New Colleagues!

Posted by in Shapeways

Ben, Dan and Nancy have joined the Shapeways team at our New York office. I asked them each a few questions so we can get to know them a bit better. Welcome on board, guys!

Ben Horst

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

I’ve been living in New York City for the past six years where I’ve worked for a number of startups including SharedBook, Air America, Six Apart, and others. I’m interested in open source software and online communities, as well as outdoor activities like hiking, biking and camping.

Why did you decide to work for Shapeways?

Shapeways fascinated me from the first time I discovered it via a post on Boing Boing. Having read books like The Diamond Age, I’ve long thought that 3D printing represents a major shift in manufacturing that will prove to be as influential as mass production. The economic and cultural effects over the next few decades will be enormous and exciting–and I want to be a part of this world.

What’s going to be your role?

I’m the product lead for the Shapeways web platform. I’ll take feedback from customers and community members, combine that with our strategic plans, and implement the result on our website.

What will be the first thing we see from you?

The first thing could turn out to be an upgrade to our company blogging platform, or some upgrades to our widgets for displaying shop content on external sites and blogs. We’ll see which makes it to the finish line first!

Dan Fried

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

I grew up in Brooklyn, New York. When I’m not coding, I like to juggle, ride my bike around New York City, and cook Asian food.

Why did you decide to work for Shapeways?

Because Shapeways is going to change the world. Seeing all the amazing stuff that people have designed using Shapeways is really inspiring, and I’m excited to be part of that process.

What’s going to be your role?

I’m a web developer. I’ll be working to improve the website, adding features, fixing bugs and improving performance.

What will be the first thing we see from you?

Today I did some work that should speed up the website quite a bit. Other than that, we have a lot of exciting new features coming over the next few months.

Nancy Liang

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

I love technology and design, so I’m super excited to be a part of the Shapeways family. Previously, I’ve worked in Sales and Marketing at Google and Intel. I’ve also done a 2 year stint in management for a hedge fund. In addition, I’m currently on the board of 2 non profits–one doing work with the Asian American community, another a career accelerator program in international development. In my free time, I love organizing fun, quirky excursions with my friends, like going to Come Out and Play or organizing walk on water races. I’m also interested in hacking together random web tools and discovering random interesting products and toys.

Why did you decide to work for Shapeways?

It’s the perfect intersection of all things I love: creating cool products + technology + design + community building + FUN! All the people here are crazy passionate about what they do, and really dedicated to their products and customers. I’m really happy to be a part of Shapeways.

What’s going to be your role?

I am a product manager for materials and content. This means I will work on introducing new materials to our portfolio for you guys, and work to get better pricing for those materials. I will also work on managing the content of what Shapeways offers–the products you see online, including the co-creation platform. My goal here is to make 3D Design accessible to anybody, regardless of their 3D modeling abilities. Got any ideas on how to make this work? Let me know!

What will be the first thing we see from you?

It’s too early to tell (my second day!) exactly what my priorities will be–but hopefully you’ll see a new emphasis on co creation, a lot more clever tools to help everybody design and customize products, and new materials and finishing options. What that will eventually translate into will be more designs and a growth in our community… and a larger drain on my bank account since I’m love buying cool designs.


  1. jeff bare

    Welcome Ben, Dan, & Nancy. SO happy to see shapeways growing and getting some really smart fwd thinking minds working under their roof.

    The website needs to take that step fwd to a cleaner-professional interface and aesthetic design, so I’m excited to see what happens there.

    And Nancy, your job sounds great. Co-create has yet to really take off. It has huge potential, we just need to find the right application for it and make in intuitive interface for customers to create on their own. Excited to see you move this forward. As well as introducing new materials- that’s always exciting.

    ok, get to work. ;)

    1. nancyliang

      Haha! Thanks a bunch. I want to make it a priority to make designing accessible to everybody. I agree that there is tremendous potential behind the creator platforms. I can’t wait to see it grow and enable new designers. Hold me to it!

    2. Benjamin Horst


      I am looking forward to modernizing the site design and adding useful new features. If there’s anything specific you would like to see, please let me know and I’ll put it into my queue.

      I looked at your product designs on your Squarespace page, and they look great. (I especially like the Tree pattern on the iPad Wrap.)


    3. jeff bare

      thanks Ben, i really like the tree pattern too, its been printed, I just need to take some pics of it and post them.

  2. Fred

    Would love to see more advanced materials that could be used to manufacture durable goods. We want to be able to offer shoes through your manufacturing process. I can think of other wearable goods or daily use items as well. Some food grade container material would be awesome as well.

    1. nancyliang

      Those are great suggestions. I can definitely see the benefits of custom shoes or even custom soles. I have a friend who’s trying to make the “perfect shoe” for women, she asked about the same thing. Do you currently have a shop or designs? I’m new and still getting to know the community.

    2. Fred

      We do not have a shop or designs yet. My boss had the idea before he knew about Shapeways. I introduced him to Shapeways as a means to achieve what he was shooting for, at least until 3d printers were common place in everyones homes. :)

      Maybe you should introduce us to your friend who is trying to make the perfect shoe for women.

      Eitherway glad to see Shapeways expanding and growing because I think it is one of the best ideas to hit the internet yet.

    3. nancyliang

      Yup, I told her about Shapeways. She’s thinking of printing some sole prototypes with Shapeways (probably White Strong Flexible material) and then lining it with a softer material that’s more comfy.

      What do you guys do?

    4. Fred

      We do all kinds of things. We are basically creating start up business to either keep in our portfolio and manage or sell off if it becomes too much to manage. We are involved in the technology sector (read anything web related from Hosting to Design/Development) as well as manufacturing and commerce. Creating a line of shoes is one of the projects we are working towards (just waiting for technology to catch up to us right now).

  3. Jeff Horst

    Greetings Ben, Dan and Nancy!

    Congratulations on your new positions at Shapeways.

    Ben and I were ice skating and sledding last week in the Adirondacks and, consequently, I learned a lot about Shapeways. It’s all very exciting.

    I can’t wait to see the positive impact you will have on the company. Lois and I plan to pay a visit to your office in the next few months. Need us to bring anything?


  4. Benjamin Horst

    Maybe you can help with the bamboo plants I’ve brought into the office. They haven’t been doing too well so I hope this new, much brighter environment helps them bounce back!

    1. Jeff Horst

      Might be best to sing to the bamboo plants. Maybe Dan or Nancy have good voices. If not, I’ll stop by.

  5. Stijn van der Linden

    Hey guys! Welcome :-)

    Good to see reinforcements have arrived!
    Looks like you all know what you are talking about,
    makes me confident that things will flourish even more!


    Stijn / Virtox

    1. nancyliang

      Thanks for your vote of confidence. There’s still a lot more I need to learn about all these materials, which I’m fully looking forward to.

      Did you make the Gyro the Cube? I think it may just be my next purchase! The video looks so cool.

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