Last Sunday, Shapeways teamed up with one of our favorite Maker spaces, Fat Cat Fab Lab, to host the 2nd Annual Holiday Market. Twenty-five Makers from the New York City area set up shop for the afternoon to show off unique handcrafted and 3D printed products. Among them were a few of our favorite Shapeways designers, including The Laser Girls and Bless This Mess NYC. Folks who stopped into the West Village Maker hub got to browse, chat with independent designers, and go home with cool holiday gifts.
Here are a few of our favorite moments from the market:
Shapeways designers Bless This Mess NYC show off their beautiful jewelry and home decor
Oak Digital Craft’s trendy 3D printed bowties and necklaces
The Laser Girls 3D printed nails and cosplay swords overlook Christopher Square in Manhattan
Nirvager’s incredible collection of hand-painted Lego mods and accessories
Shapeways designer and sculptor Paul Liaw showcased his jewelry designs
Holiday Market organizers Deren Güler (Fat Cat Fab Lab Co-Founder) and Andrew Thomas (Community Manager at Shapeways)
Cases for gadgets are usually purely a necessity. Sure, they can be gorgeous, but for the most part, they’re there to protect. But, what if a case could actually make your tech more useful? Startup bytten aims to do just that, creating stylish Fitbit covers that slide right on — taking the wearable from gym casual to sleekly stylish. This week, as we focus on holiday gifts that offer a Technical Advantage, we’re taking a closer look at a small business that wants to give your wearable technology a fashion upgrade.
True to bytten’s mission to “bring your fitness tracker’s style and personality to a whole new level,” the Lucas slide for Fitbit Flex takes inspiration from computer circuitry to create an intricate, cutting-edge look.
The Rasa slide for Fitbit Flex allows you to make their tech a personal statement, with custom text options available at no extra charge.
Bytten’s Fitbit cases are available for multiple models of the popular fitness trackers. The designers also enjoy experimenting and creating pieces in response to feedback from the Shapeways community. The image below shows the symbol collection, which was inspired by requests from bytten’s customers.
Check out bytten’s full collection in their Shapeways shop to make your fitness-tracking friends more stylish than ever. Plus, don’t miss our Technical Advantage collections for gift ideas that let you personalize, modify, and improve their favorite gadgets.
CNSM 741 – 776 Silverliner Series Coach by Box Car Models
The holidays always evoke nostalgia for family traditions. For my family, one of these traditions was to put a model train set around the base of the Christmas tree. It was that finishing touch that said the holidays were really here. This week, we’re offering gift ideas from all the Tiny Worlds our designers create, and I hope you’ll be inspired to make model trains a part of your family’s holiday traditions.
Shapeways offers an enormous variety of model trains that are as detailed as those you’d see on tracks around the world. But, 3D printed models do require a few finishing touches. Model trains are printed in a number of scales and sizes, and generally produced in Frosted Detail Plastic. The post-processing of these trains in Frosted Detail requires a few tools:
Acetone or Simple Green
Synthetic Paint Brush Set or Airbrush Kit
Acrylic or Enamel Paint
Matte or Satin Varnish
Once the tools are assembled, you are well on your way to getting your perfect model train ready.
1. Model Prep
If there is any residual oil or wax support material left over from the production process, this can easily be removed using acetone or Simple Green solvent. You can simply dip and air dry the model. Or, using a paint brush, you can lightly spread the solvent on the train and air dry.
**TIP** If you notice an excess amount of residual support material or details are distorted, this may call for a reprint. Please send an image and order number to email@example.com.
2. First Coat – Prime
Primer is added as a first coat in order to provide a uniform surface and offer a stronger hold for your paints. Recommended primer colors include black, grey, or white. Your primer color selection will depend on the colors you decide for your top coat.
In order to keep the finest details visible, it is best to use a thin primer. For example, Krylon Color Master Primer will do the job.
Models can be painted in a variety of ways. The most common methods for painting a high-detail finish include airbrushing and hand-painting.
Airbrush painting is a great method for coating large areas of your design more quickly. This will require a fine-tip sprayer kit and masking to cover the areas that are not intended to be painted.
