Category Archives: Gadgets

Trending: Fidget Toys

As someone with way too much energy — I’m a constant pen-clicker, toe-tapper, doodler (and more) — I was excited to see some products trending on the Shapeways marketplace that are perfect little fidget toys. This array of ingenious designs allows you to use skateboard bearings and interlocking elements to create and print your own compact gizmos for noiseless fidgeting.

These types of toys are definitely becoming more popular, with Buzzfeed even offering a roundup of jewelry and products that can help you calm down (which included Oddity’s Finger Hula Hoop on Shapeways). One standout gadget is the Cog Tri Spinner Fidget Spinner, which turns standard skateboard bearings into hours of fidgeting fun.

Below are a few more products that we think deserve shout-outs for being awesome fidget toys:

This working propeller ring is not only a fun little jewelry piece, it also exemplifies what’s possible with our recently launched interlocking metals capability. Pick one up and take it for a spin.

While similar to the spinner above, The Swirl has a minimalist design that’s worth checking out.


This Twisting Links Fidget series is designed to be a discreet but effective fidget toy with tactile sensation and endless movement.

4 Gadget Gift Making Trends For Holiday 2016!!

With the holidays quickly approaching, we’re excited to be positioning Shapeways as the go-to for unique, customizable gifts– and our designers are crucial to growing that marketplace. We’ve identified some of the hottest tech hobbyist trends of this year to inspire our makers to stretch their imaginations and consider creating accessories for each, making them on-demand stocking stuffers.

Raspberry Pi: With this little computer giving you a lot of power to program and create, what better companion for it than 3D printed accessories? We’d suggest our designers tap into Shapeways customizable product feature to create Raspberry Pi cases or stands– because while it’s what’s on the inside that matters, it doesn’t hurt to have a neat exterior for your favorite gadget.Apple III Raspberry Pi Case 3d printed

Raspberry Pi Apple III case by RetroConnector

iPhone 7: With Apple’s latest release being on (most) people’s wishlists and being significantly different than previous models, it’s a great opportunity to tap into creative cases and accessories.The Vibe iPhone Case - 40033196:7.67 3d printed

The Vibe iPhone Case by Cacai

GoPro Hero 5 (Black and Session): GoPro’s latest cameras come in two sizes, meaning double the accessory options! Because both work on voice-command, there should be some fun potential for newly designed cases and accessories. We also hear that while the Hero 4 Black is waterproof, it won’t float so some aquatic accessories could be useful.Boonie Hat Mount for GoPro Cameras (Slim Case) 3d printed

Boonie Hat Mount for GoPro Cameras by BrainExploder Creations

Apple Watch Series 2: The new Apple Watch model is about the same size and shape as its predecessor but slightly thicker. We’ve been seeing some great watch docks and charging stations, and there’s limitless room for variations.Apple Watch Metal Bumper 42mm 3d printed


Apple Watch Metal Bumper by Amznfx

Remember, one of the most important parts of leveraging the products you create is showing vs. telling shoppers what your product does. Quality photos tell a thousand (or more) words and super nifty videos are even better.

Shop More Gadget and Tech Trends Here!

7 3D Printed Gadgets to Take Your Meal to the Next Level

In this era of trading hamburgers for *ramen* burgers and breakfast sandwiches for *donut* sandwiches, it’s time to make our food accessories just as trendy and futuristic as our hybrid foods. Introducing… 3D printed food gadgets.

You can even take some inspiration from these 3D printed objects from Shapeways and design your own essential foodie items (or be lazy and buy the ones we’ve picked out for you).

1. Chopstick Holder

Photo courtesy of

Do you love sushi but are incapable of using chopsticks, but also don’t want to be culturally dense and use a fork? Say hello to 3D printed chopstick holders.

This ingenious invention will turn the most infuriated sushi lover into an expert chopstick artist instantly.

2. Finger Saver

Photo courtesy of

There’s nothing more terrifying than almost chopping off a finger while cutting kale for the salad you’ve convinced yourself you like. Avoid all of that vegetable tension with a 3D printed finger protector.

Now you don’t have to worry about cutting your finger while you distractedly chop kale as you think about nachos again!

3. Egg Holder

Photo courtesy of

Have you ever made yourself a trendy brunch, complete with soft-boiled eggs, only to realize you don’t have a trendy egg holder to keep your egg at optimal elevation? Never eat a tilted soft-boiled egg again with this 3D printed octopus egg holder.

Bonus: If you’re on a diet, check out this nest egg holder. You’ll lose your appetite thinking about how your breakfast was once a baby chicken instantly. Calories saved!

