Category Archives: Trends

6 Fashion Trends to Design for in 2016

Having just relaunched our jewelry marketplace to better highlight micro-brands and feature curated collections, we’re excited to position ourselves as an excellent destination for holiday shoppers to snag some uniquely designed accessories. While we know our designers have already uploaded some incredible designs, we wanted to flag some trends we saw on the NYFW runway to give our makers a glance at what trend-setting shoppers may be looking for this season.

We’ve also included examples of existing products from Shapeways designers below!Silver reigns supreme:

We saw lots and lots of silver accessories on the runway this season– something to keep in mind when determining which materials you want to offer designs in.

Statement necklaces:

Oversized chokers and large necklaces were prevalent at shows including Balenciaga, Valentino, Loewe, Chanel, and Balmain. This was a fun opportunity to play with larger geometric designs, crazy pendants– great inspiration for designers looking to create some more unusual signature pieces.

Dodeca Horizontal Pendant by Studio Noesis

Earnestly large statements:

From Sachin and Babi to Creatures of the Wind to Altuzarra to Tory Burch, big earrings were everywhere. Large hoop earrings to geometric shapes, we’re excited to see that loads of our designers’ products seem to be similarly inspired.

Star Coral Earrings by Coraline Jewels

Ear cuffs:

Rodarte’s models wore extremely intricate ear cuffs which seemed floral-inspired (one even featured an insect). We’ve seen a number of ear cuffs in our marketplace, so it’s definitely an accessory ripe for design experimentation.


Brass Triangles Earcuff by 3Different

Interlocking Circles:

Hellessy sent models down the runway with some beautiful earrings which were made up of metal interlocking circles. This is a perfect trend to pull inspiration from, especially since Shapeways is the only company to offer interlocking metals!

Twisted Square Earrings by ByNatalia


Lots of designers (Isabel Marant, Christian Dior and Sonia Rykiel) were sending their models down the runway with asymmetrical earrings– allowing for some great variation. Other designers like Mugler, Anthony Vaccarello and Philosophy di Lorenzo Serafini, opted for the one-earring look. At Shapeways you’re able to order one earring, making it totally unnecessary to purchase a complete pair for this look.

Septum Rings:

While septum rings had a big moment last year, some made an appearance on the runway during the Monse show this NYFW. Shapeways designers have created a number of faux septum rings– a good option for people looking to try the look without committing to the actual piercing.

Septum Ring by PrimalCrafts

If you’re interested in more in-depth looks at these trends, we recommend checking out this Vogue roundup and this piece from Justine Carreon at Elle for coverage of this year’s trends.

4 Gadget Gift Making Trends For Holiday 2016!!

With the holidays quickly approaching, we’re excited to be positioning Shapeways as the go-to for unique, customizable gifts– and our designers are crucial to growing that marketplace. We’ve identified some of the hottest tech hobbyist trends of this year to inspire our makers to stretch their imaginations and consider creating accessories for each, making them on-demand stocking stuffers.

Raspberry Pi: With this little computer giving you a lot of power to program and create, what better companion for it than 3D printed accessories? We’d suggest our designers tap into Shapeways customizable product feature to create Raspberry Pi cases or stands– because while it’s what’s on the inside that matters, it doesn’t hurt to have a neat exterior for your favorite gadget.Apple III Raspberry Pi Case 3d printed

Raspberry Pi Apple III case by RetroConnector

iPhone 7: With Apple’s latest release being on (most) people’s wishlists and being significantly different than previous models, it’s a great opportunity to tap into creative cases and accessories.The Vibe iPhone Case - 40033196:7.67 3d printed

The Vibe iPhone Case by Cacai

GoPro Hero 5 (Black and Session): GoPro’s latest cameras come in two sizes, meaning double the accessory options! Because both work on voice-command, there should be some fun potential for newly designed cases and accessories. We also hear that while the Hero 4 Black is waterproof, it won’t float so some aquatic accessories could be useful.Boonie Hat Mount for GoPro Cameras (Slim Case) 3d printed

Boonie Hat Mount for GoPro Cameras by BrainExploder Creations

Apple Watch Series 2: The new Apple Watch model is about the same size and shape as its predecessor but slightly thicker. We’ve been seeing some great watch docks and charging stations, and there’s limitless room for variations.Apple Watch Metal Bumper 42mm 3d printed


Apple Watch Metal Bumper by Amznfx

Remember, one of the most important parts of leveraging the products you create is showing vs. telling shoppers what your product does. Quality photos tell a thousand (or more) words and super nifty videos are even better.

