Tag Archives: 3d printed holiday gifts

When Skulls Meet Holiday Gifting

Skull motifs have long been used as a way to express a unique identity, whether for goths, punks, or bohemian hipsters. So, it’s only fitting that in a week that’s all about self-expression, we’re taking a closer look at a designer who transforms CT-scanned skulls into personal accessories.

Great Horned Owl Pendant by Skeletal Skulpture and Mathematikal Artifakts

Great Horned Owl Pendant by Scott Camazine

Scott Camazine, a biologist with a passion for “the incomparable designs found in nature,” tapped into 3D printing to express his artistic side. Now, he turns CT-scanned skulls and shapes derived from algorithms into beautiful objects and jewelry, all available in his Skeletal Skulpture and Mathematikal Artifakts Shapeways shop.

Jacaré Alligator Skull by Scott Camazine

Jacaré Alligator Skull by Scott Camazine

Whether human or animal in origin, Scott’s anatomically correct skeletal jewelry makes for perfectly offbeat holiday gifts for those unafraid to make a style statement. With the rise of Southwestern-tinged style over the last several years, they’re also on-trend for anyone who might be inclined to use bleached skulls as wall décor. Plus, when 3D printed in gorgeous metals, they’re both elegant and ethical.

For more gifting inspiration for all the unique tastes and personalities on your list, check out our Holiday Gift Guide and this week’s Express Yourself collections.

Jewelry From the Future

Fashion’s love affair with geometric design shows no sign of letting up, making geometry-inspired pieces perfect holiday gifts for the fashionistas in your life. At Shapeways, we see a lot of incredible geometric jewelry from our designers. The 3D design process makes manipulating mathematical shapes a natural fit. But, sometimes, a designer comes along who takes a simple idea — the polygon — and uses it to make a fashion statement that seems to come to us from the future.

Ring Poly One by AKK

Ring Poly One by AKK

AKK designer Aleksandar Kovacevic’s Poly series of rings, bracelets, and earrings started from a simple place. “In the beginning was the Polygon … the whole idea was about entering the world of jewelry design and 3D printing with a collection developed from one single polygon,” he told us.

Bangle Poly Nine by AKK

Bangle Poly Nine by AKK

“I wanted to design statement pieces for all individuals who aren’t afraid to show that they are different,” Aleksandar said of his “harmonic compositions” of polygons. Whether worn as multiple cascading, stacking pieces, or alone, the rings and bangles in the AKK shop seem to have a life — and a movement — all their own.

Earrings Poly Eleven by AKK

Earrings Poly Eleven by AKK

The groundbreaking look of AKK’s 3D printed pieces is no accident. “Without today’s 3D printing possibilities, having my own jewelry collection would still be just a thought. 3D printing technology really helped me express myself the way I could never imagine.” We hope you’ll be as inspired by Aleksandar’s creations as we were, whether you’re shopping for cutting-edge holiday gifts for stylish friends, or looking to try your hand at 3D design.

And, for even more gifting inspiration, dig into our Holiday Gift Guide, where you’ll find hundreds of ways to help your loved ones express themselves all year long.

5 Customizable Gifts for Unique Personalities

Fitbit goalkeeper. GoPro thrill-seeker. Imaginary horse trainer. Rare book collector. They’re your best friend, your dad, your niece, or your girlfriend. And, even if you have no idea why they love what they love, this holiday season, they deserve something better than mass-produced presents. Something that shows how well you know them. And to really take it into “treasure forever” territory, customize it! Shapeways’ Holiday Gift Guide offers thousands of ways for you to help them express themselves — including lots of amazing customizable options that will let you put their personal stamp on useful accessories they’ll love.

Here are my top five favorite customizable gifts in this year’s Holiday Gift Guide, for some of my favorite people.

1. For my niece: An ornament to remember

QED's Custom Horse Ornament

QED’s Custom Horse Ornament

She won’t always be a little girl with an imaginary horse named Pinky. But, she’ll probably pull this Custom Horse Ornament out every Christmas for years to come, because it will still be hers — with her name on it — long after Pinky is forgotten (or replaced by a real horse).

2. For my best friend: An actually stylish Fitbit cover

The Sanabelle Fitbit Flex Bracelet by Sanabelle

The Sanabelle Fitbit Flex Bracelet by Sanabelle

She’s always struggled to balance her amazing style with her obsession with fitness. And because only I understand just how real this struggle is, I’m getting her a sleek bracelet cover for her Flex, complete with her initials for that bespoke touch.

3. For my mom: A bookmark she won’t lose

The Bookmark Monogram by Studio Elisabeth

The Bookmark Monogram by Studio Elisabeth

First editions of Steinbeck novels are her jam. But she’s so prone to losing bookmarks that old receipts are usually stuffed between their pricey covers to mark her place. It’s about time she had a bookmark worthy of her passion for literature, with her initial, so no one else can claim it. Plus, I plan to print a few extras, so she’ll always have another one to find when she next loses hers.

