Category Archives: Fashion

Shapeways + Fashion

This week we’ve been sharing some of our favorite fashion moments in honor of New York Fashion Week – from the outcome of the Computational Fashion class to industry moments we won’t forget to amazing things our community is doing.

Today we’re taking a look back at some of the 3D printed fashion moments we’ve had a part in. Below are some of our favorite pieces that have come from the Shapeways factory:

Victoria’s Secret Snow Angels

Seen walking down the annual Victoria’s Secret runway show in December 2013, we helped create the Snow Angel wings 3D modeled by Bradley Rothenberg. The corset and wings were designed to look like fractal snowflakes and were adorned with thousands of Swarovski crystals.


Nervous System creates the first wearable 3D printed dress

We talked about the Dita dress in an earlier post this week, but we certainly can’t leave out the amazing dress Nervous System created last year. Using Kinematics, their 4D printing system that creates complex, foldable forms, the designers created a wearable dress that prints in one single folded piece.


Computational Fashion Master Class

For two years, Eyebeam and Shapeways have come together to put on the Computation Fashion Master Class. Taken by designers, engineers, architects (and more), this class explores the world of fashion as it relates to new and emerging technologies. Recently, the 2015 class presented their projects at the opening of ReMaking Patterns.

3D printed computational fashion garment


Vogue sends Karlie Kloss (scans) around the world

Last year, we partnered with Vogue to send supermodel, Karlie Kloss, around the world for their famous September issue. After being scanned in various outfits, we printed out the mini Karlie’s in our factory before they were sent around the world and photgraphed for the story. While lighthearted, this project explored how 3D scanning can be used to capture beautiful moments.


Interview with Wesley Gunter

In light of New York Fashion week I spoke with Wesley Gunter, a jewelry and fashion accessory designer from the Netherlands. Wesley has been on Shapeways for years and shared some advice and experiences he’s had as he’s built multiple original brands.


What did you do before opening your shop on Shapeways?

I work as a Group leader at a hi-tech metal parts production at a company called I first started in construction 12 years ago, moved to hand welding and then slowly grew into higher positions. We’re like Shapeways but for traditional sheet and construction metal processes.

Mounira Mansour wearing FabMe on Dutch national news showCachicci International shoot

There are only a few other companies I’d work for. NASA and companies like that would maybe make a chance but I wouldn’t quit fully even if I became really successful with my designs. I grew up working so it’s hard to stop doing it!

Can you tell us about what you’ve been working on lately?

If I had a personal assistant woking for me, even they couldn’t possibly know what’s going on behind screens of Wesley Gunter’s life.

I just revamped my first Shapeways project, FabMe Jewelry. Designing all the pieces for FabMe Jewelry was so much fun and because I got so much attention from all over the place, I created and created and created.

I collaborated with Cachicci International to do a FabMe photo shoot for me in July 2014 and I’ve been really focused on other promotions. I’ve also sent a lot of products to bloggers and a few cool celebs I came in contact with all through Instagram.

WeDemFashion shoot with Danka KaniewskaMelissa B shoot for FabMe Jewelry

The pictures I got in return really gave me the brand appearance I was looking for, but in that time I was also creating the Fab caps and shades. I just uploaded them to FabMe Jewelry’s shop even though I knew it didn’t fit the brand’s real goal, making futuristic jewelry for women. In the end I  really couldn’t accept the look of those products together with the fabulous jewelry collections – no matter how hard I tried I didn’t like it. So after some thinking I created a big brother brand of FabMe Jewelry called WeDemFashion.

With WeDemFashion I have created room for me to design and sell exclusive 3D printed products to both women and men, create custom pieces on request for fabulous people and even take on some clothing/print design within a few months. The limits are now truly endless for me in fashion 3D design, for art and other cool stuff.

Do you have any suggestions for new designers trying to start their own brands?

1. Use Instagram! Leave comments for the cool people liking or commenting on your posts. You never know what will happen next! Like me when I came in contact with Melissa B (NY R&B singer) – all the things I’m planning with her are crazy !

2. Connect with your fellow Shapeways designers. There are some really fun, wise and creative people amongst us. Talking with them will enrich your life!

Watch Wesley talk about his designs on Shapeways Live here.

Some of our favorite 3D printed fashion moments

It’s New York Fashion Week over here and, like always, we’re anxious to see if any 3D printed pieces make their way down the runway. From dresses to shoes to accessories, more designers are turning to 3D printing to create designs that will make their collections stand out. Using new materials and techniques to create (sometimes) wearable pieces that inspire, designers are continuously pushing the boundaries of fashion through the use of this technology.

While we stalk Instagram and wait to see what comes down the runway this season, here’s a look at some of our favorite moments in 3D printed fashion thus far:

First entire 3D printed collection

Recently, Israeli fashion designer Danit Peleg became the first designer to create an entire collection at home using 3D printers. Dresses, shoes, jackets – everything the models wore on the runway were 3D printed. While some pieces were printed and then glued together, others were created using 3D printed textiles that could then be used just like traditional cloth. Peleg says the entire collection took more than 2,000 hours to print, with each piece of textile printing in about 20 hours.

Photo credit Daria Ratiner 23

Photo courtesy of Danit Peleg

Nike’s Vapor Carbon Elite Cleat

In January 2014, Nike unveiled a new shoe with 3D printed parts that was specifically designed to help athletes run faster. While this wasn’t the first time Nike turned to 3D printing to raise the level of their shoes, the Vapor Carbon Elite Cleat made its debut at the Super Bowl, making it one of the more high profile debuts for a 3D printed shoe.


