Category Archives: Inspiration

Coco Rocha & Sebring Studio Bring 1,000 Poses to Life in “Study of Pose,” and in 3D with Shapeways

Supermodel Coco Rocha is not only fashion forward, she’s tech forward. And in her latest innovative feat, she collaborated with world renowned photographer Steven Sebring on Study of PoseThe book is an incredible 2,032-page volume of 1,000 unique poses that celebrates the beauty and versatility of the human form.  Each pose is captured from 100 different angles on Steven’s experimental 360 degree “rig.”

Study of Pose hardcover and iPad app, alongside 3D prints from Shapeways. Image credit to Steven Sebring Studio.

In the book’s forward, Steven Sebring explains, “I wanted to document the fluid, ever-changing beauty of the ever-flexible human form…I had always planned on shooting the one thousand images with just one camera and one model.”

If the book were not dynamic enough, Coco and Steven brought the book to life with 3D printing. Because the rig took photos at 100 different angles, those photos were easily stitched together into 3D models.

3D prints of Coco Rocha printed by Shapeways. Image credit to Steven Sebring Studio.

3D print of Coco Rocha alongside image from Study of Pose. Image credit to Steven Sebring Studio.

Coco Rocha explains, “A few years back I got to personally tour Shapeways facilities in Long Island and see their capabilities. To be honest I’ve been itching to find a way to work with them ever since! When we were in the process of creating a whole exhibition around my new book with Steven Sebring, ‘Study Of Pose,’ we realized that the data we had from the 360 degree poses could easily allow us to create fully formed 3D renderings of all 1,000 poses in the book. That’s when the proverbial light bulb went off and we took our idea directly to Shapeways. Seeing those images from the book come to life in tangible three dimensions was so amazing for me, and it proved to be a great source of conversation at the art exhibit we had at Milk Gallery. We are talking about making ‘Study Of Pose’ book ends, candelabras, toy solders… the sky is the limit with a partner like Shapeways!”

Coco Rocha visiting the Shapeways factory in 2013.

The book is on display at Milk Gallery in New York until December 21st, where you can see gorgeous images from the book as well as interpretations of Study of Pose by local artists. You’ll also find our collaboration with Coco and Steven, a display of 500 3D prints of Coco’s form.

Congratulations to Steven Sebring, Coco Rocha and the whole team on bringing this idea to life!

3D prints of Coco Rocha by Shapeways. Image Credit to Zlatko Batistich | Milk Made

3D prints of Coco Rocha by Shapeways. Image Credit to Zlatko Batistich | Milk Made

3D prints of Coco Rocha by Shapeways. Image Credit to Zlatko Batistich | Milk Made

3D prints of Coco Rocha by Shapeways. Image Credit to Zlatko Batistich | Milk Made

3D prints of Coco Rocha by Shapeways. Image Credit to Zlatko Batistich | Milk Made

Study of Pose exhibit at Milk Gallery. Image Credit to Zlatko Batistich | Milk Made

Study of Pose exhibit at Milk Gallery. Image Credit to Zlatko Batistich | Milk Made

Study of Pose exhibit at Milk Gallery. Image Credit to Zlatko Batistich | Milk Made

Study of Pose exhibit at Milk Gallery. Image Credit to Zlatko Batistich | Milk Made

Study of Pose exhibit at Milk Gallery. Image Credit to Zlatko Batistich | Milk Made

Study of Pose exhibit at Milk Gallery. Image Credit to Zlatko Batistich | Milk Made


 

Nervous System Creates Kinematics Dress 3D Printed by Shapeways & Acquired by MoMA

Today we are excited to unveil an amazing dress designed by Nervous System and 3D printed at our New York City factory. Using Kinematics – Nervous System’s 4D printing system that creates complex, foldable forms composed of modules – designers Jessica Rosenkrantz and Jesse Louis-Rosenberg created a completely wearable dress that prints in one single folded piece. It is made of thousands of panels connected by hinge joints and fluidly folds and conforms to the body as it is worn. Both the dress and Kinematics software have been acquired by the Museum of Modern Art for their permanent collection.

We’ve been working closely with Nervous System since 2009. They have been instrumental in showing the world the potential of 3D printing with their beautiful designs, and in helping us push the limits of our production capabilities and design guidelines. This dress definitely pushes the limits of what’s possible today. Given the file size and complexity, our 3D printing engineers worked with Jessica and Jesse to plan the build and closely check for printability before it went into production. The dress, while folded, is still a relatively large print and required a longer build time than our normal production process (44 hours!)…so we really only had one shot.

