Category Archives: Events

#Winning at AdeptiCon

Eleven D20 at #adepticon #adepticon2017

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As you may have noticed via all our social posts, the team and I spent last weekend in Schaumburg, Illinois for AdeptiCon, one of the leading wargaming conventions in North America. It was my first time going, so I didn’t know quite what to expect, but the weekend turned out to be chock-full of adventures and friends.

Our trip kicked off with an evening Games Workshop studio preview where we had the opportunity to get a sneak peek at what the team has planned for the upcoming year. We’re not big on #spoilers but they announced the rollout of a new game called Shadespire and discussed ways in which they were going to become more community-focused, even adding tools created by fans to their site. All of the updates were received with hearty cheers, so they’re all things fans seem to be particularly excited about.

The next day the convention opened, where Andrew, community member Matt from Pop Goes the Monkey, and I manned the Shapeways booth. It was exciting to see all of the prep we’d done for the convention ready and in use. The terrain displays looked incredible (more on that in a future post!) and it was great being able to speak with everyone from existing Shapeways customers to people who hadn’t yet heard about us. Giving people the opportunity to see the bits Matt had designed in real life was exciting because it’s the ultimate “ah-ha” moment that you don’t necessary have when looking at something online. Seeing people astounded at the quality of the prints was definitely one of my favorite parts of the convention.

As for the second part of our crafting day, my cosplay also fit right in —  I even found some cosplay twins at the Eagle Ordinary booth! It’s always inspiring to see the ways in which other people create their cosplay. It was a good reminder that there’s always so much room for improvement!

#AdeptiCon was #Cosplay

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We also had a great time interviewing some of the cosplayers around the convention  including Christine Yoo Millar who was dressed as a Sister of Battle to match her army. Her armor was comprised of foam and 3D printed PLA embellishments — from symbols like the Fleur-de-Lis to her intricate high heels! While Christine has made 34 costumes, she’d never won a contest (which is BANANAS) so we were beyond thrilled to witness her winning Best In Show at Adepticon 2017’s cosplay contest.

Also of note were the orc rock band called Da Gof Rockerz who were kind enough to enquire if I “wanted to be killed” when I requested a photo with them. Apparently they actually play gigs, so keeping my fingers crossed that I’m able to catch one of their shows soon.

Your girl’s at #AdeptiCon, in #cosplay, hanging with orcs.

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Throughout the convention, Andrew and Matt also had the opportunity to sit down for some podcast recordings with the BeerThralls team, Forge the Narrative, and Combat Phase. We also had a chance to hang out with some other great folks like Uncle Atom of Tabletop Minions, Teri from ThatTeriGirl and Mark Z of Dice Tower.

For more in-depth coverage of AdeptiCon, we’d suggest reading the recaps written by our new friends over at SpikeyBits!

Have I mentioned how excited I am for next year?

cosplay adepticon

Exploring Dutch Comic Con

Last weekend saw the second edition of Dutch Comic Con. Hundreds of people gathered in Jaarbeurs Utrecht for cosplay, meeting actors and writers, and finding the best merchandise from the franchises they love.

Having visited Comic Con in Dublin last year, I kind of knew what to expect. However, I wasn’t sure if the Dutch audience would be ready for the cosplay. The photo below tells a different story:

Dutch Comic Con organized a costume contest in which visitors could participate in various categories.

Amongst the exhibitors I ran into was Wayne from Wayne’s Workshop. He makes huge costumes from foam and finishes them with effects such as CO2 jets. I’d recommend checking out the tutorials on his Facebook page. While Wayne still makes all his parts by hand, I can’t wait to find out what he will unleash with 3D printing.

Former Shapeways intern Florent (owner of and Wayne next to his self-built Iron Man Starboost suit.

Many other known characters were portrayed. Here’s a roundup of what seemed to be the most-cosplayed characters last weekend:

  • Harley Quinn from Suicide Squad (spotted 6 times)
  • Link from The Legend of Zelda (spotted 5 times)
  • Daenerys Targaryen from Game of Thrones (spotted 4 times)
  • Captain Jack Sparrow from Pirates of The Carribean (spotted 4 times)
  • The Joker (based on Jared Leto’s impersonation) from Suicide Squad (spotted 4 times)
  • Lexa from The 100 (spotted 3 times)

I really enjoyed walking through the Lord of The Rings landscape filled with elves, the people of Gondor, and the Ringwraiths. Crawling over the exhibit floor and even creepier than the Nazgûl, was this girl dressed up as Samara from The Ring.

