Category Archives: Inspiration

RC Customization Series: Lap 1 – Upgrading The Tamiya Hornet

Our new RC Customization Series takes us inside a very cool Tamiya Hornet customization project, headed up by Shapeways’ Eindhoven Distribution Specialist Tijs Lochbaum and European Community Manager Ruud van den Muijzenberg. Tijs and Ruud show us how exciting (and surprisingly easy) it can be to use 3D printing to make your mark on RC racing.

Because of the global drone hype, I didn’t realize other remote-controlled vehicles were still a thing. But that was before I found out that my colleague Tijs Lochbaum, who works in our Eindhoven distribution center, is a national champion in RC car drifting!

Watch Tijs drifting with his own RC car:

Boy, was I wrong! Tijs proved to me that RC Cars are being used more than ever, in totally different ways than I expected, and that customizing them is the best way to enhance your performance in competitions. Accompanied by Tijs, I’ll deep-dive into customizing RC Cars and share the process with you via videos and blogs in our RC Customization Series. With us cruising on the first Lap of the series, we begin our journey at the beginning, showing you how we got started — and hopefully inspiring you to take on your own customization projects.

Tamiya 3
Adéla, Tijs and I on the first recording day of this project

Of course, we need a car to begin with. RC cars have been around for decades, so Tijs recommended we start this project with a classic: the Tamiya Hornet. Watch the awesome 1980s commercial below:

After ordering the original car online, we received a box filled with components a few days later. I was expecting to get a fully operational car, so I was a bit surprised, but Tijs reassured me this is normal (yup, I’m really exploring new territory). The big advantage of getting a car in separate components is that it’s easier to replace some of the mass-manufactured items with new custom parts, while still keeping the original essence.
Tamiya 1
The box the Tamiya Hornet arrives in. It has an appropriately vintage look.

Tijs then built the car overnight, as you can read in detail in his forum thread, to explain that there’s a lot of work involved in making the original car.

Tamiya 5

We now have our own Tamiya Hornet assembled in its original state, even with all stickers in place. Considering that the design itself is over 30 year old, calling it a classic buggy is an understatement. But then comes the question: you can’t go wrong with a big refresh after so many years, right?

Tijs brought the AMPro Engineering store on Shapeways to my attention as one of the go-to places for new, fresh designs of Tamiya Hornet parts (and for many other RC cars too). We ordered a bunch of AMPro products that we 3D printed in our White Strong & Flexible material at our factory in Eindhoven, as you can see in the overview below. From here, our customization journey begins!

Tamiya 2
All parts here can be found in the AMPro Engineering shop

The designs offered by AMPro Engineering are perfect for the adjustments we have in mind, but other brilliant engineers such as James Knight from Knight Customs (read his Designer Spotlight here) offer a great digital inventory of RC car (and other RC vehicle) parts on Shapeways.

Tamiya 4

So, now we have a car, and we have a lot of 3D printed components. The next thing we need to do is prepare the printed components for assembly — but we’ll look into that in the next Lap of the RC Customization Series. Don’t forget to shoot us questions by commenting below or on our social media channels. We’ll be adding more Laps to the series soon, and we’ll make sure to take your input into account.

D-School or Self-Taught: How did you learn to 3D design?

One question we get all the time is: What’s the best way to learn how to 3D design? Did you learn the tools and processes in an academic setting like school? Did you teach yourself though experimenting? Did you watch tutorials or take online classes?

Experiments with MagicaVoxel software

Experiments with MagicaVoxel software

We posed these questions to our community on the Shapeways forums and got some amazing responses. Here are some of these learnings that could serve as a great guide for others interested in starting their journey in digital manufacturing.

“I have always loved to draw with pencil and paper as a hobby. But I am a Mechanical Engineer and I started my professional career as a CATIA application engineer at IBM in 1992, and did that for more than 15 years. I had taken several CATIA training classes and spent many hours studying by myself. ” – Shapeways Shop owner Glehn

In the forums, our community has a range of backgrounds, from fine arts to science to engineering. Most reported learning the design software themselves from online tutorials and YouTube. They were creative prior to learning 3D design, and had begun their journey earlier with other hobbies like drawing and model building.

