Category Archives: Inspiration

Make Their GoPro Go Further

The little action camera that can go almost anywhere has inspired a serious following, from newbie adventure-seekers to serious videographers. Some of the GoPro’s biggest fans are makers whose accessories help achieve professional-grade results. Like designer Dan Newman of My GoPro Kit, whose mods range from filter attachments to tools for capturing aerial 3D shots. As we shine a spotlight this week on holiday gifts that offer a Technical Advantage, discover a few tools that will help your favorite GoPro fans get truly pro results.

Capturing 3D shots using GoPro’s Dual Hero System can be a challenge for objects that are more than 10 feet away. The GoPro HERO 3+ 3D System allows for wider lens separation, ensuring crisp coverage of subjects between 10 and 50 feet away — perfect for wider-parallax shooting like aerial photography.

GoPro HERO 3+ 3D System: Wider Lens Separation by My GoPro Kit

GoPro HERO 3+ 3D System: Wider Lens Separation by My GoPro Kit

This base for a motion-control rig lets you capture dynamic time-lapse photography using a model train track. At the link above, Dan also shares full plans for the time-lapse rig system, so get making!

Train-lapse rig for GoPro by My GoPro Kit

The Sun hood and 37mm filter holder for GoPro not only helps you attach filters to your camera, it also ensures that you maintain resolution while using ND filters, even in bright sunlight. Add this to your toolkit for flawless full-sun coverage.

Sun hood and 37mm filter holder for GoPro by My GoPro Kit

Sun hood and 37mm filter holder for GoPro by My GoPro Kit

Follow My GoPro Kit to keep up to speed on all of Dan’s innovations, and find dozens more ways to give everyone on your list a Technical Advantage this holiday season in our Holiday Gift Guide. What are some of your favorite high-performance GoPro accessories? Let us know in the comments below.

Give Dice Worth Showing Off

You keep them in a special pouch. You imbue them with luck to protect you from eldritch powers. And, you definitely mind when others ask to use them. Dice are a game lover’s secret sauce. So, as we celebrate all the ways our loved ones Geek Out this holiday season, we’re highlighting some of the most uniquely beautiful dice we’ve seen, by one of our community’s most prolific gaming designers, Chris Vos of Tiny Tokens.

His D20 Balanced Gaming Die, as featured in the Gamemaster collection in our Holiday Gift Guide, is designed in the visual style of the Kaladesh Magic the Gathering expansion. Its unusual artistry is sure to set apart anyone lucky enough to own it. As a regular D20 die, this piece works for Dungeons and Dragons, Pathfinder, and other RPGs. A spindown version that can be used as a life counter is also available.

D20 Balanced Gaming Die by Tiny Tokens

D20 Balanced Gaming Die by Tiny Tokens

And, if you’re looking to spoil your favorite gamemaster, the Starry Gaming Die Set below will set them up for whatever the game’s adventures bring.

'Starry' Gaming Die Set: D20, D12, D10, D8, D6, D4 by Tiny Tokens

‘Starry’ Gaming Die Set: D20, D12, D10, D8, D6, D4 by Tiny Tokens

3D printing has allowed for an explosion in creativity in the world of game design, resulting in intricately detailed collectors’ items like Chris Vos’ creations — perfect gifts for players who want to stand out from the crowd.

Discover even more incredible dice and gaming accessories in our Gamemaster collection, and check out our full Holiday Gift Guide for everyone else on your list.

Jewelry From the Future

Fashion’s love affair with geometric design shows no sign of letting up, making geometry-inspired pieces perfect holiday gifts for the fashionistas in your life. At Shapeways, we see a lot of incredible geometric jewelry from our designers. The 3D design process makes manipulating mathematical shapes a natural fit. But, sometimes, a designer comes along who takes a simple idea — the polygon — and uses it to make a fashion statement that seems to come to us from the future.

Ring Poly One by AKK

Ring Poly One by AKK

AKK designer Aleksandar Kovacevic’s Poly series of rings, bracelets, and earrings started from a simple place. “In the beginning was the Polygon … the whole idea was about entering the world of jewelry design and 3D printing with a collection developed from one single polygon,” he told us.