Our CEO Pete likes to say, shoot for the stars and you’ll reach the moon. In this case, we definitely reached the stars. Congrats to Jessica and Jesse. You guys have thrown down the gauntlet in what’s possible with 3D printing.

15698106299_b18695a554_k

Kinematics Dress in motion. Image courtesy of Nervous System

We spoke with Jessica to hear more about the inspiration behind this dress and what she thinks the future of 3D printed fashion is…

How did the Kinematics Dress come about?

We first prototyped the idea for Kinematics on our Makerbot as a way to print something flat that could become three dimensional and wearable. We loved the materiality and movement of the hinged triangular components. Our first thought was that it would be amazing to produce something larger, like an entire dress, with this system on our little desktop printer. We quickly realized that making an entire dress out of tons unique 8” panels that would have to be flattened for printing and then assembled was crazy. There would be more work in the design process to panelize the dress and lots of manual labor to put it together. So we flipped the idea on its head. Instead of using the flexibility of the design to make something three dimensional that is produced flat, we simulate the movement in the computer to take something very large and 3D and make it flatter and more compact, so it can be 3D printed in one piece.

What was your inspiration?

This project really started from the limitations and opportunities of 3D printing. We were thinking about how we could harness the ability of 3D printers to make interlocking parts and very complex structures to create customized wearables.

In general, all our work is inspired by how patterns and forms emerge in nature. We take a systems approach to design. We don’t craft individual objects; instead, we create architectures for growing, sculpting or generating whole families of designs. For this project, we were more interested in designing a process and material than a garment.

In terms of other garments, we were definitely influenced by Janne Kyttanen and Jiri Evenhuis’s 3D printed chainmail dress. It set the standard for 3D printed garments not only by being the first but also by being one of the only ones that appears wearable and textile-like in its construction. If we were going to create a dress it was certainly going to a durable, comfortable, wearable piece. We were also inspired by the work of Issey Miyake, which often explores folding and structure in fashion.

nervous system 3d printed dress

An x-ray view rendering showing the hinges which structure a Kinematics design. Image courtesy of Nervous System

What are the benefits of the Kinematics approach versus traditional modeling?

Kinematics represents a new approach to manufacturing, which tightly integrates design, simulation, and digital fabrication to create complex, customized products. Our approach is completely different from traditional modeling and CAD software. The whole system is built up around the logic of a mechanism, in this case a hinge, which has been optimized for 3D printing and whose behavior we can simulate. Users interact with kinematics at a high level through an online design tool that lets them sculpt clothing shapes and “paint on” density and styles. Meanwhile, in the background the system is taking care of generating and connecting together all the geometry with our hinge mechanism. At the end of the design process, we have a 3D-printable piece of clothing made of thousands of panels interconnected by hinges. Rather than just ending up with big heavy file containing a bunch of “dumb” geometry, we end up with a smart structure that we understand as rigid panels connected by hinges. Because we understand the behavior of the geometry, we can use simulation to compress it down for efficient 3D printing.

15270017924_bd1a71b40e_k

Kinematics Dress. Image courtesy of Nervous System

What do you see for the future of 3D printing in clothing and fabrics?

We are particularly intrigued by how 3D printing applies to clothing in two areas: new meta-fabrics and customization.

Additive manufacturing has to ability to create very complex structures. In the world of clothing and fabrics, this is particularly intriguing because we are already talking about constructed materials. Fabrics produced from fibers that are aggregated and connected to create cloth with certain properties. For instance, knit cotton has stretch and woven cotton does not. Typically these material properties are constant throughout a whole piece of fabric. With 3D printing, we can start to create really weird fabric-like assemblages or mashups. We can print a textiles with gradations of material properties like stretch, flex, warmth, color, etc.

3D printing also favors the production of hyper-customized, one of a kind goods. We will see more apps like Kinematics that create custom-fit clothing and accessories from body data.

How does this fit into your broader collection?

Nervous System’s goal is to use computation and new fabrication techniques to make products that push the boundaries of what is possible. Most of our work starts with an inspiration from nature that eventually is translated into some sort of digitally fabricated, customized product. In this project, we actually started on the other end, being inspired by the technology itself and ultimately creating our own material system and form generating process.