4. “Little Dipper” Cookie Dunking Bowl

Photo courtesy of

True loss is dropping the warm chocolate chip cookie you just slaved over into the abyss of a full glass of milk. You know you will never see that cookie again. You know if you do, it’s going to be a disgusting, milk-saturated mess.

Luckily, a Shapeways community designed a brilliant solution for the world’s greatest problem: the “Little Dipper,” a 3D printed cookie dunking mug. The best part is you can still drink the milk after.

5. Pizza Chair

Photo courtesy of

The tables that come on delivery pizzas serve no point– that is, until you add this 3D printed pizza chair obviously. This dining set is perfect for your tiny imaginary friend to recline in while you eat your pizza.

Bonus: Check out this miniature 3D printed stool that can be easily adapted for pizza seating as well, unless your tiny imaginary friend has back issues. That would be insensitive of you to not provide him with back support then.

6. Toast Retriever

Photo courtesy of

Standing toasters were not designed for people with fingers. Unfortunately, most people have fingers. With these 3D printed toast retrievers, you can now grab your toast out of the thinnest of toast slots without fearing for the life of your fingers.

These toast retrievers can also pick up the little burnt pieces that inevitably fall off your toast in the retrieval process. In fact, they can even grab pop-tarts and other objects that are not toast itself, but are frequently enjoyed toasted. So much functionality!

7. Statue of Liberty Ice Cream Cone

Photo courtesy of

Enjoy a patriotic cone of your favorite flavor as you cheer on America with this 3D printed Statue of Liberty ice cream cone (child not included).

F1 Racing Miniatures And Memorabilia That’ll Get Your Wheels Spinning

It’s no secret that some massive changes have occurred in the Formula 1 Racing scene. Between constantly changing regulations, and John Malone’s Liberty Media – F1 deal closing last week in an $8B deal, F1 is set to become much more mainstream.
With the cars (and industry) racing around at 240MPH, you’re probably looking for ways to rep your favorite road racing sport.

Mini3DDrivers’s Mini Scuderia #7 car (and accompanying Mini Kimi Raikkonen driver) are just one of the whimsically accurate tiny cars offered in this F1- dedicated shop.

 Maybe you’re looking for an F1 inspired track to throw on your desk or wall.  3D Racetracks features a number of topographically accurate racetracks, including an officially licensed Nurburgring.

Want to celebrate the Ferrari 312T driven to victory by Niki Lauda and Clay Regazzoni? This 1:100 scale by Giles’s Designs can be used as a keychain or pendant. There’s also a number of other F1 inspired memorabilia in his shop, such as these miniatures.

Looking for more automotive & F1 inspired accessories? Check out my list here, and follow me on Shapeways to see what I’m looking at!


Click For More High Octane Cars

Packing Light with Multifunction Gadgets

Posted by in Gadgets

Summer vacation time is upon us and I bet you’re trying to narrow down what to bring with you on that much needed getaway. What a luxurious problem to have! Luckily we’ve found some space minimizing products for you to bring along so you can fit that 4th summer beach read book in your suitcase.

Ultimate Minimalistic Case with bottle opener

Ultimate Minimalistic Case with bottle opener
by Mstyle183
Comfortably holds foreign money, opens drinks and protects you phone and camera all in one.

Belt Clip with Bottle Opener

Belt Clip with Bottle Opener
by MichaelMueller
Having a new routine while traveling means having tools to keep from losing your stuff are super useful. Give this multifunction belt clip a whirl and stay organized while on the go.

Rucksack 'D' Clip

Rucksack ‘D’ Clip
by Lucyrplant
This rucksack D ring is the perfect space saver for strapping that last over sized souvenir to your already-over-stuffed pack.

Foosball iPhone 5 Case

Foosball Iphone 5 Case
by athomitron
A great to to keep track of your phone while having a pickup game with your seat mate in car or train.

We’ve got more ways to multitask and pack light:

Click For More Double Duty Travel Goods

4 Ways To Capture The Ultimate Road Trip

The weather’s great and you’ve officially started your annual summer vacation. But instead of bumming around your neighborhood for two weeks and “taking it easy”,  you’ve rented a car and decided to drive out to the opposite coast (whether it be the “BEST” cost or the “BEAST” coast). You’ve never driven cross country before and you want to make sure you capture every part of the adventure.  We’ve complied a few ways to make this possible.

Since you’ll be driving, you’ll want a way to mount your GoPro(s) so you get a great view of those stunning flatlands in Kansas.  This 360 GoPro Mount by go360hero can be mounted anywhere to capture that all-around you feel.