Bangle Poly Nine by AKK

Bangle Poly Nine by AKK

“I wanted to design statement pieces for all individuals who aren’t afraid to show that they are different,” Aleksandar said of his “harmonic compositions” of polygons. Whether worn as multiple cascading, stacking pieces, or alone, the rings and bangles in the AKK shop seem to have a life — and a movement — all their own.

Earrings Poly Eleven by AKK

Earrings Poly Eleven by AKK

The groundbreaking look of AKK’s 3D printed pieces is no accident. “Without today’s 3D printing possibilities, having my own jewelry collection would still be just a thought. 3D printing technology really helped me express myself the way I could never imagine.” We hope you’ll be as inspired by Aleksandar’s creations as we were, whether you’re shopping for cutting-edge holiday gifts for stylish friends, or looking to try your hand at 3D design.

And, for even more gifting inspiration, dig into our Holiday Gift Guide, where you’ll find hundreds of ways to help your loved ones express themselves all year long.

5 Customizable Gifts for Unique Personalities

Fitbit goalkeeper. GoPro thrill-seeker. Imaginary horse trainer. Rare book collector. They’re your best friend, your dad, your niece, or your girlfriend. And, even if you have no idea why they love what they love, this holiday season, they deserve something better than mass-produced presents. Something that shows how well you know them. And to really take it into “treasure forever” territory, customize it! Shapeways’ Holiday Gift Guide offers thousands of ways for you to help them express themselves — including lots of amazing customizable options that will let you put their personal stamp on useful accessories they’ll love.

Here are my top five favorite customizable gifts in this year’s Holiday Gift Guide, for some of my favorite people.

1. For my niece: An ornament to remember

QED's Custom Horse Ornament

QED’s Custom Horse Ornament

She won’t always be a little girl with an imaginary horse named Pinky. But, she’ll probably pull this Custom Horse Ornament out every Christmas for years to come, because it will still be hers — with her name on it — long after Pinky is forgotten (or replaced by a real horse).

2. For my best friend: An actually stylish Fitbit cover

The Sanabelle Fitbit Flex Bracelet by Sanabelle

The Sanabelle Fitbit Flex Bracelet by Sanabelle

She’s always struggled to balance her amazing style with her obsession with fitness. And because only I understand just how real this struggle is, I’m getting her a sleek bracelet cover for her Flex, complete with her initials for that bespoke touch.

3. For my mom: A bookmark she won’t lose

The Bookmark Monogram by Studio Elisabeth

The Bookmark Monogram by Studio Elisabeth

First editions of Steinbeck novels are her jam. But she’s so prone to losing bookmarks that old receipts are usually stuffed between their pricey covers to mark her place. It’s about time she had a bookmark worthy of her passion for literature, with her initial, so no one else can claim it. Plus, I plan to print a few extras, so she’ll always have another one to find when she next loses hers.

4. For my dad: A custom GoPro lens cap

Lens Cover for GoPro by 3Dprintingdog

Lens Cover for GoPro by 3Dprintingdog

He loves to collect electronics, and his GoPro is his favorite gadget ever. But, all those cameras and stereo systems and TVs he’s loved over the years have never had his personal stamp on them. This custom GoPro cap will finally add a touch of personality to his standard-issue equipment (while reminding him of his favorite — ok, only — daughter).

5. For my uncle, the Patagonian trekker: A Llama planter

The Llama Planter by Pearthq

The Llama Planter by Pearthq

When he’s not scaling the peaks of Patagonia, my uncle is obsessed with collecting little items that remind him of the people, places, and things he loves most. Combining the animal native to his favorite destination with a clever succulent planter, the Llama Planter is that unusual combination of things that make it a strangely perfect gift. I’ll add the name of his favorite trail to make it just-for-him.

Find more custom holiday gifting options here, and options for every unique personality on your list in this week’s Express Yourself Gift Guide. Plus, check out all our holiday gifting ideas in this year’s Holiday Gift Guide. Who are you buying customized gifts for? Let us know in the comments!

Six Famous Monsters on How to 3D Print the Perfect Halloween

This season, Shapeways porcelain has an amazing selection of Halloween models to choose from, and our favorite famous Halloween monsters and their friends have recommended some of the most ghoulish options.

