is probably Remi van Oers, because of his very simple and minimal but super useful designs.

Anything else you’d like to share with us?
Just that it’s absolutely fantastic how simple and easy it is to go from a one-off print for personal use to selling them commercially. And a big thanks to you guys for providing the services!

Hacking Your Home With 3D Printing

Why should your house look the same as the one next door? Home is where the heart is, right? And creativity comes from the heart. So a home that breathes your creativity is what makes it your home.

With 3D Printing, it becomes easier than ever to hack existing items you have in your house to create a dynamic space, a place that changes, grows and is really you. Last week we got an email from Evan Gant, who has his own shop on Shapeways called Olivebird and created a range of products that show how easy it becomes to manipulate your own environment.

Take these brilliant small components called “Links” that you can attach to your wall and create a whole new dimension for using building blocks. While it provides a fun way for your kid to decorate the wall their bedrooms (obviously preferred above using crayons on the wall), you can also create fun looking and yet functional storage spaces with these Links.

What never fails to liven up your home is.. Life! With this clever Bell Vase hack you can reuse the jars from your favorite food by simply adding a 3D printed lid to transform them into vases. Designer izign believes in sustainable design, so I’m curious to see what other life extending hacks he comes up with.

With summer drawing near, I can imagine you’re ready to start using your ceiling fan any time soon. But don’t you just hate the moment pulling on the wrong cord and having the light go on in stead? Noé and Pedro Ruiz (design duo Pixil 3D) decided they needed a simple solution, which resulted in the Typography Fan Pull Handles.

Last example I want to give really turned the world of Home Deco upside down. This Radiolaria Vertebralia Planter is a cool design by Joaquin Baldwin that shows plants from a whole new dimension in your home.

Need even more cool ideas to hack your house with 3D Printing? Browse this list of products and get inspired!

Browse Shapeways in Local Currencies

Today, we introduced a new feature that will make the Shapeways shopping experience better on a more global scale. Until now, shoppers could only see prices in USD and EUR. Starting today, shoppers will be able to browse the marketplace in USD, EUR, AUD, GBP and CAD.

currencies-products

When you visit the site, you’ll now have an option in the footer to change settings and view prices in different currencies.

currencies-footer

It’s important to note that all payments will still be processed in USD or EUR (that depends on your shipping country, and we’ll let you know in checkout). The only difference will be the price you see when viewing your products.

In addition, shop owners can access a price preview of their products in these currencies on the Selling page. This will give a glimpse of what your customers will see when they visit your shops.

Happy browsing!

Introducing Improved Product Discovery

Today, we are proud to announce that we are further improving the way shoppers can discover great products on Shapeways. With improved sort capabilities, we’re offering a better way for shoppers to travel through our vast catalog and find products of interest.

dynamicbrowse

From the beginning,  Shapeways has allowed users to upload a 3D model and see it become a 3D print. This was the beginning of a new technology and a new community. As the community grew, so did the number of products coming out of our printers. This new library of products meant 3D printing was no longer just for those with modeling experience, but a place to create, buy and/or sell 3D printed products. Two years ago, with this in mind, we introduced a new way to discover and purchase products on Shapeways.

With the introduction of a marketplace, our community was quick to respond to the initiative and opportunity to be able to sell their products on the same platform they were able to create them on. They began filling up categories with iPhone cases, jewelry, drone accessories, miniatures and much more. We now have nearly 25,000 shops with thousands of products for public sale on Shapeways, and as these numbers continue to grow we will continue to improve upon our marketplace.

Today we are integrating a lot of the functionality people are familiar with when it comes to browsing an online marketplace in order to make it easier to shop. We are taking steps to ease browsing with tag filters, shop by material, and more.

materials

These new features also translate over to your mobile devices. We’ve taken more steps to make our site responsive and customers are able to browse and shop on any device.

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Here are some of the core upgrades of the new Shapeways Marketplace experience:

Ubiquitous category, price, material, customizable and Beta filters

  • Want to know what’s new in your favorite category and material combination? Or customizable products in a specific subcategory and in a specific material? We have you covered with the available facets on the left pane of any Marketplace view.

In-material product pictures or digital renders displayed in the results when using a material filter

  • Wondering how to easily compare products? Enable a material filter and watch the displayed results update with photos or digital renders in the specified material.

Narrow results with a tag

  • Looking for all Miniatures tagged at scale 1:144? Activate a tag filter to your view and the displayed results will reflect your choice.

