Author Archives: Savannah

3D Printing Helps Save and Separate Conjoined Texas Twins

Are you ready for the feel good story of the week? Do you have a few discrete tissues nearby? This story of Texas twins is sure to touch your heart.

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Photo Credits: 3ders.org

Surgeons at Texas Children’s Hospital successfully performed a miracle procedure this week with the help of 3D Printing. Conjoined twins Knatalye and Adeline, were born last April and have spent their entire lives in the hospital. Now, mom and dad get to take them home, to separate beds. Having a 3D model of the twins shared body systems made all the difference, doctors said.

13 different medical specialties put their minds together to make this feat possible. Radiology was espcially critical to learning abou the twin’s anatomy in 3D. As Dr. Rajesh Krishnamurthy highlights, “having a 3D printed model gives you an insight into what you’re going to encounter (during surgery.)”  The 3D model of the twins interconnected organ systems and bones only took 6 days to complete. 3 days of radiology and imaging and 3D days to print. Doctors and Radiology Imaging specialists started with a high quality CT scan, translated that image data into 3D segmentation, color coded it, and converted it to .stl (just like you would to print with Shapeways.) They sent it off to a local printer in Dallas and viola!  Medical magic in 3D Printing.

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The ability to visualize the incredibly complicated surgery ahead of time, doctors were able to understand the vessel, organ and bone structure of the twins.

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After 18 hours of surgery, they were successfully separated. The entire procedure took 26 hours. The doctors at Texas Children’s are “very pleased” with the outcome.

If that doesn’t give you all the Tuesday feels… I’m not sure what will.

What do you think is 3D printing’s greatest medical application?


 

Proudly Presenting Precious Plated 3D Printing from Shapeways

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Have you been lusting after our Rose Gold, Platinum and other premium alloy offerings? Have you wanted to use them but have been waiting for that special project that makes sense and/or is less cost sensitive? We’re excited to announce our new price-friendly Precious Plated Metal finishes!

Introducing Precious Plated 18k and 14k Gold, 14k Rose Gold and Rhodium Plated!


Products made in Precious Plated Metal are made the same way our Polished Brass is with a few bonus steps. Wax casts of your model are 3D printed, plaster is poured around the wax cast, and then the brass is poured in the cast. The brass cools and takes form before we carefully remove the cast. We then layer it with palladium, increasing strength and durability, before finishing your products with 0.5 microns of the precious alloy of your choice. The electroplating on our new upgraded offering is more durable and we are excited to delight even more designers and shoppers with these materials.

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Precious Plated Metal is a great choice for all of your jewelry. The 18k Gold Plated will replace our existing Gold Plated Brass. If you were currently selling this material in your shop, we’ve gone ahead and updated the offering and carried over your markup on Shapeways. Be sure to enable your models in the new Rhodium, Rose & 14k Gold Premium Plated, too- they’re all the same price!

Material Guidelines at a Glance:

  • Maximum Bounding Box: 89 x 89 x 100 mm
  • Minimum Bounding Box: 2.4 x 2.4 x 0.6 mm
  • Minimum supported & unsupported wires & walls: 0.8 mm
  • Minimum Embossed Detail: 0.4 mm
  • Minimum Engraved Detail: .35 mm
  • Minimum Escape Hole Width: 4 mm if just one, 2 mm if 2+ Holes
  • Minimum Clearance: .3 mm
  • Accuracy: .125 mm

What will you make first with our new Precious Plated Metal?
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Here are some tips for designing in polished metals:


 

Winner of the 3D Printed iPhone 6 Case Contest Announced

After 3D printing and extensively testing 10 iPhone 6 cases created by the Shapeways community out of the over 100 entries to our contest, we’re proud to announce the winner of our iPhone 6 case contest is Paralogical Design with the iPhone 6 Controller Case!

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Paralogical Design won $500 in Shapeways credit and we hope all the gamers out there get their hands on this awesome case ASAP. We couldn’t stop playing with it here at HQ, and we had multiple visitors to our offices fall in love with it too.