Shop More Gadget and Tech Trends Here!

Gifts for Dad and His Dad Bod

Posted by in Gifts, Trends

Dads work hard for their dad bod. It might not look like they’re working hard, but it takes a strong, wise man to know when to hit the gym and when not to hit the gym, skipping out for a well-earned beer and that well-known man food, pizza.

In case you’re not up on all things interwebs, a dad bod looks like this.

(Though let’s be real, sometimes it skews a little more like this.)

That great repository of all things slang, Urban Dictionary, defines it this way:

“If human bodies were cuts of meat, the dad bod would skew more marbled rib eye than filet mignon…[it’s] more mudslide than mountain, more soft serve than sorbet, more sad trombone than clarinet, more mashed potato than skinny fry. The dad bod is built for comfort.”

So what do you get for the dad who is so good at his job it shows? Well, there’s this–workout and post workout libation in one. Highly efficient for an efficient kind of guy.

Or you can mix and match, pairing any of these fitness accessories with these beer accessories (which you can customize special for him). Whichever combo you get, it’s sure to help him maintain his striking dad bod look.

You can also find more Father’s Day gift ideas here.

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 /

Ellaria’s dagger | Image Credit: Helen Sloan / HBO /

“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!


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?”

IMG_1918 copy (1)

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, 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, “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 and Xconomy.

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


Is consumer 3D printing overhyped?

Posted by in Trends

If you’ve been keeping up with recent stories in the news, it seems that the prevailing opinion is that consumer 3D printing is overhyped. True? Or not? I think it is now a good time to share some of my ideas.

Just yesterday the news broke that Avi Reichental, 3D Systems’ CEO, is departing. In the article questions are raised about the market viability of consumer 3D printing.

In my opinion, the big problem is that consumer 3D printing all too often is confused with home printing or desktop printers like MakerBot, Formlabs and Ultimaker. Those machines are really cool and are a great tool for makers to make things at home. According to industry experts however these machines are not going into homes, but companies and schools. Desktop printers are not the only way for consumers to engage with 3D printing. This is the reason why I founded Shapeways in 2007 – to create a service enabling anyone to make great products. Not only in Plastics, but in Metal, Precious Metals, and very recently Porcelain.


Despite the obvious problems of public companies losing a lot of share value, perhaps partially driven by the lack of consumer adoption of desktop printers, I think the fact is missed that it is very likely that consumers do not (only) want their own desktop printer, but perhaps find a service more enticing. The difference is that we can offer customers access to state of the art, industrial 3D printers and it is exactly there where just over the last year very exciting news has emerged.

HP announced last year their new 3D printer which is 10x faster and substantially more affordable to run. The 10x speed improvement will enable the making of the product on the same or next day as the order was placed. It also will eventually offer full color plastic printing. This will offer a degree of creativity not seen before and we know there is a huge demand as more than 50% of the products we manufacture every month are ordered in plastic.

Even more recently DeskTop Metal has announced a new Metal printer again promising big improvements in speed and cost.

Next to the improvements in the industrial printers which users of Shapeways have direct access to, our platform offers pretty amazing consumer-friendly 3D tools to help designers understand what is printable.

For consumers who do not know how to design, there are also multiple options. You can select products from an almost infinite amount on our marketplace and we very recently also launched CustomMaker enabling anyone to have a say in design and customize the products on the marketplace.


Over the years, Shapeways has become the home of more than 700,000 makers and designers. More than 150,000 products are uploaded to our platform every month and we print more than 200,000 products in more than 50 materials. These are numbers that have grown quickly and will continue to grow. The short of it is that I think that there are a lot of reasons to support the assumption that consumer 3D printing is very real. But perhaps we have been looking at the wrong solution to enable it. It’s about having access to this amazing technology – not owning it in your home. The Shapeways platform has been growing very quickly and more and more people are discovering it does exactly what they want: Making it possible to get amazing products.

