Author Archives: Mansee

Introducing Our Newest Material: Black High Definition Acrylate

Posted by in Materials

We just updated the Design Guidelines for B-HDA, to learn more click here.


Say hello to Black High Definition Acrylate, our newest material launching today! It’s a high detail material similar to Frosted Ultra Detail (FUD), but smoother and more durable.


Who is it for?

While anyone can use Black High Definition Acrylate [ak-ruh-leyt, -lit], it is perfect for those designing miniatures because it provides very high detail in even the smallest designs and the smooth surface takes to paint very well. A few examples:

  • Model trains
  • Miniature furniture
  • Figurines

Black High Definition Acrylate is also really great for phone cases and jewelry prototyping because of its beautiful finish.


What is it?

Black High Definition Acrylate is a UV sensitive acrylic polymer similar to Frosted Ultra Detail (FUD), but with slightly different material properties and printing processes. Unlike FUD, which is printed using a Multijet Modeling process, this new material is printed using Direct Light Projection (DLP) which provides excellent resolution and accuracy. It also provides a smoother finish which lends itself really well to painting. This material is more durable and flexible due to a combination of its strength and elongation properties, and is perfect for designers who want a more customizable material for miniatures and other high detail products.

How is it made?

Printed using DLP technology, the process uses visible spectrum light to cure the liquid resin one layer at a time.  A resin bath sits above a high resolution projector which projects cross-sectional images of your model. The resin cures with exposure to visible light, curing an entire layer with a single pass. Since the entire layer is cured at once, build speed is generally faster than other technologies such as laser sintering or stereolithography which trace the slice of your model while sintering or curing at precise locations. After printing, models are removed from the build platform and are post-cured by a UV light.

Check out the video below to hear Blair, our Materials Project Manager, talk about this exciting new material:

For more information on how this material is made, be sure to check out this week’s Shapeways Live segment and ask any questions you may have in our forum!

Black High Definition Acrylate is being released first to the Shapeways maker community to test out the material and provide feedback. Once we’ve optimized the process, we’ll release the material to the entire community for printing.

What are you most excited to make in Black High Definition Acrylate?

Enter the iD Tech 3D Model contest!

Posted by in Education

Like most technologies, 3D printing has gotten to the point where students are learning about it at a younger age and it’s becoming an engrained part of their lives. From hands-on experience with desktop 3D printers at their schools to introductory lessons with 3D modeling software, students are quickly becoming a part of the maker movement. We are committed to helping more students learn through our Education program, and now we’re excited to partner with companies who truly encourage learning at a young age.

Recently, we introduced a contest that encourages students to explore their creativity through 3D printing. In partnership with iD Tech and Dremel we are inviting students to model their own Minecraft-inspired design. Using Autodesk software, students K-12 (in the US only) can create products inspired by the beloved game. Three winners will be chosen, and each will receive prizes to continue their education of technology and 3D printing.

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We’re thrilled to be working alongside companies like iD Tech and Dremel who are focused on bringing tech to students and encouraging those of all ages to pursue STEM-related fields. As younger generations learn more about 3D printing we’ll see the industry move forward in ways like never before.

To learn more, check out the contest page on iD Tech!

Gravity Sketch: 3D modeling for everyone

Posted by in 3D Modeling

Today, we’re excited to announce a partnership with a company that makes it easy to be a part of the 3D printing revolution – Gravity Sketch. 3D modeling software has moved leaps and bounds over the past decade. The imagination really is the limit these days as we see more and more incredible products produced by our printers. However, there can still be a steep learning curve when it comes to familiarizing yourself with 3D modeling. Until now, that is. With just an iPad and an idea, millions of creations will be coming to life with Gravity Sketch.

Gravity Sketch iOS Trailer from GravitySketch on Vimeo.