Dita von Teese

Of course, we’re a little biased with this one seeing as how we printed it and all, but this dress is still top of mind when people talk about 3D printed fashion. Designed by Michael Schmidt and 3D modeled by architect Francis Bitonti this beautiful dress was printed in 17 separate pieces, assembled and then adorned with 13,000 Swarovski crystal. Even though it’s been more than two years since the dress was revealed, it is still one of the most talked about pieces when it comes to 3D printed fashion.


3D printing on Project Runway

It took 12 seasons, but we finally saw 3D prints make it down the runway on Project Runway in 2013. The belts and accessories, designed by Justin LeBlanc, were impressive enough to earn him a spot in the finals. Inspired by his own life, and designed to depict sound waves, the accessories added to his collection resonated with a lot of viewers.


What’s your favorite 3D printed fashion moment? Stay tuned this week for a look back at some of the fashion pieces we’ve printed in the past!




New York Fashion Week 3D Printed Garments Debut

On opening night of New York Fashion Week fifteen fashion designers, engineers and media artists unveiled their 3D printed fashion garments that they created during this year’s Computational Fashion Master Class at the Re-Making Patterns Opening. Printed by Shapeways, all of the pieces showcase how 3D printed fashion is evolving and becoming a reality

3D printed computational fashion garment

Computational Fashion Master Class is an initiative started by Eyebeam and Shapeways last year. The course is an unique opportunity for creatives from different industries to come together and develop garments that push the limits of 3D printing. Instructors and students address various design topics throughout the course, including materials and customization, that help the designers combine traditional fashion techniques and emerging technologies to create these pieces.

The exhibit is open until September 17th at South Street Seaport’s Culture District.

3D printed computational fashion garment


3D printed computational fashion garment

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Behind the Product: Andrea van Hintum Designs

In this feature of Behind the Product, we focus on the designs of Andrea van Hintum. Hintum was awarded the Shapeways Education Grant in Spring 2015 for her senior thesis collection at the Savannah College of Art and Design. This collection was unique in that Hintum incorporated hand sewn garments paired with her own 3D printed accessories. Since graduation, Hintum has moved to New York and worked with a number of designers on 3D printed textiles and accessories.


Could you describe the story of your designs and what inspired them?
The ideas and inspiration for my thesis came through my late father’s profession as an electrical engineer. I have always been so inspired by his work, creativity, and the person that he was.  I moved forward and created a collection that would carry the representational meaning and aesthetic of both electrical and mechanical engineering. Structure, shapes, and materials for my designs were reflected from a variety of mechanical and electrical machinery. The textiles used within the collection are all industrial and conductive fabrics with contents of stainless steel and blends of nickel, sliver, and copper coatings. With the incredible techniques I had learned in my short three years at SCAD and the 2012 Computational Fashion Master Class held by Eyebeam, I could finally make my dream of 3D printing fashion a reality. With techniques and knowledge in 3D modeling and printing, I incorporated 3D printed nylon into my senior collection. I am the first designer in 36 years at SCAD to incorporate, design, and put 3D printing down the runway. It is an achievement I am so proud of because the amount of hours put into it was unbearable.

Please describe the process you used to create your final product.
I was inspired by machinery of all kinds. The shapes and structures are so innovative and bold and that inspired me to 3D model accessories with the same aesthetic. Machines with sharp structured blades were my absolute favorite. I began fabricating with paper to get an idea of what maybe could be a bladed corset or even a neck piece. That strong and structured shape just gave me endless ideas of what I could create for each look.

Once I had my idea down, I needed a body to 3D model from in order to get the right shapes and curves. I 3D scanned a dress form with 123D catch. I then imported the form into Meshmixer. This is where I would sculpt my sloppers to make sure the contours would reflect to the body. Once I had my ideal shape, I imported the surfaces into Rhino and began 3D modeling. I would 3D print half scale prototypes to make sure the design and thickness were meeting my standards. From there after several more hours, long nights, and computer screen scans, I submitted my work to Shapeways and the magic happened.

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The combination of engineering and fashion is intriguing. What was your experience bringing these two worlds together?
I really believe the aesthetics of fashion and engineering are quite similar. Material and function are very important in both subjects. An engineer has the responsibility to come up with how to make an object do its functions. A technical designer is handed a design and it is our job to figure out how to make it and bring it to life being both wearable and working. Engineering and fashion are both very important because we use these subjects every single day in our lives. It takes so much concentration, work, and determination to pursue these careers that both an engineer and designer have grown to live with eyes for details.

I really enjoyed using engineering as my muse for this collection. It made me look and think in different ways. Taking this inspiration really gave me the opportunity to try nontraditional textiles and incorporate 3D printing. I do see myself exploring more type of engineering aspects and I am sure they will continue to inspire me.

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How did you learn to design in 3D?
I’ve always loved to work with my hands and I knew that when I decided to make Sculpture my minor back at SCAD, it was going to benefit me in my fashion career. You see, the most successful way for me to come up with designs or to get inspired would always start by working in 3D. Once I knew what direction I wanted to take, I would translate the design to a more descriptive 2D work, then end up with a physical 3D object and/or design. The great thing is that that process works similar in sculpture. It was very exciting to know that I was going to get the chance to learn 3D modeling because of my minor. I was determined to learn 3D modeling and incorporate it into my first collection as a designer. I wanted to be that bold designer who would add something completely unique and different into their designs. However I really did not know a thing about Rhino or any 3D sculpting program. I had taken the beginner 3D modeling class and learned the basics of Rhino. At first Rhino intimidated me, but with practice I became way more comfortable and confident with the program. I got so use to modeling in Rhino that every little thing I saw, I would tell myself that I could easily 3D model it. It was a really cool feeling, because most fashion designers really don’t go through that.