5 3D Printed Drone Accessories to Help You Avoid Crash Landing on the White House Lawn

Are you loving the latest aerial videos shot by drones? Tempted to buy one yourself? Many of us in the Shapie family fly, and we love seeing how the communities of pilots and 3D modelers overlap.

Everyone here is a huge advocate for the safe flying of multirotors, quadcopters, drones and other fun RC devices. We, like many of you, cringe when we hear about incidents like the White House Drone crash landing. In the spirit of safe flying and us all working together to set good examples in our communities, here are 5 Accessories to prevent you and your fliers from suffering a similar fate.

Worth noting: This blog post has products embedded in it made possible by our new product widget. Learn more about it and share your products and those you love easily. 

Ultralight Landing Gear by Brian Self Design

Prop Guard from Fusion Imaging

Video of the Prop Guard in action:


BIG Battery Door Upgrade by MaikelsDesign

Samsung Galaxy S5 Visor by Fusion Imaging

What other accessories will make our drones safer?

Inspiration, gifts and order dates for Valentine’s Day 2015!

Valentine’s Day is right around the corner! Whether you like browsing the most unique pieces, or want to make something special yourself, it’s the perfect time to express your love in a personal way. Let us help you make this Valentine’s Day the best one yet. Keep shipping dates (below) in mind if you’re looking to customize or design products yourself!

DIY Apps
While this #icant pendant isn’t exactly romantic, see how easy it is to create a pendant out of your own handwriting or design using 2D to 3D. From paper to pendant, you can easily make the perfect gift:

You don’t need design skills to make something special – our talented designers have done most of the work for you! All you do is choose a product, personalize, sit back and relax.
Screen Shot 2015-01-12 at 2.14.51 PM

Make Your Own
There’s nothing quite like creating the exact product you want. It’s even more special when that product is for someone you love. Need some inspiration? Check out this engagement story from our Community Manager, Natalia.

Not looking to make something this Valentine’s Day? No problem! We have an array of products in our marketplace, even a Valentine’s Day Gift Guide, that will make for great gifts. Whether you’re looking for something traditional or not, we’ve got you covered!

Top Row: Heartbeat Ring by AlessandroAzzolini, 3D Printed Bow Tie by Mstyle183, Heart Cufflinks by

Middle Row: Head to Head Again (Cufflinks) in 4 Bend by T_LAB, Heart Guitar Peg by EnnoshitaArt, Anatomical Heart Pendant by LHDesigns.

Bottom Row: Trimmed Rose by sinarhp, Coloured Heart by MrSirLRD, Marine Vase by StJimmy.

Order Dates
For convenience, we’ve listed these order deadlines for February 13th delivery based on UPS Next-Day Shipping for customers in the US. If you are outside of the US, refer to shipping dates found on your cart page.

  • January 22 – Gold Plated Brass
  • January 27 – Polished Brass, Bronze, Premium Silver, Matte Black Steel, Polished Grey Steel, Matte Gold Steel, Polished Gold Steel, Polished Nickel Steel, Colored Strong & Flexible
  • January 30 – Raw Brass, Raw Bronze
  • February 2 – Platinum, Stainless Steel, Matte & Polished Bronze Steel, White Strong & Flexible, Polished
  • February 3 – Metallic Plastic, Black Strong & Flexible
  • February 4 – Gold, Polished & Raw Silver
  • February 5 – Full Color Sandstone, White Strong & Flexible

Shapeways in 2014: A Year in 3D Printing and What’s Next for 2015

In 2014, 3D printing was programmed into intricate soft-goods and embedded in your favorite software. It augmented the big brands you love and built new brands from scratch. It fueled Meme Mania, reigned supreme in responsive gadget accessory design, and was showcased at MoMA. From supermodels to SuperFanArt, 2014 was the year 3D printing went to infinity and beyond — literally, there’s now a 3D printer in space!

In 2014 the Shapeways community grew and we now have designers from 133 different countries. With nearly 500,000 Shapies, 23,000 Shop Owners and products shipped to over 140 countries, Shapeways and our community power not only the largest, but the widest reaching 3D printing service and marketplace.

Markets underserved by mass manufacturing flourish in our supply-meets-demand marketplace, allowing for product creation the world has never seen before. Responsively designed gadget accessories, custom jewelry, unbelievable miniatures and creative fan art saw the biggest rise this year. Here’s a roundup of our big picture thoughts on 2014 and predictions for the new year.