Nope, nope, NOPE.

Are you a cosplayer and planning to use or already using Shapeways for your costume? Drop a note below for a chance to be featured.

We Cosplayed at PAX East

Last weekend, Community Manager Andrew Thomas and I were in Boston, Massachusetts for PAX East 2017, the festival that’s all about gaming. It was an amazing opportunity to check out the latest and greatest in video games, tabletop, and overall hot tech trends.

I went full cosplay

To give you an idea of the scene, there were tens of thousands of people in the Boston Convention Center, dozens of panels (ranging from how-to video game creation to tips on creating the best D&D campaigns), cosplayers galore – even the signage was in character:

PAX rules

Getting pixeled

We checked out a bunch of tabletop games and booths of designers who use Shapeways for prototyping. It was pretty incredible seeing how Shapeways enabled these designers to bring their tabletop games to life, letting them physically conceptualize the games before moving toward mass production. We spent some time in particular with the Dragoon and H.E.A.D. Hunters teams — stay tuned for interviews with both.

H.E.A.D Hunters

While Andrew and I are no strangers to cosplay (trust me, just click the link), this time, I wanted to wear something that really showed the magic of 3D printing. In my quest, my knight in shining armor was Lumecluster’s Melissa Ng, who let me borrow eight pieces of her Sovereign Armor. This was enough that I could mix and match the parts to create different looks, all easy to travel with. Thanks to Melissa I, got to cosplay like the best of them (and I did – check out my dance with the Yip Yip aliens).

muppet cosplay time with @ladybuglise #paxeast #pax #paxeast2017

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On the subject of dressing to impress, Andrew and I ran into some cosplayers we’d met at 2016’s New York Comic Con. Among the friendly faces was Thomas DePetrillo of Extreme Costumes, wearing his Reinhardt cosplay from Blizzard’s Overwatch. We met Tom at Kotaku/iO9’s Cosplay Ball last year (where we scanned him). We learned some amazing things about the Reinhardt costume:

  • It measures 9’6” / 2.89m and weighs 85 pounds / 38.55 kgs.
  • It took three people working nine weeks to create it.
  • The original costume was seven feet tall, but it’s since been rebuilt four times.
  • The only parts that remain of the original are the top part of the skeleton, the upper half of the external chest, the hammer, and the feet.

Tom DePetrillo’s Reinhardt cosplay

We met another member of Tom’s Extreme Costumes team, Nick (of Squiby Props fame), and he joined us for a Facebook Live, where he shared how he used 3D printing for his Ornstein from Dark Souls cosplay. He 3D printed his mask by himself, which took a whopping 200 hours.

Nick’s Ornstein cosplay

Andrew was also interviewed during a Facebook Live with GeekMom’s Karen Walsh, who was covering PAX East. She even shouted out Shapeways as one of her favorite things at the convention!

There were so many things to see and do, we could never have done it all, but we met some amazing cosplayers— many using 3D printing in ways that blew our minds. Let us know in the comments if you use 3D printing to bring your cosplay to life.

On the floor at PAX East — until next year, Boston!


Come Meet Our Makers at the Fat Cat Fab Lab Holiday Market!

Looking for a unique, last-minute holiday gift from the most creative community in New York City? This Sunday, Shapeways is sponsoring the 2nd Annual Fat Cat Fab Lab Holiday Market and some of our favorite shop owners will be selling their unique products in person!

You can join for snacks, music and merriment on Sunday, December 11 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at  224 West 4th street, 2nd Floor, right off the Christopher Sheridan 1 & 2 MTA train stop.

fcflmarket2-01 (2)

We’ll see you there!


Celebrate 3D Printing Day With Us and Win $250!

