Category Archives: Gifts

It’s Spring! Here Are 5 Ways to Celebrate

Last week’s snow is still grey on the ground, but it’s official: Spring is here! Along with blooming trees and green grass, spring also brings the holiday that, for some reason, is all about eggs and rabbits — Easter. For many people, it’s a gift-giving holiday, for others, a religious observance; and for some, it’s just a way to celebrate the renewal of spring. Thankfully, our community is full of ideas for capturing the spirit of the season, however you celebrate. Find a selection of freshly-hatched accessories in this list by our head curator Aimee, or read on for five designs that will get you in the mood for egg-hunting and wildflower-gathering.

1. Bunny Jr. by Tricksee

Bunny Jr., an adorable reminder of the unofficial animal of the season, looks like he’s happy it’s spring, too.

2. Daisy Comb by Collected Edition

This Daisy Comb is just one of Collected Edition’s gorgeous, freshly-picked flower-inspired accessories.

3. Birds’ Nest Egg Cup by Studio Gijs

A nest for your soft-boiled eggs, complete with a tiny bird on it? ‘Tis the season.

4. Para Bud Vase by Layers

The Para Vase looks both familiar and totally fresh at the same time, just like spring.

5. Mosaic Egg #7 by KSims

This Mosaic Egg is printed with an icosahedrally symmetric pattern of 180 triangular shapes, repeated outside and inside the egg, but you don’t have to know what any of that means to find it beautiful.

Whether You’re a DM or GM, You Need This…

Saturday, March 4 is International GMs’ day, when we celebrate the game masters, dungeon masters, referees, and storytellers. Of course, a dungeon or game master is nothing without her dice. One roll can make or break a game, deciding whether a character defeats a dragon or gets roasted to cinders by it. You can’t trust these matters of fate to just any dice. You need a set with character.

Die1

1. For the prickliest of GMs, we recommend the Thorn Dice Set by CeramicWombat. Though they look sharp, the maker says they won’t scratch tables.

Twined Dice Set by Tiny Tokens

2. The ‘Twined’ Dice Gaming Die Set in steel by Tiny Tokens has been crafted to ensure that each die is “fair and well-balanced” for unbiased throws.

Die3

3. For those who prefer a lighter-weight die, Figurebang D20 Bone Dice are made “from the littlest finger bones of only the luckiest elven children.” Well, not really, actually they are 3D printed in white plastic with a smooth white finish, ready for hand painting if you prefer.

With dice like these, you’re practically guaranteed to come out the victor. Want to see more? Check out dice crafted by makers from all over the world.

Click to Roll The Dice for More

This Galentine’s Day, Treat Yo Self

A Shapeways 3D printing engineer by day and a jewelry designer by night, @Yung_Crowley recently launched the winter collection of STONEDALONE on Shapeways. The collection is an assortment of digital talismans created to help conquer your digital universe… with some trinkets specifically geared towards the single ladies. The line was created to boost the wearer’s confidence and empower them to attract more positive vibes online (and off). Obviously, better juju for 2017 can’t hurt. Because this collection screams “Treat yo self”, I’ve decided to gift myself some of these pieces for Galentine’s Day:

ANDROMEDA ARM CUFF

andromeda

This is the physical manifestation of the “spell for enchanting every person you message to make ghosting impossible.” Hello, I’ll take whatever precautions I can to avoid ghosting. Apparently there’s also a new trend called “breadcrumbing,” which is like ghosting, but with occasional texts after disappearance. Cosmo pegs it as “savage AF.” I’m just going to go ahead and assume this cuff will protect me from that too.

CASSIOPEIA RING

cass ring

Described as “magnetizing your DMs to attract prospective suitors and opportunities,” I figure this ring will inspire more witty, endearing messages on any dating apps you’re on. I bet it also makes sure the messages are authored by people that are exceptionally good at the distinction between “you’re” and “your”.

AUGOEIDES RING

aug ring

This ring “makes you immune to negative haters and trolls.” Assuming the designer means those of the online variety, not bridge ones, that’s pretty helpful in today’s world of social media.

You can check out the whole collection at STONEDALONE for the perfect bling to fit your life goals. There’s even a set of earrings that help you network online, make bank, and prosper. How can you say no to that?