Many started learning before academic classes in 3D design were available. Personal digital manufacturing is still in its infancy and the educational infrastructure around it is still forming. Those who taught themselves are leading the charge to start educating the next generation of designers.

Most importantly, community members have learned to come to design with a creative, can-do mentality. By working on specific problems, like wanting to create a necklace or a robot, they’ve experimented with the tools at hand — and found solutions. Design always requires a combination of patience, problem-solving, and elbow grease. They’ve learned to value hard work, and that making something yourself pays off.

“My parents instilled in me the belief that it’s better if possible to craft something on your own than to buy it pre-built. 3d printing just gives me better construction tools” – Shapeways shop owner Stony Smith

How did you learn to 3D design? Did you learn in school or pick it up yourself? Let us know in the comments below.

A Visionary Artist Takes on the Smart Home

This year’s Amsterdam Light Festival is putting Dutch artist and Shapeways designer Anouk Wipprecht’s designs in the spotlight. Her Living Pods exhibit asks us to rethink the smart home as something more than purely functional, with interactive clothing and flower-inspired pods that welcome visitors “home” by reacting to their presence.

Mechatronic “LIVING PODS” – Anouk Wipprecht x Somfy Home Automation from Anouk Wipprecht on Vimeo.

Wipprecht is already well-established in the Fashion-Tech world, and her current exhibit expands on past work around reactive and wearable tech. The Pods are part of The Art of Motion, the artist’s ongoing collaboration with connected home company Somfy, Michael Sagan of Autodesk’s Fusion 360 team, and LA-based concept designer Igor Knezevic. The project envisions a time when all the objects in our homes become sensory and smart. While Wipprecht’s fashions focus on interaction with (and mediation between) the human body and the outside world, the Pods aim to bring humanity and soul to home electronics.

lightfestival klein-12

Visitors to the Amsterdam Light Festival take in Wipprecht’s work

To articulate the concept, she created an one-piece hanging mechanical gripper structure with hooks that allowed 3D printed leaves to be connected. The gripper mechanism was created in Fusion 360 by the designer during her residency at Pier 9 — Autodesk’s maker-workshop in San Francisco. The Pier 9 Artists in Residence program allows artists, makers, and fabricators to work with high-end tools and machinery in Autodesk’s digital fabrication workshop, bringing dream projects to life. The final pieces were printed at Shapeways, each in a single piece, using SLS for strength and rigidity. The Pods light up, and a linear motor moves their petals in response to a sensor, emulating a living flower’s reaction to the sun.

If you’re lucky enough to be in Amsterdam this week, check out Anouk’s exhibit at the Amsterdam Light Festival, now through January 8, and let us know in the comments what smart home tech you’d like to see in the future.

FUSION360_livingpods_web

Living Pods designs for Somfy in Fusion 360, printed at Shapeways

Living Pods designs for Somfy in Fusion 360, printed at Shapeways

Bonus: Check out the video below to go behind the scenes of the Living Pods’ creation. Behind The Scenes // LIVING PODS [Mechanic Flower lamps in Fusion360] from Anouk Wipprecht on Vimeo.

Beating Tech Obsolescence With 3D Printing

One of the most exciting — and practical — ways our community is using 3D printing is in the creation of replacement parts for household electronics. Australian designer MichaelAtOz of Matter Haus is a perfect example of a maker who starts with existing tech (in Michael’s case, Dyson vacuums), and creates a range of parts to extend the life of the high-end devices. In his recent forum post, shared below, the designer tells the story of his latest work.

dyson

Adapter for Dyson V8 to pre-V8 tools/accessories by Matter Haus

This is my latest major design. An adapter to fight obsolescence, which I think is a great aspect of the evolving maker/3D printing possibilities. This is how it happened.

A friend’s daughter was cleaning her car, and managed to drop their Dyson Handstick vacuum into a bucket of dirty water. Fitzzitzt…the vacuum now sux  not. So they bought the latest Dyson V8 Handstick.

It wasn’t until they got home that they realised the V8 had changed the connectors, and so they couldn’t use the variety of additional accessories they had bought for the previous version.