A pumpkin is a witch’s best friend (after her cat of course) and Porcelain Decorations’ lovely Table Top Porcelain Pumpkin is a perfect fit for every witchy home.

No one wants to forget their keys, but when you are the Grim Reaper, it’s easy to do! Curio Inventorium’s frightening Skull Keyring Holder keeps keys safely mounted to the wall near your door so you don’t forget them, even in the dead of night.

Even Bat Lady needs a tea cup to be a proper lady, and Candy Carlson Design’s adorable Bat Tea Cup is the perfect fit.

 

LudMi’s Anatomical Heart in a Mug is perfect for the vampire who wants to drink blood in style.

The Valkyries say that Wolnir’s Goblet by Tony Nguyen’s Stuff is perfect for after you have looted a village. There is nothing like drinking wine out of an opponent’s skull.

Image result for vintage valkyrie free illustration

 

Finally, when ghosts drive to their honeymoon, what could be more perfect than a Ghostbusters-Inspired Hood Ornament by Fused Creations.

Enjoy the fall season, and don’t forget that Halloween is every day!

Shaping Dutch Design: Concept R

In celebration of Dutch Design Week 2016, our Shaping Dutch Design series has taken a closer look at a few of the dozens of Dutch designers who are part of the Shapeways EXPO this year and, of course, our global maker community all year round. If you missed us in person in Eindhoven this week, check out all the Dutch Design Week fun here, on InstagramTwitter, and on Facebook for live updates from #DDW16.

How to combine a passion for biking and music with inspired design? Avid cyclist and designer Robin de Pruyssenaere of Concept R did just that with a collection of accessories that harness 3D printing to turn his favorite pastimes into wearable art.


For bike fanatics, every element of the machine itself can be beautiful. Concept R’s Bike Racing Steer Cufflinks, WE Cycling Pendant, and Tie Clip Bike take bicycle parts into the world of elegant accessories.


Of course, biking and music often go hand in hand, and headphones are also a favorite motif for the designer, in the form of Headset Cufflinks and the Headphone Ring.


Robin’s pieces were on display this week at Shapeways EXPO at Dutch Design Week, and if you missed us in Eindhoven, you can still visit his Shapeways shop any time for well-designed accessories for the bike- and music-lovers in your life.

Concept R at Dutch Design Week 2016

Concept R at Dutch Design Week 2016

Shapeways Designers – The Laser Girls – In The Press!

We’re so proud that The Laser Girls are featured in the October issue of Marie Claire with their 3D printed nails!

The article (on pg. 192!) shouts out the cube nails, the pointy talons, and the dragon master nails– marking them as Marie Claire-certified! We definitely think the article… nailed it (hehe). Pick up an issue to check it out!

Keep in mind that press is always checking out the Shapeways marketplace for interesting and unique products. Making your designs available for purchase and pairing them with gorgeous product shots, you significantly increase visibility for your shop.

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

Off-balance:

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!

Recapping Eindhoven Mini Maker Faire

Last weekend Maker Faire, the Greatest Show (and Tell) event we know, descended to Eindhoven for the third time. Over 100 makers showed off their work, ranging from robots that can play football to wooden guns for rubber bands. From 3D printed selfies to jewelry handmade from electric components and organizations working on building their own maker communities.

In the Facebook video broadcast below I take you on a quick flight through the event.

Our booth was hidden in mystery. While walking by you couldn’t see much, but behind a black curtain our 3D Scanning Engineers Brigitte and Astrid scanned many visitors. One by one people could enter and for the first time see themselves from a whole different angle on the computer.

scan anouk 1

Also a true celebrity in the fasiontech industry gave her presence at the Eindhoven Mini Maker Faire: Anouk Wipprecht. You might recognize her from cool projects such as the Spider Dress, the Audi Dresses and the Unicorn Horn. The Unicorn Horns have been 3D Printed at our Eindhoven located factory, and were on exhibit last week at ARS in Linz, Austria.

scan anouk 2
Anouk Wipprecht is being 3D scanned by Astrid.