Thank you all for your patience! We promise not to keep you in suspense like that again :) .


 

5 3D Printed Drone Accessories to Help You Avoid Crash Landing on the White House Lawn

Are you loving the latest aerial videos shot by drones? Tempted to buy one yourself? Many of us in the Shapie family fly, and we love seeing how the communities of pilots and 3D modelers overlap.

Everyone here is a huge advocate for the safe flying of multirotors, quadcopters, drones and other fun RC devices. We, like many of you, cringe when we hear about incidents like the White House Drone crash landing. In the spirit of safe flying and us all working together to set good examples in our communities, here are 5 Accessories to prevent you and your fliers from suffering a similar fate.

Worth noting: This blog post has products embedded in it made possible by our new product widget. Learn more about it and share your products and those you love easily. 

Ultralight Landing Gear by Brian Self Design

Prop Guard from Fusion Imaging

Video of the Prop Guard in action:

UAV GPS Holder by FDNYFISH

BIG Battery Door Upgrade by MaikelsDesign

Samsung Galaxy S5 Visor by Fusion Imaging

What other accessories will make our drones safer?


 

Introducing RUSH 2 & 3 Day Production on Shapeways Regular White Strong and Flexible Plastic!

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Have you ever wished your 3D prints would arrive faster? That you could order on a Tuesday and receive parts the same week? Today we have some very exciting news for you:

Introducing RUSH 2 & 3 Day Production on Shapeways Regular White Strong and Flexible Plastic!

You’ve convinced us to give it a try. You’re all invited to sign up for our Rush Pilot! Anyone can sign up, and we’ll slowly let users over the coming weeks in accordance with our capacity. You’ll be notified via email when you’re in.

Important Details about 2 & 3 Day Rush:

  • Rush offering is for unpolished White Strong & Flexible only with a bounding box < 150x150x200mm

  • Target Ship Day for North America, Australia, and New Zealand:  Leaves our factory in 3 business days for orders made before 2pm CET / 8am EDT. Orders placed after that time will be counted towards the next business day.

    • i.e. Order placed on Tuesday 7am EDT, parts are shipped end of day Friday. Order placed on Thursday 4pm EDT, parts are shipped EOD following Wednesday.

  • Target Ship Day For All Other Geographies: Leaves our factory in 2 business days for orders made before 2pm CET / 8am EDT. Orders placed after that time will be counted towards the next business day.

    • i.e. Order placed on Tuesday 7am EDT, parts are shipped end of day Thursday. Order placed on Thursday 4pm EDT, parts are shipped EOD following Tuesday.

  • Rush orders are twice the price of regular WSF (pricing may change in the future)

  • You can use the  ‘Print it Anyway’ option along with Rush if you choose.

  • Beta users will have a rush option added to checkout flow. All rush parts will need to placed in a separate shopping cart in order for the rush option to appear.

  • Check the material status page before you order to make sure we have capacity before placing your rush order. This is an experiment, and we physically have a daily-maximum volume capacity for Rush.  While we will always do our best to make it happen, we may not always have room to accommodate your order. If you place an order that we won’t be able to deliver on time, customer service will reach out so you can cancel your order and place it again as regular White Strong & Flexible.

  • To ensure your order arrives as fast as possible, you still need to select Next-Day-Shipping (or fastest available) in your region.

What do you look forward to making faster with RUSH?


 

#SWPaws: The Cutest Downtime in History

Posted by in Community

Did you notice the flood of cute creatures in the Shapeways social media feeds over the last 10 days? Did you catch yourself smiling at some #SWPaws?

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On December 20th our Data Center had unexpected issues that shut our site and many others down. While this was a very unfortunate and unexpected occurrence, we seized the opportunity and asked our wonderful community to share their #SWPaws during our “pause.” The results were unreal, you literally shared 100′s of your animals in just a few hours! The Grand Prize went to Kai, the Reindeer and Santa, when they visited our factory on Christmas Eve as a result of this campaign. You can search #SWPaws on Instagram, twitter and facebook to see all the entrants, and find multiple curations on our tumblr page.