I had previously modeled the old version’s connector to make a range of holders/wall mounts for the accessories/tools. I needed to measure the changed V8 sizes and the new clip mechanism to update my holders anyway, so I though an adapter would be possible. Plug the new measurement into my OpenSCAD designs, and after a bit of that design magic, blood sweat and tears, I worked out that Strong and Flexible Plastic (S&FP) would allow me to use “flex” in the design of the release clip.
adapter prototype cut Flex.jpg

I often prototype my designs on my personal FDM 3D printer, but that imposes design constraints which Shapeways S&FP doesn’t have, like gravity. However, the bad thing about Shapeways is that it isn’t here in Oz, and a prototype can take some time to arrive. So you have to adapt, firstly make sure it fits, cut out bits which aren’t needed and show the internals; luckily this was doable with minimal support material. The first physical prototype confirmed the fit, and the flexi release worked as intended.
Adapter 1st prototype SANY0921.JPG
(My printer is a bit long in the tooth, it could use some adjustments for better results)

Similarly working out a good way of joining the new V8 tip design to the old receptacle I also considered how I could prototype on my local printer; after careful attention to the angles, I had a design I could print with little support.
Adapter 2nd local prototype printed.JPG

It was time for a real Shapeways prototype; finalising the design and ensuring the Shapeways 3D tools were happy took a few more iterations. Again it was necessary to incorporate cut-outs otherwise you couldn’t see how well the parts will fit.
Adapter 2nd prototype cut A SW.JPG
As, until I sell some more designs, I’m not made of money, I also chopped off bits not needed for testing to save on material and machine space costs.
Adapter 2nd prototype cut B SW.JPG

I chose White & Un-polished S&FP as it saves several days production time, and awaited delivery…
Adapter 2nd prototype cut delivered SW.JPG

Thankfully my measurements, earlier prototypes, and tolerance guestimates were good, and it fit like a glove. The next step was a final prototype of the complete model. Previous testing with a variety of the Dyson tools showed a small variance in size, so there was a small gap to allow for this. I was concerned how that may affect the vacuum suction, something I couldn’t test with the cut-out prototype.

Not wanting to spend too much on prototypes I decided the design should be finessed for the next order. It needed a seal/gasket/washer, this took a lot of searching to find the most appropriate, cost-effective, and easily acquired solution. The best balance turned out to be o-rings, so I had to find the right size to fit the design and incorporate an appropriate recess to hold it.
adapter o-ring cut SW.JPG

It was ready for the full prototype, or as I hopefully like to call it, the first production model. As the design has a friction fit I had always intended Polished S&FP as the production Material, and given the Dyson design, it had to be red.

And so, a new design is born
Adapter mounted w brush SW SANY0852.JPG Dyson Adapter Side SW SANY0827.JPG Top oring SW - SANY0892.JPG

As it turned out, it works pretty well without the o-ring, but the capability is there if you want perfection ;)

So after six weeks from concept to product, it came just in time for Xmas, so my friend can keep his old accessories.

That’s how it happened.

Thank you for sharing your story, Michael!

Which electronics would you revive with the right replacement parts? Let us know in the comments what parts you’re working on or would like to see our community develop.

1 Gift = 6 Brilliant Ways to Unleash Their Creativity

If you’re like me, you still have a few people on your list who are proving literally impossible to shop for. Your little niece who gets every toy she desires. Your crafter mom who, if she wants it, she makes it. Even your gearhead uncle, who would rather start a project in his garage than ever buy a new vehicle. Good news: Shapeways Gift Cards are perfect for all of them. They open the door to limitless creativity, whether your giftees have never heard of 3D printing or are advanced 3D modelers. Below, discover six easy ways that everyone on your list can start making on Shapeways, thanks to Shapeways Gift Cards for every budget.

1. Fund their first jewelry designs, from pendants…

pendant-pendant-square

The Pendant Creator easily turns their 2D designs into pendants. They can customize details, add a bail for chains, and print in their favorite material.

2. …to gorgeous rings inspired by their favorite shapes

ring

Custom Ring lets them design their own custom, 3D printed rings. They can choose from beautiful preset patterns, or create their own.

3. Equip them to make a keychain they’ll never lose

pendant-keychain-square

The Keychain Creator lets them easily turn 2D designs into keychains. Customize details, add a loop for key rings, and print in your favorite material.