15700103129_c0affac2a0_k

Kinematics Dress. Image courtesy of Nervous System

How did MoMA get involved?

We met Paula Antonelli, the Senior Curator of Architecture & Design of the Museum of Modern Art, at an event this year where were demoing an early version of Kinematics Cloth app and displaying our Kinematics Bodice. She expressed interest in acquiring a Kinematics Dress for the MoMA collection… the only problem was we hadn’t made one yet. There were actually a number of design and technological hurdles we had to overcome before we could make a full dress. Even up to the last moment, just days before they needed it, we weren’t sure we would be able to deliver their final piece.

What’s next for Kinematics?

There are a lot of possible directions for Kinematics including new products, improved software and incorporating different mechanisms and structures. We’re doing more material experiments to explore how different types of connections can lead to different fabric behaviors. There are also still many improvements we can make to our folding algorithm to increase speed, accuracy and generality for other shapes. Another avenue we’d like to explore is creating a locking joint that would allow us to print a folded object that would snap into a rigid configuration when unfolded.


 

US Ambassador visits our Eindhoven Factory of the Future

After we opened the doors of our new Factory of the Future in Eindhoven last October, we keep on receiving requests of people who want to visit our new location. From students to business representatives, from shopowners to press. Last week, however, we had the pleasure of hosting Timothy M. Broas, Ambassador of the United States of America.

The ambassador was accompanied by Economic Officer Blake A. Johnston and a delegation of the Province of Noord-Brabant. Together with my colleagues Ralph and David I had the honor to talk with them about the ins and outs of our company and our community, and show 3D Printing in practice.

EHV team together with US Ambassador

From left to right: Blake A. Johnston, Ralph van den Borst (Customer Service Manager), Timothy M. Broas (Ambassador), Ruud van den Muijzenberg (Event Coordinator Europe), David Gillispie (Vice President of Manufacturing).

Do you want to see our Factories in Eindhoven (NL) or Long Island City (USA) yourself? Keep an eye on our Meetup.com page as we’ll soon be announcing Factory Tour dates for the next year!


 

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

625x465_2080802_3560455_1412615994

Pebble Watch Bike Mount625x465_1051070_1011461_1411576427

 

 

TrouserClamp625x465_366099_144495_1338413388

Headbuddy

625x465_461727_159040_1410952421

 

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


 

Shapeways Celebrates You This Small Business Saturday

Did you know today is Small Business Saturday? A day focused on supporting your community and the independent businesses within that. Online small businesses count too, and that’s why today is my favorite of this wild holiday weekend. There is a lot to celebrate today, alongside the over 22,000 small business owners powered by Shapeways 3D Printing. Remind your friends and family when they shop from you store on Shapeways, not only are the getting a great deal this weekend, they’re also supporting the maker movement and the small businesses within that.

Learn more about the people behind Shapeways 3D Printing powered businesses through our Designer Spotlight series. Celebrate your creative independence and remind others to #ShopSmall! What small business on Shapeways is your favorite?

 


 

Video: iPhone 6 Case Semi-Finalists Reviewed, Finalists Announced!

Remember that iPhone 6 3D Printed Case Contest we hosted a few weeks ago? We waited to print the cases until the backlog of repricing orders had been cleared, and finally have them in-hand! I took the time to review the top 10 semi-finalists, and am proud to announce the final four. Everyone who participated did a great job, but like all initial prototypes, some need a few design adjustments to be ready for the main stage.

Curious as to which cases are making their way to Ethan Imboden at Frog Design in California for final review? You’ll have to watch the video to find out:

Now that you’ve seen them, which case would you like for your phone?


 

The Best 3D Printed Gifts For Geeks

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

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

Screen Shot 2014-11-21 at 11.48.02 AM

2) Mobius Nautilus by JoaBaldwin

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

Screen Shot 2014-11-21 at 12.13.00 PM

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

4) Wyvern Skeleton by Brian Richardson

Screen Shot 2014-11-21 at 12.10.30 PM

5) Stereographic projection grid by Henry Segerman

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


 

Be Extravagant With These Beautiful 3D Printed Home Accessories

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again, our community of designers make some seriously beautiful products. Some of our favorite gifts to give this season are those that truly showcase the unique properties of 3D printing and turn anyone into a fan. These are the type of gifts that demand to be seen, and are perfect for your friends and family who need a little help sprucing up their home!

