Category Archives: Inspiration

Monkey Selfie Becomes A 3D Print

Earlier this week the United States Copy Right regulators ruled that the infamous Monkey Selfie photo that went viral cannot be copyrighted. This quickly prompted Dutch designer Peter Rossdale to 3D model the monkey selfie and bring it to the life for everyone to own as a 3D print in full color sandstone. You can order one of these Monkey Selfie 3D prints here.

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Monkey Selfie 3D printed in Full Color Sandstone
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Monkey Selfie 3D print taking a selfie of itself (Photo by Peter Rossdale)

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Who is Peter Rossdale:

“As an Amsterdam based graphic designer I’ve got 14 years of experience in designing websites, magazines. As my career evolved, I got more and more involved with photo/videography, 3d modeling and animation. All this experience comes in handy in designing 3d printed products. And I hope many more interesting designs will be created via Shapeways!”

The Monkey Selfie 3D model was sculpted using ZBrush which you can see in his video. It’s amazing to see designers inspired by viral trends bringing cool products to life with 3D printing. Which viral trend do you think we’ll see next as a 3D print?


 

Vote Now for Shapeways to Talk 3D Printing at SXSW 2015

Help us spread the 3D printing love at SXSW 2015 by voting for our panels, from 3D Printing & Intellectual Property, to the Truths vs Myths, and an overview of how YOU can use 3D printing now.

sxsw panel picker Shapeways

Shapeways CEO Peter Weijmarshausen is proposing a panel entitled What YOU can really do with 3D printing,

You don’t have to be an engineer or professional designer to use 3D printing – anyone can do it! In this session, we will not only talk about what 3D printing really is (not just plastics!) in a way that everyone can understand, but also share how it is relevant to anyone. Whether you’re looking to recreate a family heirloom, make a spare part for a broken remote control, or just play around with design, 3D printing is truly accessible to anyone to make anything.

Kenny Davis from Hasbro will join Michael Weinberg from Public Knowledge, Natalia Krasnodebska and Duann Scott from Shapeways for the How 3D Printing Will Change Brands’ IP for Good panel.

Submit your 3D prints to Superfanart on SHapeways

By opening up their Intellectual Property to interpretation, major brands can enable their fans to create new derivative works. This user generated content adds value to the brand, gives the designer both social and financial capital, and generates new revenue for the brand. Allowing fans to interpret their favorite brands legitimizes and elevates the culture of fan-art and gives designers new freedom to create sought-after content.  Using the Hasbro/Shapeways SuperFanArt as a case study, we will discuss how 3D printing enables companies to capitalize on their brands’ long tail, and how the design community will benefit.

Bringing it home with some honest insight and debunking the myths, 3D Printing: Myth vs. Truth with TJ McCue of Forbes along with Savannah Peterson of  Shapeways and Andreas Bastian of  Autodesk.

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The technology is decades old, but now there’s an ecosystem in place that moves it beyond the maker edges to mainstream center. This panel will provide an insider’s view on the myth vs. truths of 3D printing and where the industry is heading.

Log in now and vote for all of your favorite Shapeways people to represent the 3D printing community at SXSW


 

More Videos of Shapeways 3D Printed Materials Torture Testing with FIRE

In the previous Shapeways Material Torture Test I set fire to our base materials in the Shapeways Sample pack.  Today I want to share a few more detailed videos showing how each material burns using a larger 3D print.   In this post we will take a look at our SLS Nylon, SLS Metallic Plastic (Alumide) which is a Nylon and Aluminum composite, and Full Color Sandstone which is made of Gypsum powder, bound together with an adhesive then soaked in Cyanoacrylate (super glue).

Take a look first at our most popular material, 3D printed Nylon (WSF).

It does catch fire fairly easily but seems to extinguish itself after a short time based on this geometry.  The Nylon melts into a hot, smelly napalm type form then cools and hardens fairly quickly.  Do not try this at home. Do not expose your Nylon 3D prints to fire.

Next we set fire to the 3D Printed Metallic Plastic (Alumide) which is a Nylon and Aluminum powder based 3D printing process.  It does catch fire very easily and stays alight, dripping a really nasty powdery, smelly hot napalm type goop, literally dripping fire.  You should really keep your Metallic Plastic (Alumide) 3D prints away from exposed fire. Really.

