Category Archives: Shapeways

Sharks Across America

While you’re out celebrating the long weekend, it’s only fitting that you kick, relax and enjoy some waves… as long you’re willing to share the ocean with some of nature’s most feared predators! Undetectable, and willing to strike at any moment, Sharks are constantly looking for a good, tasty meal; so why not protect yourself by becoming one.

Here’s a few ways to tout your sharkiness.

Bookmark

You’re lying on the beach, reading, sipping a fruity, relaxing beverage in the sun while enjoying a warm summer breeze when suddenly…. DUN DUN. There’s a commotion. Oh no! The bookmark by StewMM, that you’re using also happens to have the same profile as the predator currently lurking 10 feet off the shore.

Hammer

Hammerhead sharks may not be particularly dangerous to humans, as they have been responsible for only 33 reported incidents since 2013 (and no fatalities!) But that doesn’t mean that you should cast fear aside. Wear this hammerhead pendant by Collective 3D when you’re floating around the gulf to show that you’re one of them.

Cocktail

Congrats! You’ve spent your entire vacation either becoming, or avoiding sharks at all costs. Whether you’ve survived braving the surf or stayed dry the entire time, you deserve an award. Display your trophy in your favorite beverage with this Shark tooth cocktail pick by BluGrn_design and celebrate not getting eaten… this time.

Surf To More Sharks

Whether or not you’re a nautical aficionado, check out our Sparks Across America page to see what designers in YOUR area are creating! Happy 4th of July Weekend!

That Dorne Dagger on the Season Six Premiere of Game of Thrones? We 3D Printed That. [SPOILER AHEAD]

Image Credit: Macall B. Polay/HBO

Game of Thrones, Season 6 Episode 1 | Image Credit: Macall B. Polay / HBO

When Ellaria Sand whipped a dagger out of her bracelet on Sunday’s Game of Thrones season 6 premiere, we gasped, but not for the same reason you did. For months now we’ve been keeping a secret: the designers from Game of Thrones partnered with Shapeways to create items for the show and this–this!–was the dagger we had 3D printed for them.

We were thrilled to get plunged right into the heart of the seven kingdoms in collaborating with them on this hidden blade. You know, THIS one, the Dorne Dagger:

Image Credit: Tommy Dunne, Weapons Master / HBO

Ellaria’s Dagger | Image Credit: Tommy Dunne, Weapons Master / HBO

Like all the designs that make up the rich, detailed world of Game of Thrones, the dagger is intricate and gorgeously appointed, thanks to the work of Sean Forsyth (3D designer), Tommy Dunne (Weapons Master) and David O’ Brien (Bronze Art Foundry). They chose to have it 3D printed by Shapeways in high resolution Frosted Ultra Detail which is the perfect choice for such fine details–as you can see from this behind-the-scenes peek at what the dagger looked like straight off the printer.

Ellaria's Dagger, 3D Printed in Frosted Ultra Detail | Image Credit: Tommy Dunne, Weapons Master / HBO

Ellaria’s Dagger, 3D Printed in Frosted Ultra Detail | Image Credit: Tommy Dunne, Weapons Master / HBO

It was then shipped to Weapons Master Tommy Dunne, who did the meticulous work of finishing the dagger and bringing it fully to life.

Ellaria's dagger | Image Credit: Helen Sloan / HBO / www.makinggameofthrones.com

Ellaria’s dagger | Image Credit: Helen Sloan / HBO / www.makinggameofthrones.com

“I have always wanted to incorporate 3D Printing into armoury, and this was our first chance in actually doing so,” Tommy shared with us. “The outcome of the Dorne Dagger far exceeded my wildest dreams from our original drawing concept, so it was a great first experience in using this technology in our field. It was a delicate scene to shoot, but the producers of the show loved the dagger so we’re really happy with the results.”

We are too, and we can’t wait to see what the producers of this show bring us next!

Are you a fan of Game of Thrones? Then click on the pictures below to shop the Game of Thrones inspired designs in our Marketplace.   Complete with dragons of course!

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What would you want to make for the show? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

Is 3D Printing the Next Industrial Revolution?

“Is 3D printing the next industrial revolution, or just hype?”

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We get asked this question a lot. The answer, as Peter Weijmarshausen, Shapeways Founder and CEO, has been sharing this past month in talks at SxSW and Inside 3D Printing NYC, and in interviews with Xconomy and 3DPrint.com, is a resounding yes—digital manufacturing will be the third industrial revolution and will change the who, what, where and when of how goods are made.

