Category Archives: Shapeways

Day One of 3D Printed SuperFanArt at Comicon 2014 in San Diego

Our 3D Printing partnership with Hasbro has officially hit the floor at Comicon in San Diego as thousands of fans swarmed the booth to get a glimpse at the 3D printed ponies designed by the Shapeways community.  The SuperFanArt section is a relatively small part of the massive Hasbro booth at Comicon, but one that is garnering a lot of excitement among fans, artists and the toy industry.

Superfanart 3D Print at Comicon

If you are at Comicon 2014 in San Diego be sure to drop by the Hasbro Kiosk 3213 (its the huge one) and say hello to the SuperFanArt team.  If you are an artist or designer interested in participating in the SuperFanArt project, please be sure to register your interest to start selling your Hasbro approved 3D prints to fans around the world.

For those who cannot make it, check out some of the craziness that is Comicon.

photo 9 photo 8 photo 7 photo 4 photo 2 photo 1
Yep, and that’s just the people lined up who pre-paid to be first at the Hasbro stand…


 

Hasbro & Shapeways Enable 3D Printing Fan Art with SuperFanArt

For the first time, a global brand will open up its intellectual property to fan designed products using Shapeways 3D printing. We are partnering with Hasbro to launch SuperFanArt, enabling fans to 3D print and sell their own creations based on Hasbro owned content. SuperFanArt, which will debut at Comic-Con San Diego 2014, grants the passionate and talented Hasbro fan base from the Shapeways community a license to create exciting new art and product offerings. The first license is granted to a select number of 3D artists including Brandon Lee Johnson, Paul Philbin, Christophe Vidal, Melinda Rose, and Brian Harris to create artwork based on My Little Pony.

Shapeways & Hasbro 3D Print

We are thrilled to work with Hasbro to be the very first entertainment brand to open up their intellectual property to their dedicated fans to legally create tangible, 3D printed products. This partnership is perfectly aligned with our mission to enable the Shapeways creative community to make exactly what they want, for themselves, to share and sell to others.

superfanart launch Shapeways & Hasbro

For the initial launch at Comic-Con 2014, we will start with the incredibly popular My Little Pony series, to allow fans around the world to create and sell unique, 3D printed My Little Pony figurines. This will dramatically expand the range of products available from the few currently being mass produced by Hasbro, to potentially include the over 900 ponies identified and named by the fans. Many of these designs have been created by a passionate group of fans from the Brony community (for the uninitiated, a Brony is a Bro who likes Ponies so Bro + Pony – P = Brony (welcome to the herd)).  Once we have filled our 3D printers with community designed ponies, we will continue to work with Hasbro and the Shapeways community to enable more Hasbro branded content to be created, 3D printed and sold.

This is a major step forward in realizing the creative potential of 3D printing, to make products on demand that might otherwise never make it into people’s hands. Hasbro has been incredibly forward thinking and open minded, to realize that the existing unmet demand within their fan base can be satisfied with the help of those very same fans. We expect to see many more partnerships like this, to enable user generated content to be 3D printed based on existing intellectual property, with fair attribution and compensation for all parties involved. We’ve seen this model work successfully in the digital realm, and we’re thrilled to be leading the charge in the physical.

Take a look at the SuperFanArt site to learn more, and meet some of the Shapeways community members who are promoting their designs in partnership with Hasbro and Shapeways. Also check out the New York Times article for insight into why the Hasbro team approached Shapeways to be a partner to help them enter the world of 3D printing, thanks mainly to the Bronies in the Shapeways community.

A solid brohoof to all the bronies who helped make this happen.

 

 


 

Show Us Your Elasto Plastic 3D Prints

We introduced Elasto Plastic as our first 3D Printing maker material back in May last year so that the Shapeways community could have access to a impact resistant, flexible 3D printing material.  The team at the factory in Eindhoven get to see the amazing products you design with this unique material but because it is a Maker Material, and not available for sale as a product on Shapeways, many of us do not get to see and be inspired by your designs.

flexible 3D print material on Shapeways

We would love to see your Elasto Plastic designs shared in the It Arrived forum so that we can all see the range of products you are designing and get inspiration to explore the material in different ways.  We are looking forward to seeing photos of your designs on the Shapeways forums soon.