4. Help bring their snapshots to life in 3D

photoshaper

The Full Color Photoshaper takes any photo and turns it into a 3D memory.

5. Let them create their own intricate, personalized ornaments

ornament-creator-square-5

The Ornament Creator will help them make custom holiday ornaments by experimenting with template patterns or uploading their own 2D design.

6. Get them started in 3D modeling

2dto3d

2D to 3D lets them easily turn 2D designs into 3D prints, whether they want to make jewelry, art, decorative objects — or just let their imaginations run wild.

Discover even more ways that Shapeways Gift Cards can help them start making on Shapeways here. And while you’re at it, give one of our Easy Creators a try yourself. You never know where your creative journey will lead!

Gifts for Grown-ups, Inspired by a Toddler

As our last ordering deadlines for holiday gifting arrive this week, there are still lots of unique, beautiful objects available in our fastest-to-ship material: strong and flexible plastic. One shop in particular offers a selection of delightful gifts that fit the material perfectly, whether you want to print a pack of exotic animals on digital safari, a friendly robot who just wants to show his love, or totally unique, futuristic jewelry. Australian architects Elena Low and Kae Woei Lim of XYZ Workshop are the creative minds behind designs that live at the intersection of art, sculpture, technology, and playful fun. They shared some of their surprising influences with us.

Sitting Robbie by XYZ Workshop

Sitting Robbie by XYZ Workshop

Robbie the Robot and the Digital Safari are the most whimsical of XYZ Workshop’s characters, revealing the designers’ biggest source of inspiration — their toddler. “Our son, who is now now four years old, plays a pivotal role to influence a sense of playfulness in our work.” The husband-and-wife pair say they “spend a lot of time playing with him and his toys, reading beautifully illustrated children’s books. This takes your mind to a wonderful childlike space and allow you to indulge in pushing more whimsical ideas and let go of the day-to-day reality.”

Digital Safari - Giraffe (Medium) by XYZ Workshop

Digital Safari – Giraffe (Medium) by XYZ Workshop

Kae Woie and Elena launched XYZ Workshop in 2013, tinkering with a kit-made 3D printer from Ultimaker. Drawn in by “the potential of 3D printing as it fused aspects of art, sculpture and technology, their mission is “to create something beautiful, pragmatic, yet playful all in one.”

Thin Lena Bracelet - Medium (Strong and Flexible) by XYZ Workshop

Thin Lena Bracelet – Medium (Strong and Flexible) by XYZ Workshop

When it comes to modeling the pieces, the designers’ architectural experience has given them a solid basis in technique. “There is a rigor in thinking which is a balance of practicality and aesthetic. I believe we still apply this in our thinking in relation to 3D printing,” Elena told us. Drawing parallels with their architectural practice, she noted that “whilst ideas can be quickly converted from a sketch to a physical prototype, numerous tests are performed to achieve a response that is in line with the brief.”

Discover all of XYZ Workshop’s designs in their Shapeways shop. They make for perfectly unexpected gifts — and ideal stocking stuffers. Just remember to place your orders before our last order deadlines to bring home their whimsical creations in time for the holidays.

Make Their GoPro Go Further

The little action camera that can go almost anywhere has inspired a serious following, from newbie adventure-seekers to serious videographers. Some of the GoPro’s biggest fans are makers whose accessories help achieve professional-grade results. Like designer Dan Newman of My GoPro Kit, whose mods range from filter attachments to tools for capturing aerial 3D shots. As we shine a spotlight this week on holiday gifts that offer a Technical Advantage, discover a few tools that will help your favorite GoPro fans get truly pro results.

Capturing 3D shots using GoPro’s Dual Hero System can be a challenge for objects that are more than 10 feet away. The GoPro HERO 3+ 3D System allows for wider lens separation, ensuring crisp coverage of subjects between 10 and 50 feet away — perfect for wider-parallax shooting like aerial photography.

GoPro HERO 3+ 3D System: Wider Lens Separation by My GoPro Kit

GoPro HERO 3+ 3D System: Wider Lens Separation by My GoPro Kit

This base for a motion-control rig lets you capture dynamic time-lapse photography using a model train track. At the link above, Dan also shares full plans for the time-lapse rig system, so get making!