Setting fire to Shapeways 3D Printed Full Color Sandstone (Gypsum Powder, Binder, Ink and Cyanoacrylate) which is a powder based 3D printing process developed by Zcorp.  It does catch fire quite easily and stays alight, burning slowly and steadily.    The smell is not to noxious, smelling a little like burnt paper or cardboard.  After 6 minutes the 3D print was still burning so I blew it out to save the boredom.

All three of these 3D printed materials should definitely be kept away from naked flames.


 

The First Desktop SLS 3D Printer Now on Kickstarter

We have seen many FDM 3D Printers, a couple of SLA and even a few DLP 3D printers launch on Kickstarter, now the first of the much awaited SLS machines are starting to test the ravenous market for 3D printers.

DIY SLS 3D Printer on Kickstarter

SLS (Selective Laser Sintering) is the core technology behind our 3D Printed Nylon (white strong & flexible) 3D printing at Shapeways, one of our most popular materials.  The SLS process is by far the most versatile as the powder surrounding a sintered part acts as support material, so you can make complex, interlocking parts, with overhanging parts, cantilevers, holes in multiple directions, and hinged parts fully assembled, the excess powder is then brushed and blown away to reveal the part.  No nasty support material or structures to deal with.  In short, it is an incredibly versatile process.

The process is called Sintering, because the layer of powder is heated up to just below melting point, the laser then follows and melts the powder turning it into a solid, without it going to liquid form first.  This helps to control the material warpage and thermal shock so the 3D prints are accurate and strong.

The Ice 1 & Ice 9 by Norge Systems may be the first SLS 3D printer available at a price that is affordable for a small design firm at just over $8,000 USD at current exchange rates for the smaller Ice 1 on Kickstarter which has a Build volume: 200x200x250 mm Layer thickness: 0.1 – 0.15mm.  Not Shabby.  The Ice 9 promises a Build volume: 300x300x450 mm at a price point closer to $35,000 USD.

Ice9, the first low budget 3D SLS printer! from Norge Ltd on Vimeo.

To temper excitement, (oh, and I am VERY excited) the units are proposed to ship in December 2015 which is quite a wait if you have dropped $8,000 as a backer, coupled with the tendency for hardware on Kickstarter to ship late.  The video shows the printer in action, but does not show the printed part as traced by the laser, they do show a different 3D printed part being pulled from the powder so perhaps the machine is not quite fully functional yet.

If you have the cash and patience I would really love to see this unit hit the market so please do support this project and the designers behind it.  Meanwhile there seems to be another play flirting with the desktop (ok, maybe a little big for your actual desk) market with an eerily similar logo to Norge. The videos by Sintratec look to be a little further on in the machine development.

Keep your eyes peeled, either way, the SLS market is going to change, maybe not in the exact same way as the FDM 3D printer market, but it will change.


 

At Work on the Road: 3D Printing, Designing and Living Around the World

One Infinity small pendant in polished grey steel at Mondello Beach, Palermo, Italy

One Infinity small pendant in polished grey steel at Mondello Beach, Palermo, Italy

by M.G., a member of Shapeways Crew and an American artist living abroad who sells her work she creates on Shapeways through her shop Sloris

Reduce the entirety of your belongings to two suitcases; all the clothes, accessories, documents, electronic devices and toiletries that you’ll need for the foreseeable future.  Don’t forget a sample of your 3D printed products.  Take a minute, or two.  

That’s how I live.  My partner and I run our business, www.sloris.com, from the road.  Our traveling home office consists of two laptops, two external hard drives, a tablet, a point and shoot digital camera and a HD digital camcorder.  And, of course, Shapeways.

My first ex-pat experience was living on the west coast of Mexico at the age of 24.  My most recent adventure was in the South of Thailand.  I lived four years in each location, which seems to be as long as I can happily settle in any one place (Brooklyn being the exception ).

Even considering this history, my current lifestyle is a radical change.  I’m moving every month or two, until either I find a place I’m so enthralled with I can’t imagine leaving or I’m too exhausted to continue.  My next move remains to be determined; it’s exciting, it’s scary. There are many considerations, but the main factors are attraction to the culture, the availability of inexpensive housing and transportation possibilities:

A combination of research, persistence and creative thinking is required to make this a reality.  I consider being really good at this my own little superpower. How does all this affect running a business and my creativity?  The running a business part is made possible by two factors:

  • Online networking:  its importance, accessibility and value makes living and working from the road not only possible, but effective.  Facebook is a good base, but my recent foray into Twitter and Instagram have helped me to engage a wider audience.