Inspired by Gardner’s theory of multiple intelligences, the Gravity Sketch app offers a unique perspective on 3D creation that makes it easy, intuitive (and addictive!) for anyone to use. Their simple set of tools enables even beginners to create 3D shapes in just seconds. To help bring all these 3D shapes to life, the Gravity Sketch app is integrated with our API so users can easily get their creation uploaded to and printed by Shapeways.


Based in London, Gravity Sketch was founded by a group of graduates from the prestigious Royal College of Art. The founders’ mission is to help lower the barriers to 3D printing and help anyone get started with the technology through “direct 3D generation.” Using a virual plane, the app allows users to see their designs in real-time as they are “sketching.” This makes the process incredibly intuitive and interactive for users.


Whether you have been making for years, just getting started or are looking for a new educational tool Gravity Sketch is the app we’ve all been waiting for. With just an iPad and an idea, the possibilities are endless!

Follow Decorilla To Find Beautiful Home Decor

Posted by in Curation

Many of you may have noticed that we have made it easier (and more fun) to connect with designers on Shapeways and find amazing products. When you log onto Shapeways you’ll immeditely see products that designers you follow have found, favorited and commented on recently. It’s a great, social way to discover new products, designers and companies.

Today we’re highlighting a company that truly gets good design. Decorilla offers customized interior design packages from hundreds of interior designers across the world. They created a list with their favorite interior design pieces that is full of beautiful lamp shades, vases and more. Check out a sneak peek of their list below and don’t forget to follow them on Shapeways to find more amazing 3D printed pieces perfect for any home!

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Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day With These Lucky Finds

Posted by in Community, What's Hot

In honor of St. Patrick’s Day, we’re sharing some of our staff’s favorite festive and lucky green products (green beer not included). Be sure to follow your favorite designers and comment to let them know what you think of their designs!

You’ll be rolling in clover when you start the day off with this mug from Rebecca’s list:

If you’re looking to wear a little luck around your neck, check out Kat’s list for pendants like this:

Need to dress up a lighter? Seth’s list has just the thing for you:

For something a little more understated, go for this ring from Aimee’s list:

Have a fun list you’ve been working on? We want to see! Share your lists of favorite products with us on Twitter.

Introducing Coated Full Color Sandstone: Your 3D selfie has never looked better!

Posted by in Materials


One of the most amazing aspects of 3D scanning is the ability to digitize a form, space, shape or even human. With Shapeways you’re able to transform those scans and memories into tangible objects you can hold in your hand, and today we’re introducing a new material perfect for all your 3D scans: Coated Full Color Sandstone.

Coated Full Color Sandstone adds a glossy finish to your full color designs to give a more premium and finished look. The coating is sprayed on, providing an even and consistent surface finish. It adds some water resistance and durability to all your Full Color Sandstone products, and is especially great for 3D scans.  While some makers have been playing and experimenting with the material for months, it’s now officially available in our marketplace for anyone to get their own gorgeous glossy 3D selfie.

As 3D scanning becomes more popular and accessible, people are realizing how much fun it can be to create miniature versions of themselves, friends and family to collect. Just like photos, they are a great way to preserve memories, and the finish of Coated Full Color Sandstone ensures they will look great on display. The colors are more vibrant and the final look is a little more finished and professional.


Last year we announced multiple locations in New York and in the Netherlands where anyone can get scanned and receive their very own 3D selfie. It just takes a minute or so of standing still while you’re being scanned, and then you’ll be able to have your very own selfie to hold in your hand. If you are a maker and looking to add 3D scanning to your repertoire, check out how to get started scanning.

Want to try it out on yourself? If you’re in the New York area head over to Pixel Academy to get yourself and your family scanned. If you’re in the Netherlands, check out the list of scanning locations to find the place nearest you!

Check out this demonstration of Coated Full Color Sandstone, featuring Dan and Stan!

When you get your next 3D printed selfie, don’t forget to share it with us!  Post on your favorite social media channel and tag @shapeways so we can share you with the world!