4. For my dad: A custom GoPro lens cap

Lens Cover for GoPro by 3Dprintingdog

Lens Cover for GoPro by 3Dprintingdog

He loves to collect electronics, and his GoPro is his favorite gadget ever. But, all those cameras and stereo systems and TVs he’s loved over the years have never had his personal stamp on them. This custom GoPro cap will finally add a touch of personality to his standard-issue equipment (while reminding him of his favorite — ok, only — daughter).

5. For my uncle, the Patagonian trekker: A Llama planter

The Llama Planter by Pearthq

The Llama Planter by Pearthq

When he’s not scaling the peaks of Patagonia, my uncle is obsessed with collecting little items that remind him of the people, places, and things he loves most. Combining the animal native to his favorite destination with a clever succulent planter, the Llama Planter is that unusual combination of things that make it a strangely perfect gift. I’ll add the name of his favorite trail to make it just-for-him.

Find more custom holiday gifting options here, and options for every unique personality on your list in this week’s Express Yourself Gift Guide. Plus, check out all our holiday gifting ideas in this year’s Holiday Gift Guide. Who are you buying customized gifts for? Let us know in the comments!

15 Ways to Say ‘You Do You’ This Holiday Season

Each of us is different, and during the holidays, this basic fact can make gifting a lot harder than it needs to be. But at Shapeways, our diverse community of independent designers — and their limitless creativity — means that no matter how picky, quirky, or eccentric your loved ones might be, we’ve got thousands of gifts that celebrate their unique personalities. This week, we’re helping you say, “Express Yourself” to everyone on your list with 15 collections for explorers, cyclists, music snobs, bee lovers, and many more. Because holiday gifting is all about showing how much you know and love those closest to you, whatever they’re into.

Dig right in to this week’s collections, or get a sneak peek, below, of four gift ideas that will satisfy some of our favorite kinds of friends.

1. For Friends of Felines: The Kitty Cat Pendant by rustylab

Kitty Cat Pendant by rustylab

Kitty Cat Pendant by rustylab

The perfect mix of adorable and design-conscious, the moveable Kitty Cat Pendant from our Friends of Felines collection will help stylish cat ladies show their true colors — and its moving parts may prove irresistible to playful fur babies.

2. For That Hipster Life: Wired Life Rhino by Dot San

Wired Life Rhino by Dot San

Wired Life Rhino by Dot San

Finding décor and personal accessories for the perennially hip can be a challenge. But for anyone you know who’s living that Hipster Life, this geometric statement piece by Dot San will set their space apart.

3. For Your Steampunk Buddy: Steampunk Chess Set

Steampunk Chess Set by unrealchess3D

Steampunk Chess Set by unrealchess3D

Steampunk is more than nostalgia; it’s a way to reimagine the past. In that same spirit, unrealchess3D’s Steampunk Chess Set reimagines chess pieces, reducing them to wiry, whimsical forms. And, for true steampunks, it’s a fittingly old-fashioned way to bring the aesthetic home.

4. For the Fashionista: Brass Triangle Earcuff by 3different

The Brass Triangles Earcuff by 3different

The Brass Triangles Earcuff by 3different

They’re daring, making sartorial choices the rest of us will take years to catch on to. So, when you set out to shop for them, it’s best to think outside the box. From our Fashionista collection, this Brass Triangle Earcuff by 3different will help the trendsetters on your list keep a step ahead of the crowd.

Don’t miss all 15 Express Yourself collections this week, including The Bees Knees, Animal Lovers, For the Explorer, Accessorize His Holiday, For the Love of Bikes, Bookworm, Music = Life, Popular Science, Tiny Tools, Fashionista, Steampunk, Hipster Life, Friends of Felines, and CustomMaker. With so many creative minds in our community of designers, there’s no reason to settle for standard-issue gifts this holiday season.

For even more gifting inspiration, check out our full Holiday Gift Guide, and don’t forget to build your own wishlist — so your loved ones will know just how you like to express yourself.

The Surprising Menorah That Remixes Tradition

While exploring the beautiful Judaica in this year’s Holiday Gift Guide, I was struck by the modernist geometric menorahs, yarmulkes, and kippahs in Craig Kaplan’s Mathematical Art Shapeways shop. Hanukkah is often associated with traditional Judaica, but Kaplan takes it to a new place altogether.

Craig Kaplan's Framework Menorah

Craig Kaplan’s Framework Menorah

When I asked Craig about the inspiration behind his modernist menorahs, he echoed what many of our designers have shared: that their designs are as much about experimenting with new forms as they are about bringing a vision to life. “I love menorahs as designed objects. It’s an interesting space in which to explore, because there are many beautiful and unusual forms that can fulfill the basic functional needs of a menorah. Of course, I also turned to these objects because I have a certain nostalgia for them from my childhood,” he shared.


Kaplan’s Yarmulke One

Fusing ritual objects, graphical exploration (Craig is a computer science professor at the University of Waterloo, Canada), and the warmth of the holiday, Craig Kaplan’s Mathematical Art can help you celebrate The Festival of Lights in a way that fits your family’s unique tastes and traditions.

For more holiday décor and inspiration, be sure to visit our Holiday Gift Guide. And, in the comments, let us know how your family puts their own spin on Hanukkah.