Until now, several factors have been holding this manufacturing revolution in check: 3D printing needs to be less expensive, have faster turnaround, offer more materials, produce better quality, and print in full color. The very things we hear regularly from you! 3D printing technology has not innovated fast enough to keep up with demand and not at the rate we’ve grown to expect from software. The same 3D printing machines Shapeways started printing on eight years ago still run today, and run as well as new machines on the market.

But that’s about to change.

“The fact [that] we see huge corporations with huge budgets and resources starting to take industrial 3D printing very seriously means that the qualities and capabilities of those machines will start to rapidly evolve, which is exactly what the industry needs,” Pete told Xconomy.

“We also see a lot of money pouring into new startups, which is something I also asked the investment community to do, into companies like Carbon3D, Desktop Metal, and Formlabs. We see big companies and small companies starting to tackle the technology challenges the industry faces. As a result, the end user will get much better products exactly as they want them.”

HP, and possibly Canon, is coming out with new 3D printing technology this year that will be 10-100x faster than current machines. It will print more materials, print them at a fraction of the current cost, and the quality will be significantly higher. Not to mention, they’ll also print in full color.

Combine these innovations with three major trends—the rise of megacities, globalization and digital disruption—and the grounds for an industrial revolution have been set.

Who produces products will shift from major brands that mass manufacture goods based on market research to individuals who will design what they want when they want it or who will work with designers to create what they want.

It will change what gets produced. With the ability to produce goods on demand, the huge investment to mass manufacture disappears and more experimentation can occur. A variety of new products will come into existence—with digital files sent from around the world to be printed locally.

Factories will no longer need to be enormous and located where labor is cheap with products shipped worldwide from these central locations, putting a strain on environmental resources like the crude oil used to fuel container ships. Instead, small factories can be housed in or right outside of major cities, with products customized to suit that city’s needs and culture.

And time to market will be drastically reduced—shrinking from months or years of lead time to research, test and market products to mere days.

We already see this revolution happening at Shapeways, but it’s not real for most people yet. They may be aware of 3D printing, but they haven’t tried it because they don’t see why they should. There are two killer apps evolving this year that, added to the innovations in 3D printing technology, will make 3D printing mainstream.

  • 3D scanning—The reaction we’ve seen to being able to create scans of people at parties or of loved ones to send to family members has been overwhelming. There is an instant emotional connection, as well as an intellectual understanding of how a digital file can be turned into a tangible, physical object. With the next generation of phones being equipped with scanners, wide spread adoption is close at hand.

  • Customization—The time and expense needed to make customizing mass produced goods, like sneakers, a good experience has been enormous. We’ve been developing tools, like CustomMaker, that enable people to customize designs on Shapeways, such as adding your name or picture to a product. Since CustomMaker’s launch, over 2,000 customizable products have been added to the site with more being created every day. By opening up product customization on this level, more and more people will expect to be able to put their personal stamp on the items they buy and will seek out 3D printed goods.

And there is so much more to come. What we make is defined by how it can be assembled, but with the evolution of 3D printing technology and of new materials, how materials and shapes merge will change completely. Even 4D printing could become a reality—where items assemble themselves out of the box due to a reaction with light, or heat, or a chemical being added to it.

As Pete shared with 3DPrint.com, “People have been led to believe that 3D printers as they are today are close to what is possible — I think the opposite is true. We are at early days in this technology. So many things will become possible that people haven’t thought possible, it’s going to revolutionize how we make products.”

To read more about Pete’s keynote at Inside 3D Printing NYC, check out his interviews with 3DPrint.com and Xconomy.

Tell us what you think about the next industrial revolution in the comments, or share your thoughts with Pete on Twitter: @Weijmarshausen.

 

Prioritize your Personal Self-Expression with 3D Printing

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‘Don’t be into trends. Don’t make fashion own you, but you decide what you are, what you want to express by the way you dress and the way you live.’ – Gianni Versace

Inherently, fashion is a form of self expression that has the ability to show the world who you are without having to say a word. In today’s world, we style ourselves (and our homes) with the clothing, jewelry and goods that are made readily available to us by different brands, be it large or small. Thus far, that’s worked just fine — but what about a world where you are your own brand? Where you decide what gets made, based on your own preference. Is it possible? Is it even realistic?

Overwhelmingly, yes. I envision a future where your personal and aesthetic expression are prioritized over that which is made in mass — and without a doubt believe that 3D printing is the avenue that will help us achieve this future. Why is your self expression important? Below are a few reasons.