3D Printing at the Oscars

Posted by in What's Hot

We’ve got gold on our mind this week with our special sale (20% off your own models in Gold + select marketplace items), and this story on the announcement of 3D printed Oscar statues just added to the fun.

When it comes to the Oscars (or if you prefer, the Academy Awards), most of the attention is on the actors. And for good reason – this is one the biggest nights of recognition for them. While the “awards season” lasts a few months, the Oscars are typically the finale and fans can’t wait to see who will take home that iconic gold statue.

Many people don’t realize that the statues have changed over the years. Even if you watch the awards show every single year, you still might not have realized that the design and material has slightly changed since the first ceremony in 1929. The original award was made from gold-plated bronze, but due to manufacturing process changes it switched to gold plated metal just  a few years later. Since then slight design tweaks have been made over the years as well.



However, this year the Oscar’s organizers worked with a New York-based company to create statues that return to their original roots. The process started with 3D scanning the original 1929 Oscar, and combining it with the most recent (2015) version. The two designs were combined to “bring  the statuette closer to the original Oscar statue, with sharper features and a more art deco aesthetic.” From there the model was 3D printed in wax, hand-casted in Bronze and then plated in 24-karat Gold.

Be sure to check out the full story on to learn more about the process and see photos of how it all came together. And if it inspires you to create your own Gold, be sure to take advantage of our sale this week!



Ohne Titel and Shapeways bring 3D printing down the runway

Posted by in Fashion

As many of you know, we’ve worked with multiple fashion power houses over the years and this year we’re excited to share runway pieces created with design duo Ohne Titel and sponsored by Microsoft.


For their Autumn/Winter 2016 collection, Ohne Titel used Shapeways to print chain-like pieces using our Frosted Detail Plastic. Those pieces were layered over black garments to emphasize the links and patterns. They also created 3D panels that were linked together using crochet techniques and 3D printed closures.

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(Courtesy of Ohne Titel)

While a lot of 3D printed fashion is seen as marrying a new technology with an “old” way of making clothes, what Ohne Titel has done really showcases how far the industry has come. By incorporating the art of crochet and knitting with 3D printed parts, they show the juxtaposition between the two techniques, while also proving it’s a match made in fashion heaven.


Ohne Titel designer, Flora Gill, explains:

“I love the unexpected mix of old-world and futuristic manufacturing. We looked to chainmail structures for inspiration and elongated our “chains” to make a herringbone structure. It’s interesting to work with 3D modelers and the printers to see what is possible. 3D printing in some ways has limitless potential, but it is still very beta. We found many parallels with knitting technologies. In the beginning of our careers, it was usually difficult to computer program intricate knit programs. Now knitting machines are easily programmed and the techniques they create would have been unimaginable 10 years ago. We can’t wait to see what will be possible for knitting and 3D printing in the next 10 years.”

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(Courtesy of Ohne Titel)

Ohne Titel worked with designer Chester Dols – a graduate from our Computational Fashion Master Class with Eyebeam Studios. After designing all their sketches, he 3D modeled the pieces and prepared them for printing. He has a background in architecture and currently collaborates with his sister on the design collective Putain de Beau.

3D printing seems to be the answer to closing the gap between the custom, high-couture pieces we see walking down the runway and the mass manufactured, ready-to-wear pieces in stores across the world. The ability to create custom clothing at a mass manufactured scale has the chance to truly change the fashion industry as we know it, and will continue to close the gap between new technology and traditional manufacturing methods.

Creating the Dreamer Regalia Armor: Finishing the Armor!

Posted by in Community

This is our sixth post detailing how designer Melissa Ng created the Dreamer Regalia Armor. Read previous posts to learn more about this project , how she uses Blender for base modeling, her sketching techniques,  final modeling videos and a behind the scenes look into the armor being printed at our factory in NYC. 