For 3D printing fans, December 3 is basically Christmas, Hanukkah, and Thanksgiving combined. It’s a day to celebrate, welcome new makers — and show everyone how versatile, fun, and inspiring 3D printing can be. Today only, follow us on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook and reply to our #3DPrintingDay posts with what YOU want to 3D print, and include the hashtags #3DPrintingDay and #contest. You’ll be automatically entered to win one of three prizes of $250 in Shapeways credits. Every purchase you make on the site will also enter you to win. Fine print is after the jump.


Shapeways Sweepstakes Rules

  1. Eligibility. This contest is operated by Shapeways.  It is open to Shapeways users in the United States over 13 years of age at the time of entry who live in a jurisdiction that does not prohibit this contest.  Employees, officers, and directors of Shapeways and their immediate family are not eligible to enter.  Individuals may enter more than one entry into the competition but may not do so by way of automated means.  By entering this contest, you agree to be bound by these Rules.


  1. Prize. Each of the three winning entrants will receive $250 in Shapeways printing credits.


  1. Contest period. This contest is open from Dec. 3, 2016 at 12:01 a.m. US Eastern Time to Dec. 3, 2016 at 11:59 p.m. US Eastern Time.  All entries must be received by Dec. 3, 2016 at 11:59 p.m. US Eastern Time.


  1. How to Enter.  There are two ways to enter the contest.  First, you can enter the contest via Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram by replying to contest announcements tagged #3DPrintingDay with a description of what you want to 3D print and following Shapeways on the entry platform by the end of the contest period.  All public responses must include the hashtags “#contest” and “#3DPrintingDay” in order to be valid and eligible to win.  Second, you can enter the contest by completing any purchase on Shapeways during the contest period.  All purchases on Shapeways are eligible for contest entry.  Eligible participants can enter the contest multiple times.


  1. Winner Selection.  Shapeways will select the winner from the pool of applicants on Dec. 6, 2016.  There will be three total winners.  Shapeways will be prepared to award any of the three prizes to a runner-up in the event the winner cannot be contacted in a reasonable amount of time.  Shapeways will determine the winner by randomly drawing an applicant from the entire pool of applicants.


  1. Winner notification. The winners will be notified via private message to their social media account if they entered by way of that account, and by way of the email address associated with their Shapeways account if they entered by way of a purchase on Shapeways.  Upon contact, Shapeways may need to obtain confirmation of the winners’ eligibility.  If Shapeways cannot contact a winner in a reasonable amount of time, a runner-up will receive the prize originally designated for that winner.  If a runner-up cannot be contacted, Shapeways will select a third place finisher to receive the prize.


  1. Taxes.  The winner will be solely responsible for paying all federal, state, and local taxes that may be due on winnings and, as a condition of receiving the prize, Shapeways may require the winner complete tax documentation.


  1. Liability and Jurisdiction.  All federal, state, and local laws and regulations apply; void where prohibited.  All disputes arising out of or connected with this Contest will be resolved exclusively by a court located in Manhattan, New York, USA.  Decisions by Shapeways regarding the interpretation of these rules are final.  By participating in this contest, you agree to release Shapeways and its agents from any and all liability, claims, or actions of any kind of injuries, damages, or losses to persons and property which may be sustained in connection with the receipt, ownership, possession, use, or misuse of any prize.  Shapeways reserves the right to amend these official rules and to permanently disqualify from this contest any person it believes has intentionally violated these official rules. Shapeways reserves the right to suspend or cancel this Contest in the event of hacking, security breach, or other tampering.  Any questions regarding this contest should be directed to


  1. Other Restrictions. Users discovered creating multiple Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or Shapeways accounts in order to enter this contest will be disqualified from entry.


  1. Additional Considerations.  Sponsors are not responsible for (i) any typographical or other error in any communication relating to the Contest; (ii) lost, illegible, late, misdirected, or incomplete, entries or emails; (iii) interrupted or unavailable satellite, network, server, Internet Service Provider (ISP), websites, telephone, cable or other connections; (iv) any technical failure or jumbled, garbled, corrupted, scrambled, failed, delayed, or misdirected transmissions; (v) hardware, software or network malfunctions; (vi) other errors of any kind whether human, mechanical, or electronic; (vi) any damage to Participant’s or any other person’s computer resulting from participation of the Contest or downloading or uploading any materials.