 

Introducing Print Success Rates: Increasing Transparency in the 3D Printing Manufacturing Process

Before we launched Shapeways, 3D Printing was used for prototyping and rarely for finished products. As more and more of your phenomenal designs have emerged from our factories, we’ve been able to show the world that 3D Printing can be used to create real, finished products that people want to buy.

With this shift, we’ve started to think more about what it means to make sure a product is ready for repeated manufacturing so that hundreds of customers can hold it in their hands. We want to do everything in our power to help you design great products, so we’ve continued to roll out tools to help you understand our design guidelines.

It’s not surprising that our next biggest request we hear from you, our community, is that you want more information and transparency about how your products fare in our manufacturing process. What goes right, and importantly, what goes wrong. That information is critical to run your business.

Our Manufacturing Process

Although we constantly push our machines and processes to their limits, we can’t make everything. Often times, we can manufacture a product once, but the second, third, and fourth runs aren’t always as successful as the first attempt. For example, we might find that a product prints properly but gets polishing medium stuck inside it, or a model may only survive the cleaning process one in five times due to how brittle the wires are.

The first indicator to determine if we can manufacture a product is whether or not it meets our design guidelines. We only check a product against our design guidelines the first time it is ordered. You can already see the result of our “Manual Check” on your Model Edit page, which was the first update in a series of improvements to increase transparency.

Once your product has cleared Manual Checks, it goes into Production. This process is different for each material, as each material may use different 3D printers and have different post production. If the product experiences a problem along the way (for example: it breaks during the polishing step), the product enters a “QA Review,” where we assess what to do next: attempt to reprint your product, reach out if it looks like you might want the product as is, or give you feedback on how to improve your design for manufacturing.

Today we’ve launched the second change focused on increasing transparency in manufacturing: we are now displaying  Success Rate for each material on your Model Edit page. Each material your model has been ordered in at least once will have a success rate displayed, allowing you to start seeing how it fares during our manufacturing process.

The Success Rate is calculated as follows:

Number of times product shipped successfully / Number of total production attempts

The Success Rate will also include similar materials that share the same processing steps. For example, if your product is printed successfully in Blue Strong & Flexible Polished, this also registers as a successful print for White Strong & Flexible, as the dyed and polished material uses White Strong & Flexible as a base.

When we encounter a design with a low success rate, we pinpoint printability issues and send an e-mail that has a set of suggestions for how to fix your product.

Note: As you can imagine, the success rate may not be incredibly accurate after one attempt, but will increase in accuracy as more products are manufactured.

You can already see the success rate via e-mail when your product experiences issues. Today we’re adding the success rate for each material on your Model Edit page, right next to your automated and manual check results.

Using Success Rate

You can use Success Rate to have a higher level of confidence in your product before making it available for sale. For example, if your product has been printed 10 times successfully with a 100% success rate, there is a very good chance that it will move through the manufacturing process smoothly. If, however, you see a 50% or 55% success rate, you may want to reference any e-mails we’ve sent and then have another look at your design, or reach out to Customer Service in advance to address any issues you (and eventually your customers) might face and adjust accordingly.

The Future

This is the second step in becoming more transparent about how we determine whether or not a product can be repeatedly manufactured. As we continue to learn by printing your models and hear your ideas and suggestions, we will continue to invest in tools that give you better visibility into what’s happening with your product throughout the production process. We hope that this will enable you to make even more innovative products using 3D printing.

We’re excited to share your product’s success rate with you and can’t wait to see what you make next.

-Brad

* Footnote *

Known Issues

While many of our vendors are able to provide us with detailed information on how many times they attempt to print a product before shipping, some can’t. Currently, we don’t have as much visibility into the success rate of the Stainless Steel family as we’d like, so you will see 100% if your model ever shipped successfully, or a 0% if it never did. We are working hard to change this!

 


 

Joshua Harker creates 3D printed skull trophies for the Nike Risk Everything World Cup competition

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In honor of the start of the World Cup, we wanted to share these custom 3D printed, metal skull trophies artist and Shapeways designer Joshua Harker created for the winners of Nike’s “Risk Everything” competitions that they are holding at their “Phenom House” (or “Casa Fenomenal“) in Rio de Janeiro.

To create the skulls, Shapeways worked together with Joshua over the course of two months to ensure printability and structural integrity, and then sent the final models to Nike.

For more photos of the custom 3D printed custom skulls, check out the Casa Fenomenal Facbeook page and visit Joshua’s website for more examples of his work. Who else in the Shapeways community is excited about the World Cup? 