Easy Custom Gifts for Your Valentine

Posted by in Design, Design Apps, Gifts

Valentine’s Day gifts can be tough. Do you go for the usual dozen roses and chocolates? Or would you rather find something… more personal? Heart-shaped jewelry is great, but with Shapeways, there’s no reason not to take it up a notch. After all, the best thing about gifts is the feeling of giving something you just know the receiver will love. And, the best thing about 3D printing is that you can find and create some of the most unique, custom, and personalizable gifts out there. Here are a few easy apps that let you truly create gifts that will speak directly to your love’s unique qualities. So, with the help of the talented designers behind these incredible apps, read on to find out how to make the most meaningful, beautiful Valentine’s Day gifts.

Ciphering

cipher

Ciphering lets you create a personalized ring unlike any other. Its physical form encodes numbers of your choosing. The ring itself looks decorated in a Morse code-like pattern, but really, it’s a message! The secret message only becomes visible only when you take the ring off your finger and either shine light, or look directly through it. The information you input is fed to an algorithm that generates the unique shape. You can also add engraved initials on the inside of the band.

Ciphering-18c4bd67

Create a piece with an anniversary, birthday, or other special date – or initials. Tell us you’ve ever seen anything like this!

Twine Jewelry

Screenshot 2017-01-27 13.18.55

Perhaps your valentine prefers necklaces. Never fear. Twine Jewelry lets you create a unique piece that allows you to combine two names into one lovely pendant, adding a big dose of wow factor to an already gorgeous gift. Available in a variety of materials, this pendant doesn’t break the bank when printed as a fun and colorful accessory, or you could print it in gold to show your love that you’ll be together forever.

Custom Pendant Creator

pasted image 0 (1)

The Custom Pendant Creator allows you to fully jump in and make your own piece. Simply draw an image on paper, take a photo (or find one online), and upload it in the Custom Pendant Creator app. Magically, you’ll see your design appear in 3D! Use the tools to adjust settings like size and softness of detail, and add a bail for the final pendant touch! Warning: this app is incredibly addictive. Print in colorful plastic or a lovely rose gold – you decide – to make this gift 100% personalized.

Happy Valentine’s Day from all of us at Shapeways. Share your best gifts with us in the comments below, and check out our Valentine’s Day collection for more lovely (get it?!) designs from our amazing community.

Now This Is Geek Love

Geeks in love often get ignored by jewelers and the rest of the romance-industrial complex. We think that’s unfair. Thankfully, Shapeways’ community of designers has a ton of incredible gift options for your geeky valentine. Here are a few of our favorites, just right for every type of geek in your life.

For the gamer who loves nature — Botanical Dice Set

When they’re not out in the field communing with nature, they’re rolling D20 with the druid RPG character, so why not give them the artisan set of dice that connects their two favorite worlds?

625x465_1126731_1136232_1459317771

Botanical Dice Set by Made by Wombat

For the history buff valentine — Valentine Tank Archer

Even the most veteran, grizzled wargamer will love this historically accurate miniature of the UK’s iconic WWII tank, appropriately named for the day — Valentine’s Day, 1940 — when the design was first submitted to the British War Office.

Archer_SP_17_pdr_Tank_Destroyer

Vehicle – Valentine Tank Archer by Sandman Artistry

For the biochemist who loves bling — The Ring Of Life DNA Molecule Ring

This DNA-shaped ring brings out the inherent romance in the double helix. Plus, it will keep them looking sharp while working under the microscope.

The Ring Of Life DNA Molecule Ring  MADE BY Universe Becoming

The Ring Of Life DNA Molecule Ring by Universe Becoming

For the trendy paleontologist — Trilobite Pendant

Give them the gift of their favorite prehistoric anthropod, brought back from extinction in incredible detail. You know they’ll love you for it.

Trilobite pendant  MADE BY Elytra

Trilobite pendant by Elytra

For the geek that wants to save lives — Mana Potion Pendant

Not only is this Mana Potion pendant by Lumecluster a super cool accessory that any gamer would know, all profits go towards a great cause: helping cancer victims and their families.

Mana Potion Pendant (designed by Lumecluster) by ElaineHyojinKim

Mana Potion Pendant (designed by Lumecluster) by ElaineHyojinKim

Looking for more geeky, amazing gifts for your valentine? Explore the Shapeways marketplace here. Let us know in the comments if we missed any of your favorite geeky gifts.