Shante, the bearded dragon seen in the Christmas hat above and below here with all his 3D printed friends won First Place in our contest. The creativity and 3D Printing combined in these photographs delighted our whole office. Thanks to Michael Molaticho for submitting these!

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John Allwine‘s pup was as confused with the snow as we were with our Data Center! This sweet face earned John & Maggie 2nd Place.

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We haven’t forgotten our feline friends, and coming in 3rd is the adorable kitty posted by Richard Vagen. Meeoooowwwww!

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I’d also like to give an Honorable Mention special shout out to Jeremy Burnich of Joy Complex for hacking his branding to fit the occasion. Great job, Jeremy! Winners: If I haven’t gotten ahold of you through facebook please shoot me an email, Savannah@Shapeways.com to redeem your prize!

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And here are some more just for fun:

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Cutest-Paws

 

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That face, though…

 

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This is linky.

 

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Yes, Gregory Wheeler even shared his Red Cherry Shrimp and 3D Printed Star Citizen Space Helmet!

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Just because the site works now doesn’t mean #SWPaws stops! It was such a hit, we’ll pick a #SWPaws winner every month, so keep those cuties coming! Remember, bonus points for 3D prints in the photo.

Which paws were your favorite?

 


 

2014 in Review: Shapeways Community 3D Printing Stories

What was your 2014 3D Printing Highlight? There are so many great Shapeways stories to tell from 2014, the team here has had a hard time narrowing it down for our Year in Review. Really, what matters to us is what mattered to you! We asked the community what their 3D Printing highlights of 2014 were, and here are some of your great responses:

Inspiring Quotes from Top Shop Owners:

The entrepreneurial mind behind Joy Complex and 3D RacetracksJeremy Burnich, saw his business grow and had “sales every month!”

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He also noted, Small Business Bootcamp was definitely a highlight for me personally. Was amazing to be in a room with so much talent and knowledge in one place. The HP color printing announcement was pretty exciting. Looking forward to seeing how that pans out for HP and Shapeways.”

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Corretta Singer, who lives in Jamaica but somehow managed to meet up with us in London on our UK roadshow and in New York City also agreed, “Shapeways Small Business Bootcamp was Awesome.” Corretta is the Queen of the Caribbean as the regions top Shop Owner and as an island hopping 3D evangelist and educator.

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For Shop Owner and beloved forum moderator Stony Smith, it was hitting an important Shop milestone “September 5th, 2014: 5000th unit sold.” Full steam ahead, Stony!

Fernando Sosa, a Shapie veteran, launched a new Shop and brand this year, Political Sculptor. He confirmed 2014 was “the birth of 3D Printed Political Satire,” all starting with his hilarious Chris Christie Bridgegate Sculpt.

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Gil Rivera, a rising Shapeways star said “being recognized by the white house! also being selected as a Shapeways “designer for hire!” were his Shapeways highlights. Some of ours too, Gill!

Quotes From and About the Wonderful Maker Community:

I am a closet anatomy nerd and when I read Rachel Case’s tweet it gave me chills. Her highlight was “making custom brain jewelry for my neuroscientist wife — from an MRI scan of her brain!” 

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Rachel was so inspired by the experience, she even opened up a Shop! Good thing Valentines day is on the way (hint hint, babe).

For many, it’s about 2014 was the year they introduced their friends to Shapeways. Shapie legend Ryan Kittleson was one such example, “A lot of my friends already know how to do 3D modeling, so it was only natural that they get involved with printing their work on shapeways.” Also, he added, “getting that Shapeways package in the mail is like Christmas day any time of the year!” Much Agree, Ryan.

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Mark Greenwood, an Englishmen and avid coffee drinker needed a serious solution when the bracket that holds the milk in his refrigerator broke. His highlight was “designing and 3D printing the bracket to help keep milk in the fridge!” An ingenious Shapeways hack, Mark, nice work. He was even kind enough to blog about the experience. 

coffeeee

 

Chic Testimonials from the Front Lines of Digitally Fabricated Fashion:

For Alexis Walsh, her 2014 3D Printing Highlight was “exhibiting the SPIRE DRESS at 3D Printshow London and 3D Printshow Paris. Designed by me & @rossleonardy

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Alexis and Ross used our White Strong and Flexible Plastic and made the dress out of 400 individual pieces!