Hand-painting might be a bit more accessible to those who don’t want to invest in an airbrush kit. For this method, a range of small-sized synthetic brushes are recommended. The synthetic hairs do not fray, have a longer life span, and allow for finer points due to their stiffer structure.
With hand-painting, we suggest using acrylic or enamel model paints. First, add your larger base details using a larger brush. Then, with a smaller brush, use the lighter colors to make your details pop. Once painted, let the material dry completely before moving on to the next step.
4. Clear Coat
The final step to finishing your model train is to add a varnish. This will seal the paints and offer the appropriate sheen. Choose a matte or satin finish depending on your glossiness preference.
The varnish should be thinly applied and set to dry. Once dried, the model is ready to be displayed.
HO scale 1:87 CSX SD40-3 Wabtec Cab by Boxcar Models
This year, we hope you’ll make model trains a part of your holiday tradition, whether you make and give them as gifts or set them up for all to see. Who knows? Maybe hand-finishing model trains can be your new favorite family holiday pastime.
It’s like traveling back in time. Or shapeshifting into a much tinier form. Miniatures are empowering and magical, and they capture our imagination like almost nothing else. Whether it’s a scale model of a train that hasn’t existed since the 19th century, a reborn dinosaur that stalks your desktop, a lightning-fast slot car, or a micro-scale camper and tent setup just like the one Dad used to have. This week in our Holiday Gift Guide, we’re celebrating the Tiny Worlds you bring to life, and helping you share the miniatures magic with your loved ones this holiday season. Read on for four ways to make the little things count this year.
More than just perfect gifts for imaginative loved ones, many of the creations featured this week wouldn’t exist were it not for the ingenuity of our community of designers. With their incredibly detailed scale models, Shapeways designers are miniaturizing things that have never before been recreated, satisfying unique interests in ways that would never have been possible without 3D printing. Discover more of their Tiny Worlds in our Holiday Gift Guide, and let us know in the comments what scale models you want to see more of on Shapeways.
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
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
“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
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.
Custom holiday gifts from independent designers were once expensive and hard to create. But this holiday season at Shapeways, we have thousands of fun and affordable ways for you to Say You Made It. Enabling you to craft one-of-a-kind personalized gifts that hold special meaning for your loved ones. From our Easy Creator apps to the thousands of customizable objects offered by our community — including personalized ceramics pieces — making extraordinary gifts for all your friends and family has never been this easy.
Create a Christmas heirloom with the easy Ornament Creator
Does your mom still save the macaroni art you made for her in fourth grade? That’s because even a simple custom gift can have a huge impact. Thankfully, it could not be simpler to use one of our Easy Creator apps to design your own personalized pieces. Use the Ornament Creator to make a holiday heirloom, the adorable Cookie Caster to design cookie cutters for loved ones who love to bake, or Crayon Creatures to magically bring your kids’ 2D art to life.
Crayon Creatures turn kids’ crayon art into 3D creatures
If you don’t want to make an entire custom object, you can use the Customizable option in our SHOP section, or marketplace. Here, you’ll find products that allow you to add your own messages to pieces already for sale. You can find customizable products by clicking the “Customizable” box on the left-hand side of any page in our marketplace. Underneath the box, you can also select the type of material you would like to customize.
Sometimes, the best gifts are the ones that help preserve a precious photo memory. Your mom’s favorite snapshot of you. Or the double selfie from that amazing day you spent at the ball game with your dad. What if you could turn these images into durable 3D mementos? Luckily, one of the most amazing things that you can do with Shapeways — that you cannot do anywhere else — is to create Celadon Selfies. In this store, you can select any number of lovely tiles, mugs, or ornaments to which you can apply your own image (or one of your sister, mom, dad, or pets!).
Celadon Selfies help preserve special photo memories forever
Time spent with family and friends is the most important part of our lives. What could be better than using Shapeways to create mementos of your favorite moments, and custom gifts that hold special meaning for you and your loved ones? We’re happy to offer so many unique ways to show your love this holiday season. What’s your best custom gift of all time? Let us know in the comments, and make sure to check out our Holiday Gift Guide for gifting inspiration for all the beloved people on your list.
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!