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!

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!

 

Designer Spotlight: Scott Ryan – Reaper Media

This week, we’re highlighting fun, unexpected last-minute gifts that you can still get in time for the holidays. Scott Ryan of Reaper Media creates just such personality-infused designs, resulting in a ton of fun products — ranging from frames to keep fortune cookie fortunes to intricate dice to mini monster figurines.

There’s a wide variety of types of products in your shop, what inspires your designs?
I have… a wide ranging and eclectic set of interests. And I tend to jump around from one to another a lot. One moment I’m obsessed with Celtic knots and the next it’s flowers. To tell the truth, I’m just a weird mix of unfocused and obsessive.

Love your fortune frames — how did you get that idea?
The fortune frames developed from a conversation with my brother during a family meal at a Chinese buffet. We’ve always liked to read the fortunes out loud after the meal and have a laugh at the more interesting ones. I said some of them were good enough that they ought to be framed. Then it hit me that I could do exactly that with Shapeways. My brother said that if I ever made them he’d definitely buy one, but instead I gave him one of my original prints for Christmas.

Fortune Frame (2.25" by .625") Standing - Five by Reaper Media

Fortune Frame (2.25″ by .625″) Standing – Five by Reaper Media

There are some incredible dice in your shop, how did you come up with such wide variations?
Usually I make things for the fun of it or simply because I haven’t made one yet, and then later try to see what I can do with it on Shapeways, but my dice are one of the few things I have ever sat down and tried to come up with ideas for. I’d make lists of things of a similar nature that come in different numbers, like how many loops in a Celtic knot or the number of lobes on a leaf. The trickiest one was my Legs Die, which I don’t sell because I’m not entirely satisfied with. I used a man with a cane for the number three and it feels like cheating. I don’t suppose you know any animals with three legs, do you?

Gear Die by Reaper Media

Gear Die by Reaper Media

Do you generally advise people to paint the dice models?
I’ve only tried painting one set of dice and I wasn’t happy with the results, though that was primarily due to my own lack of skills when it comes to painting. The only thing I’ve painted and been happy with have been my Emotional Robots because they were designed to look a bit run down and low budget.

Speaking of which, what’s the story behind the overly-emotional robots?
The Emotional Robots began with a name. For some reason I just thought Depressed Robot Productions would be a hilarious name for a company. To go along with the name I sketched out a quick and sloppy drawing of a moping robot on a stool. Normally I clean things like that up in Illustrator but for some reason I liked the loose style of it and even put it on a t-shirt. Making a 3D printed version came much later, and the idea to do a series came even later still.

You’re up to 50 pint-sized monsters! What inspires these little creations?
The monsters first came to me while I was half asleep one night. Cute, cartoony little creatures that could be made quickly and without too much detail just seemed like a fun idea, but what kept me going was when I made up rules and turned it into a game with myself. I would make them in groups of five. Each monster would have one primary color and not share that with any other member of the five. I came up with categories like Ancient, Bug, Cryptid, Joke, Space, Spooky, Winged, etc. Each monster would express primarily one of those and no two monsters in one batch could share the same category. And finally there had to be at least two female monsters in each batch. The challenge of following those arbitrary rules has kept my interest for well over fifty monsters. I’ve nearly filled a shelf with them and I hope to fill a few more before I’m done.

Wandering Eye by Reaper Media

Wandering Eye by Reaper Media

Your shop is full of variety, what ultimately drives your inspiration behind producing all these different things?
The variety is really just my refusal to get bored with what I do. I take an interest in one topic for a while and before I get sick of it I move on to something else. Later I may return to further mine out an older theme for new ideas. Other things are specifically for people I know. Christmas gifts that I later decide might have a larger audience. And I’m always happy to take requests. My father used to make z-scale train sets in briefcases. He wanted cacti for an old west set and couldn’t find what he wanted, so I offered to make him some. Now they’re one of my best sellers.

Check out Scott’s shop on Shapeways and see his eclectic array of products. With his wide collection of mini monsters, the selection promises to be scary good.

 

These Gifts Are Unlike Anything They’ve Seen

By day, Joaquin Baldwin works in feature film animation. In his spare time, he creates an incredible array of inspired 3D printed objects. With the holidays just days away, his designs are ideal last-minute gifts for those hard-to-shop-for friends who seem to have everything.