Designed by Isis was most excited by “the birth of my lily bracelet” this year. We can see why!

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Quotes About the Gift of Giving Custom, Personal Gifts Through 3D Printing:

Many of you know the magic of giving a 3D Printed gift and this time of year we’re lucky enough to hear many of them. This one from Thom May was particularly fun. “I made this figurine of my niece and gave it to my sister for xmas. seemed like a hit!” We were also happy to hear that appreciates the quality, it came out great! the printed steel is so cool: definitely anxious to try more!”

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One of my favorites comes from Tommy Serrien on Twitter, who said that his highlight was “the face of my girlfriend when i gave her these one of a kind 3D Printed earrings! :-) We know the feeling, Tommy!

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What was your 3D Printing Highlight of 2014? Share yours in the comments here or with us on twitter @shapeways for a chance to be featured on an upcoming blog.


 

Santa Visits Shapeways Factory, Brings Reindeer and 3D Printed Swag

Posted by in Community

This isn’t a marketing stunt. This is story is so unbelievable and so magical, I know no other way to present it than to lay out the facts before you and let you marvel in their fun.

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Photos by Silas Pelsmaeker, whom I thank for being able to do this so last minute and so early in the morning. 

On Saturday, when our website unfortunately went down due to data center issues out of our control, I asked you all to share your #SWPaws. Dozens upon dozens of great animals photos streamed in through our social media channels, immediately turning our frowns upside down. One such photo, from our new friend Roel, featured Kai, the Reindeer and the “Boss” (Santa) wearing a Shapeways 3D Printed belt buckle and hat broach inspired by Kai.

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Santa’s Kai Inspired 3D Printed Belt Buckle in Gold Matte Steel

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Santa Models His 3D Printed Hat Broach in Gold Matte Steel

I was elated! This was unbelievable! I know more than most how delightful our community is, but even I never could have anticipated that we had printed swag for Santa and his Reindeer! I had to know more, so I asked Roel where they were located and how exactly this photo came to be.

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Photo Roel Ruwaard posted to our Facebook Page for #SWPaws

Turns out, Roel, Santa and Kai all live only an hour away from our factory in Eindhoven, in The Netherlands! On top of that, Roel informed me that Kai is actually quite portable, and that they would love to come visit our factory sometime. Mind blown, I immediately reached out Ruud, a priceless member of our European team. He was just as astounded as I, and we immediately began plotting what had the potential to be the greatest Christmas miracle in Shapeways history.

We knew we had to act fast. It was now the wee hours of Sunday, December 21st and we knew Kai & Santa’s schedule’s had to be packed. After our initial attempts to get ahold of Roel failed, Ruud reached out personally on facebook and managed to schedule a call.  Tuesday morning Ruud and Roel connected, and in one fateful chat, the dreams of many Shapies came true. Turns out Santa and Kai were ecstatic about the invitation to the factory, and were willing to carve out two hours early this morning, make the drive, and come by to spread some Christmas cheer.

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Santa Getting Ready for the Big Shoot at our Eindhoven, Netherlands Factory.

At 7am today, Ruud welcomed Santa and Kai to our factory. Kai was very comfortable around people and heavy machinery, not surprising given his work at Santa’s factory. In a rare inside look, Santa prepared for his big day in our distribution center, is there a more fitting place to get in the sleigh riding zone?

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Santa Putting on the Finishing Touches to his Ensemble

They were then given the full tour, and did a VIP pickup of Shapeways holiday gifts. They even let us have this epic photo shoot in front of our biggest Strong & Flexible Plastic printers as they selectively laser sintered away. Has Santa ever been more high tech or hip?

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Sleigh Packed to the Brim in Front of our Biggest 3D Printers

Ruud was nice enough to Skype me in for a chat with the big man, too!