Sponsor reserves the right, at its sole discretion, to (a) abbreviate, modify, suspend, cancel or terminate the Contest, without notice or other obligation, in the event that Sponsor is prevented from continuing with the Contest or the integrity or feasibility of the Contest is undermined in any respect, including due to fire, flood, epidemic, earthquake, labor dispute, tampering or other unlawful act, or if, in the sole opinion of Sponsor, the Contest is not capable of running as planned by reason of infection by computer virus, worms, bugs, tampering, hacking, unauthorized intervention, fraud, technical failures or any other causes which, in sole opinion of the Sponsor, corrupt or affect the administration, security, fairness, integrity or proper conduct of this Contest; (b) determine winners from entries received prior to action taken, or as otherwise deemed fair and equitable by Sponsor; and/or (c) disqualify any individual it finds to be tampering with the entry or judging or process or operation of the Contest.


This contest is not sponsored, endorsed, or administered by Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook.  By entering this contest you agree to release Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook of all liability related to the contest.

Hacking Arts Conference 2016

Last week, Shapeways sponsored the Hacking Arts Conference at MIT in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Hosted by the MIT Media Lab, the three-day conference brings together students and professionals from technology and the arts to discuss interdisciplinary creativity.

Shapeways’ Community team was there to greet panel goers and give them a chance to get their hands on some of the 3D printed materials and products available in the marketplace.


The conference also included a hackathon and some amazing performances. Below is a moment from audio/visual artists the Holladay Brothers during the opening ceremonies.


A video posted by Andrew Thomas (@andrew.s.thomas) on


The Hacking Arts Conference was also a great opportunity to see old friends. Artist and Shapeways Shop Owner Bathsheba Grossman came by to play with some of her math-inspired Klein Bottle openers, printed in a variety of materials.


We had a great time talking to hackers, artists, and lifelong learners at the Hacking Arts Conference. Are you a student combining design and technology? You can sign up for our education program here.


Shapeways at Dutch Design Week 2016

Dutch Design Week is here! Based in Eindhoven (Shapeways’ hometown), this annual nine-day festival draws designers and design-lovers from around the world. Each year, we join forces with our community of independent designers to showcase their amazing creativity. And in keeping with this year’s theme, The Making Of, we’ll be opening our factory to visitors — giving them a chance to see where (and how) the magic happens, get 3D scanned, and take part in workshops and presentations by some of our Dutch Shapeways designers.

Keep reading for a rundown of how you can join the fun at Dutch Design Week.

Visitors to Shapeways' Eindhoven factory during Dutch Design Week 2015

Visitors to Shapeways’ Eindhoven factory during Dutch Design Week 2015

Shapeways EXPO | Shapeways Factory | Oct. 22-30

Every day, we’ll be inviting visitors into our factory to explore how our community of independent designers is using Shapeways to break new ground in product design. We’ll also be offering:

  • A 3D scanning booth to bring more fans into the world of 3D Selfies. (11 a.m. – 4 p.m. daily)

  • Community Workshops and Presentations to connect visitors with Dutch designers and the products they’ve brought to life with Shapeways. (1 p.m. – 3 p.m. daily)

  • Factory Tours that provide a rare glimpse into how files are turned into finished products. (10:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. weekdays; registration required)

A winning design from our 2015 Helsinki Design Week CHIL-DISH Project

Shapeways Presents: CHIL-DISH Project | Yksi Expo | Oct. 22-23

After our successful event with CHIL-DISH at Helsinki Design Week, we’re partnering up again to unleash kids’ creativity at DDW. At the CHIL-DISH Project:

  • Kids will be invited to reimagine everyday objects using paper and crayons.

  • We’ll then choose 10 designs to be 3D modeled by CHIL-DISH designers, turning the kids’ drawings into 3D printed porcelain objects. (11:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m., Oct. 22-23)

Wired Life Tiger by Shapeways Designer Dot San

Wired Life Tiger by Shapeways Designer Dot San, on display in our Eindhoven factory

Shapeways Presents: Community & Materials Exhibit | Yksi Expo | Oct. 24-28

  • Come explore some of the materials we use and check out how our designers are exploring these unique and versatile media. (Oct. 24-28, 11:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.)