Improved merchandising

  • This allows the Merchandising Team at Shapeways to better curate products on additional dimensions, such as subcategory, tag, material, featured products, shops, co-creator apps and more. This means more opportunities for shop owners to be featured in new places across the marketplace.

So what’s next? As with all major feature releases, we will be closely monitoring how the new marketplace is adopted and used. That data and feedback will be used to tweak things where needed, and we look forward to continuing to improve the experience. All of us here at Shapeways are inspired by the creations of our community. We strive to showcase them to the public in the best ways possible and we believe this new marketplace experience improves the discoverability of those creations.

Products in the Press

Posted by in Design, Product

Seeing a product you designed in the press is an amazing feeling. It validates all the hard work that goes into making your product, while giving more people an opportunity to discover and ultimately purchase! Products on Shapeways are special because they cover a range of industries and genres. From tech gadgets on tech blogs, to sculptures featured in design outlets, there’s plenty of room for PR!

The products featured below were noticed for various reasons. Whether it was because it fit within a pop culture moment or just showcased amazing design, these products caught a reporter’s eye and inspired them to write. Always keep in mind that beautiful photos, design stories and customer engagement will help to make your products stand out across the board.

Tardigrade (Water Bear)

The water Tardigrade from Raw Legends Collaborations was featured in 3D Printing Industry after “it became a bit of a minor 3D printing viral sensation, making it onto the editor at Popular Science’s Twitter feed and countless science blogs.” Read More

Ittyblox

Ittyblox was written about in CityLab for all the model fans. “At least some pieces, like the 1:1000-scale Guggenheim Museum and Tudor City building, are based on real-life structures. And all are cut with fantastic detail.”  Read More

Blooming Zoetrope Sculptures


For products that require a video, a few 1-2 minutes can go a long way. Dezeen Magazine wrote a piece on designer John Edmark‘s incredible Blooming Zoetrope Sculptures. Read More

Left Shark

Before the law got in the way, Left Shark was featured as a new meme in various outlets including The Star. “A surprising MVP emerged from Sunday’s Super Bowl — or, more appropriately, MVM — and now you can get your very own 3D-printed “Left Shark” mascot.” Read More

Steampunk Themed Accessories


Steampunk has a lot of fans, and 3DPrint.com included multiple Shapeways products in their roundup of designs. “Steampunk machines, devices, etc., usually consist of a lot of gears and analogue mechanisms. Today you see all sorts of unique designs, such as steampunk jewelry, clocks, clothing, and just about anything else that you can think of. 3D printing is a technology which has taken things to the next level, as designers can now fabricate their own unique, extremely complicated, steampunk creations.” Read More

Chopstick Holders & Crayon Creatures

Quartz featured Chopstick Holders and several of Bernat Cuni’s products in their story on “some of the coolest and most interesting things you can 3D-print right now.” Read More

Wave Cable Holder

marieclaire

Urbano Rodriguez’s Wave Cable Holder was included in a roundup of tech accessories perfect for the office in the March issue of Marie Claire, on newsstands now.

 

If you’re looking to get your products noticed, social media is a great place to start. While it doesn’t quite feel like “press,” all platforms are a space to share, and make it more likely for reporters to find your product and write about it. Shapeways social media guru, Eric Ho has given some great tips of how to get your products in the right platforms.

As always, don’t forget to post your products in our “Feature This!” forum. Our PR team loves to check out what’s new, and will reach out if there is a fit for a story we are working on!

My heart beats for you: 3D printed anatomical hearts on Shapeways

Whatever your feelings on Valentine’s Day, one thing we all love on Shapeways 3D printed hearts that our community members who are scientists, artists and designers are creating inspired by that vital organ beating in all of our chests.

Shapeways Crew member Nathan Schmidt created this design inspired by his daughter Lucy, who was diagnosed with a rare heart condition. He shared her story on our blog last year.

Another Crew member, Chris Leggett, created an anatomically accurate heart based on data available from the National Institute of Health’s 3D Print Exchange. You can read more about how he created this model in his blog post about science and 3D printing.

Too much heart? We also love designs inspired by heart beats like these rings:

Like this list? You can share Shapeways products anywhere with our new embed feature!

Share your Shapeways products anywhere with our new Product Widget

The Shapeways widget is an easy way to share your Shop and favorite products outside of Shapeways. We are excited to add a brand new embeddable widget to showcase a single product, as well as an update to our existing Shop Section & Favorites Widget.