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On Skype with Santa, Kai and Ruud from Shapeways HQ in New York City – Can You Tell How Happy We Are?

Their special sleigh loaded to the brim, Santa and his reindeer slipped out the back and on to the rest of their Christmas Eve pickups, leaving a factory full of Shapeways employees simply enchanted. 

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To think that this beautiful experience arose from unexpected site downtime is unreal. It is truly a testament to the incredible individuals that make up the Shapeways community. You, yes YOU, and Kai, and Roel, and everyone else our service and products touch, define the Shapeways spark. Christmas Eve is historically special for us all, as we wait to hear stories about the thousands of Shapeways powered packages under trees around the world. Today, however, is one we’ll never forget:

As we look to the sky,
Hoping to catch sight of Santa’s great sleigh,
We can turn to our loved ones,
And let them know where he started this day…

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A admittedly misty eyed, very proud, Shapeways Global Community Manager here, hoping some of this same magic may reach you this holiday season.

From all of us at Shapeways,

Merry Christmas to All!

A very special Thank You to Roel Veldhuyzen for originally posting these one of a kind #SWPaws, Santa for following up and making the journey (also named Roel Ruwaard), Kai the Reindeer, Ruud, and entire Eindhoven team for being just as big of children as I inside and working hard to make this magic happen at the last Christmas minute. You can learn more about Kai and Roel’s awesome animal family (and how to meet them) here.


 

Call for Shapeways 3D Printing Stories: Share Yours!

Do you have a Shapeways story to tell? Has something you made an impact on someone else? Have you learned something you think others would benefit from? Now is the time to let us know. Consider this your official invitation to share your #SWStories for a chance to be featured on the website and win Shapeways credit. Have a story you’d like to share with us but don’t want the world to know? That’s okay too, just check the anonymous box :) .

Share your Shapeways Story!

Every year you never cease to amaze us, and this past Saturday was no exception. In an effort to keep the positive holiday spirit up despite our site downtime, we asked you to share your #SWPaws. I’ll be recapping the experience in full later this week, but here’s a story I cannot wait to share with you any longer.

Meet Kai, a Reindeer in the The Netherlands. He’s here with the “boss,” who has a 3D printed Kai inspired belt buckle and hat broach. Yes, this is real, and more importantly it is a story we never would have heard about if we hadn’t asked you to share.

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So please, tell us what we don’t know :) .

(If you’re just dying to see some more #SWPaws, you can take a peak here)


 

Video: 3D Printed Prosthesis Help Derby the Dog Run for the First Time

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Derby, an adorable husky mix was born with underdeveloped forearms (or forepaws as I like to call them) and a hyper developed sense of adventure. Undeterred by his condition, Derby’s foster parents experimented with a few mobility mechanisms and elbow pads for him before turning to 3D Printed prosthesis. Derby’s custom paws just allowed him to run for the first time, an activity he and his adopted parents have every day since.

If this doesn’t warm your heart and show you the healing power of 3D printing… perhaps this story about Shapeways’ Designer Melissa Ng, of Lumecluster, and the custom prosthesis she made earlier this year will:

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Know a pooch or person in need of prosthesis? Connect them to our community in the forums or reach out to me personally, Savannah@Shapeways.com. I’d love to help the dreams come true of our 2, 3 and 4 legged friends.


 

Five Predictions: The Future of Drones, Quadcopters and 3D Printing

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The new DJI Inspire 1, a convergence of consumer and commercial Drone technology

Every December we like to look back at the trends we’ve seen since January and assess what learnings should be applied to the year ahead. If there is on product category on Shapeways that has withstood the test of 2014 it is Drone Accessories. Battery pack hacks, propeller guards, landing gear, GoPro mounts and levers are just a few examples of the great 3D printed parts the Shapeways community is making for their quadcopters and multirotors. They’ve signaled to us that the Drone market is healthy and growing rapidly. Here are my thoughts looking forward.

