This week we’re thrilled to highlight, Stef de Vos, the mind behind Ittyblox! Stef makes amazing sandstone recreations of famous buildings, along with a few buildings he simply makes up, allowing for customers to also create a world of their own. Before you know it, you can have an entire mini city on your desk!

Tell us a little bit about yourself: Who are you? Where are you located?
My name is Stef de Vos and I am based in the Netherlands. I have studied Architecture, Building and Planning at the Eindhoven University of Technology, so I am quite close to where it all began for Shapeways!

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What’s the story behind your designs? What inspires you?
With my designs I am trying to capture the architectural signature of a city. Not every building I make is an existing one, but they are all part of sets of buildings that illustrate the atmosphere of a city’s architecture. The idea is that people all over the world have their favourite cities to assemble, but one can also compose them into their ideal cities. Much like SimCity does. What inspires me the most are the likes, retweets, comments, sales etc. that tells me I am not the only one who loves to see a building or an entire city end up 3D printed in amazing full color detail, and available to almost everyone in the world! Seeing an Ittyblox set end up on someone’s desk on the other side of the world is truly amazing.

What brought you to 3D printing with Shapeways?
To be honest, I was creating a platform just like Shapeways about ten years ago, with a friend of mine. We even had an awesome raytracing automated render server setup and a printer/client messenger interface. However, the time it took to really get it off the ground was something we didn’t have. Then I decided I could be a better Shapeways user in the few hours I have than a competitor!

How did you learn how to design in 3D?
I was doing 3D modelling as a first grader in highschool when I was doing some (web)designing in my after school hours and saw what people were making with 3D modelling software. When I saw a TV show on 3D printing, which was done with the same type of software I used for virtual designing, I was hooked.

How do you promote your work?
Mainly by social media. It’s a good way to see what people like and what people dislike. I have had the occational press attention, but sometimes it takes hours to get your news out to media and nothing happens, and sometimes the media finds you with no effort whatsoever. Now I am confident that when I make really good models, customers and press will find their way to me.

Who are your favorite designers or artists?Who in the Shapeways community has served as an inspiration to you?
There are two artists that immediately come to mind: Theo Janssen and Joshua Harker. They are pioneers in expanding the audience and thereby the market of 3D printing, to the benefit of everyone in the industry. Theo already had a lot of fans worldwide that are now able to finally own a very own working copy of his strandbeest. Joshua has generated an immense amount of publicity and with it he has put 3D printed art on the map. Though there is a lot of press on 3D printing in general, the usual prosthetics-printing and desktop printing breakthroughs, are of much less relevance to the Shapeways market we are all betting on as a designer than the news these guys generated.

If you weren’t limited by current technologies, what would you want to make using 3D printing?
Have you got a minute? Of course models with smaller details, thinner parts, better color. But also different materials to incorporate: LEDs, transparent windows, reflecting glass, flexible foliage maybe even tiny self driving cars etc.

Anything else you want to share?
Absolutely! I am currently working on a large Parisian Architecture project that I will relase on Kickstarter for the earlybirds, once I have 5 baseplates filled up. I want to use all the community’s input there is, so please everyone: comment on my work in progress renders and later on, early prototypes on the Ittyblox Facebook page. Thanks!

WHAT WE LOVE ABOUT THIS SHOP:

  • Great, great photography
  • Excellent shop branding
  • Great naming of products to avoid confusion
  • Shows detail shots and in context shots on product pages to avoid confusion

 

Thank you, Stef! Amazing shop – such a fun use of 3D printing. Don’t forget to visit the Ittyblox website, Facebook page, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest! To be featured, email aimee @ shapeways.com.