Do you have a preferred modeling software?
I love Rhino. You can always learn something new whenever you 3D model something. So many techniques to learn, and the fact that you can design whatever you want is pretty awesome. I’m all about details. I have learned Grasshopper, but I would much rather spend the time on and hand-build the details with Rhino. It can be tedious, and it really works your eye for detail, but there is no greater feeling to know that you have created something that does not exist anywhere else.

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Who are some of your favorite designers and artists? Shapeways designers?
Iris van Herpen really was my attention starter to create such innovative and interesting designs. She never has a collection that is like the other in any other way. She is the type of designer to constantly show something new and give people something to talk about. Her works are walking pieces of art and the materials and concept behind them are always what makes me appreciate her designs even more. I admire many other designers for a variety of reasons. Maxime Simoens, Krikor Jabotian, Ralph Lauren, Addy van den Krommenacker – just to name a few.

I really admire Auguste Rodin and his attention to detail and emotion in his works of art. He tells stories and encourages his viewer to physically relate to his works of art. Vladimir Tatlin is another artist and designer I have really grown to appreciate. He is a painter and architect with an interesting background and story. I really admire his architecture and how he made such an influence in art and design.

Lauren Slowik has been pretty awesome. I met her at the Computational Fashion Master class last summer and she was just so cool to be around and learn from her. She has stayed in contact with me throughout this year and has advised me with terms of how I should print in Shapeways. I am really grateful that I got to meet Lauren….thanks so much again Lauren!!!


What opportunities do you believe 3D printing brings to art and fashion?
3D modeling and printing can benefit anyone. Artists, designers, doctors, teachers, even kids can benefit by learning this skill. With 3D modeling you are ALWAYS learning new things such as: new ways of problem solving, creative thinking, and general knowledge overall. It gives a clear 360 view on anything. Not just physically but also functionally to. Fashion is going to continue to benefit from this because it is building up way more creative ideas and designs in the industry.  I am serious when I tell people that I really see 3D modeling and printing changing the world and I am excited to actually be a part of that.

Is 3D printing being used in the fashion industry?
I believe it is getting to a point that most designers today are considering incorporating 3D printing, especially now that you can even 3D print in gold, titanium, and other unique materials. The creativity is endless! However, I think the new up and coming designers are really taking action with fashion technology. As 3D printers become more affordable and accessible, I think every designer should have a 3D printer in the work room.

I was so proud to see Karl Lagerfield bring 3D printing down the runway in Chanel’s fashion show this summer. He understands the beauty and elegance in 3D printing fashion and it was all executed just right. As fashion week comes up, I can’t wait to see who is next to use 3D printing. The cool thing is that each designer who will 3D print is going to make it different from the other and that is the best part about this technology.

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What were some of the most important steps during the design process?
The Computational Fashion Master class was the best decision I made in this whole experience. I got to learn from designers and instructors in the industry of 3D design. I met so many people who made a mark in the 3D design world that became very inspiring to me. I learned the whole process of what it is like to really 3D print fashion. I got to interact with other artists, designers and leaders at Shapeways. I always recommend that workshop to those who want to start learning 3D fashion. At the end of the class each team presented a 3D printed garment in an exhibition during fashion week last fall. I was even more thrilled to find out that my teams design was later shown in Dutch Design week in October 2014!

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Were you met with any difficulties during the production process?
I honestly could write an entire book from my whole experience of senior collection. To design, pattern make, drape, and sew a collection by yourself is already the most overwhelming thing to do. Aside from constantly working in the sewing lab, I had to 3D model my pieces and accessories. It really took drive and passion for me to do everything. To 3D model such complex pieces is not easy and it requires extreme hours to get things done right. I would have all these amazing ideas but in the end it’s about figuring out how you are going to make it happen. It’s not fun to 3D model something so beautiful just to find out in the end you have an odd number of naked edges. Not fun at all! It happens of course, but again you learn as you go and begin to learn steps on how to rebuild surfaces and make a clear more definition of your solids.

Production for me was all about deadlines. Senior collection at SCAD is insanely tough with it only being a quarter system. I was so committed to my collection, because the inspiration and work put into my designs meant the world to me. It was the most challenging year of my life, but the experience was something I will cherish forever. That second I would put my 3D prints on my models I knew I was capable to be whoever I wanted to be and at that moment I knew I had accomplished way more than I ever thought I could. Till this day I can still remember that very moment I saw my gown walk with my 3D prints down the runway at SCAD. It is a memory that will never get old for me to replay again and again.

Can we expect more 3D printed garments from you?
Oh yes! My senior thesis collection was only the beginning. I continue to design 3D printed fashion outside my day job. I love it so much and I am already planning what to 3D model in both garments and accessories. I have more ideas up my sleeve so just stay tuned!

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For more with Hintum:

If you are in the New York area, you can find her work and the work of other 3D modelers displayed at the eyebeam exhibition, Making Patterns. This exhibition is open until the 17th of September and is located at 117 Beekman Street, Manhattan, NY.
For more information:

To take a look inside the artist’s vision and process, you can follow her on Instagram @andreavanhintum or on her website at

In the near future, you will be able to purchase Hintum’s designs through Shapeways. Many of her designs will focus on handbags and other accessories.

Photographer/ Wes Graham
Photo Editor/ Jose Gallo

NVM Design uses 3D scanning & 3D printing to create jaw-dropping, luxe jewelry

Posted by in Fashion
Photo courtesy of NVM Design.

Photo courtesy of NVM Design.

NVM Design is melding traditional craftsmanship with 3D printing to redefine what’s possible, and the results are beautiful. Founded by Allegra Crespi and Martin Griswold (of Shapeways shop Quantitative Design), NVM creates jewelry using printers and 3D scanners to create forms that would have been impossible to create with traditional methods. Every piece is 3D printed, then hand finished by local artisans in New York City.