  • Shapeways: acts as my support staff by handling payments, returns, refunds, customer service and shipping.  Print on demand technology eliminates the problem of over and under stocking and the need for a storage facility.

Holeyware Espresso Cup at Teatro Massimo, Palermo, Italy

Holeyware Espresso Cup at Teatro Massimo, Palermo, Italy

Conveying exactly how this lifestyle affects my creativity is trickier.  When I’m stationary for a time, I build my environment very carefully.  I like my surroundings to be placid and inviting, completely free of clutter.  Routines are essential.  Having all the odds and ends of life scheduled gives my mind the chance to roam freely, unencumbered with worry and little decisions.  Being on the road makes everything I just listed impossible, but is equally inspirational.

On the move, I’m at the mercy of the environment and the apartment I find to rent.  I’ve already experienced a variety of decors; retro hippy, uber modern minimalist, French country and a split personality atmosphere where Mom enjoyed doilies and tea sets and daughter thought IKEA was the answer to everything.  The extent to which I’ve enjoyed living amongst and using other people’s belongings has really surprised me.  I’ve read things I never have before; gossip mags to improve my Spanish (I know more about princesses than I ever cared to) and décor trade rags.

Office view in Fuengirola, Spain

Office view in Fuengirola, Spain

I love learning the differences, substantial or seemingly insignificant, between cultures.  Thailand has an amazing cuisine and no matter how big or small the city, you can find many restaurants offering a wide variety of delicious complete meals priced at 30 baht (approximately 1 USD).  In Spain, I experienced an absolute dedication to siestas.  In downtown Granada at 2:00 pm every single business, except restaurants, closes and locks their doors.  The buses bulge with passengers as everyone makes their way to meet up with friends or family.  In my current apartment in Palermo Italy, there’s a toaster like I’ve never seen before.  I know it sounds ridiculous to mention such an insignificant product, but consider how many people across the globe use a toaster in the morning.

These shifts in behaviors and items affect my creativity because they spark interest in a way of life or an object that usually goes entirely unnoticed.  It revives a sense of newness and proves that there is still space for original concepts and products.

Then there are the things that can sap my energy levels and temporarily crush my spirits; fighting grouchiness after close to 48 hours of straight travel, sacrificing creature comforts to stay within our tight budget, trying to communicate in a language I don’t speak and living and working 24-7-365 with my partner of 23 years.

At the time these situations occur, I certainly don’t feel creative.  It’s as if I’m chained to a stairmaster, forever climbing and getting absolutely nowhere.  It’s exhausting and frustrating.  After the fact, I often need some down time to recover.  During this period I look and feel completely unproductive.  However, in many instances, I emerge from this dormant time with a plentitude of fresh ideas and enthusiasm.

I often work long hours, but then I walk out my door into a completely new and captivating world.  For me, it’s perfect, but I’d love to hear your thoughts and experiences.  Do you also work from a traveling home office?  Would you want to?

You can follow my adventures on my blog at and check out my products on my Shapeways shop

Finding inspiration in the streets of Palermo, Italy

Finding inspiration in the streets of Palermo, Italy


 

How to Submit Your 3D Prints to Sell with SuperFanArt

Submission are now open for you to submit your 3D prints to sell with SuperFanArt, the Shapeways and Hasbro collaboration to enable fans to make and sell designs based on Hasbro licensed brands.

Submit your 3D prints to Superfanart on SHapeways

As mentioned previously, SuperFanArt is now accepting anyone to submit their 3D printed designs based on Hasbro owned IP including:

  • Dragonvale
  • Dungeons & Dragons
  • G.I. Joe
  • Monopoly
  • My Little Pony
  • Scrabble (to be sold in US and Canada only)
  • Transformers

Full details and instructions for both new designers, and existing designs can be found on the Shapeways SuperFanArt page.

Most importantly, when you submit your design, please be sure to include the tag SuperFanArt so that we can find and include your submission.  For inspiration, take a look at some of the submissions that we have received so far.

We can’t wait to see what you create!


 

Bring Your Designs to Life with the ‘littleBits Bring Your 3D Prints to Life Contest’

Shapeways has teamed up with littleBits to challenge you to make your designs move with the ‘littleBits Bring Your 3D Prints to Life Contest’, we want to see what you will make when you can add modular electronics to your 3D prints.