Notable Highlights from 2014

  1. Material Innovations: Wait, That is 3D Printed?
  2. The Transition from Prototyping to Complete Product Design
  3. 3D Printing is Niche-Tastic, Big Brands Want to Harness its Power Too
  4. Improving Production Capabilities
  5. Out of This World & Unexpected Applications: Fashion, Apps & Education


Material Innovations: Wait, That is 3D Printed?

3D printing is only as great as the materials you can use. In 2014, we saw companies big and small continue to innovate and introduce new materials that elevated what designers could make. We are constantly asking our community what they want and pushing the material boundaries to give you the best. We’re hearing more and more that Shapeways shoppers don’t even realize the products are 3D printed!

It’s not just drones we’ve been piloting, but materials too. From precious metals to beautiful porcelain, the materials are getting better and better:

  • Metals were a game-changer this year. We introduced Platinum, 18k & 14k Gold, 14k Rose Gold and 14k White Gold, enabling jewelers to create high-quality products without having to keep any inventory. The custom engagement rings we’ve seen have been incredible!

  • For the even more serious jeweler, we introduced Castable Wax. This has enabled creative casts that have been simply stunning.

  • We have been working on the R&D to 3D print Porcelain for over a year, and recently launched our pilot program. We’re excited to innovate with our community to introduce a high quality material to the world.


  • Full Color Plastic – In another feat of community R&D, we launched full color plastic in a pilot including hundreds of Shapeways designers. Your feedback is guiding this materials’ development as we learn more about it.

  • Also worth mentioning is the new printer HP introduced, which promises to deliver full-color products faster and at a better price. Shapeways is part of their Open Customer Engagement Program, and we are proud to host their printer in our factory to test out its capabilities. The fact that a Fortune 50 company chose us to work with and has has invested so much R&D in 3D printing signals that we’re likely to see a lot more innovation in the years to come.

What does this mean for 2015?

  • As material costs go down and quality continues to rise, we’ll see more and more 3D printed products, in stores and online.

  • Even more materials will hit the market, piloted and tested by the Shapeways community, and this will open up new product categories and designs that were never possible before.

  • While everybody might not get a 3D printer for themselves, we will see a 3D printed product in every home. From home decor to gadget accessories, everybody will be using 3D printed products in their daily life.

The Transition from Prototyping to Complete Product Design

3D printing is what makes rapid innovation possible. Before, this type of iteration was only available to prototyping industries historically limited to companies with large budgets. Now, with the rise of accessible 3D modeling software and Shapeways 3D printing services, anyone can take a product to market. Here are some examples of trends we saw in the prototyping and product development space this year:

  • Our marketplace reached 20,000 shops in September! Now, at over 23,000 this means that literally thousands of entrepreneurs are running their business and introducing products on Shapeways!

  • We launched Beta Products to help designers connect with customers, get feedback and tweak their final products based on customer needs and wants. Products like this Moto G phone case to hold a diabetes monitor and bhold sound pod are perfect examples.

  • In 2014 we really saw more educators take the step to introduce 3D printing into their curriculum from desktop 3D printers in schools to courses being offered at university. Our educational program has thousands of students and educators using 3D printing to bring their ideas to life. What may be prototypes now are the products of the future.

What does this mean for 2015?

  • Just as updates to software have become instantaneous (remember when “updates” were CD’s you had buy?), changes and improvements to physical products will happen far more quickly. As a result, traditional seasons and launch cycles will be disrupted.

  • Products developed based on user needs. Real-time responsive iteration after launch will allow designers to improve upon their products with the input of their friends, fans and customers.

  • Larger brands will start to realize that customers want more than what is offered. Companies making consumer products will see their customers turning to more customized products and investigate ways, like 3D printing, to solve this need.

3D Printing is Niche-Tastic, Big Brands Want to Harness its Power Too

2014 was a breakout year for brands on Shapeways, both those powered by our Shop Owners and partnerships with Fortune 100s. We were elated to see how many major brands really dove head first into 3D printing to extend their product offering and co-create with their customers. When brands listen to their fans and we create on demand, everyone wins. Here at Shapeways, here are some of the initiatives we saw have the most impact:

  • Hasbro Opened its IP Allowing for epic Super Fan Art, becoming the first global brand to do so and allowed designers to create their own custom versions of beloved Hasbro characters. Currently, designers can create products directly inspired by My Little Pony, Transformers, G.I. Joe, Monopoly and Scrabble. We look forward to continuing and expanding this partnership in the future.


