Category Archives: Inspiration

Not Everyone Has a Heart of Gold, But You Can Get One 3D Printed in Silver

The Anatomical Heart Pendant by leorolph is a beautifully detailed heart pendant that looks amazing 3D printed in Sterling Silver by Shapeways.  Of course you can order the pendant in solid 14k or Rose Gold, it just costs a little more.

Anatomic 3D Printed Silver Heart Jewelry

Take a look at the Owned Shop on Shapeways to see more unique jewelry by this Australian designer.

Remember, we have upped the speed on our Silver, Gold and Brass to get your 3D printed jewelry to you as fast as possible, so if you have an anniversary, wedding, or birthday coming up, Shapeways 3D printed jewelry can make the perfect, unique gift.


 

Hasbro & Shapeways Enable 3D Printing Fan Art with SuperFanArt

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

Shapeways & Hasbro 3D Print

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

superfanart launch Shapeways & Hasbro

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

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

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

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

 

 


 

Show Us Your Elasto Plastic 3D Prints

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

flexible 3D print material on Shapeways

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


 

3D Printing Custom Headphones is Normal

3D printed custom headphones are now available through the Normal app by former Quirky insider Nikki Kaufmann thanks to $5 million in venture backing.

normal 3D print headphone

The super simple app guides you through a photo based ear and face scanning process to configure the headphones to exactly meet your ear shape.  This is possibly the first 3D printing apps designed to make functional products, not a figurine or toy, a major step towards the ubiquity of 3D printing to power customized products.

There are already over 10 million 3D printed hearing aids in the world, now with apps such as Normal, we can expect to see more customized consumer products hit the market.

Speaking of Quirky, check out the video below and download the app to customize your earphones now.


 

Announcing the Winners of the Prototype to Product Contest with Formlabs

We had a huge response to the Prototype to Product Contest we ran with our good friends at Formlabs. Entries ranging from highly detailed ZBrush sculpts through to complex, interlocking mechanical parts, architectural models to 3D printed fashion and jewelry,  through to the whimsically weird.  We even received a submission all the way from Gran Canaria (yes we had to google the location, and yes it is crazy remote).

Although we received nearly 300 designs, only one person will have a brand new Form 1+ 3D printer shipped to their door.  The judges deliberated against the criteria, there were was tension, there was joy, they argued long into the night.  The Formlabs team pumped some serious excel magic to tally the votes, Shawn Sims from NotCot cast his well trained eye over the entrants,  The Shapeways team checked that the designs would withstand the 3D printing test and together they deemed the winner of the grand prize to be…

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Beautifully Painted 3D Printed Sculpture

Even though we have over 40 material options at Shapeways for you to choose to 3D print with, sometimes you are looking for something a little different.  By post processing the 3D printed materials yourself, you can take your design in a whole new direction, be it functional or aesthetic.  PIXOLforge has taken our polyjet acrylic material known as Frosted Ultra Detail on Shapeways to a whole new level painting his sculpture with matte scale model paint after a quick cleaning with mineral spirits.  Once the paint was dry he hand rubbed down his 3D print with artist oil to get this amazing result.

high detail 3D print painted

What processes do you use to take your 3D prints to the next level?


 

5 Things You Already Do That Mean You Can 3D Print

by Corinne Iozzio

When you look at some of the intricate custom designs 3D modelers are printing these days, it might seem like getting into rapid prototyping is too complicated for any beginner to tackle. Not so. Even with only the most basic set of art and graphic design skills, you’ll be able to create your first 3D model in no time. Don’t believe us? Read on for some extra convincing. 

You Doodle

The simplest 3D designs start on paper. You might set out to jot down an idea for a pair of earrings or a bottle opener, but if you’re prone to doodling, you probably have dozens—even hundreds—of designs dotted throughout your notebooks and sketchbooks. Each one of those is a kernel of an idea for a 3D design. Use our tool to convert any doodle to 3D, or watch our Skillshare class ($9) to learn how to tweak and improve doodles digitally.

