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!
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!
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 by MarkWheadon
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 Cat, doge, and Creepy Horse Head are some of our favorites at a favorable price point. Find more memes in our Gift Guide.
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!?
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!
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.
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):
The new additions to the SuperFanArt family have been incredible, Spitfire being one of the fan favorites! Christophe has designed many products on Shapeways, and his My Little Pony modeling is helping him reach new audiences.
You can see the full list of top viewed Shapeways products from October of on 3dprint.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
We all have those friends who “borrow” our chargers. Never worry about a stolen or misplaced charger again, thanks this handy sleeve!
ING - Key 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!
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.
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.
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
The historic first drive of the #3DPrintedCar – Enjoy!
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.
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.
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 .
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
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?
It is with great excitement that we announce that there are now more than 20,000 Shops open in the Shapeways marketplace! WOOHOO! Cheers to you! This is truly an inspiring milestone for all of us here at Shapeways.
Shapeways set off a mission to help people make the products they actually wanted over six years ago. After seeing the design potential and talent in our community, we knew there had to be more people who would appreciate and value your work. Since then, our marketplace has matured into an entrepreneurial ecosystem of Shop Owners. Everyday we work hard to give you the tools and the exposure that you need and deserve to build your 3D Printing business.
Our Shop Owner community has doubled over the last 15 months! When I started working at Shapeways in May of 2013, we were just crossing the 10,000 Shops mark; to think we’re now over 20,000 is incredible. It’s thrilling to see more and more artists, designers and entrepreneurs making money off sharing their 3D printed creations with the world.
Congratulations! Pat your self on the back! You’re a valued member of the largest community of creatives innovating in 3D printing. We are proud and grateful to call you a Shapie.
Not a Shop Owner yet? Open a Shop today! For the existing Shapies, how long ago did you open your shop?
Together, we are about to make history. Today marks the beginning of manufacturing in space. Are you ready to take on the #MissionPrint Challenge? Here’s the launch video of SpaceX-4 that just successfully carried the Made In Space Zero-G 3D Printer to the ISS:
Video courtesy of SpaceX
Hearing mission control say “…and we have liftoff of SpaceX Falcon 9 Rocket and Dragon. CRS-4 is underway. A US commercial spacecraft launching from American soil delivers new technology and science to the International Space Station,” gives me and hopefully every other space lover chills. Knowing that that “new technology” is one that we all are fortunate enough to experiment with every day, the ability to additively manufacture on demand through 3D Printing, is inspiring. Remember, there is no overnight shipping to space; and it is physically impossible to traditionally manufacture parts in a space environment. We really are witnessing, and taking an active part in, making history.
Screen Shots here and below courtesy of FutureEngineers.org
This is the first in a series of NASA developed 3D Space Challenges that Future Engineers and our other out-of-this-world partners are happy to share with the Shapeways community. Encourage every K-12 student you know interested in 3D Printing to check it out, and remember, ALL students (university, college, trade schools, and professors too) get 10% off ALL their prints at Shapeways ALL the time. What a great excuse to “ground print” and prototype your space tools with us.
Tools designed for this challenge are judged on the following well-rounded criteria:
40 Points – Innovation and Creativity of the Solution
20 Points – Ability to communicate the design through the Text Description and/or Finalist Interview
20 Points – Quality of the 3D Modeled Geometry and compliance with the Design Guidelines
20 Points - Usefulness of the design in a Space Environment
Kids are powering innovative developments in 3D Printing across the unique web of our industry’s reach. They are opening shops on Shapeways, printing on desktop printers in their classrooms, and mod-ing their toys at home. There are dozen of touching stories of kids literally enabling the future of 3D printed prosthetics. And perhaps most profound of all, they can see what we can’t. Young minds aren’t limited by the bounds of conventional design and manufacturing constraints. Freed of this parameter, they are capable of leveraging the technology and materials available in unique new ways. Inspired by their potential, Future Engineers has an awesome lineup of prizes for the top contestants. The winner of the challenge will even have their tool printed in Zero-G’s on the ISS and get to watch live from Mission Control. While the #MissionPrint Future Engineers contest is for K-12 students in the US only, we will be featuring innovative designs by makers of all ages on our blog between now and when winners are announced on January 30th, 2015.
Are you ready to accept the #MissionPrint Challenge, stop dreaming and start doing? Keep us posted on your progress in our Space Forum and be sure and tag your space tools #MissionPrint. The best way to ensure your products will be astronaut-ready is to prototype on the ground, and we can’t wait to help.