A group of 3D Selfies

A group of 3D Selfies

Shapeways Presents: 3D Scanning | Yksi Expo | Oct. 29-30

  • Don’t miss your chance to get scanned for a 3D Selfie.

  • We’ll take a scan of your head and shoulders using Occipital’s Structure Sensor and an iPad. Then, you can easily order your mini likeness through Shapeways. (Oct. 29-30, 11:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.)

If you make it to Dutch Design Week, be sure to come to one of our events and say hello! And if you can’t make it, keep an eye on the the blog, where we’ll be highlighting talented Dutch Shapeways Designers throughout the week.

World Maker Faire 2016 New York Round up!

It’s the time of year to kick-start your making — a sentiment that was entirely evident at New York’s World Maker Faire 2016!

Last weekend, we ventured up to the New York Hall of Science to set up our booth at “The Greatest Show (& Tell) on Earth” aka Maker Faire. This year, our booth featured two 3D designed and printed dresses by Nervous System, as well as designs from several other Shapeways community members.

A picture is worth a thousand words, and below are a few from the event!

IMG_4117The Shapeways booth, moments before the crowd arrived!

IMG_4192…just a few moments later, our booth booming with guests!

A whirlwind of a weekend, Shapeways had over 300 people stop by the booth within the first few hours of the event!

Our booth was filled with displays showcasing the jewelry designs and works of art from our own maker community.  We shared not only each designer’s profile but what inspires their creativity through 3D printing. Take a look at some of the collections below:

Nervous SystemsNature and science insprired jewelry designed by Jessica and Jessie from Nervous System.We displayed the Kinematic and Petal dresses, as well as on both sides of the booth and folks could not stop taking pictures.   One young maker told her Dad she wanted to start working on dresses next too!

IMG_4129Math inspired designs by Bathsheba Sculpture (left) continued to draw attention from the crowd.   And alongside Bathsheba was jewelry by the mother and daughter design team known as DuetDesigns (right) Jessica_Kasia Equally loved by many were floral designs by Collected Edition (left) and Layers by Design (right) had many folks asking where they could get her miniature prop plane earrings!  At Shapeways Marketplace of course!

Products by The Rogue and The Wolf drew significant interest and fascination with jewelry printed in steel!

Jewelry by SeriaForma – Carol Butkovsky’s turbine fidget rings were a favorite to play with to many of the guests at the booth. Visitors also were blown away by the porcelain step candle holders.

BlessThisMessJewelry and home goods by BlessThisMessNYC. These adorable little succulent pots drew big attention from the crowd. 

Science inspired pendants by designer Somersault18:24

Designs by LikeSyrup. Scott Dentons rings showed off our wonderful selection of precious metals – people were trying on these rings all day!

These precious jewelry items by 3Different were the perfect showcase for our new interlocking metal material. The crowd was stunned by the ability to 3D print in interlocking parts, and couldn’t take their hands off the bicycle pendant and its moving wheels.

Overall, we had a great turn out this year at Maker Faire and are looking forward to seeing you again next year!

Shop The Maker Faire Collection

Shapeways At The First South By South Lawn: A White House Festival of Ideas, Art, and Action

The first South by South Lawn was held at the White House on October 3rd, 2016. After visiting the tech and music festival South by Southwest® earlier this year, U.S. President Barack Obama was inspired to give the call for action to all citizens to roll up their sleeves and discover their own way to make a positive difference.

SXSL at the White House

I was lucky to represent the Shapeways community there because of our effort to enable everyone to bring their ideas to life. Our community is dedicated to allowing everyone to become a maker by simply supporting independent designers or by embarking on bringing a product to market. I was even able to catch a panel with not one but two community members speaking about the how making real change is a huge challenge and takes a whole community working together: Nina Tanden, founder of EpiBone, who is wearing a Kinematics necklace by Nervous System and Jukay Hsu, founder of Coalition for Queens, a tech nonprofit in our home borough here in NYC.


The festival was packed with amazing speakers and exhibits, a performance by The Lumineers and a discussion between Mr. Obama, climate scientist Dr. Katherine Hayhoe and actor Leonardo DiCaprio who was also premiering his new documentary film Before the Flood.

that's a wrap at SXSL
The SXSL letters were made with the help of Myth Buster’s Adam Savage and the hard work and ingenuity of several student and community makerspaces in the Washington D.C. area.