Go360 go3602

And if you’re running the also highly rated Xiaomi Yi as your action cam of choice, here’s a great solution to get your 360 fill by clusteruk


Maybe you’re looking to pull focus on your fancy DSLR. Wileydavis created a great way to pull focus with this adapter that fits right onto your Canon 50mm lens.


There’s also the possibility that you have the ultimate aerial photography device: a drone. If you’re running a (slightly) older DJI Phantom, it’s easy to attach one of those six GoPro’s you’re running to the bottom of a quadcopter. Einaros’ simple vibration-damping mount will let you capture sweeping aerials.


And if you have a Phantom 3, Fusion Imaging has a great way to keep that high-def camera from getting damaged when landing on the jagged Rocky Mountains.



Want even more? We’ve got more ways to document that cross country escapade linked below:

Click For More Road Trip Fun

Your Summer BBQ Checklist

We know, it can be hard to remember everything you need to kick off the summer with the perfect BBQ. Luckily the Shapeways Marketplace has some great day-to-night picks ready so that all you need to do is grab your Grillmaster and pals.

1: Bottle opener. There’s no better time to have a beer than at a summer barbecue. If you want to open beer bottles without breaking those pearly whites, (or  using other beer bottles) this is the way to go. By JoshShand


2:  Acoustic speakers. Nothing makes a good BBQ great like some freshly amplified summertime tunes. The Wave iPhone amplifier by Sonido uses Fibonacci’s golden ratio to push the bass, treble and everything in between out by replacing batteries with math.


3: Delicious Hot Dog earrings. But really, what’s a BBQ without some good old fashioned randomized meat? Never leave your grill master wondering “Hot Dog or Hamburger” again. By Mayaland


Get Your Grill On

Designer Spotlight: Leon Oudehand

This week we’re speaking with Leon Oudehand from the Netherlands, who did a great job developing a simple yet useful life hack!

Leon Oudehand

Tell us a little bit about yourself: Who are you? Where are you located?
Hi, I’m Leon and I’m a product and packaging developer from the Netherlands. I work as packaging designer for a big FMCG company, but alongside that I love to design and create products that make life just a little easier, both for myself and for others.

What’s the story behind your designs? What inspires you?
I guess this is one of those typical “I had a need and couldn’t find the right product so decided to do it myself” stories where a product originates from a pure personal need. When the explosion of wallet projects on Kickstarter started a couple of years ago, I too got a little addicted to the minimal wallet trend.

Cavity Card

Typically, minimal wallets are great for cards and bills. However, few offer a “good” solution for carrying coins (or other small items). I tried going “cashless” or at least “coinless” for a while, but found that there’s still quite a few places that don’t accept cards, or don’t accept cards for small amounts. Time after time I ended up with loose coins in my pocket. After finding over 10 euros worth of coins in the washing machine, and another stash spread around the car, I decided I had to find a solution.

That’s when I came up with Cavity Card. A simple and light frame that can be mounted onto any card and creates just a little space for a few coins, a key or an SD card while keeping my wallet slim. At first, I just printed one for myself. But after a number of questions from friends and colleagues, I decided to open up a shop.

Wallets with cavity card

What brought you to 3D printing with Shapeways?
I learned about 3D printing as a tool for rapid prototyping in my job as a packaging designer. It’s been a great tool for very quickly getting something physical in your hands, which is great for very early stage tests and design evaluation.

Having studied in Eindhoven, Shapeways was the logical choice for me. A while ago I did a bit of a benchmark comparing it with a couple of other 3D printing services but found Shapeways still has the best balance between cost, range of materials and service.

How did you learn how to design in 3D?
I’m schooled as an industrial designer. So I learned 3D modeling at university. I’ve experimented with a couple of CAD solutions, but find SolidWorks to be the best fit for me.

How do you promote your work?
For a very niche product like Cavity Card, which is only relevant to people owning a minimal wallet, it’s difficult to reach the right people. I currently mainly use Instagram and Facebook to try to build a following. I’ve also been experimenting a bit with Facebook ads (although not too successfully yet).

Next to my Shapeways store, I also run an independent website where I sell Cavity Cards with self-adhesive strips and a backing card included packed in a nice minimal pack.

If you weren’t limited by current technologies, what would you want to make using 3D printing?
I’ve got plenty of ideas in my head that I’d like to work out and start making some day. I’ve got a couple of wallet concepts for which the limitations in size and accuracy currently limit me from producing it through 3D printing. I’d love to start printing more complex multipart products that offer more functionality. Multi-material parts (printed in one go) would also open up so many opportunities.

Who are your favorite designers or artists? Who in the Shapeways community has served as an inspiration to you?
In terms of design, I’m a fan of classic modernist designers like Mies van der Rohe or Eames. My favorite Shapeways designer is probably Remi van Oers, because of his very simple and minimal but super useful designs.