A simple Sharpie drawing became this loopy pendant. Corinne Iozzio

You Work in Photoshop

Photoshop isn’t just about touching up flat images anymore. You can use all your favorite (and familiar) image-editing tools, such as brushes and gradients, to tweak the color and texture of existing 3D designs. (If you’re feeling adventurous you can even start a new model by “extruding” a 3D design from a 2D picture.) Bonus: New 3D printing tools in the latest version of Photoshop Creative Cloud includes an option to print directly to Shapeways.

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Wake Up to the Smell of 3D Printed Nescafe Coffee (Alarm Cap)

What better way to wake up in the morning then with the chirping of birds and the aroma of freshly brewed coffee.  The team at NOTLABS have collaborated with Publicis Mexico with a little help from Shapeways 3D printing to create the Nescafe Alarm Caps.  

The alarm awakens you with the soft sound of chirping birds and a ring of LEDs illuminating the cap, to turn the alarm off you must unscrew the cap (and make yourself a cup of Nescafe).  This elegantly simple idea was realized thanks to Shapeways 3D printing and Arduino based electronics that are accessible to anyone.

It is a prefect example of a major brand taking inspiration from the maker movement, using innovative design firms to create short run products to keep their brand fresh and agile.  Nescafe do not need to invest in 10,000 units to meet minimum order quantities to take their product to market.  Like Shapeways shop owners who understand one of the key assets of 3D printing, that supply exactly meets demand, Nescafe can inspire and supply a key market, whether they be Nescafe lovers, influential celebrities or Folgers fanatics.

We are seeing more and more major brands start to approach 3D printing to connect with their customer base in a more bespoke way, with the democratization of manufacturing with digital fabrication, the biggest firms need to act small to keep up with the rapid innovation possible with smaller agile design firms and even individuals.

Check out the video to see the Nescafe Alarm Cap in action, is that how you would like to start your day?

Also be sure to check out the full unboxing at NotCot and the making of at Cool Hunting that features a couple of images from inside the Shapeways 3D printing factory in NYC.

Thanks to Jean and Shawn at NotCot for the images


 

3D Printing Shoes with New Balance (VIDEO)

Check out this sexy video from New Balance showing the process of 3D printing their shoes using the exact same 3D printer you have access to through Shapeways.

By giving anyone access to the exact same machines, materials and post processes, Shapeways gives everybody to prototype and create products with the same material qualities as the biggest brands in the world, with access to the best technology.  Where companies such as New Balance need to invest hundreds of thousands of dollars to access these 3D printers, in this instance laser sintered Nylon using an EOS 3D printer, the same as in our factories in NYC and Eindhoven. These 3D printers are just a mouse click away with no investment on your part.

New Balance 3D Print Shoe Shapeways


 

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

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

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


Droplet Pendant by LIFIC

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

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Chris Schauble Earthquake Face Becomes A 3D Print

Posted by in Inspiration 1 Reply
Earthquake, we are having a earthquake, KTLA Anchor Chris Schauble said these words as he dove under the News Desk while a 4.4 Earthquake rumbles through Los Angeles on St.Patrick’s Day. 
The video of his epic reaction to the Earthquake became a viral hit on the internet with currently over 14 Million views on YouTube. The video inspired designer Ryan Kittleson to immediately capture KTLA anchor Chris Schauble’s priceless reaction in the form of a 3D characature sculpt. 
Shapeways 3D printed the model and sent Chris one to immortalize his reaction to the Earthquake. 

You can purchase your own Chris Schuable Wobble here

Watch the viral video again 

You never know which events will inspire you to design your next awesome product on Shapeways. We like to know how do you find inspiration for your product designs? Comment below and tweet us @Shapeways.


 

What the Oculus Rift Acquisition by Facebook means for 3D Printing

The tech world collectively gasped and gossiped yesterday as Facebook announced its purchase of Oculus, a virtual reality headset originally launched on Kickstarter, for a cool $2 Billion Dollars. Safe to say that their 21 year old CEO and his team of are set for life, but what does this mean for the rest of us?


