Category Archives: 3D Printed

Shaping Dutch Design: Jelle de Vries

In celebration of Dutch Design Week 2016, our Shaping Dutch Design series will take a closer look at a few of the dozens of Dutch designers who are part of the Shapeways EXPO this year and, of course, our global maker community all year round. Make sure to visit us in person if you’re in Eindhoven this week, and follow us here, on Twitter, and on Facebook for live updates from #DDW16.

Jelle de Vries of Studio Jelle creates modernist lighting fixtures that seem to glow even when switched off. Making the most of the way that light interacts with our White Strong & Flexible material, Jelle has created a series of Pinhole Lamps that might recall midcentury modern pieces from afar. Up close, however, the difference is clear: despite a basket-weave appearance, the seamless fixtures give off a warm and diffuse light that shines evenly through every part of the durable, nylon-based plastic they’re printed in. The effect is playful and futuristic — with a nod to the pre-digital past.

Stop by Shapeways EXPO at Dutch Design Week to see the Pinhole Lamps up close, or check them out in the Studio Jelle shop. Whether you choose to hang one from the ceiling or rest it on a side table, the Pinhole Lamp is a truly unique way to bring home cutting-edge Dutch design.

The Hiking App You Never Knew You Needed

It’s the best part of fall. When the weather is perfectly sunny, with a nice chilly breeze … and we get some of the most amazing colors out of nature to boot! It seems that everyone finds their way to the nearest park, or even goes so far as to find the highest peaks with the best views of every red, yellow, and orange leaf you can imagine. We know you’re snapping plenty of Instagram-worthy pictures the whole time, but how do you commemorate the journey itself?

Enter Nicetrails! Nicetrails creates unique personal trophies for hikers and mountaineers, automatically generated from GPS track data. The result is a custom 3D printed terrain map with each user’s unique trail. This is one of the most unique apps we’ve seen, allowing you to choose from a gallery of world-famous trails like Mount Fuji, Everest Base Camp, the Grand Canyon — or upload your own trail. Nicetrails connects directly to Strava, which makes the whole process practically effortless.


Take a look at some examples, but most important, play around with your own maps! And when it comes to gifting, Nicetrails are perfect for the hiker, runner, snowboarder … and every adventurer in your life.

Designer Spotlight: Josh Appleman – Geo Glitz

Because statement jewelry and accessories are always a good addition to any outfit, Josh Appleman’s shop Geo Glitz on Shapeways is definitely worth bookmarking. He’s created cufflinks shaped like every state in the United States. After being unable to find some sleek Minnesota-shaped cufflinks to wear with his tuxedo for his wedding, Josh decided to turn to 3D modeling and printing to create them. Having received lots of compliments on the cufflinks, he decided it would be fun to design ones for the rest of the states in case anyone else wanted to show off some state pride. As it turns out, there were loads of people interested in getting some!

How long did it take you to create the comprehensive collection?

I probably spent around 15 hours collecting CAD drawings of all the states, scaling them appropriately and modeling them in 3D with the cufflink stems. In my day job, I design surgical robots. Selling cufflinks is something I do on the side for fun. I’m delighted every time I get a notification that someone liked my product enough to buy it and hope it adds a trendy personalized touch to the recipient’s outfit!

Any stats on the top-selling states?

The top three states I’ve gotten orders for are Minnesota, Michigan and New York.

Any interesting challenges you encountered during the creation of this collection?

Certain states, such as Hawaii, Alaska, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York and Louisiana were tricky to model because of all the islands they have or because of thin portions of their geography. I spent many hours trying to decide what details were possible to maintain and which had to be removed. For example, for Hawaii I decided to make the geography the negative of the cufflink, I took a rectangle and removed the island outlines from it. Cape Cod needed to be thickened a bit as did the connection between Long Island and the rest of New York State. Lots of tedious work but fortunately I only needed to do it once.

You’ve done all 50 states! So what’s next?

Thinking of doing pendants and money clips. Also want to add geographies of different countries and famous cities. Lastly, I’ve done a few embossed orders with custom lettering, so may continue to do so per request.