Anything else you’d like to share with us?
Just that it’s absolutely fantastic how simple and easy it is to go from a one-off print for personal use to selling them commercially. And a big thanks to you guys for providing the services!

How To Add Glam To Your FitBit Flex

Some say the FitBit Flex is the ultimate wearable fitness tracker. Its pricepoint, durability and battery life put it ahead of the pack, all while touting the now infamous FitBit monicker.

But sometimes you want to wear something a bit more upscale than a not-so-flashy rubber-and-plastic(ish) fitness tracker. Bytten makes that possible, completely transforming your FitBit without losing a step. They come in multiple colors, materials and styles; and some are even customizable! Whether you want something edgy… Elegant… Simple… Or completely custom… It’s all here. Check out Bytten’s shop, and tell us how you spice up your FitBit.

The Crazy Build-it-Yourself Watch Your Dad Will Love to Make

If your dad is anything like mine, he likes to work with his hands. This year, rather than getting him a run-of-the-mill store-bought product, I thought I’d order something cool he can put together himself.

Shop owner Danowall has designed this faceplate for the stylish wordwatch. The wordwatch is a DIY project where you can combine electrical components from Adufruit with Shapeways 3D printed materials to make this super creative accessory. The 3D printed metal faceplate is attached to a matrix of LED lights on a circuit board, then to the wristband. Instructions for assembling and programing the watch can be found here.



Danowall offers the faceplate as an STL file you can print or laser engrave, but I think you’ll agree that the cast metals available at Shapeways really bring out the best in the design. Not only is it the perfect watch for your dad to wear to that next big meeting, but people will be blown away when your dad tells them he built it himself.


How have you customized your watch? Show us with by leaving a comment below!

Transform Your FitBit Into A Statement Piece With…

You love your FitBit. It helps to quantify how far you’ve walked, how many stairs you’ve climbed, and if you’ve done just enough physical activity to warrant that extra serving of chicken on your burrito. But what you may not love about it is its look. It’s usually black, clunky and definitely doesn’t match every outfit when it’s on your wrist.

This metal “armor” helps to change that. It’s sleek, shiny and can actually take the form of a pretty pendant, which your Flex slips right into.

But there’s more way than one to fab up your Flex. This bracelet accessory keeps your tracker on your wrist, and is customizable to add your name, or more!

Now you’re all set to keep tracking yourself, while looking great. Want even more? Here’s more wearable tech that doesn’t look like… tech!

Responsibility Meets Design in New 3D Printed Wristwatch : An Interview with Frederic Pieck

As technology develops, so too do consumers’ tastes and desires. It used to be that consumers only needed something to look good to prove its value. Today, aesthetics are only part of the equation. The sources of materials, the manufacturing process and the environmental footprint are now all factors in the value of luxury products. We live in an age of intelligent products and a new generation of designers are leading the charge.

Frederic Pieck is one of them, a young industrial designer who creates sharp, thoughtful lifestyle designs using 3D printing. Driven by a sense of responsibility towards sustainable design, Pieck has adopted 3D printing due to its range of materials, customizability and on-demand manufacturing.



Studio Pieck’s newest concept, commissioned by the 88′; the Monicker, is a fully customizable wristwatch built from modular 3D printed parts manufactured here at Shapeways. We interviewed Pieck to learn more about his design approach.

What got you into design? How did you start creating when you were younger?

It started really early. I think LEGO was the ideal basis for me to start creating stuff. After high school I went to college to study interior architecture. After the first year I realized that smaller objects got my attention more than the whole interior.

So first I started more 2D-based like laser cutting wood. After that I started to experiment with new materials and my first leather wallet collection was born. I called it “Burissa” which translates as money keeper. It was a collection made using only laser cutting and folding techniques; no other materials were added.


How did you find 3D printing and Shapeways?

After that adventure I wanted something different and more complicated. Because I was already a watch addict, I started thinking about creating a watch myself.

First problem: creating a watch with a small budget is really hard if you want to do some prototyping and start from scratch! A friend of mine told me about 3D printing and that’s the point where everything started. I managed to learn 3D software–I was highly motivated to finish the watch–and discovered Shapeways while searching the web. The perfect match!

I wanted a watch that was as clean as possible, minimal and slick! After the eighth prototype, the first Monicker was born:


Describe your iterative process. How did you arrive at the current design?

I wanted more, more qualitatively, and to add some extra materials. The watch needed to be modular, and parts needed to be replaceable. For me it’s important that the customer can interact with it and create their own personal Monicker! This is where Shapeways is the perfect partner! We can launch this watch with a small budget because of the demand driven approach. Customers are free to use the colors and materials they want to make it unique and personal!