For their first collection, Allegra and Martin used lichen, a dry moss which grows on trees and stone, as their core inspiration. Allegra explained, “We gathered the actual lichen from Cold Spring, NY and adapted it to many of our pieces after scanning it and then digitally manipulating it to meet our vision. Our second element is a ‘crystal’ texture we generate with a computer algorithm that replicates, adjusts, and places individual cubes to create a cohesive look.” The textures are incredibly distinct, and achieved without using gems or stones.

Allegra and Martin in their studio. Photo courtesy of NVM Design.

Allegra and Martin in their studio. Photo courtesy of NVM Design.

We sat down with Allegra and Martin to learn more about their process and inspiration.

Can you describe the process you used to make the products, in particular the technology you used? 

Our first collection uses a lot of texture, and we used new technology to help us explore that in a way that would have been hard to do otherwise. 3D scanning and algorithmic 3D modeling helped us generate and modify complicated textures, and 3D printing enabled us to produce it once we had the digital model.

We produced the lichen on our pieces by 3D scanning an actual piece of lichen that we took from the forest in upstate NY, which we then digitally modified and incorporated into the pieces. We made the crystal texture with the help of python scripting in Rhino, programming thousands of operations that ran automatically based on a set of rules that we controlled. This let us explore a lot of different versions of the crystal texture until we got it just right, without having to manually compose each one.

3D Printed Jewelry

3D render for the first collection. Photo courtesy of NVM Design.

How do you balance artisanal and digital methods?

Both of us came to jewelry with very limited knowledge of how it’s made or how to make it, so we did our best to fill in the gaps by learning a lot from jewelers.

At the same time our lack of institutional knowledge proved to be so liberating. We began looking at 3D printing and other technology as the solution to most of the jewelry-related obstacles we’d encounter. We ended up taking the best of what we learned from jewelers and using new tech to rebuild it, adapt it, or simply suit it to our needs. Some of it worked, some didn’t, but we came to relish the learning process and the balance we struck between the two.

Photo courtesy of NVM Design.

Photo courtesy of NVM Design.

What materials did you 3D print in?

We produce our pieces by 3D printing in wax, and then casting those wax patterns into 14k yellow or rose gold and silver. We’ve also gotten a lot of use out of 3D printing through Shapeways in White, Strong & Flexible for early prototypes.

How did 3D printing fit into your creative process? Did it help you iterate more quickly?

Our company is based on the premise of exploration and collaboration, which extends to both the conceptual and practical elements of our work. As we developed on our creative themes, we settled on our technical outlets. Our use of 3D printing extends past the final product- we use it throughout our process: to make prototypes early on, to communicate ideas with our suppliers, and to make customized tools that help with assembly.

3D Printed Jewelry

Photo courtesy of NVM Design.

Blown away? We are! Follow their amazing work and process on Instagram. Orders can be make on

Coco Rocha & Sebring Studio Bring 1,000 Poses to Life in “Study of Pose,” and in 3D with Shapeways

Supermodel Coco Rocha is not only fashion forward, she’s tech forward. And in her latest innovative feat, she collaborated with world renowned photographer Steven Sebring on Study of PoseThe book is an incredible 2,032-page volume of 1,000 unique poses that celebrates the beauty and versatility of the human form.  Each pose is captured from 100 different angles on Steven’s experimental 360 degree “rig.”

Study of Pose hardcover and iPad app, alongside 3D prints from Shapeways. Image credit to Steven Sebring Studio.

In the book’s forward, Steven Sebring explains, “I wanted to document the fluid, ever-changing beauty of the ever-flexible human form…I had always planned on shooting the one thousand images with just one camera and one model.”

If the book were not dynamic enough, Coco and Steven brought the book to life with 3D printing. Because the rig took photos at 100 different angles, those photos were easily stitched together into 3D models.

3D prints of Coco Rocha printed by Shapeways. Image credit to Steven Sebring Studio.

3D print of Coco Rocha alongside image from Study of Pose. Image credit to Steven Sebring Studio.

Coco Rocha explains, “A few years back I got to personally tour Shapeways facilities in Long Island and see their capabilities. To be honest I’ve been itching to find a way to work with them ever since! When we were in the process of creating a whole exhibition around my new book with Steven Sebring, ‘Study Of Pose,’ we realized that the data we had from the 360 degree poses could easily allow us to create fully formed 3D renderings of all 1,000 poses in the book. That’s when the proverbial light bulb went off and we took our idea directly to Shapeways. Seeing those images from the book come to life in tangible three dimensions was so amazing for me, and it proved to be a great source of conversation at the art exhibit we had at Milk Gallery. We are talking about making ‘Study Of Pose’ book ends, candelabras, toy solders… the sky is the limit with a partner like Shapeways!”

Coco Rocha visiting the Shapeways factory in 2013.

The book is on display at Milk Gallery in New York until December 21st, where you can see gorgeous images from the book as well as interpretations of Study of Pose by local artists. You’ll also find our collaboration with Coco and Steven, a display of 500 3D prints of Coco’s form.

Congratulations to Steven Sebring, Coco Rocha and the whole team on bringing this idea to life!