 

Shapeways unveils new 3D printed CNBC logo

Posted by in Shapeways 3 Comments

This morning our very own CEO, Peter Weijmarshausen, unveiled the logo for a new CNBC show. Squawk Alley, which films at the New York Stock Exchange, will “focus on the intersection of Wall Street and technology” replacing the third hour of “Squawk on the Street.”

Peter was the first in-person guest on the show, where he had the honor of introducing the logo, which was 3D printed by Shapeways and will be a permanent fixture on the set.

Shapeways worked with designer and Shapeways community member Ryan Kittleson and the CNBC team to create the logo’s 3D design. The file was uploaded to Shapeways.com, and 3D printed in our full color sandstone material, all in one piece.

Peter talked with the hosts, Carl Quintanilla, Kayla Tausche, and Jon Fortt, about the 3D printing process, the health of the business, and some cool products that are coming through the printers.
To see the entire segment, click here.

 

Shapeways supports Net Neutrality: Stop the Slow Lane

You may have heard about Net Neutrality in the news recently. Here’s why we at Shapeways support it. The core principle of net neutrality is that all traffic (data) traveling across the internet should be treated the same at each stage of the process. The FCC intends to propose rules that would allow Internet service providers to charge websites to access a “fast lane” and slow down every site that doesn’t pay. Any plan that allows for “pay-to-play” access is bad for startups, bad for growing businesses, and will hurt our economy.

Even though for example, Netflix, may want to pay for faster access to deliver your video, when a new video streaming startup comes along, they could be forced into a slow lane if they couldn’t pay and their videos would be patchy. Essentially, the startup is doomed before it even gets going. This is so anti-innovation that Netflix is actually against it. As are we.

Image Source: CFC Oklahoma

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New Shop Owner Tool: Pricing

You have finished your design, uploaded it to Shapeways and put it up for sale. Now it is time to set your prices. Pricing is a key part of product merchandising, but we often hear from shop owners that it is challenging to choose the “right price.” Today, we are making changes to help on this front. 

When it comes to choosing the right price, there are many factors to consider outside of base price and markup. These can include: What type of product am I selling? Who is my ideal customer? What’s the value to my customers? The right price will resonate with your audience in the same way that descriptions, photos, and videos do. And that means you could improve your sales.  

The best way to do this is to always think about the prices your customers will see. With the new pricing tool, you will find the following changes to make the experience simpler and more efficient: 

  • Dedicated space for pricing, with a cleaner interface
  • Ability to edit prices for multiple materials at once
  • Emphasis on editing total prices
  • Customized tips to help with pricing

Shop Owners in European countries will also find the following changes:

  • Price entry in USD, while viewing both USD and EUR prices 
  • Prices displayed with VAT

We’re excited to share these changes with you today. Improving our pricing tool is just one of the many steps we’re taking to provide you with a great Shop Owner experience. 

If you’re interested in helping to test other shop owner improvements, please reach out to our Community team at community@shapeways.com. And as always, we welcome your feedback either here in this blog or in the forums.

Notes for advanced users:
The CSV Wizard will be changing, and the current APIs will still be supported. Please check out our forum post for more details. 

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Our New Look & Feel Puts You Front & Center

Today, we’re rolling out a new look to our site that brings more focus to you, your products and your shop.

You make amazing products come to life with 3D printing at Shapeways. Visually, we want the spotlight to shine on you. Our new look adds more space and clarity to the layouts, and brings the focus on products. Your images really stand out now! The amazing products and their stories created by the Shapeways community guide the shopping experience from here on out.

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Welcome to the Golden Age of 3D Printing: Introducing 14 Carat Gold to Shapeways

Update: As of May 22nd, Gold is now available worldwide and can be set as the default material for the products in your shop. 
Featured models from left to right: Hibiscus Ring by alaswadi, Cousin Gabriel Ring by cousingabriel, Rock Ring by thefuturefuture, and Arrow Ring by courtneyetc

Today, we’re proud to welcome the most precious of metals to the Shapeways family - 14k Gold. We’ve been inspired by the accessories and jewelry you’ve made with our Silver, Brass, Bronze, and Steel; and we have heard your requests for more premium metal options. 