After the armor was printed, it was time for Melissa to put her finishing touches before sending the final piece to Felicia Day. Because it was printed in our White Strong & Flexible Nylon Plastic, the armor was a great base for the extra detail. Melissa did all of these final details by hand, including painting, varnishing and sanding.


Check out the final video of this series to see how she brings everything together:

It’s been incredible to watch Melissa go through the journey of making this special project. From her initial idea to bringing Felicia Day on board to seeing the final piece, the Dreamer Regalia Armor is a great reminder of the capabilities of 3D design and printing.

We know there are more makers out there with dream projects in mind, and we hope seeing the story of how Melissa brought her dream project to life inspires you to get started on yours!

Creating the Dreamer Regalia Armor: 3D Printing with Shapeways

Posted by in Community

This is our fifth post detailing how designer Melissa Ng created the Dreamer Regalia Armor. Read previous posts to learn more about this project , how she uses Blender for base modeling, her sketching techniques and final modeling videos

After hours upon hours of sketching, modeling and the like the armor was finally ready to be printed. After uploading the various parts of the armor to Shapeways, it was time for the printers to do the work. The armor was printed in our White Strong & Flexible Nylon Plastic material which lent itself well to the post-processing Melissa did to finish the dress.

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Melissa came to our factory in Long Island City and was able to see the final printed piece as soon as it was ready. Check out the video below and listen as our Community Manager, Andrew Thomas, explains how the 3D printing process works and all the steps it takes to get from a 3D design to something you can hold in your hand:

Creating the Dreamer Regalia Armor: Modeling and Final Details

Posted by in Community

This is our fourth post detailing how designer Melissa Ng created the Dreamer Regalia Armor. Read previous posts to learn more about this project , how she uses Blender for base modeling and her sketching techniques

Thanks to CoKreeate,  Melissa was eventually able to work off of a scan of Felicia Day so she could feel confident that the measurements would be perfect. CoKreeate is an LA-based 3D scanning and 3D printing company that helps people bring their ideas and imagination to life, and used the Artec Eva scanner and Artec Studio 10 software to create a highly detailed 3D scan.

Using that scan (and still using Blender), she worked in sections to model the full piece.

In her blog on Lumecluster, Melissa dives deeper into why she began 3D modeling and how she taught herself this skill. You can read more about how she learned to 3D model  on her blog, as well as an interview we did with her a while back. This project is the perfect example of how you don’t need an extensive background in 3D design to make something amazing. Practice, persistence and passion can get you far. Through trial and error, Melissa taught herself the skills she needed to create the Dreamer Regalia Armor.

Check out the videos below to see how she works in Blender to create the intricate details of the armor:

Chest Piece Detail

Head Piece


Final Details

Creating the Dreamer Regalia Armor: Sketching the Armor Pattern

Posted by in Community

This is our third post detailing how designer Melissa Ng created the Dreamer Regalia Armor. Read previous posts to learn more about this project and how she uses Blender for base modeling

After getting a base model down, it was time to take a step back from the computer and go back to some good old-fashioned hand sketching. Even for highly technical, geometric shapes there is something to be said about creating a design on paper. Melissa spent 25 hours in total doodling and sketching the armor and armor pattern before adding it to the base model.


In this video you’ll see a part of her sketching process and will hear her talk about the things she kept in mind while designing – including how (and why) she used foxes as a source of inspiration:

Photo of sketches courtesy of Melissa Ng.

Creating the Dreamer Regalia Armor: Base Modeling with Blender

Posted by in Community

This is our second post detailing how designer Melissa Ng created the Dreamer Regalia Armor. Read the first post to learn more about this project and how she connected with actress Felicia Day. 

When inspiration strikes, it can be hard to know where to begin. Different designers have different starting points, and for Melissa it started with some sketching and base modeling.

Because she had an idea in mind, starting with the base model worked best for her even before she had Felicia’s measurements. For her, the concept of topology is really important and using the 3D modeling software of her choice (Blender), Melissa began by creating the basic shape of the armor first.