3D prints of Coco Rocha by Shapeways. Image Credit to Zlatko Batistich | Milk Made

3D prints of Coco Rocha by Shapeways. Image Credit to Zlatko Batistich | Milk Made

3D prints of Coco Rocha by Shapeways. Image Credit to Zlatko Batistich | Milk Made

3D prints of Coco Rocha by Shapeways. Image Credit to Zlatko Batistich | Milk Made

3D prints of Coco Rocha by Shapeways. Image Credit to Zlatko Batistich | Milk Made

Study of Pose exhibit at Milk Gallery. Image Credit to Zlatko Batistich | Milk Made

Study of Pose exhibit at Milk Gallery. Image Credit to Zlatko Batistich | Milk Made

Study of Pose exhibit at Milk Gallery. Image Credit to Zlatko Batistich | Milk Made

Study of Pose exhibit at Milk Gallery. Image Credit to Zlatko Batistich | Milk Made

Study of Pose exhibit at Milk Gallery. Image Credit to Zlatko Batistich | Milk Made

Study of Pose exhibit at Milk Gallery. Image Credit to Zlatko Batistich | Milk Made

Nervous System Creates Kinematics Dress 3D Printed by Shapeways & Acquired by MoMA

Today we are excited to unveil an amazing dress designed by Nervous System and 3D printed at our New York City factory. Using Kinematics – Nervous System’s 4D printing system that creates complex, foldable forms composed of modules – designers Jessica Rosenkrantz and Jesse Louis-Rosenberg created a completely wearable dress that prints in one single folded piece. It is made of thousands of panels connected by hinge joints and fluidly folds and conforms to the body as it is worn. Both the dress and Kinematics software have been acquired by the Museum of Modern Art for their permanent collection.

We’ve been working closely with Nervous System since 2009. They have been instrumental in showing the world the potential of 3D printing with their beautiful designs, and in helping us push the limits of our production capabilities and design guidelines. This dress definitely pushes the limits of what’s possible today. Given the file size and complexity, our 3D printing engineers worked with Jessica and Jesse to plan the build and closely check for printability before it went into production. The dress, while folded, is still a relatively large print and required a longer build time than our normal production process (44 hours!)…so we really only had one shot.

Our CEO Pete likes to say, shoot for the stars and you’ll reach the moon. In this case, we definitely reached the stars. Congrats to Jessica and Jesse. You guys have thrown down the gauntlet in what’s possible with 3D printing.


Kinematics Dress in motion. Image courtesy of Nervous System

We spoke with Jessica to hear more about the inspiration behind this dress and what she thinks the future of 3D printed fashion is…

How did the Kinematics Dress come about?

We first prototyped the idea for Kinematics on our Makerbot as a way to print something flat that could become three dimensional and wearable. We loved the materiality and movement of the hinged triangular components. Our first thought was that it would be amazing to produce something larger, like an entire dress, with this system on our little desktop printer. We quickly realized that making an entire dress out of tons unique 8” panels that would have to be flattened for printing and then assembled was crazy. There would be more work in the design process to panelize the dress and lots of manual labor to put it together. So we flipped the idea on its head. Instead of using the flexibility of the design to make something three dimensional that is produced flat, we simulate the movement in the computer to take something very large and 3D and make it flatter and more compact, so it can be 3D printed in one piece.

What was your inspiration?

This project really started from the limitations and opportunities of 3D printing. We were thinking about how we could harness the ability of 3D printers to make interlocking parts and very complex structures to create customized wearables.

In general, all our work is inspired by how patterns and forms emerge in nature. We take a systems approach to design. We don’t craft individual objects; instead, we create architectures for growing, sculpting or generating whole families of designs. For this project, we were more interested in designing a process and material than a garment.

In terms of other garments, we were definitely influenced by Janne Kyttanen and Jiri Evenhuis’s 3D printed chainmail dress. It set the standard for 3D printed garments not only by being the first but also by being one of the only ones that appears wearable and textile-like in its construction. If we were going to create a dress it was certainly going to a durable, comfortable, wearable piece. We were also inspired by the work of Issey Miyake, which often explores folding and structure in fashion.

nervous system 3d printed dress

An x-ray view rendering showing the hinges which structure a Kinematics design. Image courtesy of Nervous System

What are the benefits of the Kinematics approach versus traditional modeling?

Kinematics represents a new approach to manufacturing, which tightly integrates design, simulation, and digital fabrication to create complex, customized products. Our approach is completely different from traditional modeling and CAD software. The whole system is built up around the logic of a mechanism, in this case a hinge, which has been optimized for 3D printing and whose behavior we can simulate. Users interact with kinematics at a high level through an online design tool that lets them sculpt clothing shapes and “paint on” density and styles. Meanwhile, in the background the system is taking care of generating and connecting together all the geometry with our hinge mechanism. At the end of the design process, we have a 3D-printable piece of clothing made of thousands of panels interconnected by hinges. Rather than just ending up with big heavy file containing a bunch of “dumb” geometry, we end up with a smart structure that we understand as rigid panels connected by hinges. Because we understand the behavior of the geometry, we can use simulation to compress it down for efficient 3D printing.


Kinematics Dress. Image courtesy of Nervous System

What do you see for the future of 3D printing in clothing and fabrics?

We are particularly intrigued by how 3D printing applies to clothing in two areas: new meta-fabrics and customization.

Additive manufacturing has to ability to create very complex structures. In the world of clothing and fabrics, this is particularly intriguing because we are already talking about constructed materials. Fabrics produced from fibers that are aggregated and connected to create cloth with certain properties. For instance, knit cotton has stretch and woven cotton does not. Typically these material properties are constant throughout a whole piece of fabric. With 3D printing, we can start to create really weird fabric-like assemblages or mashups. We can print a textiles with gradations of material properties like stretch, flex, warmth, color, etc.

3D printing also favors the production of hyper-customized, one of a kind goods. We will see more apps like Kinematics that create custom-fit clothing and accessories from body data.

How does this fit into your broader collection?

Nervous System’s goal is to use computation and new fabrication techniques to make products that push the boundaries of what is possible. Most of our work starts with an inspiration from nature that eventually is translated into some sort of digitally fabricated, customized product. In this project, we actually started on the other end, being inspired by the technology itself and ultimately creating our own material system and form generating process.


Kinematics Dress. Image courtesy of Nervous System

How did MoMA get involved?