It’s sustainable. In traditional retail, a brand will come up with designs that they believe will have consumer appeal, and then manufacture a certain number of those designs based on projections. All too often, those brands will over-manufacture a piece, only to have hundreds (or thousands) wind up sitting a warehouse — which is an effective waste of material, space and labor.

The beauty of creating your own products with 3D printing, is that the only market validation you’ll ever need is your own. Since products are produced as you order them, you have ease of mind that you’re getting exactly what you want, from an environmentally friendly source that you can trust.

It’s infinite freedom. With customization made more accessible, you no longer have to settle for the almost perfect item. Not everyone may want to design their own everything – sometimes, it’s about making custom modifications to the things that are almost what you’re looking for. Perhaps it’s a piece of wall art that would be so great for your room if only it were just a little bit smaller, or in a different color than is available.

The made-to-order nature of 3D printing means there’s infinite possibility to customize products in a way that is true to exactly what you want. Today, we already have powerful tools such as CustomMaker and ShapeJS that make it easy for anyone to make modifications to products they love.

It’s tools like these that begin to pave the way to the wave of the future, where we’ll see more software and hardware applications expanding to a point where you can customize literally any item you could possibly want.

It’s uniquely you. The most important piece of this is you. Today, you can take your passion and wear it close to your heart, literally. Whether you have a love for science, or a love for ravens – it’s all made possible with 3D printing.

We are lucky enough to be living in a world where we are finally liberated from the mass-produced constraints of our predecessors, and it has only just begun. The future will only give way for more opportunities for you to be you.

Trademark and Copyright Safe Harbors

On Friday we, along with our colleagues at Etsy, Foursquare, Kickstarter, Makerbot, and Stratasys, filed comments with the United States Copyright Office regarding how copyright works online.  The Copyright Office had requested the comments as part of a study it is doing in the laws that allow websites like ours to let anyone with an account share their work with the world.

Specifically, the study was on what is known as Section 512 of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA).  This provision is what gives structure to our copyright complaint process.

The provision is important, but imperfect. It was drafted in 1998 – eons ago in internet time – and it is good that the Copyright Office is taking the opportunity to ask questions about how the provision is working in the real world.

While there are plenty of things that we could have mentioned in our comments, our focus was not strictly on copyright.  Instead, we collectively decided to explain to the Copyright Office how trademark is impacting copyright online.

We have raised this issue before.  Back in October, as part of a similar group we filed a similar set of comments with the White House Intellectual Property Coordinator. We also highlighted the impact that trademark complaints have in the Shapeways transparency report released in February.

At its core, our concern is that Section 512 establishes a carefully calibrated balance between users, rightsholders, and online platforms.  It incorporates checks and balances designed to give everyone an opportunity to be treated fairly.

However, the entire system is limited to the world of copyright.  When rightsholders incorporate trademark claims in their takedown requests – something that, as we highlight in the transparency report, happens often – those balances disappear.  As a result, no review of the Section 512 system is completely without an understanding of the broader context that it operates within.

This is not the last word, or the only word, on this issue.  As mentioned earlier, even the parts of the Section 512 system that are directly tied to copyright are imperfect.  Many of the other comments submitted to the Copyright Office draw attention to those imperfections. Similarly, the just released study by Jennifer Urban, Joe Karaganis, and Briana Schofield on this process contributes important data about how the system operates day-to-day to the conversation.  If you are interested in this issue it provides a fantastic resource.

For now we will continue to operate within the current legal structures and balance the rights of everyone connected to the Shapeways platform.  At the same time, we will work to make sure that policymakers understand how the systems designed in law operate in practice.  As with the previous comment, we hope that this provides an opportunity to policymakers to reexamine the scope of safe harbors and reevaluate them in light of the goals they were intended to achieve.

Get Your Phone Off The Ground: Shapeways Review of ClipIt iPhone Dock

To show off some of the incredible products our community creates, we’re starting a brand new column; Shapeways Reviews.

So you travel a lot. Or maybe you attend lots of events, where there’s never anywhere to charge your phone except an outlet way up high, which means You’ve left your phone on the ground, next to an outlet charging, only to have it stepped on; or worse, figured “ah… this is fine, it’ll work” when leaving it swinging like a pendulum, where it inevitably falls or rockets off in a random direction.

One designer recognized that burden, and took to fixing it.

We checked out the ClipIt by Remi van Oers, an awesome little device that clips onto the stock Apple charging brick and lightning cable, holding up your phone as it’s plugged into a socket.

Assembly is simple:

Line up the hole on the ClipIt with the USB hole on the charging brick, and press fit it on.