ZooM lampshade

625x465_1604511_2442279_1416583332

Hyphae lamp

625x465_238395_124314_1403201872

Quaternary tree mobile

625x465_1013654_980743_1367627689

Warthog bottle stoppers

625x465_905262_1720176_1411192840

Twist lamp

625x465_906671_5908690_1408808824

What’s your favorite 3D printed home decor piece? Tell us below!


 

Dinovember: Discovering Endless 3D Printed Bacon in Space

dinovember.png

DINOVEMBER has taken over and things are getting crazy at Shapeways HQ! After all our recent news about 3D Printing in Space with our friends Future Engineers, Grumpy Cat, Doge, Jebediah and some other 3D printed friends blasted off to see what the buzz was all about.

Upon arriving in a land far, far away, they were greeted by their pal Rawr Dinosaur. As they all gathered around to catch up and talk about space life, something truly magical happened. A bacon mobius descended from the atmosphere and provided endless space bacon!

See all the fun unfold in this stop motion film:

On a slightly more serious Dinovember note, did you know they uncovered new dinosaurs this year? Giant vegans, no less! How cool is that? You can check out these featured dinos and many others on our dinosaur featured page! If you’re feeling extra inspired, you can enter our Dinovember weekend contest and model your own dinosaur!


 

Best Gifts for White Elephant & Secret Santa

Finding gifts for White Elephant and Secret Santa is really fun. Within the Shapeways marketplace, you’re sure to find the perfect gift that will earn you the title of most popular Secret Santa around, and make every White Elephant gift pale in comparison (you could even gift an actual 3D printed white elephant!). Shapeways has a wide variety of products, from functional to fabulous, and we are never lacking in fun products. Desk toys, memes and original designs will make you the best gift giver at your next holiday function.

elephant

Elephant by MarkWheadon

Memes

Let’s start with memes. Who doesn’t want to hold a meme in their hand instead of laughing at it on a screen? Grumpy Catdoge, and Creepy Horse Head are some of our favorites at a favorable price point. Find more memes in our Gift Guide.

memes

Fun & Games

Whether you need a break at work or something to entertain family and friends, our community has come up with games and entertainment for every day. Practice your aim/annoy your coworkers with the catapult. Thanks to 3D printing, the day has come where we can hold emojis in our hands! Show someone you love them emoji-style (because you do that every day anyways) with 3D Emoji Love. Keep your travels entertaining with the Credit Card Chess Set. And finally, who wouldn’t want a viking hat for your finger!?

fungames

Conversation Starters 

If you really have no idea what to get, check out our Conversation Starters section of the gift guide. With original pieces, much like the ones above, you can give a gift you’ve likely never given (or seen!) before! Like Bacon mobius strips, Blowfish Valve Caps, Viking Finger Hats (again), XS Gyro the Cubes, and an amazing Stereographic Projection structure.

convstarters

Shapeways is full of amazing products and these are just a few to get your imagination flowing. Check out the Gift Guide for more, and don’t forget to file an unboxing video to capture the gift-revealing moment!


 

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 3Dprint.com 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 3DPrint.com

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:

origami-crane-skeleton

 

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.

sptifire

 

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?


 

Top 3D Printed Gifts for the Holidays

This week was an exciting one for us here at Shapeways because we finally got to release our 2014 Gift Guide! Our community consistently designs and uploads thousands of amazing products, and this year was a true test of our self-discipline to not include everything.

With that said, we know gift guides can still be a bit overwhelming at times so below are a few tried and true products we’re positive your friends and family will love. Don’t forget, now through November 16th, customers in the US & Netherlands can use code GIFTGUIDE to get FREE SHIPPING on any order containing a Gift Guide products. Everyone else, use code GIFT50 for 50% off shipping on any order containing a Gift Guide product!

Now, onto some products!

For those friends who just love pretty things, you really can’t go wrong with this beautiful Moon Pendant. From the design to the “you can 3D print metal?!” wow-factor, it will make the perfect gift.