Bulbophyllum Gracilis Planter by Joaquin Baldwin 3D Printed Designs

Bulbophyllum Gracilis Planter by Joaquin Baldwin 3D Printed Designs

From the witty to the wondrous, Joaquin’s pieces draw upon unusual sources, resulting in beautiful, unprecedented works of art. “I find a lot of inspiration in mathematical and biological shapes. I try to blend the two for a lot of my work. I usually start with a simple compound concept idea (say, origami + skeleton, or mobius + bacon) and go from there,” he told us.

Mobius Maximus by Joaquin Baldwin 3D Printed Designs

Mobius Maximus by Joaquin Baldwin 3D Printed Designs

His explorations have included riffs on caffeine molecules, the skeletons of insects, the shape of orchids, and a stunning variety of mathematical objects.

Origami Crane Skeleton by Joaquin Baldwin 3D Printed Designs

Origami Crane Skeleton by Joaquin Baldwin 3D Printed Designs

Joaquin’s work is the result of personal creative explorations. His process begins with “a few mockups in Maya, and if I like the concept after that point, I create a final model.” He told us that his goal is “simply to make things I want for myself, and to challenge myself, and if the audience shows interest as well, to put in on my shop so I can have a self-sustaining hobby.”

Radiolaria Geodesica Planter by Joaquin Baldwin 3D Printed Designs

Radiolaria Geodesica Planter by Joaquin Baldwin 3D Printed Designs

Discover more of Joaquin’s work in his Shapeways Shop. If you order soon, one of his fantastical works of art can make it to you in time for Hanukkah and Christmas. You can view all of our materials ordering deadlines here, and make sure to explore our full Holiday Gift Guide for a last-minute dose of gifting inspiration.

10 Custom Gifts You Can Still Get by Dec. 24

The holidays are fast approaching — and so are the last days you can order to get unique, personalized gifts in time for the holidays. In addition to our huge selection of customizable gifts, most of our products are available in dozens of materials and finishes, adding an extra dose of personalization to your gifts.

For maximum flexibility and fastest fabrication times, choose to print your gifts in Shapeways’ Strong and Flexible plastic. It’s the most versatile material we print in, and can be used for a range of products including gadgets, cases, art, accessories, and jewelry.

Below, discover ten personalizable gifts that can still make it in time for Christmas or Hanukkah:

1. Candy Cane Sleigh by Crafted3D

Candy Cane Sleigh by Crafted3D

2. Tesselpus Charm by Kitten Corner

custom 2

3. Rocinante Horse Sculpture by Oyma 3D

custom 3

4. Brain Beer Twist Opener by Curiosity Lab

custom 4

5. Customizable 4/4S (5/5S available) Iphone Cat Case by raphaelvertices

Customizable 4/4S (5/5S available) Iphone Cat Cuto by raphaelvertices

6. Kitty Hairstick by Kitten Corner

Kitty Hairstick by Kitten Corner

7. Fidget Sphere – The toy that will help you focus! by Fidget Toys

Fidget Sphere - The toy that will help you focus! by Fidget Toys

8.  LoveSplash Custom 7 capital letters by numarul7

custom 8

9. Ribbon Bottlecage – Designed by Daan Mulder by Shapeways Ribbons

custom 9

10. Customizable w.Graphic Guitar Pick Toxic by raphaelvertices

custom 10

Don’t see the perfect gift here? All of our customization options are easy to view. Simply check the “customizable” box in the Shop section of the site. And let us know in the comments what custom options you’d like to see on Shapeways.

Holiday Gift Card Holder Challenge Roundup

This fall, we hosted the Gift Card Holder Challenge, and you came through with some amazing submissions! Just in time for holiday stocking stuffers, we’ve picked some of our favorites. Discover a better way to give a gift card, below:

Top picks:

We love this gift card holder because it’s a great way to make that piece of plastic cash feel special and festive.

Gift Card Holder by Carl's Puzzles

Gift Card Holder by Carl’s Puzzles

This gift card holder can fit all your loot from the holidays, or double as a business card holder. It can even be personalized with CustomMaker to make the perfect present.

