The Community

Community Journal #2

Welcome to the second edition of the Shapeways Community journal. We collected the best of your stories on the forum and social media and compiled them into a nice read. This month we’re covering the Shapeways World Meetup day, an amazing collection of WWI miniature airplanes, a free PDF magazine from the Blender community focusing on 3D printing, printing Second Life jewelry, a mindblowing sculpture and a quick report of a visit by a community member to our Eindhoven facility.

We hope you’ll enjoy it. If you have a suggestion for the next edition, please leave a comment.

Bart, Michael and Natalia

Shapeways World Meetup: February 28

The Shapeways World Meetup on Thursday, February 28th is picking up steam. 48 local events have been started around the world so far, and more are added every day. It’s the perfect opportunity to meet other Shapeways and 3D printing lovers, so join a meetup now or start your own!

For more information or questions, please head over to the forum.

In Clouds of Glory

‘In Clouds of Glory’ is a miniature war game representing the air combats over Europe during the first world war. The game uses 1/350th scale 3D printed airplane models mounted on 80 centimeters high carbon-fibre rods for a true representation of the relative altitude differences between the aircraft.

Svend Ask Larsen writes:

“For many years a friend and me have been working on a very specialized tabletop wargame on WWI air war. The narrow scope of the game has always made it economically unviable to make a production of the miniatures needed for the game. And as the game needed small scale aircraft that were light enough to be mounted on high flight stands.

With the advent of Shapeways we decided to start working with a couple of designers who had already produces a number of 1/144th scale biplanes available at Shapeways and had them rescale the planes for the 1/350 scale we needed for our game. And as planes were now available we decided to make the game available for the wargaming public for free under a Creative Commons license.

You can see the result here along with a 60+ long link list of available Shapeways FUD models for the game.”

BlenderArt Magazine Features 3D Printing

BlenderArt is a community-powered PDF Magazine for the Blender community. This month’s edition is dedicated entirely to 3D printing and also features Shapeways community members Ben Dansie and Dolf Veenvliet. It’s an interesting read, even if you’re not a Blender user. You can download a copy here.

Second Life Jewelry Escapes Virtual World

Second Life arist Maxi Gossamer (her avatar’s name) is using Shapeways to make her virtual jewelry real. I presented her work at the Second Life summit in the Netherlands last month and she was present as well – virtually đŸ˜‰

Maxi says:

“The jewellery is amazing. It’s like magic, I can’t quite believe it!

I am especially pleased with how the Marrakech Heart turned out, quite lovely, totally exceeded my expectations. I’m going to oxidise it and antique it to bring out the detail of t”he design and I’ll post photos of that too once it’s done.

I’m getting a great response from the Secondlife community so far. I’ll be blogging about this more soon and will add a link to the virtual Conference presentation that took place the other day.”

Read the full article on the New World Notes blog.


Ollie Borgardts created this amazing 3D printed sculpture that made us catch our breath.

Ollie writes:

“My hands were shaking when the parcel arrived here. đŸ™‚ The sculpture was so much work to do. Because of the complexity of my works the array of my products here at sw is very little at the moment. I wrote an article about all this as well.”

The Amazing Nautilus Project

nautilus boat

We were astounded to see this incredible project on the forum and asked Alexander, the creator, and Glenn Slingsby, the 3D modeller he asked to help him to tell us about it:

Alexander posted a request on another site when he was looking for someone to make the windows to a doll-house in the shape of the Nautilus submarine from Jules Verne’s book “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea”. I’ve always had a love of Verne’s books and grew up at a time when a few of them were made into movies. I immediately saw the possibility of 3D printing the windows and wrote to Alexander. I’m not sure how much Alexander knew about 3D printing which is something that I find a bit of a problem when approaching someone as a maker – the technology still hasn’t quite hit mainstream consciousness and to some people the phrase draws nothing but blank stares! 

After modeling the windows Alexander ordered them and I continued discussing the project with him; I was curious about what else he was making and wondered if other parts could be printed. Sure enough, next up was the diving port that the occupants of the Nautilus would go through when going on deep-sea walks. I didn’t want this to look too pristine and new so I actually modeled it with dents and dings to give it that aged look. 

nautilus boat

Throughout the project Alexander showed me pictures of the work to date and I was very impressed at the level of detail he was putting into it; how many hundreds of brass brad nails to represent rivets?

But, the most challenging part, for me anyway, was what came next – the diving helmets! Alexander directed me to images on the internet of helmets made by Disney and other reproductions. There were two versions that I made and they required a LOT of work in Rhino and ZBrush. Not having the miniature characters in front of me I was working off measurements given to me and the first version sat far too high on the figure. More remodeling for one version and then again for the second and they were finally done. 

I think Alexander’s paint-work on all the models really brings them to life, and indeed, the entire project shows the kind of love that only a parent can put into something like this for his child.

Looking a few years into the future, when most people have a 3D printer of some kind in their homes, a project of this kind would make perfect use of the technology with many more of the parts being made on demand.

– Glenn Slingsby

I will now spend the next two years or so adding additional levels of detail (furniture, equipment, decorations). I think that the next thing for the kitchen will be a wooden hutch table (or small aluminum if I can find one), cast iron pots and pans, and lobsters. Then I’ll see how that looks and go from there!


nautilus boat

Read more on the forum, and see the parts that were 3D printed here.

How to Complain Like a Boss

When designer Remi van Oers received his latest order, he saw room for improvement in its quality. Instead of just sending us an email, he decided to take his models, come over to the Shapeways office in Eindhoven and give us a presentation on how we can do better.

The result? 15 people attended his talk, we had some great discussions on what to improve and why, and we kicked off a project already!

Can you tell us how to do better as well? Just email Bart or Natalia with your suggestions – we’d love to invite you over!

Upcoming Events

  • February 9 – New York Fashion Week – Ace Hotel, New York
  • February 16 – Shapeways Live, from NYC. Featuring a virtual tour of the New York Factory of the Future being built.
  • February 28 – World Meetup. We’re having meetups all over the world on this day. Join one, or start your own!
  • March 8 – Shapeways Eindhoven Tour. Come and visit our facility in Eindhoven, the Netherlands.
  • March 8 – 13 – SXSW – Austin, TX
  • April 27/28 – MakerFaire, Newcastle, United Kingdom

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