Recapping Eindhoven Mini Maker Faire

Last weekend Maker Faire, the Greatest Show (and Tell) event we know, descended to Eindhoven for the third time. Over 100 makers showed off their work, ranging from robots that can play football to wooden guns for rubber bands. From 3D printed selfies to jewelry handmade from electric components and organizations working on building their own maker communities.

In the Facebook video broadcast below I take you on a quick flight through the event.

Our booth was hidden in mystery. While walking by you couldn’t see much, but behind a black curtain our 3D Scanning Engineers Brigitte and Astrid scanned many visitors. One by one people could enter and for the first time see themselves from a whole different angle on the computer.

scan anouk 1

Also a true celebrity in the fasiontech industry gave her presence at the Eindhoven Mini Maker Faire: Anouk Wipprecht. You might recognize her from cool projects such as the Spider Dress, the Audi Dresses and the Unicorn Horn. The Unicorn Horns have been 3D Printed at our Eindhoven located factory, and were on exhibit last week at ARS in Linz, Austria.

scan anouk 2
Anouk Wipprecht is being 3D scanned by Astrid.

Despite the warm weather we had a great time 3D scanning visitors and hosting the afterparty for the makers. In special I want to thank René Paré, Maud Bongers and Anne-Marijn Burgers for organizing such a fantastic event! Eindhoven Mini Maker Faire – see you next year!

maker faire flyer

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.

Taking on the Alpe d’Huez, One of Cycling’s Toughest Climbs, to Help Cure Cancer

Posted by in Community, Events

Alpe d’Huez. It’s a mountain well known to cyclists that’s made Tour de France riders, and broken them. Rising more than 6,000 feet over 8.6 miles of road with a gradient ranging from 8-13%, not to mention 21 hairpin turns, it’s defined as a Hors Categorie climb–“beyond categorization”–because it’s so hard the difficulty exceeds the normal 1-4 rating scale.

On June 2nd, Marjolein and her Shapeways sponsored team are going to ride and run it not once, not twice, but 20 times between the six of them over the course of one day as part of the Alpe D’HuZes, a fundraiser for the Dutch Cancer Society (KWF). The team’s goal: to raise 15.000 Euros. This is a very personal ride for Marjolein and her boyfriend Lucien as both of their mothers had cancer.

Alpe d'HuZes ride: Marjolean and her mom
Marjolein and her mom

“Christmas 2012, my mom got cancer,” Marjolein writes. “It was as if our world collapsed. Fear, anger, disbelief, uncertainty, and even sometimes laughter and happiness after some ‘good’ news, were the main emotions of the rollercoaster we as family were on. Now that she’s kicked cancer, the only thing left is the life lesson learned that you can take nothing for granted.

“Lucien’s mom was also confronted with cancer. The most positive and powerful woman I have ever met, she did not survive and passed away last summer. This made Lucien decide that there are many things we can’t do against cancer, simply because we’re not doctors and do not have the knowledge to cure it, but there are also many things we can do. One of them is raising money for research programs so doctors can gain more and new insights to fight this terrible disease.

“Lucien told his mom he was going to do the Alpe d’HuZes for her; I decided to join for her and my own mom. Then my mom and dad and our good friends Thijs and Imma joined our team. Now we train a lot and do loads of activities to collect money to support our goal. Shapeways is one of our major sponsors to reach the top for which we are very grateful.”

We are proud to support their efforts, and of course that support includes 3D printing. They’ll all have 3D printed water bottle holders for their bikes and rose gold plated ribbon pins to wear in honor of Marjolein’s and Lucien’s moms. Marjolein will also wear a GoPro to document her three rides up the mountain thanks to a 3D printed GoPro attachment. And yes, of course we’ll share the footage and the story of their inspiring fundraising ride come June.

Join us in supporting their efforts:

Children Pushing The Limits of 3D Printed Porcelain: The 10 Winners of the Chil-Dish Project

Design the perfect dish for your favorite dish. That was the challenge posed by Kristos Mavrostomos and Anna van der Leij of the Chil-Dish project to children visiting Helsinki Design Week in Finland last September. (You may remember us writing about it here.)