Screen Shot 2016-03-09 at 2.42.02 PM

Screen Shot 2016-03-09 at 2.42.26 PMNext, plug in the lightning cable to the brick, securing the ClipIt.

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Route the lightning end into the small holder, and press fit in.

Screen Shot 2016-03-09 at 2.43.09 PM Screen Shot 2016-03-09 at 2.43.33 PM

Then just plug in, and slip your phone right on top. There’s a small extrusion to help hold the phone up while it’s charging.

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And there it is! Simple as that.

Want one of your own? Of course you do.  And be sure to follow Remi Van Oers on Shapeways for some more awesome products.

What do you think of the ClipIt? Leave us your comments below, and don’t forget to tag us @Shapeways with your products you want us to review, and show us what you’re making with #Shap3dByMe!

 

Better With Shapeways video series kicks off with Will Haude of 3DBrooklyn

Here at Shapeways, we are inspired by the creativity and enthusiasm of our community and are passionate about enabling you to make anything you can imagine. This week, we’re launching a series of videos to celebrate our community and inspire others to bring their ideas to life with Shapeways.

Today, our spotlight is on Will Haude, creator of  3DBrooklyn. He says “3D printing empowers me to create whatever object I can think of, because that’s exactly what it does. Shapeways lets me print in a range of high quality materials that I cannot print with my printers. It’s great to have a manufacturer and marketplace on one site.” Watch his video below to see how he brought to life a 3D printed bike blinker with Shapeways and littleBits.

Want to win $100? Each day this week, we’ll be launching a new video featuring a designer and their 3D printed product. Share the video of the day on Facebook and tag it with #BetterwithShapeways, and you will be entered to win $100 in Shapeways credit! See below for details and make sure to come back, see all five videos, and enter the sweepstakes each day.


#BetterwithShapeways Sweepstakes Rules

1.     Eligibility. This contest is operated by Shapeways.  It is open to Shapeways users in the United States over 13 years of age at the time of entry who live in a jurisdiction that does not prohibit this contest.  Employees, officers, and directors of Shapeways and their immediate family are not eligible to enter.  Individuals may enter more than one entry into the competition but may not do so by way of automated means.  By entering this contest, you agree to be bound by these Rules.

2.     Prize. The winning entrant will receive $100 in Shapeways credit to make a purchase on Shapeways.com.

3.     Contest period. This contest is open on Monday, September 28 from 10:00am EDT to 11:59pm EDT.

4.     How to Enter.  Share the video or a link to the video on Facebook and tag it with #BetterwithShapeways.  You may also enter by sending a postcard with your name, phone number, and email address to:

Shapeways
Attn: Contest Department
419 Park Ave. South
Suite 900
New York, NY 10016
Postcards must be received by the end of the contest period in order to enter.

5.     Winner Selection.  Shapeways will select the winner from the pool of applicants on Tuesday, September 29.  There will be only one winner.  Shapeways will be prepared to award the prize to a runner-up in the event the winner cannot be contacted in a reasonable amount of time.  Shapeways will determine the winner by randomly drawing an applicant from the entire pool of applicants.

6.     Winner notification. The winner will be notified via email.  Upon contact, Shapeways may need to obtain confirmation of the winner’s eligibility.  If Shapeways cannot contact the winner through the contact information in their Shapeways account in a reasonable amount of time, a runner-up will receive the prize.  If a runner-up cannot be contacted, Shapeways will select a third place finisher to receive the prize.

7.     Taxes.  The winner will be solely responsible for paying all federal, state, and local taxes that may be due on winnings and, as a condition of receiving the prize, Shapeways may require the winner complete tax documentation.

8.     Liability and Jurisdiction.   All federal, state, and local laws and regulations apply; void where prohibited.  All disputes arising out of or connected with this Contest will be resolved exclusively by a court located in Manhattan, New York, USA.  Decisions by Shapeways regarding the interpretation of these rules are final.  By participating in this contest, you agree to release Shapeways and its agents from any and all liability, claims, or actions of any kind of injuries, damages, or losses to persons and property which may be sustained in connection with the receipt, ownership, possession, use, or misuse of any prize.  Shapeways reserves the right to amend these official rules and to permanently disqualify from this contest any person it believes has intentionally violated these official rules. Shapeways reserves the right to suspend or cancel this Contest in the event of hacking, security breach, or other tampering.  Any questions regarding this contest should be directed to community@shapeways.com.

Introducing Combined Shipments

One of the most challenging aspects of iterating new designs is that sometimes 3D models just aren’t ready to be printed. This may be because they don’t meet the specific material guidelines, or that something previously unexpected keeps going wrong, preventing us from shipping the model as intended. In order to guarantee quality of all products, we may need to cancel the model from the order and let you know what the problem is.