  • Adobe integrated Shapeways into Photoshop in the Creative Cloud

  • This summer, we worked with Google on their Made with Code initiative to empower young girls. Hundreds of thousands of young women (and men) created a custom bracelet and had their first maker experience, leveraging code and 3D printing at the same time. The bracelets were all 3D printed in our NYC factory and we hope they inspired thousands of young designers.

  • Just in time for the holidays, Target introduced a limited-edition collection of 3D printed pendants, rings and more through their Target Shapeways Shop. This marked the first time a large retailer designed, marketed and sold 3D printed products.


  • lent us experts from 10 of their verticals and curated a fabulous list for the home. We hope to see more guest collaborations like this from other visually and content diverse friends.

  • Future Engineers chose us as a partner for producing 3D “ground prints” of winning tools from a contest challenging kids to design tools for astronauts in space. Not only are we empowering folks on earth, but in space as well!

Some brands are still catching up, but in the meantime we’re seeing notable consumer-driven innovation around popular products. Shapeways top sellers include modifiers for drones, GoPros, Jawbone, FitBit, iPhone, Raspberry Pi, Arduino, and a whole suite of popular consumer electronics. Fans aren’t willing to wait for for others to come out with the accessory or add-ons of their dreams, and they don’t need to thanks to 3D printing.

What does this mean for 2015?

  • Many more brands will consider how 3D printing fits into their customer engagement strategy. They can open up the conversation around product development, iterate in real time with their customers and grow their business as a result.

  • By the end of the year, innovative brands will have a 3D printing line item in their budget.

  • Brands with IP will take note from Hasbro and will hopefully open up their IP to enable 3D printed fan art rather than try to squash it.

Improving Production Capabilities

Manufacturing with 3D printing has evolved in leaps and bounds over the last decade, and new capabilities are being introduced on a consistent basis. In 2014, we continued to improve our production capabilities and grow our capacity to meet the needs of our community.

  • We opened the doors to our brand new factory in Eindhoven during Dutch Design Week. The new space now accommodates the explosive growth we’ve seen over the past few years and enables us to create even more of the amazing products that come through our printers every day.


What does this mean for 2015?

  • We’ll continue to make continuous improvements and breakthrough innovations in our production to enable designers to create amazing products that are more affordable for consumers to buy.

  • Lead times will continue to decrease and designs will come to life even faster.

  • Across the 3D printing industry, advancements in production will translate to advancements in additional fields, such as medicine, design, education and more.


Out of This World & Unexpected Applications: Fashion, Apps & Education

From 3D printing in space to Santa’s belt buckle, we saw some mind blowing inventions and innovations from the Shapeways community in 2014. 3D printing enables endless possibilities, and these dreams became a reality.

  • We’ve been reaching for the stars and thinking what we can create among them ever since being inspired by the the actual 3D printer that was sent into space in September, marking the beginning of manufacturing in space. While we wait to see what is possible, we’ve been working with Future Engineers, ASME and Made in Space empowering kids to design tools that can be printed and used in space.

  • We saw an explosion in wearable tech accessories, including the introduction of wearable bands, cases and fitness accessories. We had iPhone cases before the 6 was even on shelves, Moto 360 bumpers before Best Buy, and Microsoft Band Stand’s before Microsoft realized consumers wanted them.

  • The fashion industry saw 3D printing in a whole new way this year. Everybody wants to know when they will be able to proudly wear a 3D printed shirt, and while we’re not quite there yet we are SO close: Fashion Weeks around the world saw 3D printed clothes walk down the runway, thanks to designers like Katya Leonovich, Bradley Rothenberg and Iris van Herpen.

  • Accessories merging form and function became more customized as apps like Normal came to market. The first to scan the ear and face, Normal configures customized headphones that will actually stay in your ears.

  • Over the summer, in partnership with Eyebeam Art and Technology Center, Shapeways supported the first-ever group of Computational Fashion Masterclass Students. The finished designs from that class were displayed during Fashion Week in September.