Designer Spotlight: Gavin Rose – Sparkshot Custom Creations

Gavin Rose of Sparkshot Custom Creations has been interested in British outline railways since a very early age and has been making models since he was 12 years old. Almost 20 years later, he’s still at it, now with the help of 3D design and 3D printing. Gavin does a tremendous job of leveraging 3D printing to create model trains that are otherwise unavailable through mass-manufactured models.

How’d you get into 3D modeling of trains?

Prior to doing 3D modeling I used to (and still do) railway modeling the usual ways — build kits or ‘bash’ them — modifying them to represent a different version of an engine, either real or theoretical. Before this, I dabbled in military modeling, but the bug has always been for railways more than anything. Amongst a few other things, 3D printing creates the opportunity for me (and you!) to now own models of railway prototypes the mainstream firms haven’t created. You have to buy your own wheels, motors and bits for the printed model but once done, it’s great to see the engine you’ve always longed for pottering about on a layout.

You mention that models of railway prototypes you’re building aren’t available from mainstream firms. Tell us about that and what you’re focusing on.

Most of the mainstream Ready to Run (RTR) manufacturers concentrate on the latter British Railways (BR) period of railway history and I can only estimate this is because most of the people alive today remember that period, and not earlier. As such, nostalgia has its power well established in BR territory, which undoubtedly is the reason that the mainstream companies cater to BR models. This means that newcomers to the hobby end up with a choice that is predominantly BR so sales of those products increase, mainstream companies keep making them … and so the cycle continues.

There’s nothing wrong with BR, but the post-Grouping (and especially pre-Grouping) suffers dreadfully, and many locomotive classes aren’t given any attention while the popular ones are redone over and over and over. This is a shame, and along with it goes some of the history and knowledge of what our railways looked like, once upon a time. If more people were to model the earlier periods we could hopefully get back to some degree and accurate portrayal of what was once lost and my hope is that 3D printing will help to bring the past back to the present. Currently Sparkshot Custom Creations is concentrating on the earlier periods, so keep an eye out. :)

We love that you’re using modern-day manufacturing to bring back the past! Tell us more about how you design these unique models.

For customization, I have done a series of variants of most of the locomotive classes. Some are real variants, but a lot are freelance also to enable me and anyone who is inclined to model certain things in a more theoretical rather than factual way. Obvious detail variations are the most important such as the standard VS extended tank E2 and the various chimneys some engines ran with. The new-to-the-SCC range Furness J1 class has a separate pack of chimneys to order that allow the engine to take on different guises, the simple change in chimney can make all the difference.  People have asked me to make a few alterations here and there and I have done it; the creation of the Cambrian Class 61 was due to consultation to give the Furness K2 some alterations but the work became more elaborate than originally envisioned as research continued. It has however produced a new loco choice all together, so all good!

At the time of this interview, the next engine to be completed and released for sale will be the Furness Railway J1 Class. There is already a Furness Railway 21 Class that’s also known as the K2 available in several variants, so for the meantime, I’m concentrating on this particular railway company and then will move on to another.

Check out Gavin’s incredible model train designs in his shop here. He’s created some videos on post-processing his models here and here if you’re looking for a glance into his methods.

He’s also requested that if anyone has built, painted, and are running his creations on a model railway, to please send him photos or video. As Gavin says, “I’d very much like to see what people do with the kits, there’s something quite ‘happifying’ seeing your own designs all completed by another!”

Capture It Better With 3D Printed Camera Accessories

Big family pictures. Ugly sweater parties. Thanksgiving feasts. Kitchen disasters. The holidays will be full of photo-worthy moments. But, not all cameras are ready for the job. Whether you’re working with a smartphone or a high-end DSLR, a few simple, 3D printed equipment add-ons can help you fine-tune your photography. Shapeways designers offer a huge range of 3D printed camera accessories, all available in our new Camera & Video category.

We asked our resident photographer Anthony (the guy who makes our product photos look amazing) what kinds of camera accessories he uses to solve some common photography problems. His top three challenges: Blurry photos, lost gear, and poor lighting. Here are his favorite 3D printed accessories to help you avoid those pitfalls:


Fix blurry photos with tripod attachments to stabilize your camera or phone.

Samsung Galaxy Folder tripod & stabilizer mount

Samsung Galaxy Folder tripod & stabilizer mount by Phone Mounter


Tripod connector IPhone 6<br /> by Ottutto

Tripod connector IPhone 6 by Ottutto



Stop losing your gear. Keep things like lens caps from going missing.