While this can be frustrating, we’ve just added a new feature that will allow you to add these products back into orders that are already in progress so you don’t lose any money on shipping.

combined-shipping

How does this work? If you have any orders that haven’t shipped yet, you will have the option in checkout to ship new orders with your latest open order. By choosing this option, shipping will be free for your new order.

Both orders will share the same shipping address, shipping tier and arrival date. Depending on when you place your order, the arrival date of your previous order may be impacted.

This feature is not limited to items that have been rejected. This feature is also available for all types of purchases: anytime you place an order with Shapeways and later realize that you want to buy something else, you can place a new order and choose this option too.

Updating Our Terms & Conditions and Content Policy

Posted by in Shapeways

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I know – what could be more exciting than a blog post about an update to Terms & Conditions and Content Policies?  But stick with me.  This is kind of exciting because this update to our Terms and Conditions (T&C to those in the know) and Content Policy helps to make sure that the rules that govern what happens here on Shapeways match up with how you expect things to work here on Shapeways.

T&C Changes

Truth be told, most of the changes that we are making to the T&C are because the most recent T&C were a little . . . out of date.  We pulled references to services that we do not offer anymore and made sure that the way we describe things like payment processing and refunds reflects how we actually do payment processing and refunds.  There are also a few things that weren’t explained (or weren’t explained well) in the old T&C that now have a place.  You can check out the old T&C so you can compare them to the new T&C here.

There are a handful of changes that are worth mentioning in a bit more detail.  The first is the change in how we handle User Generated Content (UGC).  In the context of our T&C, UGC is essentially everything that is not your 3D model (think pictures that you might upload or descriptions that you might write) that you make visible to the public.  In our old T&C, by uploading this type of UGC to our website you gave all other users of the site a fairly broad license to use that content.  The new T&C narrows that license significantly and puts additional restrictions on the use.  Now, by uploading images and other UGC (again, not models in this case), you give other users a license to share your content on blogs and other social media.  However, that sharing must include prominent links back to your Shapeways shop or page.  Much of this type of sharing would likely be protected by fair use and not require a license in the first place, but we decided to clarify permissions in the interest of encouraging sharing.

The second noteworthy change is that we wanted to clarify how we might use your models internally.  Shapeways is a place for designers and we take the fact that you trust us with your designs very seriously.  That means that even when we use a design internally we want to be clear to you what that means.  Our new T&C clarify that we may use your model for internal testing and education.  That means that we might use your model to test new processes and train our production staff.  Why do this?  We print an almost unimaginable range of models for people every day.  Before we bring a new process online, and before we are confident that a new staffer is up to speed, we need to make sure that our processes and people can handle anything that you will throw at us.  The best way to do that is to take real models that you upload – those are the models that test the limits of what is possible with 3D printing – to make sure that we are up to snuff.  As I said, we take your trust seriously.  That’s why we only keep these models as long as we need them for our own internal operation, testing, and education.  Once we are done we destroy the model so there isn’t one floating around the world unaccounted for.

Content Policy Changes

The changes to the content policy are less dramatic.  They mostly have to do with organizing the policy to make it a bit more user friendly.  We also decided that it was time to change our official DMCA contact (that’s where copyright takedown notices are sent) from our CEO Pete to a more versatile generic “DMCA agent.”  This makes Pete’s inbox easier to handle and makes it easier for us to make sure that we are tracking and responding to DMCA takedown requests.  That aside, the biggest change to the Content Policy is probably that we now explicitly encourage people to contact each other before sending formal takedown notices.  We’re not requiring anyone to reach out before sending a takedown, but we have noticed that sometimes a polite email resolves conflicts more efficiently than a takedown notice.  Here’s a copy of our old Content Policy if you are curious what they look like side by side.

———

At the bottom of this post is a summary changelog tracking some of the updates to the T&C.  I encourage you to take a look at the changelog and at the updated T&C and Content Policy.  If you have questions or comments, feel free to shoot me an email at mweinberg@shapeways.com or ping me on twitter @MWeinberg2D.

Major updates:

  • Narrowed scope of UGC license
  • Clarified that Shapeways may use models for internal testing and education

 

Minor updates:

  • Removed references to nonexistent “gallery” and model rating system
  • Clarified that users can order as guests without creating an account
  • Prohibited obscene usernames
  • Clarified that Shapeways is the final arbiter of credits/refunds for cancelled orders
  • Updated production language to make it clear that we will immediately authorize, hold, and begin production if you pay with a credit card or PayPal
  • Required a general liability release from users
  • Eliminated overly aggressive copyright ownership language to recognize that there are non-authorized, non-infringing uses
  • Expanded warrants provided by you that you are not violating anyone else’s IP rights
  • Clarified that you use third party services at your own risk
  • Capped direct damages and clarified our limitation of liability if things go wrong
  • Added miscellaneous contractual clauses

 

Scales of Justice Seal by Lightbringer Designs.