Moon Pendant

This Steampunk Dice Set is one of our most popular products across the site! Aside from being beautiful to look at, it’s a great addition for game collectors.

dice

We all have (or are!) that one friend who never lets life get in the way of their workout. For them, this Fitbit Flex Holder is the perfect gift.

fitbitflex

One of the most exciting parts of our year was announcing our partnership with Hasbro enabling designers to create and sell their own 3D printed My Little Pony figurines! There are so many to choose from, though Pinkie Pie is always a favorite.

PinkiePie

Last (but certainly not least), the gift for anyone on #TeamInternet. There are a bunch of memes come-to-life available, but it’s really hard to pass up Success Kid. Grab him and your holiday season is sure to be a successful one!

successkid

 Check out more from our gift guide!


 

Getting Personal with Men’s Accessories

Check out this fun video for a few examples of products you can customize with your own personal touch!

Have some fun with the products you saw in the video.

Micro car - Micro car with open doors and turning wheels by DavidSun is not, in fact, a customizable product. It does, however, print with moving wheels and doors that can open and close, which is just as neat.

Add iPhone 4s Card Case by QuentinT

iphonedip.jpg

This phone case is customizable in two ways! Add your name or text. Take it to the next level with a fun DIY project by painting your case.

YO, URCustom cufflinks by byShapeways 

cufflinkdip

Cufflinks are such a great item to personalize. For men’s accessories, you can’t get much custom than this!

PersonalCustom bottle opener by MarcHeusdens. Because who doesn’t want their very own bottle opener?

PersonalMessage Cuff by designerica

Screen Shot 2014-10-22 at 12.02.25 PM

Steel makes for great men’s jewelry, with a more sturdy and rugged look. A bracelet with some custom text is the perfect gift for the guys who like to accessorize.

TCustom wax seal 3/4″ by Lightbringerouch Sheriffs Star (6 point) Pet tag/Pendant/Key fob by BluelinegeckoWI, THCufflinks Personalized with Your Initials by michiel_willemse

3DName night light by Heng

lightgip

Super fun idea, specifically great for 3D printing. Our White Strong & Flexible plastic is perfect for creating hollow objects that are transformed with just a few lights. Make it special for the holidays, or a unique nightlight for your kid’s bedroom.

P, RKeychain with letter by Astraris. Brag about your 3D print while reaching for your keychain; you’ll never mistake your keys again!

INTiPhone Charger Name Tag by kenan_godfrey

charger

We all have those friends who “borrow” our chargers. Never worry about a stolen or misplaced charger again, thanks this handy sleeve!

INGKey Sleeve by Daphne. You have keys to your house, your friend’s house, your car, mail, work, and probably a few that you’ve forgotten what they’re for. Keep organized with a key sleeve that tells you which one is which!

Screen Shot 2014-10-22 at 12.36.31 PM

There are so many ways 3D printing can help you create products just for you. The Shapeways marketplace is full of creative minds who are making products easy for you to customize with the click of a button. Check out our DIY page for more ideas of how to get what you really want.


 

Local Motors Launches New 3D Printed Car

Ever wanted to order a car on demand? Fantasized about when you design even more components of your life on Shapeways than you already do? Well, with the launch of Phoenix, Arizona, USA based Local Motors new 3D printed car, we’re now accelerating faster towards this future. Meet the Strati, Italian for layers, of course.

3D printed Car

Image, video and specs courtesy of Local Motors

The car is 3D printed in 49 parts, aka less than 1/100th of the 5,000 parts cars that are traditionally manufactured are made of. The 3D printing of the Strati took 44 hours, but this 45 second time-lapse video is one you’re going to have to see to believe:

Local Motors is global innovation community, like Shapeways, driven to make our collaborative dreams into vehicular realities. They are a resource for sharing ideas, designs, prototyping and miro-manufacturing and given the humble vision of their founders, it’s no surprise this community created the Strati. Unlike other prototypes, this model is practical and functional. More of this car was 3D printed than other that has precluded it – including the chassis- and here are the specs to prove it:

  • Engine – 100% electric (not 3D Printed ;) )
  • Features – electronic engine immobilizer, regenerative braking, disc brakes front and rear, rear- wheel drive
  • Transmission – Automatic, single speed
  • Battery – 6.1 kwh battery, 62-mile range, 3.5-hour charge time
  • Motor – 5 bhp or 17 bhp, 42 lb-ft torque*
  • Body – Approx. 212 layers, direct digital manufactured vehicle (DDMV), carbon fiber reinforced ABS plastic
  • Top speed – approx. 50mph*
  • Wheels – custom made by Fifteen52

Loading

The historic first drive of the #3DPrintedCar – Enjoy!

