Designer Spotlight: Elena Low and Kae Woei Lim

This week we are featuring the lovely husband/wife duo of XYZ Workshop. Apart from their architecture jobs, Elena Low and Kae Woei Lim use XYZ Workshop as a creative outlet and also hope to promote 3D modeling and printing efforts with their imaginative work.
Tell us a little bit about yourself: Who are you? Where are you located?
XYZ Workshop was formed in early 2013, by Australian Architects, Elena Low and Kae Woei Lim. We are a husband and wife team that fell in love with 3D printing after we assembled our first Ultimaker 3D Printer and started playing around with Shapeways. We work on XYZ Workshop outside out 9 to 5 jobs using it as an additional creative outlet for our designs and ideas.

What’s the story behind your designs? What inspires you? 
Our designs have a level of playfulness which perhaps has been inspired by playing with our 1 and half year old son, Cooper. We want to bring him up in an environment that encourages creativity and instil a spirit of exploration and making. Although Cooper is still young and still running around in his nappies, we are hoping that in the near future, he will be make his own toys with the 3D printers, giving him access to a level of “making” and inventing that we never had when were we kids. 
What brought you to 3D printing with Shapeways?
Shapeways allowed us to push our designs to another level that we couldn’t achieve using desktop 3D printers. Our first Shapeways designs were a series of wireframe animal sculptures called Digital Safari, which was inspired after a trip to the zoo with our son. We were impressed by the quality of the finish and the level of service Shapeways had provided us. Check out this cute stop-motion animation video we did our our digital safari animals:
How did you learn how to design in 3D?
Our architectural work uses a lot of 3D visual aids to convey architectural ideas and design. It allowed for a natural progression into the world of additive manufacturing. We use a range of software packages from Rhino, Grasshopper, 3DMax, Sketchup, Blender and Tinkercad.
How do you promote your work?
We promote our work by entering into 3D printing competitions and exhibitions. Some of our winning entries include a chocolate launching toy robot, a microplanter chess set, and most recently we had the privilege to have had the opportunity to present alongside designers like Nervous System, Joshua Harker, and the Laser Girls at the New York 3D Print show Runway. There we presented our 100% 3D Printed Gown, made using our Ultimaker 3D Printer comprising of 191 printed panels and taking approximately 450 hours to print. Measuring a total length 7 feet, it is quite possibly the longest 100% 3D Printed dress ever made.
Who are your favorite designers or artists? Who in the Shapeways community has served as an inspiration to you?
Perhaps one of our biggest inspiration on Shapeways has been another design duo powerhouse, Nervous System. We were blown away the first time we played with their web-based parametric algorithmic design app, that allowed people with no knowledge of 3D modeling to create bespoke 3D creations through Shapeways.
If you weren’t limited by current technologies, what would you want to make using 3D printing?
3D print a babysitter!
Anything else you want to share?
XYZ Workshop has a vision to start up a 3D education workshop here in Melbourne, Australia. We are interested in promoting and teaching people from kids to adults on how to make and create using 3D Printing. By purchasing any of our designs on Shapeways, you will be supporting us in our efforts to bring 3D printing to the masses through our educational workshops.


  • Great photography
  • Lovely branding, banner image and logo
  • Fun designs and experimentation with different materials

Thank you both for such a fun interview! Keep up the amazing work. That dress is one awesome piece, as is your shop! Support XYZ Workshop on other channels: XYZ Website, Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, Instagram, Pinterest and, YouMagine. To be featured, as always, email aimee @ shapeways.com. 

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