Redefining product creation through 3D printing

Posted by in Community, Shapeways

Hi Shapeways community,

I have some exciting news to share with you: Shapeways has just closed a new round of funding. We raised $30M led by INKEF Capital, and supported by new investors Hewlett Packard, Presidio Ventures, as well as existing investors Union Square Ventures, Index Ventures, Lux Capital and Andreessen Horowitz.

We see 3D printing as digital manufacturing technology, disrupting the old analog mass manufacturing technologies and business models. This has a profound impact on manufacturing and society. It changes who is in control, from corporations to individuals. It changes what products are available, from what’s available in stores to whatever you want. It changes where products are made, from centralized huge factories to everywhere in the world (we brought manufacturing back to New York City and Eindhoven, the Netherlands). And it changes the time to market of products, from months to days. In this new world of digital manufacturing Shapeways is the platform enabling anyone to make amazing products come to life.

Strandbeest

Strandbeest by Theo Jansen

With this new round of financing we will continue to make investments to benefit our community. We will improve our website, our materials portfolio, and our service, making it easier, more fun and faster for you – our community – to get what you want.

Since Shapeways started it has been an amazing journey, starting on the Philips High Tech Campus in 2007 and  launching in July 2008, to becoming an independent company with our first investment from Union Square Ventures and Index Ventures in 2010. We opened our first factory in Eindhoven in December 2010 and our main office in New York City at the same time. In 2012 we opened our factory in Long Island City, Queens. Most recently, in October 2014 we moved to an amazing and huge factory in Eindhoven, because the previous one simply was too small.

Entry to our new factory in Eindhoven

Entry to our new factory in Eindhoven

During these years we’ve grown a lot! We now have over 620,000 community members, designers and companies using Shapeways. Over 30,000 are using Shapeways as the platform to run their business and our database holds over 2.5 million 3D printable products. We are offering over 50 different materials and finishes and there are many more to come.

It’s really awesome to welcome Robert Jan Galema from INKEF Capital to the board. He knows Shapeways from our early years at the Philips Lifestyle incubator and I enjoyed working with him during that time. His experience in growing small businesses and running large businesses will be very valuable for our next phase as a company. We are also excited to welcome HP, a company that is working on the next generation of 3D printers, and with whom we already announced a partnership to become one of its foundational customers. With this round HP reconfirms its commitment to 3D printing and we are excited to team up with them. We are also excited to welcome Presidio Ventures, part of the Sumitomo group. Their knowledge about Japan will help us bring Shapeways to the Japanese market when the time is right.

This funding round ensures that Shapeways will succeed in its role as the world leader in the next industrial revolution.

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Thank you for being part of this amazing journey!

Pete

 

Introduction to Shapeways Newest Community Managers

Posted by in Community, Shapeways

We are EXTREMELY excited to welcome Andrew Thomas and Kat Kinkead as the newest members of our community team!

Andrew and Kat are not only active members of the community, they are veterans of the Shapeways NYC team. Kat and Andrew have previous experience working in our “Factory of the Future” in Long Island City. When it comes to 3D Printing, they know it best: from post processing, overseeing daily ops, and owning their own shops, they’re a perfect fit for our Community team!

Q&A with Andrew

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If you could design a couch or a rocket or a shoe, which one would you pick and why?

I’m not really interested in any of these options. I like to make more or less useless things like this. 3D printing is revolutionary because it enables personal manufacturing, so I don’t need to choose ‘between’ designing anything anymore. I can just make what I want even if its not functional or a good mass market idea.

What does the future look like in 5 years? 

Probably blurry, unless I get a new prescription for my glasses.

If you could host a meetup anywhere in the world, where would you choose? 

I like to think about how 3D printing would work in very isolated environments and what it could be used for (provided I had design tools and an internet connection) which might not be a great idea for a meetup. So maybe I’d have a meetup in New York, then a year later everyone would have to travel to someplace else in the world by their own means and share what we’ve made along the way.

What drew you to Shapeways? What are you looking forward to the most?

I’ve been working at Shapeways for almost 2 years now in the (amazing) customer service department. Its given me a very good insight both into the interests of our community and the inner workings of Shapeways from all sides of the business.