View on Instagram

At $20,000 USD, would you drive a Strati? I’ve certainly signed up for the newsletter to be kept in the know…


 

Shop Owner Bootcamp: Building Your 3D Printing Brand & Collection Through Market Research

This is the third in a 10 part Shop Owner Bootcamp series counting down to Black Friday. We’ve covered reputation and photography in our last two posts and are looking at branding and collection building today. This is last post in the polishing your shop for holiday phase, next week we’ll begin talking about building the relationships necessary to optimize your sales over holiday.

14011176668_d1b1091337_z

Do you ever wonder what to design next? Or what makes a product sell? Do you have a product in your shop that outsells all the others and wish that you could get more products on that level? This week we’re focused on building your brand story and developing your collection through market research. I know that “market research” sounds boring and stale to the creative mind, but it doesn’t have to be! Shapeways Shop Owner mentor Vijay Paul is back this week to discuss how he became Dotsan, and how walking around Scotland inspired his stag and the “wired life collection” that followed.

Building Your Brand: Why it’s Personal (and Should Be)

Vijay highlights in this video how going from VDesign to Dotsan was a big turning point for his business. It was when he realized that this was going to be more than a hobby, and a place that people could come for products and art that he created for them. Many of you have developed your brands and logos, but are you giving your shoppers all of the story?

Every time someone buys something from your shop you have the opportunity to create a new brand evangelist. If they love your work, they’re going to come back to your shop time and time again, likely referring others who are interested in your products. They will expose your products, and in turn your brand, to their in-real-life communities. Ask yourself, have I highlighted my design process and inspiration in my shop? Have I armed consumers with a story they can tell about the creation of this product and increase the likelihood they’ll send others to my shop? If you have to hesitate, take this opportunity to refresh your shop and product descriptions. Your brand should tell your story.

Many of you have already developed great brands, so I challenge you to think about how that can be illustrated through out your shop. Perhaps watermarking your photos or integrating your brand into your avatar. People see your designer cards on every product page now, use that opportunity to remind them how awesome it is to buy from you.

Screen Shot 2014-10-02 at 3.11.19 PM

Market Research: It’s as Easy as Going to Look at Beautiful Things

Every successful business has conducted market research at some point in their growth; and if they’re smart, likely multiple times at regular intervals. Vijay knew he wanted to design something that would appeal to a lot of people, and wandering around Scotland he noticed there were Stags everywhere. He saw them in museums, on signs, buildings and iconic Scottish settings. This observation drove his design decisions and gave birth to the Stag, which originally was a 3D render meant to live in 2D. After creating the render he was curious to see if it could work as a wireframe 3D print, I think it’s very clear that it did :) .

8043420882_2d27018d18_z

Think about your audience: are you trying to sell to people in your region/country or are you trying to sell to people who like a specific category of things? What is popular in the culture your products speak to? For example, if you are making masks, you should always be up on the latest cosplay fashions. If you’re doing household products, keeping up with industrial design trends can be clutch. If you’re modeling drone accessories, you should pay attention to what drones people are buying. I don’t believe Vijay ever expected to sell as many stags across as many countries as he has, but he went into designing it with the confidence that at least locally, he would receive some interest.

Build Your Collection: Your Best Customer is One Who Buys Again

wired-life-collection

There’s a famous marketing stat that 20% of your customers will be responsible for 80% of your future business; and Shapeways is no exception. Our marketplace is full of passion, and folks who have a great buying experience from you once are likely to brag about it. How can you keep them coming back? Ask yourself, what other types of things to people interested in your subject matter like? Have you ever asked your customers what other products they think would compliment the one they already purchased from you? Think about ways you can expand the collection and have multiple top-selling products. Our Interest Group forums are a great place to get the conversation going.

Sets are very appealing during the holiday season. Think about which of your products could go together and that could expand the story of your work/brand.

Alright everyone, we’re now just 7 weeks from Black Friday- we’ll be focused on building digital and physical relationships that will help your holiday sales in the coming weeks, so take advantage of the opportunity now to ‘dust the shelves’ and put a fresh coat of paint on your ‘open’ sign.

What brands and designers on Shapeways do you look up to?