Card Holder Box (Part 1 of 2) by Cady Carlson Designs boss gift business business cards cady carlson designs card card holder employer function gift gift cards gift idea networking organization organizer

Card Holder Box (Part 1 of 2) by Cady Carlson Designs

Honorable Mention:

An innovative screw-in design makes this gift card holder into an ornament that’s ready to hang on the tree.

gift card screw in ornament with holes by Nibbles & Bits

gift card screw in ornament with holes by Nibbles & Bits

Are you looking for a gift card to share 3D printing this holiday? You can order yours here.

How TheLaserGirls Create Faux-Steel Swords

For our next installment of Cosplay Tips from TheLaserGirls (see past posts here and here), Sarah C. Awad and Dhemerae Ford share with us how they created a two-toned steel effect for their Buster Swords. Don’t miss your chance to check out their shop for utterly unique last-minute holiday gifts. And read on for all the details on their sword creation process.

The Final (Fantasy) Products!

The Final (Fantasy) Products!

In order to create the desired two-toned, steel effect for both of our Buster Swords, we set out on an extensive testing period to cover all our bases.  Experimenting upon familiar and unfamiliar materials, we were not only able to refine the “chroming” process we commonly use on our projects, but we also created a nuanced reference library of test pieces to go to for upcoming projects, saving us a lot of time for future work.

Prep Work

As mentioned, we decided to use the same kit and process Sarah used last year on her suit of armor, for it was the most familiar to us, the least time consuming, and the least expensive option for our time frame and budget.  For more information on the specifics of that process, click here.

Keep in mind, this process yields an effect that is more akin to “silver” than “chrome,” especially in terms of achieving a mirrored finish.  We like using this process because of these results.

In a nutshell, the  process is a 4-step spray painting procedure: colored base coat, urethane gloss adherent, aluminum dust (which gives the metallic finish), and another urethane gloss layer as a topcoat.  This project gave us the opportunity to play more with the different tones of grey we could achieve from simply changing that base coat color (which ended up being a happy accident when working on Sarah’s pieces last year).

Test Cards

At this point in the project, we were unsure about what materials we were planning to print in, so we decided to test on the top three we were considering:

ProJet 7000 SLA (laser sintered liquid): A glossy polypropylene-like ivory plastic  (Printed via the LaGuardia Studio)

Polished and Unpolished Nylon SLS (laser sintered powder, either polished in a machine or left :raw”): A photo-polymer plastic (Printed via Shapeways)

Our testers were 3 X 5 X .125 inch “cards,” each labeled with a number and a letter that corresponded with the material it was printed in (U for Unpolished Nylon, P for Polished Nylon, and 7K for SLA). We printed 10 of each card for safe measure.

Reference images in hand, the next step was to get some paint for our first base layer. We tested on the following (we added notes where we felt necessary):

Alsa Corp Killer Can in Jet Black: A “retro matte” black base coat that comes with the spray chrome kit.

Mountain GOLD Series in G7090 Coke: A less pigmented (“natural black”), but heavily textured black

Montana MTN 94 Series in RV119 London Grey: A soft dove grey with an olive undertone

Montana MTN BLK in 9001 Black: A rich black paint semi matte paint

Liquitex Professional Spray Paint in Neutral Grey 5: We found that all the Liquitex paints definitely had the look of acrylic paint, especially the white.

Liquitex Professional Spray Paint in Iridescent Rich Silver: Neutral metallic silver paint

Liquitex Professional Spray Paint in Neutral Grey 3: ultra matte finish

Liquitex Professional Spray Paint in Titanium White: matte finish

Liquitex Professional Spray Paint in White Paint (Gloss and Matte): On the cool side of white

Krylon Metallic Spray Paint in Silver: Your standard silver spray paint

Krylon Color Master in Gloss White: Your standard High Gloss spray paint

Raw Paint Tests

Raw Paint Test Chips 2

Close Up of Silver Chips

Close up of Black and Gray Chips

Raw Paint Test 3

Raw Paint Test 4

Raw Paint Test 5

 

Base Coat: First Impressions

Overall, we had a solid line-up of tests, but we definitely had some standouts, for good and bad reasons.

Alsa Corp Killer Can in Jet Black:  looked great on all 3 materials, and did a great job of diminishing the texture of the SLS prints.  We liked the automotive feel it gave the SLA prints and the velvety feel it gave to the SLS.

Montana MTN 94 Series in RV119 London Grey: Loved the shade, disliked the spurting spray that was difficult to finagle- easily solved through replacing the cap.