Our very own Brad Dickason rocking his Oculus Rift

In sum:
  1. Hardware is back
  2. People powered product > other stuff
  3. Communities are empowering the future of design meaning innovation is no longer dictated by big brand hegemons
  4. Shapeways, like Oculus, is at the epicenter of this next industrial revolution

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Reddit Best Practices For Showcasing Your Work

Posted by in Inspiration 1 Reply

Reddit is a powerful platform to utilize for promoting your shop or showcasing your 3D printed products. If you’re a avid Redditor or lurker then you’re in good company. Many Shapies spend time on Reddit and in some cases the products that they design are inspired by Reddit, for example Spaho Designs and Ryan Kittleson’s Sculpture. Reddit is definitely a powerful platform to utilize for promoting your shop or showcasing your 3D printed products.

Reddit can be a great source of referral traffic for your shop and can lead to increased exposure and sales. The “homepage of the internet” can be a tricky landscape to navigate, so here are some tips to get started.

Tip 1: When submitting your work to Reddit make sure to choose a subreddit that best fits your niche. For example if you love doing Minecraft sculptures submit to the r/Minecraft subreddit.

Tip 2: Follow and be respectful of the subreddits posting rules. Read carefully and be considerate before posting.

Tip 3: Posting at the right time is important. Keep in mind if your content is relevant and when people will be online in your timezone for the audiences that you’re trying to reach. Most importantly make sure your post is not spammy.

Tip 4: Engage with your post, especially in the comments section of the thread. Answer questions that commenters might have.

Tip 5: Use a clear or catchy title for your post. Make sure your post links to a trusted site or url link.

Here is more tips on how you can increase the chance of your products going viral.

Here is a specific example of shop owners who have used Reddit well for promoting their shop.

Shop owners somersault18:24 used Reddit to showcase their beautiful and attractive Neuron Pendant to a greater audience on Reddit. As a result they saw over 5k visits and a huge lift in traffic to their Shapeways shop.

 

 

 

Imgur is another great resource for linking images to your Reddit post and to your Shapeways products. Take a look at this album by Shapie Jeff Wong for example here. Jeff does a great job of using Imgur to tell the greater story of the process it took from him to 3D model his design, 3D print his model using Shapeways, all the way to the final product.

For more additional tips and tricks on leveraging your shop and products through social media platforms like Reddit feel free to email me at eric@shapeways.com or tweet me at @NinjaRAWLegend.

*Use a banana for scale*


 

3D Print Your Very Own Honda Concept Car, NOW

You can now download and 3D print your very own (non functional) Honda concept car to 3D print and hold in your hands (depending upon scale at which you 3D print).

Whether it is the FSR Concept from 1994 or the Kiwami from 2003 you can own a very small piece of automotive history for the price of a 3D print.

There are 5 models available to download from Honda-3D and while this is not exactly a game changer for the automotive industry, it is indicative that 3D printing is front and center in their imagination (super ultra daydreams), if not their practice, yet.


 

The Laser Girls Rocking 3D Printed Nails at MAD in NYC

The Laser Girls are this week’s Shapeways Designers in Residence at the MAD Museum in NYC.  Drop in to say hello and check out their future fresh 3D printed nails.  Acrylic nails in the 3rd dimension…

3D Printed Acrylic Nails by Laser Girls on Shapeways

The Laser Girls are Sarah C. Awad and Dhemerae Ford are two artists/designer based in NYC, you can  buy their 3D printed nails from The Laser Girls Shapeways ShopDhemerae is also one of our featured Designers for Hire on Shapeways, capable of helping you bring your ideas to life with 3D printing.   

Check out the video awkwardly shot at the Museum of Arts and Design complete with concrete stairwell reverb.

Follow The Laser Girls on Instagram to see more of their nail biting action (do not eat 3D printed nails) and of course check out behind the scenes at Shapeways on our Instagram feed.