As you can imagine, children loved this and by the end of the week there were over 300 drawings to choose from! Anna and Kristos had no easy task picking the ten winners as the ideas were all fun and imaginative but the winning designs not only needed to be creative, they had to translate into a 3D model that was suitable for us to print for them in porcelain.


We can’t share the magic of our printing in porcelain as it’s still a secret, but we can share the winning designs—complete with the child’s favorite dish. Because, after all, that was the challenge and what’s a porcelain dish without food?

That’s where Restaurant OLO comes in. Located in Helsinki, they received 26th place in the White Guide (the Nordic equivalent of the Michelin Guide) last year, making them the best restaurant in Finland for 2015. So good food was guaranteed!

The chefs from Restaurant OLO took the Chil-Dish winners to different shops and markets to buy the ingredients for their dish and helped them prepare it.  As you can see from the photos and video, this was a one-of-a-kind experience that took children through the process of bringing their ideas to life.


Our 3D Printed Porcelain is food safe, so this was an amazing opportunity to blend creativity, children and high quality food! Again a big shout out to Kristos Mavrostomos and Anna van der Leij for starting this project, and to all the chefs from Restaurant OLO for working together with these amazing children! Looking forward to the next edition.

Why we are wild about Drone Racing League and the future of 3D printing for drones

Ever wonder what it would be like to fly?

Until recently, flying with something was only for dreamers or those who had the means and training to operate an expensive (and dangerous) vehicle. All this is changing with drones, and leading the charge is the Drone Racing League.

Utilizing FPV drones built from their own custom technology, the Drone Racing League is turning FPV drone flying into a Formula 1 level race. They just released the first set of qualifying races from their latest race in Miami, and the races are super fun to watch.

For those unfamiliar with drone racing (also known as First Person View or FPV), think of every cool sci-fi film racing scene, from the Light cycles in Tron to Podracers from Star Wars Episode 1. Now imagine this happening for real using drone quadcopters. In FPV racing each drone has a small camera in the front that transmits a video feed back to the pilot who controls the aircraft remotely. Pilots wear special goggles similar to the Oculus Rift, giving them a sense of immersion and allowing for unparalleled levels of speed and control over the drone.

So how does 3D printing come into this emerging sport?   Drone customization!  Whether you’re just getting started started with FPV drones or ready to go pro, the Shapeways marketplace has some awesome products for customizing the fastest and lightest drones around. I started a list of FPV related parts here to get started. Is there something you think should be on my list? Let me know by commenting on a product and tagging me with @andrewsimonthomas

UNICEF Innovation Summit and The aNYThing Conference: 3D Printing and the Future of Education

This past week I had the privilege of being invited to speak at the first UNICEF Innovation Summit. Start Up to Scale Up: Global Innovations for Children and Youth Summit was held in Helsinki, Finland. Comprised of tech and impact innovators from around the world we were hosted in the gorgeous Finlandia Hall for two days of panels, presentations and discussions about the future of tech in the lives of children around the world.

© UNICEF eLearning


On the Future of Skill panel I was joined by moderator Kathryn Myronuk Faculty & Coach: Synthesis & Convergence, Singularity University, Roshan Paul CEO Amani Institute, Virginia Tam co-founder of Lean In China and Kristina Kaihari, Counsellor of Education at the Finnish Ministry of Education, Finland to discuss how to prepare today’s youth for the jobs they will do in the future. We all agreed that it is important to incorporate 21st century skills like self-learning, collaboration and perseverance in the face of failures into the modern classroom. The complex world issues that today’s youth will inherit call for creative problem solving and resiliency in order for new ideas to succeed. 3D printing is a powerful tool to tackle some of these very problems, turning software tools into physical tools and allowing new ideas to be tested rapidly and improved upon. Later on during the conference I held a workshop and discussion panel on the advantages and ares for opportunity in incorporating 3D design and manufacturing into the education space.

© UNICEF start up to scale up

On Thursday November 5th I had the pleasure of talk about Shapeways EDU at the aNY(Additive New York) Thing Conference at SUNY New Paltz. In this first annual conference speakers from presented new concepts and ideas from a range of applications of additive manufacturing across art, design, engineering, education, agriculture, manufacturing and medicine.