Embeddable widgets are a tool for sharing products outside of Shapeways and are a great way to grow your shop’s presence online and drive more traffic to your shop on Shapeways. You can use them to showcase your shop and designs on your own website, or to share products that you love on forums or other sites that you are involved in. Pretty much any site that allows you to add your own custom html is ripe for sharing your Shapeways products!

New: Product Embeddable Widget

We have a new embeddable widget showcasing a single product. It is simple to find the link to embed a product: a link has been added on the product page for each product.

The embed code for your product underneath the Buy Now button on each product.

 

You can also find it on the Product Details page for each product that you have.

We have made it easy for you to update the dimensions and remove the Buy Now button to make the widget fit perfectly wherever you want to use it, you can learn more about customizing the new widget in this tutorial.

We are excited to see how you use these new and updated widgets, but we are also eager to add more customization options based on your feedback! Feel free to give us suggestions for future versions in our feedback form here and please share your examples with us in the comments or on Twitter.

Unique gifts for every cyclist in your life

We all know someone mad about bikes, ever eager to get out and ride even when its cold, wet or uphill. To help you celebrate their passion with them, here’s our spin on gifts for every type of bike snob, from the fixie fan to Fred.

For the single speed commuter, help them maintain the Zen with this multipurpose tool, good to fix just about every mechanical issue.

Speaking of tools, friends don’t let friends ride without proper gear… and then extra! One more tube can save a trip; this handy clip is great for long spring rides, or everyday commutes (just in case)!

CitiBiker’s know sharing is caring, but letting them keep both hands on the bars with this cup holder attachment is truly the gift that keeps on giving.

Some say that life’s too short to ride boring bikes… which basically means it’s time to accessorize everyone’s best two-wheeled friend.


We all have that one friend with the dirty or forever rolled pant leg. Save them! TrouserClamp to the rescue.

And last but not least, we can accessorize our bikes, but let’s not forget ourselves! Show off the newest (3D printed interlocking metal!) bicycle brass pendant with moving wheels!

Whatever you gift your cyclist friend (or yourself!), remind them to ride safe, and stay rubber side down. Have more bike accessories you want or need? Let us know in the comments below! We’ll add it to our list that we can conveniently send to friends and family…

 

The Best 3D Printed Gifts For Geeks

Are you looking for the perfect unique gift for a geeky friend or loved one (or even yourself)? Look no further than Shapeways this holiday season. If you’re like me, a tech geek who is experiencing electronics overload and is looking for a cool geeky gift to buy this year that doesn’t run of batteries, I’d suggest exploring a 3D printed product this year. I’ve taken the time to curate some cool 3D printed products that any geek would love this year. Here are my picks!

1) A Personalized 3D printed Wire Frame Astronaut by VidalCris

Screen Shot 2014-11-21 at 11.48.02 AM

2) Mobius Nautilus by JoaBaldwin

Why not give the gift of a Mobius Strip of Mobius strips?

Screen Shot 2014-11-21 at 12.13.00 PM

3) Wave by Egant - Wave is a toy that can unexpectedly transfer liquid using the physics of a syphon.

4) Wyvern Skeleton by Brian Richardson

Screen Shot 2014-11-21 at 12.10.30 PM

5) Stereographic projection grid by Henry Segerman

Do yourself a favor this year and give a product that makes your friends and family appreciate the technology of 3D printing, while making you look awesome for doing it!

Shop Owner Bootcamp: Quick Email Marketing to Boost Sales of Your 3D Prints

Love-Letter-Target-Shapeways-3DP

This is the ninth in a 10 part Shop Owner Bootcamp series counting down to black friday. Last week we focused on Supercharing Your SEO and this week we’re talking Email. Pictured above is Love Letter: Square by Target. Learn more about our partnership with them here

Are you beginning to feel the heat of Holiday Season yet? If you’re not, let me be the first to tell you, it’s go time, Shapies! We just released our holiday gift guide are in full-steam-ahead holiday mode. If you do no other marketing for your Shapeways shop today, do this: remind your friends, family and former customers that you make awesome products through 3D printing and that just about anything can be personalized through your skills and the technology. If you’re concerned that it will come off as spammy, we are happy to take a look in our Holiday Messaging Help forum. I also ask that you trust me when I say, your network will be interested. While it’s no longer new to us, 3D Printing, especially in our unique material portfolio, is still very cool and new to most folks outside the Shapie universe.

