Shapeways, The Community

Shapeways interviews Mitchell Jetten

Mitchell Jetten is a great guy and despite his young age is a successful Shop owner on Shapeways. Jettuh as he is known on here, exclusively models Dutch model trains & model train accessories for his SpoorObjecten Shop on Shapeways. Despite asking for very low mark up per model sold Mitchell has made over $4000 with us so far. He is an enthusiastic & very helpful community member and it has been a pleasure to see him prosper. Indeed my “power lunch” with Mitchell in Amsterdam on a sunny Gustavmahlerplein surrounded by basking bankers was not only thoroughly enjoyable but also a professional high point for me. Mitchell is on the right in the foto below next to his good friend Niels.

Joris Peels: What modeling software do you use? And how long have you used it?

Mitchell Jetten: In general I only use 3ds Max for my trains. At school I learned how to use SolidWorks, and for the company I work for
(freelance) I also sometimes use Autocad 2000 for CNC projects. Funny thing is, I started using Gmax (a free version of 3ds Max) in 2004,
but I couldn’t make more then a station platform with a texture on it back then. But when I discovered this great place where you can 3D print
your objects, I started doing research about how I would have to build it, and
what I could build with it (because, who wants an expensive easy
station platform?). This happened in February 2009, a month later I finally had my first
model in my hand, a Dutch small train signal So, to get back to the question, I’ve only known how
to 3D model for a year and a half right now.

Joris Peels: How old are you?

Mitchell Jetten: I think I’m one of the youngest shop owners on Shapeways, I just turned 19 on the 7th of June.

Joris Peels: How did you happen to find Shapeways? 

Mitchell Jetten: If I remember correctly I heard something from my dad about 3D printing,
and I thought he was nuts. I think I reacted the same as all people do that haven’t heard about
3D printing……..“What, you make a 3D picture,, and you print it on a standard printer?” Only after a month or so, I had nothing to do on school and found a Shapeways clip on Youtube a and this made me interested!

Joris Peels: What do you make?

Mitchell Jetten: I make Dutch model trains in the scale 1:160 (N Spoor) and my next step is to
try making an affordable train in 1:87 (H0)! So for this moment just trains and scenery for model railways.

Joris Peels: How is your Shop doing?  

Mitchell Jetten: My shop is doing really great, seriously, thanks to Shapeways I met my
in some sort of way. Because of the earnings I made with Shapeways, I had enough money to fly
to Munich with a few friends. Over there I met my girlfriend that weekend! I will fly to Munich again next month thanks to my Shapeways earnings! I eventually see myself getting rich with Shapeways’ service.

Joris Peels: What is your most successful product?

Mitchell Jetten: To
be honest i don’t really know!
At the moment the VIRM 9500 part 1/3 and VIRM 9500 2/3 are sold the most but that is also the first model I created so it has been online for a
longer time. 

I think most people want it, because it’s a very common train in
the Netherlands.

The SGM(Sprinter) is also sold a lot, and there are about 5 persons (that I know of), that have
finished it, and have a working model up and running!

Joris Peels: How do you see it in the future?

Mitchell Jetten: Ok, just a small sneak peak of my thoughts: In the future, I see myself building my next train…wait I’m doing that already… but not printing it in White, Strong & Flexible, but in a perfect and smooth
material (like Envisiontec Perfactory). After the print I will cast it with resin, and make about 10 of those
trains (not just the body, but the entire train completely finished).

Joris Peels: How do you market and sell your products on Shapeways?

Mitchell Jetten: There are 2 forums where I promote my trains, well not really
promoting, but i do show the pictures of the model, and show
them where they can buy it if they like, but it’s not that I do a
lot of promotion for my models. Also I’ve been to several model railway exhibitions to sell trains and
also just to inform people about this amazing Shapeways website! Maybe I need to promote myself better, but i don’t have a lot of time
lately because of school!

Joris Peels: Do you do market research?

Mitchell Jetten: Not really, I think that’s just 10% of the reason why I created the
trains I have finished.
I just build them because I like those trains. And if people like them to, then that’s a big plus.
A lot of people want me to build old trains, but to be honest, I don’t
feel a lot for old trains, I like modern stuff!

Joris Peels: Why trains? 

Mitchell Jetten: Because I like trains, I never had a working model railway in my room,
but I do have Dutch trains in my room. So by making my own trains I feel special, because not a lot of people
own the trains I’ve made!
Funny thing people ask me is:
Why 1:160? Most people use 1:87!
The answer to that is:
In 1:87 almost all trains I like have already been made and sold by the big
, so it’s useless to sell an unfinished train, if they can already buy a good finished train, right? In 1:160 there aren’t a lot of Dutch trains, also because of the small
scale, it’s a lot cheaper to print those trains.

Joris Peels: Is Shapeways a job for you? 

Mitchell Jetten: In some sort of way you can say that Shapeways helped me making my dream
come through. I always liked to make 3D models, but i never knew how to do it. (Yes I
knew how to make a station platform, but that’s easy) Since Shapeways I’ve learned a lot about how to 3D model an object. So now I do freelance work for a company, making 3D models for them. But I also have my own company (SpoorObjecten) because of what shapeways does! So, yes, i think it’s a job for me, maybe not 100% yet, but give it
some time…

Everbody, keep up the good work with your models!
@Shapeways, thank you so much for the wonderful website! Without Shapeways I wouldn’t have been to Munich…….

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