“Maker” is a feature-length documentary on the Maker Movement and its impact on society, culture and economy in the U.S.
The ‘Maker Movement’, sometimes called the ‘Third Industrial Revolution,’ subverts traditional manufacturing by building on innovative concepts such as open source, local manufacturing, crowd funding, and digital fabrication. Breaking the hobbyist movement stereotype, ‘Maker’ delves deep into this ecosystem of design and manufacturing in the Internet era. The film explores the ideas, tools, and personalities that are driving the Maker Movement – and returns with a timely snapshot of one of the transforming influences of the current age.
The documentary is a series of interviews with leading thinkers in the maker movement, their motivations and the future as they see it evolving. You can request a screening for your local area, school, hacker space or find a screening that is already happening in your area. Also screening from September 26th on Netflix is the Print the Legend movie, following the growth of Formlabs and Makerbot as they raced to bring 3D printers to peoples homes.
We are testing Full Color Plastic 3D Printing at Shapeways and what better way to test than with material torture videos. We 3D printed a few basic parts to test for strength, flexibility, water and fire resistance.
Take a look at the video above to see the material under all of the different torture tests (oh, I was gentle as I wanted to test some of the parts in real world applications). Overall while the material is not as refined or durable as SLS Nylon, which is the benchmark to which I compare all 3D printed materials, you can still do interlocking parts AND it is in almost full color (CMY, no K).
The material is not as strong as our popular Nylon SLS material but is definitely less brittle then Full Color Sandstone. At 3mm thickness the material is relatively stiff with only a small amount of flexibility (depending on geometry) yet at 1.5mm thickness the parts flex quite easily, to the point where the material may fail after just a few cycles of bending. At 1mm thickness of wires, the prints can be very easily broken with very little effort so I really recommend at least 2mm walls/wires unless you never, ever intend to touch your 3D prints.
I also gave the material a quick grind with a Dremel which the full color plastic held up fairly well to. If you have a printed part that fits on an existing component that is too tight, you could easily and reliably grind away excess material with a clean finish. I imagine it would respond to sanding with similar success as the color is impregnated approximately 2mm into the surface of the 3D prints, you could smooth the parts without removing all the color as long as you are not too heavy handed. I am still experimenting with the parts in a tumbler to see if we can automate the smoothing process.
I am quite excited that the full color plastic is entirely waterproof, after soaking for over 24 hours there is no bleeding of colors, no degradation of material strength, stiffness or any swelling. I have not had a chance to really UV test the pigments but as far as moisture is concerned this could be used for outdoor applications.
Another concern may be exposure to heat, the material feels as though it will deform under high temperatures but it definitely catches fire easily and stays alight emitting a terrible smell. So please do not expose you full color plastic 3D prints to exposed flames.
If you have any other tests you would like me to do to our Full Color Plastic, please leave a comment in the blog.
The playful project to send Karlie Kloss around the world as a 3D print is another example of the fashion world recognizing the value of 3D printing, even if it is not to make a garment or an accessory. With projects like the Dita Von Teese Gown and the Victoria’s Secret Angel Wings, we worked with designers to push the current 3D Printing materials to the absolute limits. This project is a more lighthearted step in the direction of exploring how 3D scanning and 3D printing can be used to document a person, object or place, to then explore the form in 3 dimensions, to print as is, or to modify and/or enhance.
The american supermodel was 3D scanned in a number of classic outfits, and playful poses by Direct Dimensions’ 20 foot diameter booth with over 100 cameras firing simultaneously to capture the raw data to 3D print. 3D technicians then painstakingly prepared the 3D point clouds so that Shapeways could 3D print the 6 inch high figurines in our Full Color Sandstone material in our New York factory, you can see footage of the print process in the video below..
The 3D prints were then sent to exotic locations around the world to be photographed by fashion photographers in each locale, you may see a few on instagram with the hastag #whereskarlie.
Normal ring boxes too bulky?
Having a hard time hiding your surprise engagement ring?
Then you could probably use this ring box!
This ring box is impressively slim and can easily fit in the fifth pocket of your jeans. The ring holder is also designed to spin the ring as much as 45 degrees as you open the ring box to beautifully showcase any and all gemstones.
The box is designed to be as innocuous as possible so that, should your ring box be found, it would be glossed over as nothing important. No more worries of stumbling upon your big surprise!
So subtle it is basically invisible, check out the video of the Slim Ring Box in action.