  • Most recently, design studio Nervous System introduced the first-ever wearable dress that was 3D printed in one piece. The design and final product are so impressive, the Museum of Modern Art has acquired it for their permanent collection!


What does this mean for 2015?

  • Intense product innovation. There is less holding designers back and 2015 will be the year we see more 3D printed wearables, medical devices, tools for the kitchen and more.

  • Customers won’t settle for “one size fits all” accessories. Headphones, phone cases and other personal accessories will become customized to fit a specific person’s needs.

  • The manufacturing of 3D printed goods will step up more than ever before. As designers looks to create products that will appeal to a broader audience (like clothes, headphones, etc.), they will need a more efficient process that allows their designs to be created quickly and be less expensive than before.

Whew! 2014 was quite the year, but we’re so excited to see what 2015 has in store. Stay tuned on the blog for more roundups from 2014 and insights into next year.

While there is much for us to recap at the end of every year, it’s really an opportunity for all of us to reflect on how amazing our community is. YOU are what make Shapeways possible and it’s YOU we are most grateful for this holiday season. We would love know, as we’ve already shared a few, what are your favorite memories from 2014? What are your goals for 2015? We’re all ears and printers! 

This post was made possible by the entire team at Shapeways, especially Mansee, Lauren, Carine and Savannah.

Five Predictions: The Future of Drones, Quadcopters and 3D Printing


The new DJI Inspire 1, a convergence of consumer and commercial Drone technology

Every December we like to look back at the trends we’ve seen since January and assess what learnings should be applied to the year ahead. If there is on product category on Shapeways that has withstood the test of 2014 it is Drone Accessories. Battery pack hacks, propeller guards, landing gear, GoPro mounts and levers are just a few examples of the great 3D printed parts the Shapeways community is making for their quadcopters and multirotors. They’ve signaled to us that the Drone market is healthy and growing rapidly. Here are my thoughts looking forward.


Five Predictions for Drones in 2015:

The “Drone” vs UAV vs Multirotor Debate will Fizzle

When multirotors went consumer, early adopters and advocates were weary of the term “Drone,” and rightfully so, most people associate drones with the military. That said, I think as the market gains awareness across the general public, we’ll be able to effectively differentiate from unmanned combat aerial vehicles (UCAV – the scary kind) and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV – the commercial and consumer kind).  I know hard core mutirotor fans out there may be skeptical, but I believe this will happen for a few simple reasons: 1) More and more people are flying and seeing consumer aircrafts, visually comprehending the difference 2) Drone is just easier. In the same way a table can have 2, 3, 4, 6 or however many legs, and UAVs have varying numbers of rotors. While multirotor is inclusive, it doesn’t quite roll off the tongue the way drone does. 3) It’s already happening. 150% more products on Shapeways are tagged “Drone” over “multirotor.”

Drone Activity Debates will Heat Up

While I believe the word “Drone” will become less controversial, the activity of Drones will only fall under more intense scrutiny. The air above us is considerably less regulated than the ground below us and with that ambiguity comes fear. “Drone Surveillance” is considerably more ominous sounding than “non-invasive aerial video” despite the activities (taking video from the sky) being exactly the same. Drone lovers will need to be sure to assure their clients and networks that they’re flying for good.

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Photo taken by Stephen Greenwood and I using the DJI Phantom 2 Vision+

The Drone Laws are Coming

The FAA and their international counterparts have yet define the naughty and nice list for Drone pilots. While there are some guidelines, compared to other activities, playing with your consumer drone is relatively unregulated. Not only serving as oversight for the safety and privacy of citizens, Drone regulations will bring big bucks to emerging industries. The wild west will only stay wild for a little longer.

Drones will Show Us the Money

The Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI) predicts that “The economic impact of the integration of UAS into the National Airspace System (NAS) will total more than $13.6 billion in the first three years.” This $$ means jobs, too; “Integration into the NAS will create more than 34,000 manufacturing jobs and more than 70,000 new jobs” overall in those same three years.  AUVSI predicts that between 2015 and 2025 those jobs will grow to over 100,000 and the market to $82.1 Billion.

Shapeways will Continue to Provide the Best (and Fastest) Drone Accessories

Yes, I’m biased for obvious reasons, but this is also data based. We have more accessories available faster than the companies that manufacture the drones because inventory is unnecessary in 3D Printing. Drone part designers test on their vehicles, iterating quicker than anyone else can. There are already over 1,000 unique Drone parts for sale on Shapeways, I predict that number grows to 2500 over the next year.