Train-lapse rig for GoPro by My GoPro Kit

The Sun hood and 37mm filter holder for GoPro not only helps you attach filters to your camera, it also ensures that you maintain resolution while using ND filters, even in bright sunlight. Add this to your toolkit for flawless full-sun coverage.

Sun hood and 37mm filter holder for GoPro by My GoPro Kit

Sun hood and 37mm filter holder for GoPro by My GoPro Kit

Follow My GoPro Kit to keep up to speed on all of Dan’s innovations, and find dozens more ways to give everyone on your list a Technical Advantage this holiday season in our Holiday Gift Guide. What are some of your favorite high-performance GoPro accessories? Let us know in the comments below.

Give Dice Worth Showing Off

You keep them in a special pouch. You imbue them with luck to protect you from eldritch powers. And, you definitely mind when others ask to use them. Dice are a game lover’s secret sauce. So, as we celebrate all the ways our loved ones Geek Out this holiday season, we’re highlighting some of the most uniquely beautiful dice we’ve seen, by one of our community’s most prolific gaming designers, Chris Vos of Tiny Tokens.

His D20 Balanced Gaming Die, as featured in the Gamemaster collection in our Holiday Gift Guide, is designed in the visual style of the Kaladesh Magic the Gathering expansion. Its unusual artistry is sure to set apart anyone lucky enough to own it. As a regular D20 die, this piece works for Dungeons and Dragons, Pathfinder, and other RPGs. A spindown version that can be used as a life counter is also available.

D20 Balanced Gaming Die by Tiny Tokens

D20 Balanced Gaming Die by Tiny Tokens

And, if you’re looking to spoil your favorite gamemaster, the Starry Gaming Die Set below will set them up for whatever the game’s adventures bring.

'Starry' Gaming Die Set: D20, D12, D10, D8, D6, D4 by Tiny Tokens

‘Starry’ Gaming Die Set: D20, D12, D10, D8, D6, D4 by Tiny Tokens

3D printing has allowed for an explosion in creativity in the world of game design, resulting in intricately detailed collectors’ items like Chris Vos’ creations — perfect gifts for players who want to stand out from the crowd.

Discover even more incredible dice and gaming accessories in our Gamemaster collection, and check out our full Holiday Gift Guide for everyone else on your list.

Jewelry From the Future

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

Ring Poly One by AKK

Ring Poly One by AKK

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

Bangle Poly Nine by AKK

Bangle Poly Nine by AKK

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

Earrings Poly Eleven by AKK

Earrings Poly Eleven by AKK

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

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

5 Customizable Gifts for Unique Personalities

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

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

1. For my niece: An ornament to remember

QED's Custom Horse Ornament

QED’s Custom Horse Ornament

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

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

The Sanabelle Fitbit Flex Bracelet by Sanabelle

The Sanabelle Fitbit Flex Bracelet by Sanabelle

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

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

The Bookmark Monogram by Studio Elisabeth

The Bookmark Monogram by Studio Elisabeth

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

4. For my dad: A custom GoPro lens cap

Lens Cover for GoPro by 3Dprintingdog

Lens Cover for GoPro by 3Dprintingdog

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

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

The Llama Planter by Pearthq

The Llama Planter by Pearthq

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

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

Six Famous Monsters on How to 3D Print the Perfect Halloween

This season, Shapeways porcelain has an amazing selection of Halloween models to choose from, and our favorite famous Halloween monsters and their friends have recommended some of the most ghoulish options.

A pumpkin is a witch’s best friend (after her cat of course) and Porcelain Decorations’ lovely Table Top Porcelain Pumpkin is a perfect fit for every witchy home.

No one wants to forget their keys, but when you are the Grim Reaper, it’s easy to do! Curio Inventorium’s frightening Skull Keyring Holder keeps keys safely mounted to the wall near your door so you don’t forget them, even in the dead of night.

Even Bat Lady needs a tea cup to be a proper lady, and Candy Carlson Design’s adorable Bat Tea Cup is the perfect fit.

 

LudMi’s Anatomical Heart in a Mug is perfect for the vampire who wants to drink blood in style.