Mountain GOLD Series in G7090 Coke: Preferred the Alsa Black due to its ultra matte finish and lack of texture- this paint was significantly textured in comparison; not great for imitating metal, but ended up being perfect for Sarah’s Fenrir Pauldron.

Liquitex Professional Spray Paint in White Paint (Gloss and Matte): Looked good on all 3 materials and also helped with the surface texture; however, it did appear more like acrylic paint and less like spray paint.

All Chromed Up: First Impressions

Krylon Metallic Silver

Liquitex Metallic Silver

Gloss White

Alsa Black

Dark Grey

Matte White

Light Grey

Gold Tests

We found that the SLA coat was much smoother than the SLS, but the Polished turned out a lot better than expected; the material has a good tooth for spray paint, which made every coat fall evenly across the tests. We also did not experience any flaking on the SLS compared to the SLA.  Further sanding the Polished with fine-grit (400+ grit) sandpaper yielded an even smoother and more reflective result- the same goes for the SLA.

The Unpolished was heavily textured but still felt quite smooth, had strong reflectivity, and took paint effortlessly.

In terms of color changes, the grey paints yielded the most steel-like effect compared to the other colors, and the white yielded a finished closer to sterling silver.

If you have scrolled through the gallery above and found that every test looked quite similar, there are several reasons for that: firstly, the high reflectivity made the tests very difficult to photograph, and we did our best to capture the essence of each material.  Secondly, there were very subtle differences in each test in terms of tones and how the colors flashed and changed in different lighting.  This was something that we only really realized after completing our testing.

Conclusions and Decisions

 

After some deliberation, we ultimately decided that the Alsa Black and London Grey would suit both of our swords perfectly; they worked beautifully as a pair, especially in their nuances- they truly captured that steel feel.

Material wise, we did choose the SLA material not only due to our familiarity with it, but also due to its ultra smooth, high definition surface that would cut down on work time, as well as give us a crispness necessary for a blade.

The Polished and Unpolished SLS, while yielding great results in reflectivity, pigmentation, and coverage, just did not have the surface quality we were looking for in this project. We felt that for our vision that it did not mimic steel in terms of finish and in “weight,” not necessarily in terms of physical grams or pounds, but in in look and feel; it had a lightness to it that we felt was opposite to that of a heavy, steel blade. If you are going for a more hammered appearance or an aluminum finish, these materials work very well in achieving that, both from a cosmetic and physicality sense.

Some Takeaways:

It comes in a kit for a reason: We found that at the end of the day, the paint that came with the kit worked best with the chrome process- they were designed to work together after all. That may sound obvious, but this is why testing is so important; there are exceptions, and you will not know if you try.

Do the prep work: Sanded surfaces worked much better in terms of reflectivity across all the materials we tested.

Polished Preferred (at least in our opinion!): In their pure forms, we found that the Polished SLS prints worked better than the Unpolished prints for the look we were going for (see above).

Regarding the Alsa Killer Chrome Kit: Buffing and hand polishing after the chrome process actually lowers the reflectivity and shine of the prints. Using any other glossy spray paint as a topcoat in lieu of the kit’s topcoat also matte-ifies the surface.

– Sarah C. Awad and Dhemerae Ford

This blog has been reposted with permission from TheLaserGirlsStudio.

7 Boredom-Busting Stocking Stuffers

It’s the cherry on top of Christmas morning: the stocking, stuffed with a few extra goodies. It’s also a gifting challenge. Stocking stuffers should be unexpected, interesting — and tiny. Luckily, our designers are experts at delivering big impact in small packages. Helping you to deliver gifts that are the opposite of boring. This week, as we highlight Last-Minute Finds for every budget, discover seven stocking stuffers they may end up liking better than their real presents.

1. Micro Pocket Fidget Spinner

Micro Pocket Fidget Spinner by Idle Hands Development

Micro Pocket Fidget Spinner by Idle Hands Development

Fidget spinners have been big in 2016. Just add a couple of roller skate ball bearings, and you have a handy tool to keep your hands busy while your brain focuses. It’s true — fidget toys can actually help us focus. Plus, this one is small enough to keep your fidget toy obsession on the DL.