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Five Predictions for Drones in 2015:

The “Drone” vs UAV vs Multirotor Debate will Fizzle

When multirotors went consumer, early adopters and advocates were weary of the term “Drone,” and rightfully so, most people associate drones with the military. That said, I think as the market gains awareness across the general public, we’ll be able to effectively differentiate from unmanned combat aerial vehicles (UCAV – the scary kind) and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV – the commercial and consumer kind).  I know hard core mutirotor fans out there may be skeptical, but I believe this will happen for a few simple reasons: 1) More and more people are flying and seeing consumer aircrafts, visually comprehending the difference 2) Drone is just easier. In the same way a table can have 2, 3, 4, 6 or however many legs, and UAVs have varying numbers of rotors. While multirotor is inclusive, it doesn’t quite roll off the tongue the way drone does. 3) It’s already happening. 150% more products on Shapeways are tagged “Drone” over “multirotor.”

Drone Activity Debates will Heat Up

While I believe the word “Drone” will become less controversial, the activity of Drones will only fall under more intense scrutiny. The air above us is considerably less regulated than the ground below us and with that ambiguity comes fear. “Drone Surveillance” is considerably more ominous sounding than “non-invasive aerial video” despite the activities (taking video from the sky) being exactly the same. Drone lovers will need to be sure to assure their clients and networks that they’re flying for good.


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Photo taken by Stephen Greenwood and I using the DJI Phantom 2 Vision+

The Drone Laws are Coming

The FAA and their international counterparts have yet define the naughty and nice list for Drone pilots. While there are some guidelines, compared to other activities, playing with your consumer drone is relatively unregulated. Not only serving as oversight for the safety and privacy of citizens, Drone regulations will bring big bucks to emerging industries. The wild west will only stay wild for a little longer.

Drones will Show Us the Money

The Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI) predicts that “The economic impact of the integration of UAS into the National Airspace System (NAS) will total more than $13.6 billion in the first three years.” This $$ means jobs, too; “Integration into the NAS will create more than 34,000 manufacturing jobs and more than 70,000 new jobs” overall in those same three years.  AUVSI predicts that between 2015 and 2025 those jobs will grow to over 100,000 and the market to $82.1 Billion.

Shapeways will Continue to Provide the Best (and Fastest) Drone Accessories

Yes, I’m biased for obvious reasons, but this is also data based. We have more accessories available faster than the companies that manufacture the drones because inventory is unnecessary in 3D Printing. Drone part designers test on their vehicles, iterating quicker than anyone else can. There are already over 1,000 unique Drone parts for sale on Shapeways, I predict that number grows to 2500 over the next year.

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Drones are not only a part of my day job, but they’re a part of my nights and weekends too. My boyfriend is a video producer and has fallen in love with the perspective now provided by these small unmanned aircrafts. I act as DP when I can, controlling the camera mounted to his DJI Phantom I. Occasionally, Martini (my dog) and I have an “encounter” with his training Hubsan quadcopter. If you still love something after it’s tried to nest itself in your hair, you know it’s a hobby that’s here to stay. That’s how I feel about Drones. There’s a lot to learn, and much room to grow.

What Drone do you have or want to get? Here’s an overview of the current consumer Drones if you’re just getting started.


 

Bigger is Better for Shapeways 3D Printing Bounding Box

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Have you had to update everything from your case to your jean pocket size since upgrading your phone? We too have adapted to the bigger-is-better trend taking the product world by storm.

Announcing a Bigger Polished Strong & Flexible Bounding Box!

Thanks to a little R&D, we are excited to expand our current bounding box limitation for Dyed & White Strong & Flexible Polished from 150 x 150 x 150mm to 150 x 150 x 200mm!

This means that our entire Strong & Flexible Plastic family is iPhone 6 Plus case friendly! We look forward to seeing the colorful creations you polish with this expanded bounding box.

What other bounding boxes do you wish would expand?