The examples you’ve shared do a wonderful job of using design to tell a story. How do you approach that?

For me, designing a new product always starts by telling a story. These day I think it’s the most important ingredient in launching a new product. You have to grab people’s attention not only by the design, but also about the story behind it; the purpose to create something new. Innovation is needed, but not only innovation–eco-friendly production and innovation.
This part is not always easy and this is an aspect of why I use shapeways. For me, open and transparent communication about how Monicker is made and who’s the manufacturer is really important. The product is clean and minimal and that needs a clean and fair production. So a blog post on the Shapeways website is a great start to tell the whole story! From design to production to the end user.

What is this insane new mecha-like gamepad contraption?

Competition has always been driven by technology, and this has never been more true than in Video games. While console gamepads have long been a popular device for play, their design has some inherent features that can slow down play. With the power of 3D printing provided by Shapeways one designer has set out to improve on the standard gamepad controller.


Combining ergonoics with a futuristic contraption straight out of a Neill Blomkamp film like Elysium, the Immortal Mechanical Gamepad Paddles is a cool solution to elevate the competitive potential of console gaming.


You use your thumbs to control the joysticks and to press the d-pad, and face buttons. The designer Solodus solves this by 3D printing mechanical triggers you can use to push the buttons on the tops of the controller. He explains via a forum thread:

“The main problem with first-party gamepads is the difficulty to perform two actions at the same time. For example, you can’t activate a bomb, and defend yourself at the same time. Your thumb is busy pressing the activation button, and you can’t aim. (You could use the claw technique, which is using your index finger to press the face buttons, but this is very uncomfortable for most, and could result in injuries).

With this accessory, you will never have to take your thumbs off the joysticks, allowing you to perform more than one action at the same time, and comfortably.

Another added benefit of this accessory, is the reduced reaction time. Because, the distance from your fingers to the paddles is less than the distance of your thumbs to the buttons, it takes less time to press a button. This is great for First Person Shooter games, where reaction time is critical. “

Check out the video below to see the results for yourself. This looks like the perfect accessory to gain a little bit of an edge in Trials of Osiris and other highly competitive FPS’. You can check out Solodus’ shop and follow them here.

How a Simple Mod Made an Entire Community Happy

Every few years automakers change up the entire design of an automobile. Frame, sheetmetal bodywork, engine, transmission and more to help give a vehicle a refresh and push buyers to want the newest model.

With the redesign of their Cooper line, Mini changed a lot about the third generation model. It was elongated, given a new engine and transmission, along with smaller details like this alien-like spaceship keyfob design.


User jwhdevries wasn’t fond of this odd component and after a little research and seeing other Mini drivers fix the issue with Sugru moldable rubber or electrical tape, decided there was a better way to fix the issue at hand. The fob was unnecessarily large, and odd-shaped, and they found that the extra plastic was entirely unnecessary. With his 3D design knowledge, he designed this product in Strong & Flexible Polished plastic.


After posting it on North America Motoring, a Mini- focused forum community with a massive positive response, it was reviewed on Motoring Fun, further pushing it up the ranks.

Through a bit of frustration, a lot of motivation and some serious creation, this product has been one of our top sellers in April; starting as a shared issue within a tight-knight community..

Have you created an amazing lifehack that helps fix a simple issue? We want to hear about it! Tell us about it in the comments below, and share it with us on social media by using #Shap3dByMe!

Follow Seth on Shapeways here

Keep Your Lightning Cables Unfrayed With This Lifehack | Shapeways Reviews

Your iPhone’s low on battery, and you’re digging through your pack looking for a lightning cable to juice up your phone, but the only one you can find looks like this:  


Yep, a completely frayed, non-working cable.

BUT! There’s a way to keep this from happening. This nifty little piece of plastic by TheKre8Group lets you quickly and easily wrap your cables to keep them tidy and safe from undesirable bending and fraying.


Wrapping a cable is super simple.


Insert the USB end into the larger slot.


Wrap the cord around, starting in the beveled channel and wrapping upwards, making sure not to double-layer any part.


Once you’ve wrapped the cord, insert the lightning end into the smaller hole to hold it secure.


Now, you have a simple, affordable, compact solution to help prevent expensive cables from fraying and breaking.

Check out our video review here:

Do you have a neat way of keeping your cords organized? We’d love to hear it! Leave it in the comments below, and let us know what you want to see next. Follow TheKre8Group on Shapeways here , and be sure to check out their shop here.

Follow Seth on Shapeways here