We met Paula Antonelli, the Senior Curator of Architecture & Design of the Museum of Modern Art, at an event this year where were demoing an early version of Kinematics Cloth app and displaying our Kinematics Bodice. She expressed interest in acquiring a Kinematics Dress for the MoMA collection… the only problem was we hadn’t made one yet. There were actually a number of design and technological hurdles we had to overcome before we could make a full dress. Even up to the last moment, just days before they needed it, we weren’t sure we would be able to deliver their final piece.

What’s next for Kinematics?

There are a lot of possible directions for Kinematics including new products, improved software and incorporating different mechanisms and structures. We’re doing more material experiments to explore how different types of connections can lead to different fabric behaviors. There are also still many improvements we can make to our folding algorithm to increase speed, accuracy and generality for other shapes. Another avenue we’d like to explore is creating a locking joint that would allow us to print a folded object that would snap into a rigid configuration when unfolded.

Best Gifts for Your Stylish Friends

Looking for the perfect gift for that stylish friend of yours? It can be nerve-wracking to find something original that’s also perfect. Luckily the Shapeways community is full of amazing designers who have created some super unique pieces for both fashionistas and those stylish men in your life. Check out some of our favorites below!

Statement Rings

Statement rings are for just that – to make a statement. That could mean super big, like showing your New York pride with the Brooklyn Bridge Two Finger. But they can also just make a funky statement, like the Lines Ring, for something different but subtle. Head over to our rings section and Women’s Jewelry section of the Gift Guide to browse more.


Lines Ring by geekprints, Brooklyn Bridge Two Finger by RandallStein, and The “Rule” Ring by TheRogueAndTheWolf.

Customizable Pendants

Monograms are in. They’re classic and personal. Designer zazzy has created a lovely design that’s made it super easy to get your own monogram pendant in a fun font; perfect for everyday wear.


Men’s Jewelry

Guys like bling, too! Cufflinks and tie clips are easy, but there are also some amazing pendants, rings, and more from our designers for the guys who like to accessorize.


Top row: Easy Rider Skull Pendant by UrbanoRodriguez, Anchor Charm by Target, Dodecahedron by vertigopolka. Center row: Skull Ring by bitstoatoms, 3D Printed Lion Ring Bottle Opener by kspaho, Tool Ring XII by Tofty. Bottom row: Skull Cufflink by JulienLePocher, Cufflinks of Success by clipart, Lieutenant Bar Cufflinks by bluelinegecko.

These are just some ideas to get you started! Browse Jewelry for all designs, and the Women’s Jewelry & Men’s Accessories section of the Gift Guide for even more stunning pieces. Happy shopping!

Getting Personal with Men’s Accessories

Check out this fun video for a few examples of products you can customize with your own personal touch!

Have some fun with the products you saw in the video.

Micro car - Micro car with open doors and turning wheels by DavidSun is not, in fact, a customizable product. It does, however, print with moving wheels and doors that can open and close, which is just as neat.

Add iPhone 4s Card Case by QuentinT


This phone case is customizable in two ways! Add your name or text. Take it to the next level with a fun DIY project by painting your case.

YO, URCustom cufflinks by byShapeways 


Cufflinks are such a great item to personalize. For men’s accessories, you can’t get much custom than this!

PersonalCustom bottle opener by MarcHeusdens. Because who doesn’t want their very own bottle opener?

PersonalMessage Cuff by designerica

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Steel makes for great men’s jewelry, with a more sturdy and rugged look. A bracelet with some custom text is the perfect gift for the guys who like to accessorize.

TCustom wax seal 3/4″ by Lightbringerouch Sheriffs Star (6 point) Pet tag/Pendant/Key fob by BluelinegeckoWI, THCufflinks Personalized with Your Initials by michiel_willemse

3DName night light by Heng


Super fun idea, specifically great for 3D printing. Our White Strong & Flexible plastic is perfect for creating hollow objects that are transformed with just a few lights. Make it special for the holidays, or a unique nightlight for your kid’s bedroom.

P, RKeychain with letter by Astraris. Brag about your 3D print while reaching for your keychain; you’ll never mistake your keys again!

INTiPhone Charger Name Tag by kenan_godfrey


We all have those friends who “borrow” our chargers. Never worry about a stolen or misplaced charger again, thanks this handy sleeve!

INGKey Sleeve by Daphne. You have keys to your house, your friend’s house, your car, mail, work, and probably a few that you’ve forgotten what they’re for. Keep organized with a key sleeve that tells you which one is which!

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There are so many ways 3D printing can help you create products just for you. The Shapeways marketplace is full of creative minds who are making products easy for you to customize with the click of a button. Check out our DIY page for more ideas of how to get what you really want.

Time-IT Watch: How 3D printing can drive innovation in wearable tech

Posted by in Fashion

Time-IT watch has produced a new watch series using Shapeways to print the watch cases in bronze. I talked with Ramon Groen, the company’s founder, about his company and how 3D printing is helping to push the boundaries of product development and wearable tech.

3D printed watch, wearable tech

Please introduce yourself. What is your background and what inspired you to create Time-IT watch?

My name is Ramon Groen and I have been entrepreneurial since the start of the new millennium. I made career at a former Philips division and in 2004 I founded my own company, TIME-IT watch. We had the idea of creating a watch never seen before – a LED display with linear time reading system that we hoped could change perception of time. TIME-IT watch company ( specializes in designer LED watches even received a design award in Paris in 2006. I’m proud to say that TIME-IT is one of the mayor players in the niche market for designer LED watches worldwide.

What was your design and iteration process like?

When we started the company we had to start from scratch. We had to build a non-existing technology and it took us lots and lots time to send samples back and forth to one another. It was an intense iteration process and took about two years to have our first watch ready that worked really well.

3D printed watch wearable tech

Limited edition watch with cover printed by Shapeways

How did 3D printing enable you to bring this idea to life?