Lens Cap Holder - 52mm - 1/4-20 Mount<br /> by Knight Designs

Lens Cap Holder – 52mm – 1/4″-20 Mount by Knight Designs


Photo Cap Saver 52 mm 2.0<br /> by ABSforge

Photo Cap Saver 52 mm 2.0 by ABSforge



Become a master of your lighting and take perfect pictures every time.

Bounce Buddy - Bouncer for the internal flash!<br /> by Wile's Wonderbox

Bounce Buddy – Bouncer for the internal flash! by Wile’s Wonderbox


Zeiss 50/2 Planar Compact Hood<br /> by Analogue Robot / Rangefinder Hoods

Zeiss 50/2 Planar Compact Hood by Analogue Robot / Rangefinder Hoods


Browse All Camera Accessories

New York Comic Con Cosplay Roundup

New York Comic Con is four days of comics, movies, video games, and of course, cosplay. Last week I went to the Javits Center to find the coolest cosplay in the Shapeways Community and you guys sure were impressive!

Here are a couple of my favorites:

We started the week by scanning some of the cosplay world’s best artists at the Kotaku io9 Cosplay Ball in New York. Folks dressed in crazy gear, including a 10 foot tall Overwatch Outfit were 3D scanned using the Occipital Scanect. They could then go into our Shapeways scanning shop to order their figures in Full Color Sandstone.

Scanning, photo credit Kotaku and Erik Erikson

Scanning, photo credit Kotaku and Erik Erikson

Scanning, photo credit Kotaku and Erik Erikson

Scanning, photo credit Kotaku and Erik Erikson

After the party, we headed to the convention center to meet up with some of our favorite designers. We found Sarah Awad and Dhemerae Ford of The Laser Girls showing off their amazing Final Fantasy-inspired costumes, complete with full-sized, 3D printed Buster Swords. They’ve been sharing tips on designing for cosplay here, and it was amazing to see the results of their hard work.


Laser Girls Final Fantasy Shapeways 3D printed cosplay armor New York Comic Con

Close up of Sarah’s 3D printed earings, necklace and shoulder piece

Another of our favorite designers, Melissa Ng of Lumecluster, was decked out in her fully articulated, 3D printed Sovereign Armor. We featured her a few months ago when she unveiled this project, but seeing her in person was unreal. Check out the video below to for an interview with Melissa about how she created this armor and her experience at Comic Con.

Melissa Ng Lumecluster Shapeways 3D printed cosplay armor New York Comic Con visor down

Melissa’s Sovereign Armor with the mask down

Melissa Ng Lumecluster Shapeways 3D printed cosplay armor New York Comic Con

Melissa talking about her Sovereign armor

Were you also at New York Comic Con wearing 3D printed cosplay? We’d love to see! Let us know in the comments below.

Trending: Fidget Toys

As someone with way too much energy — I’m a constant pen-clicker, toe-tapper, doodler (and more) — I was excited to see some products trending on the Shapeways marketplace that are perfect little fidget toys. This array of ingenious designs allows you to use skateboard bearings and interlocking elements to create and print your own compact gizmos for noiseless fidgeting.

These types of toys are definitely becoming more popular, with Buzzfeed even offering a roundup of jewelry and products that can help you calm down (which included Oddity’s Finger Hula Hoop on Shapeways). One standout gadget is the Cog Tri Spinner Fidget Spinner, which turns standard skateboard bearings into hours of fidgeting fun.

Below are a few more products that we think deserve shout-outs for being awesome fidget toys:

This working propeller ring is not only a fun little jewelry piece, it also exemplifies what’s possible with our recently launched interlocking metals capability. Pick one up and take it for a spin.

While similar to the spinner above, The Swirl has a minimalist design that’s worth checking out.


This Twisting Links Fidget series is designed to be a discreet but effective fidget toy with tactile sensation and endless movement.

6 Fashion Trends to Design for in 2016

Having just relaunched our jewelry marketplace to better highlight micro-brands and feature curated collections, we’re excited to position ourselves as an excellent destination for holiday shoppers to snag some uniquely designed accessories. While we know our designers have already uploaded some incredible designs, we wanted to flag some trends we saw on the NYFW runway to give our makers a glance at what trend-setting shoppers may be looking for this season.