I’m looking forward to continuing to build the Shapeways community into an amazing and inclusive place to be a designer.

If you could be a superhero, who would it be? 

I love Kuro and Shiro in the manga Tekkonkinkreet. I like that its unclear what their actual super powers actually are. They seem to be able to fly because they’re always on top of buildings and power lines but you never actually see them do it. Sometimes they are depicted as animals like cats or birds. Its hard to know if these are real or imaginary powers and its never explained why they got them. I like that sense of mystery.

 

Q&A with Kat

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If you could design a couch or a rocket or a shoe, which one would you pick and why?

I would design a rocket with a couch inside it. That way, I could chill-out and travel to space, simultaneously.

What does the future look like in 5 years? 

The future is awesome and full of personalized products, made on demand for you. Right now, we have the amazing ability to customize hardware products, but I think the future holds great opportunity for this in the fashion and apparel world. I can’t wait to be wearing something that’s 3D Printed every day!

If you could host a meetup anywhere in the world, where would you choose? 

I would love to host a meet up in Japan. When I was there recently, most designers I came across were unaware of the technology. I would love to tap into that market and show designers how they can harness this kick-butt technology.

What drew you to Shapeways? What are you looking forward to the most?

I began working at Shapeways in 2012, as one of the first members on site at the Long Island City factory. After working there for two years (post processing ALOT of FUD, WSF & FCS), I left for a little while to go be a designer evangelist in the fashion industry. Working in the fashion industry helped me realize that I have a true passion for working with design communities and introducing them to 3D printing. There’s really no better place to do that then Shapeways. I am so stoked to be back!

If you could be a superhero, who would it be? 

Probably the Grey Hulk. He has all the same awesomeness as green hulk, but minus all the anger issues. In fact, he’s pretty sarcastic.

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.

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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.

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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.

Welcome Michael Weinberg: Shapeways General Counsel and IP Expert

Hi Shapeways!  I’m excited to be joining the team as the new IP and General Counsel around here.  3D printing is obviously amazing for all sorts of reasons, and one of those is how it gives people an opportunity to rethink their relationship to intellectual property law.  3D printed objects and files do not fit as neatly into intellectual property law as things like music and movies.  This gives the 3D printing community a chance to redefine the relationship between creativity, creation, and intellectual property law (among so many other things).  Law certainly has an important role, but a healthy community does not rely on law alone in order to thrive.

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For the past few years, I’ve been working on public interest technology policy at Public Knowledge.  While there, I wrote a few whitepapers on 3D printing and intellectual property law: : It Will Be Awesome if They Don’t Screw It UpWhat’s The Deal with Copyright and 3D Printing3 Steps for Licensing Your 3D Printed Stuff.  I also helped to organize 3D/DC, an annual 3D printing policy conference in Washington, DC.

I’m excited to join Shapeways and to try and put some of the ideas I have been working on for the past few years into practice.  As the leading 3D printing service and marketplace, Shapeways is uniquely positioned to help establish and model the ways in which we interact with the 3D printed world.  Doing things right here at Shapeways means proving to the world that we can avoid some of the fights that have held back new technologies in the past.

white papers

Fortunately, Shapeways already has a track record of doing things right.  We have partnered with Hasbro to create SuperFanArt and pioneer a new model for collaboration between existing IP holders and their most devoted fans.    We have also taken a community-first approach to defining and implementing our content policy in order to make sure that Shapeways works for the Shapeways community.

I know that these great initiatives are just the beginning.  The best thing for Shapeways and the Shapeways community is to create a space that works for everyone.  That means respecting rights and creativity, and encouraging experimentation and new models.  It also means continuing to be strong advocates on behalf of 3D printing and the 3D printing community.  We’re still at the beginning of this process, and look forward to continuing to develop new methods of fueling creativity in the future.

Of course, part of trying new things is sometimes getting things wrong.  Fortunately, the best way to respond when you are getting something wrong is to make it right.  In that spirit, if you see us doing something wrong or you have ideas of ways that we could be doing more right, send me an email at mweinberg@shapeways.com or a tweet @mweinberg2D.  I can’t promise that I will be able to answer everything, but I’ll do my best.  Of course, you can also send me emails and tweets if we are doing something right.

Finally, I look forward to connecting with the Shapeways community through this blog and other channels.  Shapeways works because it works for you, and I know that sometimes changes (especially changes that involve legal aspects, and even if they are good changes) can be disruptive.  I will strive to be as transparent as possible about what we are up to.

Until then, keep making great things!