Christmas Ornaments Inspired by the Beauty of Math

Trimming the tree as fluffy snowflakes fall outside. It’s a vision of Christmastime that always inspires the warm fuzzies. But how often do we think about the math behind a snowflake’s beauty? Designer Sarah Berube of Diametric Arts does. Her gorgeous Snowflakes series of ornaments, sculptures, and jewelry uses icosahedral symmetry to emulate nature’s frozen works of art.

Designer Sarah Berube's Octahedral Snowflakes 2

Designer Sarah Berube’s Octahedral Snowflakes 2

In her Entangled Snowflakes, Berube takes 20 identical snowflakes (you can also buy the individual pieces here), connecting them at 12 different nodes to create a dense interlocking object — one that couldn’t have existed before 3D printing. Through an experimental design process, Berube explores and discovers new forms.

Berube's Entangled Snowflakes (Full Version)

Berube’s Entangled Snowflakes (Full Version)

Whether hanging from your Christmas tree or tucked beneath it in a gift box, Diametric Arts’ Snowflakes make for perfectly brilliant holiday accessories. Discover more of Sarah Berube’s creations in her Shapeways Shop. And check out our Holiday Gift Guide for hundreds of gifting ideas from independent designers, from Christmas décor to presents for all the unique personalities on your list.

It’s Finally Here: The Shapeways 2016 Holiday Gift Guide!

It’s the most exciting time of the year for us to share all of our independent designers’ amazing work from around the globe — in the 2016 Holiday Gift Guide!  The whole Shapeways family has worked tirelessly to put together an unbeatable selection of customizable finds for your family and friends, gifts you can’t find anywhere else. And we’re making it easier than ever to discover and create gifts for every unique personality on your list.

What also makes Shapeways gifts so special is that you can Say You Made It. Nothing in our marketplace exists until you order it — and you get to customize your gifts every time. Whether it’s the perfect ring, custom-made in your best friend’s metal of choice, rose gold. Or a keychain you design, inspired by your aunt’s favorite cat. You can even put their name on one of the newest iPhone case designs. The best part? All of these products were created by independent designers — meaning you’re supporting a local maker, somewhere in the world.

We appreciate that all of our loved ones don’t fit neatly into any one category. That’s why we’ve found something for every interest, every passion, and every quirk in this year’s Gift Guide. For your brother who’s obsessed with one-of-a-kind home décor. Your mom, who stands in line for the latest gadgets. The best friend who’s a puzzle master. Or for Dad, whose model trains put Amtrak to shame.

So start gifting today, and feel free to share our gift guide with all your friends and family. You can even put your own wish list together!

The App That Tricks the Eye

As the holidays approach, that unique personalized gift you’re looking for may just be a 3DWordFlip by Sparenberg Designworks. This creative application allows you to take two individual words and morph them into one 3D optical illusion.

3d WordFlip Demonstration

3DWordFlip takes two different sets of characters and forms them into a single 3D design file. From one view, you can clearly see the first set of letters. Flip the model 90 degrees, and the next set of characters appears.

Screen Shot 2016-10-25 at 7.43.25 PM.png

3DWordFlip has font variations and specialty message types including birthdays, weddings, and special phrases. In order to begin, select the occasion that best fits your needs.

Screen Shot 2016-10-25 at 7.49.56 PM.png

To create the model, input your information for both fields and select “generate.” This will provide you with a render of your design as well as an estimated quote. Once you are satisfied with the design, you may save your design for later or upload directly to Shapeways.

Screen Shot 2016-10-25 at 8.24.33 PM.png

Once the model is uploaded to Shapeways, you are provided with a number of materials and colors to choose from.

Screen Shot 2016-10-25 at 7.44.15 PM.png

Shapeways provides a listing of a variety of easy creator applications including 3DWordFlip that you can use to design your individualized gifts. Your presents will be delightfully meaningful — and uniquely 3D printed.

Friday Finds: Christmas & Holiday Decor

Welcome to Friday Finds: Holiday Edition! We’re starting the season off with some good ol’ holiday decor. Get your home in shipshape, or give some beautiful seasonal gifts to loved ones. Lighting, miniatures, ornaments, menorahs and more seasonal decor make the holidays more festive!



Clockwise from top left: Wave Ring – 1.5″ by OBjuanSnowflake Tea Light Ring by GHP, Santa Handwarmer Tea Light Holder by Kimotion, Rocket Christmas Ornament by ptrathos.




Clockwise from top left: Globenest by Gijs, Christmas Pinecone Decoration by macouno, Victorian Christmas Ornament Snowflake by mkermol, Thorn Die12 Ornament, Holiday Ornament: Circle Cage with 2014 Insert by Target.

More Decor


Traditional Menorah by Target


Snowflake Wax Seal by Lightbringer


Solstice Candle Holder by seriaforma


Check out more great Christmas & Holiday Decor in the Gift Guide. Don’t forget, all orders containing Gift Guide products get 50% off or FREE SHIPPING now until November 16th! Happy Holidays!