We’ve also included examples of existing products from Shapeways designers below!Silver reigns supreme:

We saw lots and lots of silver accessories on the runway this season– something to keep in mind when determining which materials you want to offer designs in.

Statement necklaces:

Oversized chokers and large necklaces were prevalent at shows including Balenciaga, Valentino, Loewe, Chanel, and Balmain. This was a fun opportunity to play with larger geometric designs, crazy pendants– great inspiration for designers looking to create some more unusual signature pieces.

Dodeca Horizontal Pendant by Studio Noesis

Earnestly large statements:

From Sachin and Babi to Creatures of the Wind to Altuzarra to Tory Burch, big earrings were everywhere. Large hoop earrings to geometric shapes, we’re excited to see that loads of our designers’ products seem to be similarly inspired.

Star Coral Earrings by Coraline Jewels

Ear cuffs:

Rodarte’s models wore extremely intricate ear cuffs which seemed floral-inspired (one even featured an insect). We’ve seen a number of ear cuffs in our marketplace, so it’s definitely an accessory ripe for design experimentation.


Brass Triangles Earcuff by 3Different

Interlocking Circles:

Hellessy sent models down the runway with some beautiful earrings which were made up of metal interlocking circles. This is a perfect trend to pull inspiration from, especially since Shapeways is the only company to offer interlocking metals!

Twisted Square Earrings by ByNatalia


Lots of designers (Isabel Marant, Christian Dior and Sonia Rykiel) were sending their models down the runway with asymmetrical earrings– allowing for some great variation. Other designers like Mugler, Anthony Vaccarello and Philosophy di Lorenzo Serafini, opted for the one-earring look. At Shapeways you’re able to order one earring, making it totally unnecessary to purchase a complete pair for this look.

Septum Rings:

While septum rings had a big moment last year, some made an appearance on the runway during the Monse show this NYFW. Shapeways designers have created a number of faux septum rings– a good option for people looking to try the look without committing to the actual piercing.

Septum Ring by PrimalCrafts

If you’re interested in more in-depth looks at these trends, we recommend checking out this Vogue roundup and this piece from Justine Carreon at Elle for coverage of this year’s trends.

F1 Racing Miniatures And Memorabilia That’ll Get Your Wheels Spinning

It’s no secret that some massive changes have occurred in the Formula 1 Racing scene. Between constantly changing regulations, and John Malone’s Liberty Media – F1 deal closing last week in an $8B deal, F1 is set to become much more mainstream.
With the cars (and industry) racing around at 240MPH, you’re probably looking for ways to rep your favorite road racing sport.

Mini3DDrivers’s Mini Scuderia #7 car (and accompanying Mini Kimi Raikkonen driver) are just one of the whimsically accurate tiny cars offered in this F1- dedicated shop.

 Maybe you’re looking for an F1 inspired track to throw on your desk or wall.  3D Racetracks features a number of topographically accurate racetracks, including an officially licensed Nurburgring.

Want to celebrate the Ferrari 312T driven to victory by Niki Lauda and Clay Regazzoni? This 1:100 scale by Giles’s Designs can be used as a keychain or pendant. There’s also a number of other F1 inspired memorabilia in his shop, such as these miniatures.

Looking for more automotive & F1 inspired accessories? Check out my list here, and follow me on Shapeways to see what I’m looking at!


Click For More High Octane Cars

Make a 3d printed pendant in 15 minutes out of 14K Gold! No 3d modeling experience needed.

I have always wanted to make jewelry around specific interests I have without having them look homemade but I’m just not that talented at beadwork and still tackling the steep learning curve for 3d modeling from scratch.   However, I have made several pendant charms for myself and gifts for friends with the Shapeways EZ Pendant Creator.   It is truly a DIY dream come true if you are brand new to 3d printing.

Here is my first project; a lion pendant charm in 14K gold in honor of my son who was born in August and is a Leo.

Lion pendant

I got so many compliments on it, I videotaped a quick step by step tutorial.   Check it out and start making pendant charms for yourself and don’t forget this is a great personal gift for loved ones.   I sent my best friend a cat charm last Christmas and a Buddha charm to my daughter for her birthday.   Before long, my family and friends might start putting in orders and I will have to open a shop on Shapeways!