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3D printing is great for making unique items to exactly meet your needs, but what better way to take your ideas one step further and add motion, light, sound, or even programming with littleBits modular electronics.  littleBits create powerful but easy-to-use electronic components that snap together with magnets, so there is no need for soldering, wiring or programming (unless you want to). That means you can prototype with electronics and don’t need an engineering degree to do so.

The Challenge:

Make a design that combines 3D printed Nylon and littleBits to make a 3D printed creation that comes to life using the littleBits. We chose Shapeways Nylon because you can make complex, interlocking parts in a single print, incorporate a living hinge, all with the precision to make compress fit, or threaded connectors.

Add littleBits to your 3D prints and control them using a mechanical input, like a button, or use a sensor to control with just a gesture or sound. We challenge you to use the following littleBits modules but you can incorporate any littleBits modules that you like.

To get you started, the littleBits team has released the STL and STEP files of these base components for you to download and import them into your 3D modeling software of choice and modify you design to fit these components. Download littleBits 3D files here.

Take a look at the littleBits project gallery for inspiration, where you can see everything from a Remote Control Car to a Flying Dragon or a Keytar with 3d printed knobs. Also find custom 3d-printed accessories designed for mounting littleBits in projects.

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The Remote Control Facetime Car made with 3D printed components.

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The Keytar uses 3D printed knobs to make the sounds more ergonomic and awesome.

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Run Horse Run uses your voice to make the horses, run.

The Submission

  • Upload your design that incorporates at least two (2) Little Bits modules to Shapeways with the tag LittleBits
  • Your design must be printable in Shapeways Nylon Selective Laser Sintering (WSF) with a maximum material volume of 300cm3.
  • Your submission can include one or multiple parts, (please indicate that an upload is “1 of 3″ or similar so that we can better understand your design.
  • Include a description of your design, the function and proposed movement.
  • BONUS POINTS: For a rendered animation or video of the design in action

The Prize

  • littleBits Pro Library (over $4,900 value)
  • 3D Printing Credit at Shapeways to the value of $500
  • The top 3 designs will have their design 3D printed by Shapeways

Continue reading


 

An Invite to Submit Your Designs to SuperFanArt

Shapeways is super excited to be working with Hasbro to help bring more 3D printed awesomeness to the masses via SuperFanArt.  The first wave of the groundbreaking Intellectual Property and 3D Printing partnership was a huge success, and now we are ready for you to help take it to the next level.  Find out more details on the Shapeways SuperFanArt page.

Following is an open letter inviting the Shapeways community to participate.

hasbro superfan art brands

As you may have heard, Hasbro and Shapeways are working together to encourage artists to create and sell 3D designs based on Hasbro’s iconic brands. Our July launch of SuperFanArt.com featured five artists and their My Little Pony-based designs. We’ve generated substantial press and attention for the artists, Shapeways and Hasbro with our story of a major entertainment company empowering fans to engage with their brands. Given this early success, we want to expand this opportunity to include more artists, more Hasbro brands and more 3D printed awesomeness.
This letter is an invitation for you to become part of SuperFanArt and the broader Hasbro and Shapeways communities, so we can help you promote and sell your designs to other fans. If you have a passion to develop 3D-printable art based on any of the following brands, we’d like to hear from you:
Dragonvale
• Dungeons & Dragons
• G.I. Joe
• Monopoly
• My Little Pony
• Scrabble (to be sold in US and Canada only)
• Transformers
Get your designs ready and visit SuperFanArt.com on August 22 for instructions on how to upload your work for promotion and sale. We hope you’ll join us in expanding the power of 3D printing by becoming a part of this exciting movement!
Your friends at Hasbro & Shapeways.
Find out more details on the SuperFanArt page on Shapeways.

 

Grun Jewelry: 3D Printing, Travel and Inspiration by Tanya Gruenberg

Tanya Gruenberg was part of the Shapeways team at the Museum of Arts & Design for the Out of Hand exhibition, helping people understand how they can use 3D printing, 3D scanning a few thousand people, and always, obsessively thinking about and designing jewelry to be 3D printed.  Since her time at MAD, Tanya’s jewelry designs have evolved at an amazing rate to the point where she is now ready to present her beautifully resolved designs to the world, as Studio Grun.