The Valkyries say that Wolnir’s Goblet by Tony Nguyen’s Stuff is perfect for after you have looted a village. There is nothing like drinking wine out of an opponent’s skull.

Image result for vintage valkyrie free illustration

 

Finally, when ghosts drive to their honeymoon, what could be more perfect than a Ghostbusters-Inspired Hood Ornament by Fused Creations.

Enjoy the fall season, and don’t forget that Halloween is every day!

Shaping Dutch Design: Concept R

In celebration of Dutch Design Week 2016, our Shaping Dutch Design series has taken 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. If you missed us in person in Eindhoven this week, check out all the Dutch Design Week fun here, on InstagramTwitter, and on Facebook for live updates from #DDW16.

How to combine a passion for biking and music with inspired design? Avid cyclist and designer Robin de Pruyssenaere of Concept R did just that with a collection of accessories that harness 3D printing to turn his favorite pastimes into wearable art.


For bike fanatics, every element of the machine itself can be beautiful. Concept R’s Bike Racing Steer Cufflinks, WE Cycling Pendant, and Tie Clip Bike take bicycle parts into the world of elegant accessories.


Of course, biking and music often go hand in hand, and headphones are also a favorite motif for the designer, in the form of Headset Cufflinks and the Headphone Ring.


Robin’s pieces were on display this week at Shapeways EXPO at Dutch Design Week, and if you missed us in Eindhoven, you can still visit his Shapeways shop any time for well-designed accessories for the bike- and music-lovers in your life.

Concept R at Dutch Design Week 2016

Concept R at Dutch Design Week 2016

Shapeways Designers – The Laser Girls – In The Press!

We’re so proud that The Laser Girls are featured in the October issue of Marie Claire with their 3D printed nails!

The article (on pg. 192!) shouts out the cube nails, the pointy talons, and the dragon master nails– marking them as Marie Claire-certified! We definitely think the article… nailed it (hehe). Pick up an issue to check it out!

Keep in mind that press is always checking out the Shapeways marketplace for interesting and unique products. Making your designs available for purchase and pairing them with gorgeous product shots, you significantly increase visibility for your shop.

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

Off-balance:

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.

4 Gadget Gift Making Trends For Holiday 2016!!

With the holidays quickly approaching, we’re excited to be positioning Shapeways as the go-to for unique, customizable gifts– and our designers are crucial to growing that marketplace. We’ve identified some of the hottest tech hobbyist trends of this year to inspire our makers to stretch their imaginations and consider creating accessories for each, making them on-demand stocking stuffers.

Raspberry Pi: With this little computer giving you a lot of power to program and create, what better companion for it than 3D printed accessories? We’d suggest our designers tap into Shapeways customizable product feature to create Raspberry Pi cases or stands– because while it’s what’s on the inside that matters, it doesn’t hurt to have a neat exterior for your favorite gadget.Apple III Raspberry Pi Case 3d printed

Raspberry Pi Apple III case by RetroConnector

iPhone 7: With Apple’s latest release being on (most) people’s wishlists and being significantly different than previous models, it’s a great opportunity to tap into creative cases and accessories.The Vibe iPhone Case - 40033196:7.67 3d printed

The Vibe iPhone Case by Cacai

GoPro Hero 5 (Black and Session): GoPro’s latest cameras come in two sizes, meaning double the accessory options! Because both work on voice-command, there should be some fun potential for newly designed cases and accessories. We also hear that while the Hero 4 Black is waterproof, it won’t float so some aquatic accessories could be useful.Boonie Hat Mount for GoPro Cameras (Slim Case) 3d printed

Boonie Hat Mount for GoPro Cameras by BrainExploder Creations

Apple Watch Series 2: The new Apple Watch model is about the same size and shape as its predecessor but slightly thicker. We’ve been seeing some great watch docks and charging stations, and there’s limitless room for variations.Apple Watch Metal Bumper 42mm 3d printed

 

Apple Watch Metal Bumper by Amznfx

Remember, one of the most important parts of leveraging the products you create is showing vs. telling shoppers what your product does. Quality photos tell a thousand (or more) words and super nifty videos are even better.

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