 

Shapeways Celebrates You This Small Business Saturday

Did you know today is Small Business Saturday? A day focused on supporting your community and the independent businesses within that. Online small businesses count too, and that’s why today is my favorite of this wild holiday weekend. There is a lot to celebrate today, alongside the over 22,000 small business owners powered by Shapeways 3D Printing. Remind your friends and family when they shop from you store on Shapeways, not only are the getting a great deal this weekend, they’re also supporting the maker movement and the small businesses within that.

Learn more about the people behind Shapeways 3D Printing powered businesses through our Designer Spotlight series. Celebrate your creative independence and remind others to #ShopSmall! What small business on Shapeways is your favorite?

 


 

Video: iPhone 6 Case Semi-Finalists Reviewed, Finalists Announced!

Remember that iPhone 6 3D Printed Case Contest we hosted a few weeks ago? We waited to print the cases until the backlog of repricing orders had been cleared, and finally have them in-hand! I took the time to review the top 10 semi-finalists, and am proud to announce the final four. Everyone who participated did a great job, but like all initial prototypes, some need a few design adjustments to be ready for the main stage.

Curious as to which cases are making their way to Ethan Imboden at Frog Design in California for final review? You’ll have to watch the video to find out:

Now that you’ve seen them, which case would you like for your phone?


 

Shop Owner Bootcamp: Own Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday

This the tenth and final post in our Shop Owner Bootcamp Series counting down to Black Friday. Appropriately, today’s tips are all about how to win Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday. We make an effort to embrace all global traditions in our community, but given that a significant portion of our shopper traffic comes from the United States, we want you to be prepared.

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Take a deep breath. Look around at the products you’ve created before you. And get in the zone. We are entering the highest traffic time of the year here at Shapeways, and we want you to capture as much of it as possible, bringing excited new customers to your shops. We try hard to showcase the diversity of great products on Shapeways, but with nearly 3 million models uploaded, it’s impossible to feature everyone. Below is a guide for how you can optimize every day in the holiday shopping weekend coming up. If you’re looking for personalized shop advice, be sure and sign up for our Shop Owner Sessions over the weekend and next week.

Three Golden Rules:

  • Schedule posts on your preferred social platforms: Shapeways shoppers come from around the world – you never know when they’re watching. Buffer is my favorite for this, and Tweetdeck works great as well.  Both are free and work seamlessly with all your twitter accounts. This will help pace your content if you get caught up with a customer during the day.
  • Respond to People Quickly: People are looking to buy between Black Friday-Cyber Monday more than any other time of the year.  This also means they’re looking to transact quickly. Be extra responsive to private messages, product comments, and engagement on social media. Showing people they matter goes a long way.
  • Be Shameless: Yes, we all want to avoid being spammy. Telling people about something they want or would be interested in however, isn’t spammy. Include educational tips and designer scoop on how you make your creations, how we 3D Print them etc. and include a product in every post. By giving your audience something (awesome behind the curtains info) you appear as much like an educator as you do a business oriented person. We’ll be looking to share your posts with the greater Shapie community, so keep ‘em coming!

Three Important Days

  1. Black Friday: Historically the theme of Black Friday is “doorbusters” aka Early-Bird deals for shoppers. Take advantage of the buzz online by including #BlackFriday in your communications. Consider experimenting with lower prices on a few of your pieces early in the morning to see if you can increase demand. If you’re putting an item on Sale, be sure an indicate in the product descriptions so your shoppers know to take advantage of this special deal! Historically very popular in the US.
  2. Small Business Saturday: A lovely day branded initially by AmericanExpress, #SmallBusinessSaturday is meant to celebrate the Independently owned businesses in our communities, both digital and IRL. Take the opportunity to tell people about your business, the collections you have available now, and the direction you would like to take it in the future. Though started in the US, it has spread across the globe. Take this day to tell your story through your products.
  3. Cyber Monday: The mother of all online shopping days. A global phenomena that brings more people to E-commerce land than any other day. Schedule the most posts across the most networks on this day. We’ve got some great surprises in store on-site, so be sure and check it out. #CyberMonday is the tag to go with, and discounts are the currency. Don’t feel like you have to have a sale, however, as many of you are already so modest with your markups.

Alright, what final questions can I help you with Shapies?