 

 

Introducing Our Coolest Material Yet – Moon Dust!

Last year, 3D printers took off to print in space. Now, Shapeways is incredibly thrilled to announce that we’ve added the most innovative material to our portfolio yet – moon dust. Our engineers obtained samples from our friends at NASA  and developed a unique method for leveraging our current SLS printers to 3D print with this groundbreaking material.

moon dust 2

Moon dust surprisingly shares many of the same properties as the nylon powder we use in our SLS printers, so the design guidelines are the same. The finished product, though, has an extraordinary characteristic: a silver shimmer that only appears when held under moonlight. In daylight or under indoor lighting, moon dust products will have the same coloration as the color that we see the moon – a nice light gray with some white gradation. When held under moonlight, however, moon dust products have a beautiful, sparkly quality to them. Imagine how you will wow your family and friends with a smart phone case or bow tie that sparkles under moonlight, like the ones our community member created below!

Stay tuned for more details on our moon dust material, which we’ll open up to the public on the date of the next full moon. In the meantime use #ShapewaysMoonDust to let us know what you will design with this exciting new 3D printing material.

Happy creating!

 

Love in 3D: From Wedding Contest Winners to Newlyweds

Just in time for Valentine’s Day we caught up with Bastiaan and Alicia Ekeler, the winners of our Love in 3D wedding contest from earlier this year. They 3D printed their wedding bands and gifts for the wedding party and we wanted to catch up with them to hear about their special day and what they have been making since!

3D printed wedding rings

How did you design your 3D printed wedding rings? What inspired you to put your finger prints on the inside of the bands?

I designed the rings using Photoshop and Rhinoceros 3D. I have a background in industrial design so I am very familiar with these software packages. Rhino has been my favorite 3D modeling tool for a long time and was the perfect candidate for this project. The rings started with an ink pad, an 8 1/2 x 11 piece of paper, a lot of fingerprints and a scanner. The scanned image was prepared in Photoshop and converted into a 3D surface in Rhino. I modelled the rest of the ring around the fingerprint relief and exported the whole thing to STL. There was a lot of experimentation to get all the variables right but the whole process worked pretty well.

The idea of using fingerprints stems from the inherent capability for 3D printing to customize any product. Even without having won the contest, it was clear to me that our wedding rings would have to be unique and personal. No off-the-shelf design would do. Fingerprints seemed pretty unique and personal and the finger has an innate connection with the ring to begin with. They were an ideal match to be brought to life using additive manufacturing. So, the idea was born to have my left ring finger’s print embedded in my wife’s ring and vice-versa.

You might be interested to know that we have actually decided to start offering custom designed rings on Shapeways! We like ours so much that we feel we should share the design with the world and opened out first Shapeways store.

Did you 3D print any special favors for the bridesmaids and groomsmen?

Yes, we actually did design gifts for the members of our wedding party. For the bridesmaids, we created a tiny little infinity symbol, loosely modeled after a precisely curved twig. It is a little hard to see from the picture but the pendant has some knots and imperfections on it, making it a little more organic than mathematical. I even went into Zbrush and textured the outside to mimic tree bark, although this detail got polished out in the finishing process. It is always hard to resist the temptation of getting lost in modeling details when zoomed in 1000% on a 1cm wide model. The infinity symbol was chosen for it’s obvious marriage / friendship related symbolism and the branch element was based on the outside, farmhouse wedding location.

3D printed wedding favors neckalce

For the groomsmen, all high school friends of mine, I designed a pair of cufflinks with the logo we’ve been using since college to symbolize our group. I will leave the interpretation of the abbreviation as a exercise to the reader.

3D printed wedding favors cufflinks groomsmet

Now that you are married, have you designed anything together to commemorate your wedding or your time together since?

We haven’t done any 3D modeling together since the wedding but I would like to share one last Shapeways item we had made: a cake topper. We went through a lot of designs for this but in the end decided to keep it pretty simple and elegant, matching those same qualities of the cake itself. Yet another use for the white, strong an flexible nylon!

3D printed wedding cake topper

Can you share one piece of advice for newlyweds or couples who are about to get married?
I don’t know if we’re really in a position to be giving out advice as fresh newlyweds. From our short experience, I’m afraid I can only talk in clichés, so here we go: Never take each other for granted, pick your battles and always keep communicating.

Thank you again for allowing us to have the best wedding we could have had through the power of 3D printing!

wedding 3D printed

Bastiaan + Alicia Ekeler

Congratulations again, Bastiaan and Alicia! For our lovebirds out there, what do you plan on 3D printing for your sweetheart?