Watch the video below to hear more about how she got this project started, and to get a glimpse of the tools and software she prefers:

For a more in-depth look, check out Melissa’s blog for more on the original inspiration behind the piece on Lumecluster.

Creating the Dreamer Regalia Armor: The Ultimate Cosplay for Actress Felicia Day

Posted by in Community


Have you ever had an idea you couldn’t stop thinking about? A design that just takes over your brain and makes it hard to even think about anything else? While we know this is a reality that many designers face, it’s hard to deny that those types of big ideas produce amazing work.

Last year we began working with designer Melissa Ng on a high fashion and fantasy-inspired piece that pushed the boundaries of design and really showcases what’s possible with 3D printing. This week we will be sharing posts on:

Melissa documented the process herself on her blog on, and we highly suggest you read her incredible posts to get more insight into how she felt during the entire process, including how she was able to get actress Felicia Day on board:

“When it comes to someone who has taken her imagination to amazing heights, I can think of no better person than Felicia Day. Day is an actress, author of New York Times Bestseller You’re Never Weird on the Internet (Almost), avid gamer, geek advocate, producer (Knights of Good), and entrepreneur (Geek and Sundry). She has appeared in numerous mainstream films and shows like “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” “Supernatural” and “Eureka.”

“Day encourages people to “embrace your weird,” which is also a campaign to stop bullying. She fights for diversity in gaming, empowers women to be more proactive, always seeks new challenges, constantly breaks away from the norm, and empowers people to fight for their dreams. Shapeways and I believed Day was the perfect person for the Dreamer Regalia armor.”


Together with Melissa, CoKreeate (the LA-based 3D scanning company) and Day’s amazing team this piece came to life. For a full look at the armor, check out the article on Geek and Sundry. To hear Melissa talk more about the project, check out her feature on Shapeways Live below, and stay tuned for posts this week!

Photos: Eric Anderson/ Hair and makeup: Sabrina Castro

Get your 3D prints faster: Introducing rush production and new shorter lead times

Posted by in New Features


You asked. We’re delivering.

Today you officially have the option to have the production of your White Strong & Flexible Nylon Plastic models rushed, on top of 33% reduced lead times for Strong & Flexible Nylon Plastic everyday.

Even with all the strides the 3D printing industry has made over the years, there are still some barriers holding people back from making the technology truly part of their lives. One of those barriers is speed of production, which is exactly what we’re improving with today’s announcement. With rush production your 3D printed products will be ready to ship in just 2 days!

Whether you are working against a deadline or just can’t wait another day for your order, our new lead times and rush offering will get you one step closer to bringing your products to life faster than ever, with the same quality and service you’ve come to expect from Shapeways. We are still your one stop shop for the highest quality prints in the widest array of materials, and we know that you don’t want to compromise that quality just so you can get your prints in a couple of days. With our new lead times and rush production, you’re still getting the highest quality 3D printed products around but you can now plan for time-sensitive projects a little more easily.

Rush is perfect for your prototypes, allowing you to iterate to a final product in days, instead of weeks or months. Our competitive production time gives you the ability to hit your deadlines while still creating a high quality product.

Interested? Check out the video below for more details:

  • Rush offering is for unpolished White Strong & Flexible only with a bounding box < 150x150x200mm.
  • The cost will be 50% more.
  • Orders placed by 2 p.m. will be ready to ship after two business days ( i.e. orders placed before 2 p.m. on Monday will be ready to ship on Wednesday. Orders placed before 2 p.m. on Friday will be ready to ship on Tuesday).
  • All rush parts will need to be placed in a separate shopping cart in order for the rush option to appear.
  • You will still need to select your preferred shipping method. For fastest shipping, select “Next Day” at checkout.

As always, we want your feedback! Let us know what you think of rush, other materials you are excited to see manufactured faster and anything else that’s on your mind in the forum.