We always want to experiment with new designs, techniques and materials. Based on our experience in the development and production of watches and having acces to a 3d printer we decided to make some prototypes just around the corner of our office in Amsterdam. We got so excited with the outcome and were surprised with the speed of this new design and iteration proces that we decided to send a 3d]D design to Shapeways to see how a high quality 3D print would look and whether it would be good enough to use as end product. The result was mind blowing! We decided to launch our first limited watch series of 200 watches with the case printed in in bronze metal by Shapeways.

In your opinion, how do you feel 3D printing is enabling and empowering product designers?

I think 3d printing is the future for product designers. it’s a great way to get to the best design in a short time, no expensive moulds or tooling is needed, practically you make a product at ‘no cost.’

Want to find more wearable tech? Check out other innovative accessories and gadgets printed with Shapeways!

Shop Owner Bootcamp: The Importance of Taking Photos of 3D Printed Products

Shop Owner Bootcamp is a 10 week series aimed to help Shop Owners prepare for holiday. Week 9 is focused on product photography and the importance thereof.

Have you been thinking about taking photos of your products but been making excuses for why you don’t need to? Keeping your shop up is no easy task, but a little effort upfront leads to significantly greater sales. If sales aren’t enough, we are constantly looking for great models to feature on Shapeways and promote through our press and media opportunities. Most publications won’t print renders, and there is nothing more disappointing than not being able to feature a Shop Owner because we don’t have any photos of their great products. Plus, photos help build your reputation too, as Vijay discussed last week.dragonfly-shapeways-paul-liaw

I was a very late adopter of iPhoneography, despite having been a smartphone user for nearly a decade. Admittedly, I’m not sure I would have felt 100% genuine telling you to shoot your holiday collection on your phone before last week. Paul Liaw, the designer behind NeoNouveau is a legend; an award winning digital artist, a Adobe showcased 3D Printing designer, and is this week’s Shop Owner mentor. When not 3D modeling, he brings the lucky community team at Shapeways cheesecake!


This week’s challenge is to take photos. Products that have sold, sell 10x more when they are photographed. It is impossible to stress enough how much photos can make a difference in your sales. Use these quick tips to make your products sing:

  • Use a single tone background – while white is classic, any solid color can do. Don’t have a plain table or desk? Lay down some 2D Printer Paper or a bed sheet. It’s amazing how far you can get with resources around the house.paul-bracelet-alligator
  • Stabilize your camera or smartphone; books, tables and trees work in a pinch – the easiest way to screw up a great shot is to blur it. I always shoot products here at HQ on our white Ikea desks, with my iPhone in landscape mode, resting on the table.
  • Shoot multiple angles – without the ability hold your product in their hands, customers want to see every angle. Pretend you’re taking it out of the Shapeways box for the first time and capture the angles you examined first. Even if you feel silly taking the photo, it could be the one that makes the sale. No need to hold back with the shutter, thanks to our smartphones, a tap is all it takes to discard extras. Paul-Liaw-Fish-Side-Shapeways
  • Always shoot in landscape – our product photos are 625 x 465 and its much easier to crop them when you’re shooting horizontal. In fact, if you’re shooting in landscape, you’re likely already framing your products in this ratio.
  • Show Scale – The average consumer can’t visualize millimeters the way we all can. People, pets, currency, common household items, even fingers cad add crucial context for your
  • Tag materials in your photos – this is the easiest way to set customer expectations. When the material in the image matches the swatch the price reflects, the anxiety surrounding a first time buy is eased. It’s easy to forget this important step; and yet we see it convert to sales, and with material filters, it really helps surface your great products. Click the camera icon in the upper right hand of your product photos to check and set the material tagged in each.
  • Compare Materials and Finishes - Not everyone is as familiar with our materials as we are, showing the difference makes a difference. For example, here are Raw Brass (top) and Raw Bronze (bottom) version’s of NeoN0uveau‘s wheat bracelet. Paul-Liaw-Wheat-Bracelet-Shapeways
  • Have fun! Customers will be drawn to your personalities and you can tell a lot about yourself and your brand through your photos. We encourage you to upload as many photos as you want, invite friends over and get creative with your product shoot.

What’s the greatest barrier between you and great photographs? How can we help?

Win 3D Printed Jewelry from Shapeways

Calling all jewelry lovers! We’ve teamed up with some of our wonderful designers to host not one but two contests this month.

Daily Facebook Giveaway:

We are giving away 10 amazing pieces of jewelry on Facebook! Visit our Facebook page each weekday through the end of September for a chance to win. We want to spread the word about our incredible designers, so all we’re asking is that you “like” our posts. Check back each day to see the newest giveaway!

Pin Your Favorite Jewelry on Pinterest:

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Our designers are getting ready for fall and the holidays, so we want to see what inspires you for the season. Pin your favorite fall jewelry from Shapeways and beyond for a chance to win $500 of your Shapeways picks!

How to enter:
  1. Create a Pinterest Board titled “Fall Finds”

  2. Pin at least 10 fall flavored accessories by September 30, 2014

    • At least 5 must be Shapeways products (your prize, if you win!)

    • Tag each pin #ShapewaysJewelryContest


Five (5) winners will be selected! Winners will receive their Shapeways pinned products, up to $500 in value. If you pin more than $500 of Shapeways products, we will work with you to select your prize products.

Don’t know where to start? Check out some of our favorite 3D printed jewelry in gold, sterling silver, stainless steel, and even colorful nylon plastic.

3D Printed Rings


Repeat Offfender Logo Ring by RepeatOfffender. See more unique rings in Gold, Sterling Silver, or Gold Plated Brass.