The 3D Printed Robots of the Future aren’t What You Were Expecting…

Admit it, the moment you heard of 3D printing you imagined a giant robot stepping out of a machine. 3D printed robots that walk right out of the printer are coming, but taking an unexpected direction.

As you can imagine, robots are complex machines; each motion typically requires a concert of rigid parts assembled together. Therefore robots would need to be constructed from a variety of materials, including a power source and electrical components as well as extremely accurate mechanical parts.

Soft Robot 3D printed Shapeways

3D printers are fantastic for many things but they still have limitations. One of the current challenges to 3D printing technology is that most machines can only produce a few different materials at once or moving parts have comparatively large tolerances (if they are even possible at all). Currently you can print most of the components for a functioning robot, but you have to make them separately and then assemble afterwards (although some designers have figured out how to get around this with our strong and flexible plastic). This is exciting but not quite the revolutionary way 3D printing can be imagined as a futuristic, automated way of making.

Soft Robot 3D printed Shapeways

Scientists are already researching solutions. Multiple institutions including Carnegie Mellon, MIT and Harvard are working to create hydraulic mechanics that could walk right out of the printer. The key here is that the robots are designed such that when a liquid is pumped through it, it changes the form of part. By expanding and contracting portions of the robot in a controlled way the robot can move. Therefore, instead of using things like gears, which would need to be assembled, you literally “just add water” to these robots for it to begin moving.

Soft Robot 3D printed Shapeways

As the materials available for 3D printing continue to expand we look forward to designs that rethink the way we approach motion and mechanics. How would you design a 3D printed robot?


World Archery aiming for the Olympics with 3D Printing

The Olympic Games landed in Rio de Janeiro, turning Brazil into the first South American country to host the oldest sports event of all time. While welcoming many different athletes from all over the world to compete in a wide range of different sports, the Archery competition is where our gaze is specifically aiming on.

Since 1998, the World Archery is making limited edition pens out of broken arrows to give away to the VIP attendants of their competitions (learn how to make your own arrow pen here). But we can definitely agree that a special pen can’t just fly around on your desk – it has to be stored in a memorable way too.

During the 2012 Games in London, the World Archery used Cricket Balls to store the arrow-shaped pen in. While that was awesome, cricket balls have no symbolic meaning in Rio de Janeiro. This years’ Archery Olympics competition took place at the impressive Sambódromo, which you might recognize as the ending point of the yearly Rio Carnival, and definitely is one of the first places that comes to mind when thinking about Rio de Janeiro.

The Arrow Pen would not be complete without a symbol to remind the games in Rio, and what other material than our 3D printed Porcelain could represent the concrete arch better? The result is stunning, yet elegant.

The Sambódromo is a huge purpose-built area for the yearly Rio Carnival, but during the 2016 Olympics used for the Archery and Athletics Marathon events for the Olympics and for Archery in the 2016 Paralympics. Photo is courtesy of World Archery.

The Sambódromo is a huge purpose-built area for the yearly Rio Carnival, but used for the Archery and Athletics Marathon events for the 2016 Olympics and for Archery event in the 2016 Paralympics. Photo is courtesy of World Archery. Please note the Sambódromo Pen Holder is a gift from World Archery to a selected group of attendees and not part of Rio 2016.

By collaborating intensively with the World Archery and their 3D designer, we went through a few iterations to get a printable design and archieve the best details possible. Since we knew we had a very short time to print all the penholder statues, we worked intensively in speeding up our Porcelain printing process. This resulted in a lead time reduction of 50%! Read more about that and some tips for designing 3D Printed Porcelain in our previous blog.

Bring the Olympic Games to You

As seen and heard around the world, the 2016 Rio Olympics are in full swing. While most of us are not lucky enough to attend the live events, Shapeways has the goods you need to celebrate your favorite sports from the Summer Olympics anywhere. Bring on the Badminton, Basketball, Table Tennis, Fencing, and Golf!  Which sport do you enjoy the most?  Whether your passion comes from being a player or a spectator, our designers have got you covered.

Get in the spirit of slam dunking with this iPhone6  from lumlumpum.

This Ping ball from Shapeways designer holybowly calls for double duty as the product was designed for bounce and flexibility.  Throw it in your pocket and grab a few friends to get a match started in your location of choice.