Drones are not only a part of my day job, but they’re a part of my nights and weekends too. My boyfriend is a video producer and has fallen in love with the perspective now provided by these small unmanned aircrafts. I act as DP when I can, controlling the camera mounted to his DJI Phantom I. Occasionally, Martini (my dog) and I have an “encounter” with his training Hubsan quadcopter. If you still love something after it’s tried to nest itself in your hair, you know it’s a hobby that’s here to stay. That’s how I feel about Drones. There’s a lot to learn, and much room to grow.

What Drone do you have or want to get? Here’s an overview of the current consumer Drones if you’re just getting started.

Gifts for the Fitness Buff

Friends who have very specific interests are generally pretty easy to shop for, right? If they love to cook, you can never go wrong with a fun new kitchen gadget. Have an artistic friend? Get them something that will really showcase their creativity. And for those friends who rarely miss a workout, we’ve got unique gifts for them right here on Shapeways!

Help them accessorize their fitness tech, without missing a step. Below are some of our picks for the fitness buffs in your life.

Pendant or Keychain Holder for Fitbit Flex


Pebble Watch Bike Mount625x465_1051070_1011461_1411576427







Don’t forget to check out our Gift Guide for other gift ideas!

Shapeways October Top Sellers & Viewed 3D Printed Products

Have you ever wondered what products sell best on Shapeways? What products are going viral and getting the most traffic? Well, thanks to your feedback and with some help from friends of ours at we’ve started a new series. Every month, we’re going to share the top 10 marketplace sellers on Shapeways as well as our top 10 viewed products. Below is a peek at last month’s leading models.

Shapeways October Top Sellers

1. & 2.  Moto 360 Bumper Case by Raelx

These are some of the first and only Moto 360 bumpers on the market and they are only $8! We were very excited to see these take off and get picked up by all the gadget media. Our only hope is that Raelx makes additional versions (he has a short and tall currently) in our premium metals… Here Shapie shopper Michael Shulteis shows off his in our red strong and flexible plastic (found on twitter):

moto 360


3. Itty Bitty Sad Keanu by neuralfirings

A Shapeways veteran all-star, Sad Keanu saw a huge bump in traffic after we helped celebrate Keanu Reeve’s 50th Birthday by throwing him a 3D Printed party on vine:

You can see the rest of the Top Sellers in October over on

Shapeways October Most Viewed Products

2. Origami Crane Skeleton by Joabaldwin 

Joaquin Baldwin’s crane is very well designed, and this fantastic image tells the story immediately. It’s hard not to be a bit mesmerized when you see it for the time:



8. Spitfire My Little Pony by Christophe Vidal

The new additions to the SuperFanArt family have been incredible, Spitfire being one of the fan favorites! Christophe has designed many products on Shapeways, and his My Little Pony modeling is helping him reach new audiences.



You can see the full list of top viewed Shapeways products from October of on 3dprint.

What do you hope to see make Novembers list? Home and Shapeways Team Up to Make Your Holiday More Awesome

Do you have guests coming to visit during the holidays? Are you already stressing about getting the house ready for hosting? 3D printed products make for excellent conversation pieces and can be a game changer at holiday events. Home knows how special holiday celebrations are, and we’ve put our heads together to #ShapeMyHolidaySweeps!

About products

Our friends at Home have gotten a fresh new look and to celebrate that, Experts from their team in everything from Colors to Kitchens (and even Dogs) picked their favorite product on Shapeways. Check out the great Home curation of products and vote for your favorites. 48 lucky winners will get the top voted product and a grand prize winner will get all 10! Be sure to pin and share your favorite product to help it get more votes :) .

about curation

Isn’t it fun to see Shapie products on a site as cool as Which product did you vote for?

Win 3D Printed Jewelry from Shapeways

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

Daily Facebook Giveaway:

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

Pin Your Favorite Jewelry on Pinterest:

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

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

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

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

    • Tag each pin #ShapewaysJewelryContest


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

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

3D Printed Rings


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

3D Printed Pendants


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

3D Printed Bracelets


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

3D Printed Earrings


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

3D Printed Cufflinks


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

3D Printed Necklaces


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

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