Despite the warm weather we had a great time 3D scanning visitors and hosting the afterparty for the makers. In special I want to thank René Paré, Maud Bongers and Anne-Marijn Burgers for organizing such a fantastic event! Eindhoven Mini Maker Faire – see you next year!

maker faire flyer

World Archery aiming for the Olympics with 3D Printing

The Olympic Games landed in Rio de Janeiro, turning Brazil into the first South American country to host the oldest sports event of all time. While welcoming many different athletes from all over the world to compete in a wide range of different sports, the Archery competition is where our gaze is specifically aiming on.

Since 1998, the World Archery is making limited edition pens out of broken arrows to give away to the VIP attendants of their competitions (learn how to make your own arrow pen here). But we can definitely agree that a special pen can’t just fly around on your desk – it has to be stored in a memorable way too.

During the 2012 Games in London, the World Archery used Cricket Balls to store the arrow-shaped pen in. While that was awesome, cricket balls have no symbolic meaning in Rio de Janeiro. This years’ Archery Olympics competition took place at the impressive Sambódromo, which you might recognize as the ending point of the yearly Rio Carnival, and definitely is one of the first places that comes to mind when thinking about Rio de Janeiro.

The Arrow Pen would not be complete without a symbol to remind the games in Rio, and what other material than our 3D printed Porcelain could represent the concrete arch better? The result is stunning, yet elegant.

The Sambódromo is a huge purpose-built area for the yearly Rio Carnival, but during the 2016 Olympics used for the Archery and Athletics Marathon events for the Olympics and for Archery in the 2016 Paralympics. Photo is courtesy of World Archery.

The Sambódromo is a huge purpose-built area for the yearly Rio Carnival, but used for the Archery and Athletics Marathon events for the 2016 Olympics and for Archery event in the 2016 Paralympics. Photo is courtesy of World Archery. Please note the Sambódromo Pen Holder is a gift from World Archery to a selected group of attendees and not part of Rio 2016.

By collaborating intensively with the World Archery and their 3D designer, we went through a few iterations to get a printable design and archieve the best details possible. Since we knew we had a very short time to print all the penholder statues, we worked intensively in speeding up our Porcelain printing process. This resulted in a lead time reduction of 50%! Read more about that and some tips for designing 3D Printed Porcelain in our previous blog.

Laika Studios and 3D Printing

As part of the Autodesk Vision series at SIGGRAPH 2016, Michael Laubach gave a presentation on how animation studio Laika used 3D printing to create the stunningly detailed facial animations for the upcoming feature film Kubo and the Two Strings.

IMG_4615

 

Using machines such as the Z650 (Full Color Sandstone) and the new Connex Color Printer from Stratasys, Laubach explained how his team combines art and engineering. Focusing on each of the characters faces, the team creates and animates a huge range (over a million combinations!) of facial emotions by separating the features of the face into parts and making the frames into separate, interchangeable pieces. The parts are then printed and then handed over to the stop motion team to put on the character and move in the frame.

It’s incredible to see how 3D printing is being used by the film industry to revive styles like stop-motion animation. Have you ever used 3D printing for a film? Tell us about it in the comments below!

Hacking Your Home With 3D Printing

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

3D Shaver – Personalize Your Shaver With 3D Printing

3D printing technology and online customization tools are opening up new possibilities in manufacturing a personalized product. And what could be more personal than shaving?

That was Philips’ thinking when it opened up its classic men’s shaver for personalization. The 3D Shaver, developed in partnership with Shapeways and Twikit and custom designed by you, is currently being offered by Philips in a limited edition trial.

3D Shaver Tool

Shavers can be configured with different handle designs and colors at 3dshaver.com. Once ordered, the custom parts are 3D printed and dyed at Shapeways’ factory in Eindhoven and shipped to Philips in the Netherlands for final manufacturing and assembly. The shaver is then packed in a custom box and shipped to you within 2-3 weeks of placing an order.

3D Shaver 4 Colors (800vers)

The 3D Shaver is exclusively available in The Netherlands. There are only 125 3D Shavers available and only two shavers can be ordered per day. A large number already have been sold, so you’ll have to move fast to get one.

We’re excited to partner with Philips on this and they have long shared Shapeways vision for the future of 3D printing; we were founded in 2007 in Eindhoven as part of Philips’ lifestyle incubator and look forward to working with them on more personalized products in the future.

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.