If a golf course sounds like your terrain, here are a few product ideas to keep your game up to par.  We know that golf isn’t exactly a lightweight sport when it comes to equipment so free up some bag room with the Belt Plastic Golf Tee Holder from jlnuttle10.  Attaching the holder to your belt is as easy as one-two-tee!

Keep your razor sharp focus on the course and have some fun off the course with Desk Golf from UrbanoRodriguez.

It’s a bird… it’s a plane… it’s the Badminton Pendant Pendant from frankxie.


Marie, the designer behind this Fencing Mask Pendant, was inspired by different meanings she found within what the sport stands for: power and strength to face the fight and elegance.  Her pendant was designed to symbolize these facets.

See more designs from Marie’s shop, scientist2010 and check out other inspired pendants in last week’s blog post,  Symbols + Science= Jewelry Styles for All. 

We hope you enjoy the 2016 Olympic Games this month as we continue to spotlight designers and their creations around the world. You can catch more on the Olympics and Shapeways next week as we will be sharing a very unique story straight from Rio.  In the meantime, don’t forget to check out locally-inspired Sparks Across the Globe designer, Kjeld Pederson Junior.

4 Ways To Capture The Ultimate Road Trip

The weather’s great and you’ve officially started your annual summer vacation. But instead of bumming around your neighborhood for two weeks and “taking it easy”,  you’ve rented a car and decided to drive out to the opposite coast (whether it be the “BEST” cost or the “BEAST” coast). You’ve never driven cross country before and you want to make sure you capture every part of the adventure.  We’ve complied a few ways to make this possible.

Since you’ll be driving, you’ll want a way to mount your GoPro(s) so you get a great view of those stunning flatlands in Kansas.  This 360 GoPro Mount by go360hero can be mounted anywhere to capture that all-around you feel.

Go360 go3602

And if you’re running the also highly rated Xiaomi Yi as your action cam of choice, here’s a great solution to get your 360 fill by clusteruk


Maybe you’re looking to pull focus on your fancy DSLR. Wileydavis created a great way to pull focus with this adapter that fits right onto your Canon 50mm lens.


There’s also the possibility that you have the ultimate aerial photography device: a drone. If you’re running a (slightly) older DJI Phantom, it’s easy to attach one of those six GoPro’s you’re running to the bottom of a quadcopter. Einaros’ simple vibration-damping mount will let you capture sweeping aerials.


And if you have a Phantom 3, Fusion Imaging has a great way to keep that high-def camera from getting damaged when landing on the jagged Rocky Mountains.



Want even more? We’ve got more ways to document that cross country escapade linked below:

Click For More Road Trip Fun

Rev Up Your Engines for Collector Car Appreciation Day

You’re zooming down the Hutchinson River Parkway doing twice the posted speed limit because the road’s been closed for your driving pleasure. You’re pushing every S-curve and cutting every apex, being sure to avoid the (inevitable) potholes that line this otherwise fast-paced road in upstate New York. Until….
You’re snapped out of your daydream, you glance over at the model of your classic 911 on your desk, just itching for the weekend.

Today’s your day; Collector Car Appreciation Day (Or, if you’re on Twitter, #CollectorCarAppreciationDay). Here’s a few ways to remember the sleek lines and impeccable engineering that went into your favorites.

It’s no doubt that the Porsche 911 is one of the most iconic shapes in history. So many people think “german engineered sports car” and immediately picture the once-air-cooled, rear-engined masterpiece. Remind yourself what it looks like under a delicate sheet in your garage, with this model by MakeAndModel


Maybe you FINALLY got around to upgrading your turbo in your newly imported Skyline. While these turbo cufflinks by Leander won’t help compress your waist to look thinner, you’ll be reminded why you spent those nights and weekends working on your R33 while out on the town.


The E30 M3 is, and will continue to be a near perfectly balanced sports car that remains a classic piece of BMW history. You deserve to constantly remind yourself of the hard work you put in not only finding your near one-of-a-kind legend, but also be able to show what you own with this keychain.

But this isn’t all we’ve got for Collector Car Appreciation day, dive deeper in clicking the button below and search our site for your favorite automotive masterpiece.

More Classics HERE