Droplet Pendant by LIFIC

Our solid, hand-polished 14k Gold is simply stunning. It’s meticulously polished to a beautiful, smooth sheen. With a high-shine look that’s perfect for rings, cufflinks, pendants, earrings, charms, or whatever you decide to create. Not to mention, wedding season is right around the corner, ladies and gents!
Greek mythology deemed the people of the Golden Age the “golden race” of humans who came first. You’re all part of the Shapeways Golden Age, so which one of you fearless designers will try our Gold first?

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Shapeways California Meetup Roundup

This past week, the Shapeways marketing and community team headed out west for a week of meetups and events in both Northern and Southern California. Of course, California is a huge and diverse state that is known as a place full of creative people driving innovation and turning their ideas into products and projects. We’re always excited to head out there and we were excited to meet a few of them at Shapeways meetups in Stanford and Ventura.

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Heartbleed Update: Shapeways is Patched


Lock Heart Charm by Bee Whitlock

We take security very seriously here at Shapeways and we value your trust. The moment we were made aware of the Heartbleed vulnerability, our engineering team went to work protecting our community, patching the problem within 14 hours. We do not anticipate any further issues and we appreciate your continued trust.

Heartbleed was an internet-wide security hole. Although we’re now patched, Heartbleed was a bug that affected the internet for the last 2 1/2 years. We recommend you change your Shapeways password and we wouldn’t be good friends if we didn’t tell you to change your other passwords to remain safe.

Please feel free to reach out with any questions or security concerns you may have. We’re here to help and we value the incredible Shapeways community above all.

From bleeding hearts to hearts of steel- we’ve got you covered!

Wounded Heart Pendant by Ayame Deude 


 

 

Hello from Shapeways Community Outreach Coordinator

Hello all! I’m Eleanor, your new Community Outreach Coordinator, reporting for duty. I wanted to take a moment to introduce myself, tell you a little bit about what brought me here, and what I’m excited to work on with you here at Shapeways.

I’m a Brooklyn-based writer and indie-rock musician who is constantly inspired by the maker and do it yourself community. I’m passionate about supporting creative entrepreneurs and helping them build sustainable creative projects, businesses and lives. In 2013 I published my first book, Grow, which is a field guide for creatives to achieve success and sustainability on their own terms. Grow shares practical advice on goal setting, planning, budgeting, marketing, and establishing a business, especially for those looking to grow a passion-project into a sustainable, long-term opportunity. It comes out of my personal experience publishing zines, organizing events, and booking rock shows in the DIY community and turning that experience into a career in museums and creative companies. One thing I’m really looking forward to working on at Shapeways is to work with shop owners to build and share their business skills and make their shops even more successful.

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Contest: Your Photoshop 3D design at NYC’s 3D Printshow 2014

Adobe and Shapeways will be showcasing the Photoshop Creative Cloud at the New York 3D Printshow, February 12 to 15 and we would love for you to join us.

There are two opportunities to get your work displayed with Shapeways and Adobe at the show: one, create the ultimate 3D printed art to be shown at the Art Gallery at the 3D Printshow. If you’re newer to 3D modeling, we also have a simple 3D Coloring Contest for anyone to color ShapeMan by our friend Steve Talkowski of SketchBot fame.

Shapeman Shapeways Blog

It’s easy to enter, whether you know how to 3D model or you just want to give it a shot.

Ultimate Design Award: Know how to 3D model? Upload your design to Shapeways with the tag #3DPS. We’re looking for an incredible design that leverages the best of 3D printing. Here’s your chance to create the iconic 3D Print of 2014, something that can’t be made any other way.

3D Coloring Award: New to 3D modeling? One of the coolest features of Photoshop CC is the ability to import an existing STL file and “color it in” using the features. Steve from SketchBot has designed this awesome ShapeMan for you to download and color in under a Creative Commons license.

What do you think he should look like? Use the 30-day free trial to show us.

Head to Steve’s shop and download one of the five ShapeMan designs to show off your skills. Upload the file to Photoshop, color it in, then upload to Shapeways and enter the contest with the tag #3DPS.

*For each contest, one winner will be selected and win a one-year subscription to Creative Cloud from Adobe AND a 3D print of their design. Your entry will also be 3D printed and displayed at the 3D Printshow in NYC for the world to see. The Ultimate Design winner will be displayed at the very prestigious Art Gallery of the Printshow.

Deadline for both contests is 11:59pm EST on February 2, 2014. Show us what you’ve got.

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