The email can be simple: 

Hi friends, 

2014 has been a great year, and I’m grateful you were a part of mine. I just wanted to share the 3D printed products I’ve created this year, and let you know that if you’d like any of them or any other custom products for holidays I’m here to help. 3D Printing is very cool and personal, and it’s not just plastic. Shapeways prints in Steel, Brass, Silver, Gold and even Platinum, too. Holiday season is fast approaching.  

(Insert a few photos of your work)

(link to your shop) 

Cheers, 

I bet you’ll be surprised how few people are aware of what you’re truly capable of, and what’s more fun than supporting a friends business and also giving a great gift? We see so many touching stories and personalized products come through our factories, I can’t help but encourage you to let your network know you’re there.

For those of you with Existing Email Newsletters:

I get many of your independent newsletters each month and enjoy them all. The one thing that all Shapies have in common is how genuine your passion is. This comes through in your communications and in your work. Keep it up! And don’t worry, if you don’t have an email list yet, Holiday is a great time to make one. Just add a link to a google form (or whatever signup mechanism you prefer) in your shop description and watch it grow!

Two Emails You Should Send:

  1. Next week, ideally Tues-Thurs (higher open rate): Holiday preview and/or reminder about your shop including top sellers & latest creations. You can even offer design services.
  2. Small Business Saturday: A holiday mostly celebrated in the US, but one worth letting your customers know about. Black Friday is historically retail centric, Cyber Monday (a great day to send an email as well) is all about digital, but SMB Saturday offers a different unique opportunity to showcase how 3D Printing is enabling your Small Business and say thank you to those contributing to it’s growth.

Here’s a great example from Somersault 18:24‘s Monthly Newsletter:

Screen Shot 2014-11-14 at 10.34.39 AM

 

Their message goes on to include links to their shop and updates about the science and 3D printing world. It’s helped grow them to one of the most successful shops and collections on Shapeways.

Would it be helpful if included easy to share news stories you could include in your emails in our Shop Owner Newsletter? What emails that we send do you like best? And worst? Be honest with us the way you want your customers to be honest with you :) .

Full Color Plastic 3D Print Material Torture Test Video

We are testing Full Color Plastic 3D Printing at Shapeways and what better way to test than with material torture videos.  We 3D printed a few basic parts to test for strength, flexibility, water and fire resistance.

Take a look at the video above to see the material under all of the different torture tests (oh, I was gentle as I wanted to test some of the parts in real world applications).  Overall while the material is not as refined or durable as SLS Nylon, which is the benchmark to which I compare all 3D printed materials, you can still do interlocking parts AND it is in almost full color (CMY, no K).
Shapeways Full Color Plastic 3D Printing is Flexible ish

The material is not as strong as our popular Nylon SLS material but is definitely less brittle then Full Color Sandstone.  At 3mm thickness the material is relatively stiff with only a small amount of flexibility (depending on geometry) yet at 1.5mm thickness the parts flex quite easily, to the point where the material may fail after just a few cycles of bending.  At 1mm thickness of wires, the prints can be very easily broken with very little effort so I really recommend at least 2mm walls/wires unless you never, ever intend to  touch your 3D prints.

Shapeways Full Color Plastic 3D Printing is machinable

I also gave the material a quick grind with a Dremel which the full color plastic held up fairly well to.  If you have a printed part that fits on an existing component that is too tight, you could easily and reliably grind away excess material with a clean finish.  I imagine it would respond to sanding with similar success as the color is impregnated approximately 2mm into the surface of the 3D prints, you could smooth the parts without removing all the color as long as you are not too heavy handed.  I am still experimenting with the parts in a tumbler to see if we can automate the smoothing process.

Shapeways Full Color Plastic 3D Printing is Waterproof

I am quite excited that the full color plastic is entirely waterproof, after soaking for over 24 hours there is no bleeding of colors, no degradation of material strength, stiffness or any swelling.  I have not had a chance to really UV test the pigments but as far as moisture is concerned this could be used for outdoor applications.

Shapeways Full Color Plastic 3D Printing is flamable

Another concern may be exposure to heat, the material feels as though it will deform under high temperatures but it definitely catches fire easily and stays alight emitting a terrible smell. So please do not expose you full color plastic 3D prints to exposed flames.

If you have any other tests you would like me to do to our Full Color Plastic, please leave a comment in the blog.