2. Santa-Approved Cookie-Dipper

Little Dipper by Craig Kaplan's Mathematical Art

Little Dipper by Craig Kaplan’s Mathematical Art

Some people just want a milk-soaked cookie, and not an entire glass of milk. We suspect that Santa is one of those people. So he’ll feel pretty good about leaving behind the Little Dipper in your little one’s stocking.

3. Bacon Mobius Strip

Bacon Mobius Strip by Joaquin Baldwin 3D Printed Designs

Bacon Mobius Strip by Joaquin Baldwin 3D Printed Designs

Mobius strips are amazing mathematical objects (read all about them here), and when combined with shockingly realistic bacon details, rendered in full-color sandstone, this one could become a bacon-lover’s favorite — and most unexpected — holiday gift.

4. Kaladesh Die

'Kaladesh' D20 Balanced Gaming Die by Tiny Tokens

‘Kaladesh’ D20 Balanced Gaming Die by Tiny Tokens

Trust us, the roleplayers in your life will go insane over this Magic the Gathering-inspired die.

5. Wow, Such Doge

doge by Ryan Kittleson's Sculpture

doge by Ryan Kittleson’s Sculpture

Doge is the meme that keeps on giving. He’s adorable, and he’s just excited to be here. Give your giftees a dose of doge with this stocking-sized figurine.

6. Klein Bottle Opener

Klein Bottle Opener by Bathsheba Sculpture LLC

Klein Bottle Opener by Bathsheba Sculpture LLC

The Klein Bottle is an amazing one-sided object that math nerds love. Play with the concept with this Klein Bottle that actually opens normal bottles.

7. Knuckies

Cat by Knuckies - Phone Stands, With a Twist

Cat by Knuckies – Phone Stands, With a Twist

These cool little tools are phone stands, phone grippers, and fidget toys all in one. Maybe the most useful stocking stuffer they’ll receive this year.

Check out our full selection of finds in our Holiday Gift Guide, and make sure to order soon. All of our holiday order deadlines can be found here. And let us know in the comments what you’d like to find in your stocking on Christmas morning.

4 Ways You Can Still Say You Made It

The holidays seem to come around earlier every year. At Shapeways, where everything is custom-made to order, our holiday order deadlines are fast approaching. But, fear not, because this week we’re here for all your last-minute gifting challenges, whether you’re looking to fit a certain budget or just find that perfect piece for the person who has everything. Read on for four ways you can still Say You Made It this holiday season.

1. Celebrate their awesomeness with a 3D printed Success Kid

Success Kid by Ryan Kittleson's Sculpture

Success Kid by Ryan Kittleson’s Sculpture

2. Give them an avant-garde vase to show off their cutting-edge taste

Little Triangle Vase by T_LAB

Little Triangle Vase by T_LAB

3. Let the moonlight in with this glowing Moon Lamp

Moon lamp by VFXguy's desktop toys

Moon lamp by VFXguy’s desktop toys

4. Put a bow on more than just their presents

Bow Pendant by Bless This Mess NYC

Bow Pendant by Bless This Mess NYC

No matter how hard they might be to shop for, our Holiday Gift Guide has hundreds of unique, made-to-order gifts for everyone on your list. And check out our curated Last-Minute Finds here, including odd, beautiful, and unusual picks For the Person Who Has Everything.

Never Drop Your Phone Again

As clumsy as it makes us feel, most of us drop our phones. Every. Day. What if there were a way to avoid it? And what if that solution was also fun — and multifunctional? Meet Knuckies – Phone Stands, With a Twist. The 3D printed phone stands, fidget toys, and phone-grippers make perfect holiday gifts, whether you’re stuffing stockings or adding handy accessories to a big-ticket tech gift purchase. Check out all they can do in the video below:

Knuckies attach easily and securely to any device with a simple double-sided mounting sticker. With a range of designs, there’s also a Knuckie for everyone from cat lovers to minimalists. And, while Knuckies make excellent phone stands, they also fold flat — keeping your device low-profile.

Anchor by Phone Stands, With a Twist

Anchor by Knuckies – Phone Stands, With a Twist

Triple Ring by Knuckies – Phone Stands, With a Twist

Check out the full collection of Knuckies here. And for more ways to give your holiday giftees a Technical Advantage, don’t miss all of our gadget-lover gifts in the Holiday Gift Guide. Let us know in the comments how you keep a grip on your phone.