“When I was a little girl, I remember my mom always wearing large white gold hoop earrings with diamonds running through it. I couldn’t wait until I was older to get my hands on them.”

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That memory left an impression on Tanya Gruenberg, a Miami native who graduated from Parsons School of Design with a degree in Industrial Design. Upon graduating, she has worked as a furniture designer and assisted in designing home goods for a large clientele. On her free time she was making jewelry and noticed her interest was getting deeper and deeper.

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Tanya has taught herself wax carving, along with other traditional techniques, but quickly noticed it was very difficult to balance a full time job while teaching herself physically laborious jewelry techniques. That’s where Shapeways came in. “I already had the skillset to 3D model which has helped tremendously getting my ideas out. Every time I commuted home from work, I would sketch out ideas in my Moleskin and as soon as I got to my apartment, I’d open up my computer where I’d 3D sketch and before I knew it a few weeks would pass by and BOOM… I would receive my package from Shapeways and my vision was physically in my hands. What could be better than that?”

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Travel serves as a source of inspiration for many of her designs. Tanya explains there is something really special about traveling, and exploring the unfamiliar that sparks her creativity. “Traveling allows me to observe and see things through a new perspective. “ A combination of traveling, book reading, museum going, and image viewing serves part of her inspiration. The unusual architecture and textiles from Florence, Italy and time spent at museums looking at ancient tools, weapons and artifacts in Egypt explain her aesthetic. “I feel like a storyteller when I design. All my pieces feel like they are designed for an ancient culture that never existed.”

Studio Grun is showing her work at, NY Now at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center 655 W 34th St, New York City and Accent on Design August 17-20 2014 (Sunday – Wednesday) Booth Number 4270

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3D Print and Pick And Place (otherwise known as the most awesome machine in the world)

The Retro Populator is anything but retro, it may well be the future of digital manufacturing.  We all know that 3D printing is all kinds of awesome, but it does have limitations, namely anything other than the material you are printing in.  Now, if we combine a 3D printer and a Pick and Place machine, we can make all sorts of amazing products, with integrated components such as electronics, batteries, motors, magnets even insect larvae, though I am not sure why.

Pick & Place & 3D Print

The Retro Populator is an electronics pick-n-place retrofit for 3D printers.  Take your RepRap based desktop 3D printer (ie. most of them) add a few of the shelf components and you are now at the very forefront of digital fabrication.  Note: Actual effort may be greater than brief overview given in superficial description.

Now this first prototype is not yet the 3D Print and Pick and Place all at the same time, but it is an indicator that it will be very possible in the relatively near future.

Check out their video of the first iteration in action and keep an eye out for their project as they flirt with the avalanche of success that may very well bury them on Kickstarter.


 

Flowers Blast Off with the 3D Printed Rocket Test Tube Holder

What do you get when you combine a rocket, a test tube and 3D printing? Possibly the geekiest vase on the internet to beautify your home.

rocket test tube vase 3D print Shapeways The *rocket test tube holder 25mm by MrNib accepts a standard 25 mm (0.98 inch) diameter test tube to make a nice space age bud vase that you can give to your favorite rocketman, rocketwoman, or friend from another planet.

A segmented friction ring near the top of the holder keeps the test tube from being loose when inserted. There is enough springiness in the design to handle slightly oversized test tubes.

Test tubes are not included but you can purchase them from supply stores like American Science & Surplus.

3D Printed Rocket Test Tube Vase Shapeways

 


 

Day One of 3D Printed SuperFanArt at Comicon 2014 in San Diego

Our 3D Printing partnership with Hasbro has officially hit the floor at Comicon in San Diego as thousands of fans swarmed the booth to get a glimpse at the 3D printed ponies designed by the Shapeways community.  The SuperFanArt section is a relatively small part of the massive Hasbro booth at Comicon, but one that is garnering a lot of excitement among fans, artists and the toy industry.

Superfanart 3D Print at Comicon

If you are at Comicon 2014 in San Diego be sure to drop by the Hasbro Kiosk 3213 (its the huge one) and say hello to the SuperFanArt team.  If you are an artist or designer interested in participating in the SuperFanArt project, please be sure to register your interest to start selling your Hasbro approved 3D prints to fans around the world.

For those who cannot make it, check out some of the craziness that is Comicon.

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Yep, and that’s just the people lined up who pre-paid to be first at the Hasbro stand…


 

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.