3D Printed Pendants


Silver Shell Pendant by aeron203. See more unique pendants in Sterling Silver, Gold Plated Brass, or Stainless Steel.

3D Printed Bracelets


Lines Bracelet by geekprints. See more unique bracelets in Sterling Silver, Gold Plated Brass, Stainless Steel, or Nylon Plastic.

3D Printed Earrings


Pinwheel Earrings by JoyComplex. See more unique 3D printed earrings.

3D Printed Cufflinks


Lieutenant Bar Cufflinks by bluelinegecko. See more unique 3D printed cufflinks.

3D Printed Necklaces


‘Flourish’ Pendant by seanmcharg. See more unique 3D printed necklaces.

The Fine Print: If your Shapeways products cannot be successfully 3D printed, we will work with you to select alternative prize products. Shapeways employees and their families are not eligible to win. Contests end September 30, 2014.

Conversation with Jodi Slater on Her New Collection of 3D Printed Accessories for Fitbit and Jawbone

3D printed jewelry for Fitbit and Jawbone

Bytten accessories for Jawbone and Fitbit. Photo Credit: Carly Gaebe – Steadfast Studios

Jodi Slater is no tech novice. She started her career as a programmer, including some work  on the original Tron, helped design the user interface for the first wireless Palm Pilot, and has since advised countless companies on user experience and new media.

The very talented Slater is now turning her attention to her fitness tracker, an accessory that she feels could use a facelift. Her new adventure, Bytten, sits at the intersection of fashion and technology and includes a line of beautiful 3D printed accessories for Jawbone & Fitbit. After reading this Q&A, we advise you to #getbytten.

What is the inspiration for Bytten?

Bytten was born out of a personal need – my Fitbit was not making the cut when I tried to style it with my other jewelry. I wanted to be able to wear it all the time, not just when I was working out. I had been tracking the wearable tech fashion ‘phenom’ and was and still am very excited about all the innovation that is percolating in that space. I decided to develop a line of accessories for existing fitness trackers as a way to solve an immediate need and to start building a brand. The Lucas Slide is our first collection for Fitbit Flex and Jawbone UP. It is available in Brass, Silver, Gold, and 9 colors of Strong & Flexible Plastic (thank you Shapeways!).

3D printed jewelry for Fitbit and Jawbone

Bytten accessory for Jawbone. Photo Credit: Carly Gaebe – Steadfast Studios

Who’s behind the beautiful products?

Lucas Goossens is the designer behind our first collection. He is incredibly creative, a beautiful person – inside and out, and I am so grateful that Carine [Carmy from Shapeways] introduced me to him! The design incorporates elements from Lucas’ pixel style and includes his signature plus sign ‘+’ to represent positivity. We hope you love it as much as we do.

3D printed jewelry for Fitbit and Jawbone

Bytten accessory for Fitbit, worn by Lucas Goossens. Photo Credit: Carly Gaebe – Steadfast Studios

What’s your background? How did you get into product design?

I have always been into technology and art / design. I feel lucky to have found a career that I am passionate about and have been involved in from the start (and I mean *start* – you have no idea – there were punchcards in my life). I started out as a programmer in the computer animation and graphics field during the first release of the movie Tron, ahem. It has all evolved from there. Oh, and my color software was at the Guggenheim as part of a Josef Albers retrospective. #proudmoment

What’s your most coveted fashion accessory for fall?

I have been obsessed with gold temporary tattoos this summer… and although I am having a hard time moving onto fall, there are three things I am excited about – GREEN #favoritecolor. Boys shoes for girls, and chic leather backpacks.

What’s next for Bytten?

Let me say that there is no shortage of ideas swirling around at Bytten. We are working on an exciting new collection with Jaclyn Mayer of OGJM, Lucas is working on a Matisse inspired design, and we are working on some oft-requested customization (which after all is what 3D printing is really good at – bespoke production) and there will definitely be some smart jewelry in our future.

3D printed jewelry for Fitbit and Jawbone

Bytten accessory for Jawbone. Photo Credit: Carly Gaebe – Steadfast Studios


Looking for other 3D printed fashion? Check out some of our favorite custom rings, necklaces and bracelets… Or create your own!

Karlie Kloss and her Epic 3D Printing Fashion Journey with Vogue

Shapeways partnered with Vogue to send Karlie Kloss around the world, as a 3D print, from a 3D scan by Direct Dimensions.

The playful project to send Karlie Kloss around the world as a 3D print is another example of the fashion world recognizing the value of 3D printing, even if it is not to make a garment or an accessory.  With projects like the Dita Von Teese Gown and the Victoria’s Secret Angel Wings, we worked with designers to push the current 3D Printing materials to the absolute limits.  This project is a more lighthearted step in the direction of exploring how 3D scanning and 3D printing can be used to document a person, object or place, to then explore the form in 3 dimensions, to print as is, or to modify and/or enhance.

karlie kloss 3D print by Shapeways and Vogue

The american supermodel was 3D scanned in a number of classic outfits, and playful poses by Direct Dimensions’ 20 foot diameter booth with over 100 cameras firing simultaneously to capture the raw data to 3D print.  3D technicians then painstakingly prepared the 3D point clouds so that Shapeways could 3D print the 6 inch high figurines in our Full Color Sandstone material in our New York factory, you can see footage of the print process in the video below..

The 3D prints were then sent to exotic locations around the world to be photographed by fashion photographers in each locale, you may see a few on instagram with the hastag #whereskarlie.

Karlie Kloss’s 3D Print Shapeways Vogue Screen Shot 2014-09-03 at 2.49.02 PM Screen Shot 2014-09-03 at 2.48.34 PM Screen Shot 2014-09-03 at 2.48.19 PMFor more images of Karlie in the wild, check out the gallery on along with the article on the project and a behind the scenes look at the 3D scanning process.