Category Archives: Holiday 2016

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…

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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

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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

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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

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

5. Let them create their own intricate, personalized ornaments

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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

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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!

Maker-Made Gifting at the Fat Cat Holiday Market

Last Sunday, Shapeways teamed up with one of our favorite Maker spaces, Fat Cat Fab Lab, to host the 2nd Annual Holiday Market. Twenty-five Makers from the New York City area set up shop for the afternoon to show off unique handcrafted and 3D printed products. Among them were a few of our favorite Shapeways designers, including The Laser Girls and Bless This Mess NYC. Folks who stopped into the West Village Maker hub got to browse, chat with independent designers, and go home with cool holiday gifts.

Here are a few of our favorite moments from the market:

Shapeways designers Bless This Mess NYC show off their beautiful jewelry and home decor

 

Oak Digital Craft’s trendy 3D printed bowties and necklaces

 

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The Laser Girls 3D printed nails and cosplay swords overlook Christopher Square in Manhattan

 

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Nirvager’s incredible collection of hand-painted Lego mods and accessories

 

Shapeways designer and sculptor Paul Liaw showcased his jewelry designs

Shapeways designer and sculptor Paul Liaw showcased his jewelry designs

 

Holiday Market organizers Deren Güler (Fat Cat Fab Lab Co-Founder) and Andrew Thomas (Community Manager at Shapeways)

 

Designers and Shapies Ring in the Holidays, Dutch Style

With the end of the year drawing closer, the holidays are nearly here. Last week, we felt the time was right to celebrate our Dutch designers who were true rock stars during Dutch Design Week. While unfortunately not all DDW participants were able to make it, we still had a blast and are looking forward to meeting up soon again!

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Designer Anna Ruiter of Tjielp Design shows Santa and Mrs. Claus her jewelry

Besides good food and drinks and a workshop full of Shapies on site, we were excited to once again welcome our special friends from the North Pole: Santa and his reindeer Kai! After their visit the last two years, Mrs. Claus couldn’t resist joining our early Holiday celebration as well.

Community members meet Mr. and Mrs. Santa and their reindeer

Community members meet Santa and Mrs. Claus and their reindeer

The designers had an exclusive meet and greet with our friends from the North Pole, and their designs got a thorough check to see if they’re ready to be gift-wrapped and delivered down your chimney. From all of us at Shapeways to all of you, happy holidays!

Check out the shops of all the designers featured in our holiday video:

Shapeways' Eindhoven factory team

Shapeways’ Eindhoven factory team

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.

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.

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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

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3. Rocinante Horse Sculpture by Oyma 3D

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4. Brain Beer Twist Opener by Curiosity Lab

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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

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

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10. Customizable w.Graphic Guitar Pick Toxic by raphaelvertices

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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.

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.

Fitbit + Fashion = Bytten

Cases for gadgets are usually purely a necessity. Sure, they can be gorgeous, but for the most part, they’re there to protect. But, what if a case could actually make your tech more useful? Startup bytten aims to do just that, creating stylish Fitbit covers that slide right on — taking the wearable from gym casual to sleekly stylish. This week, as we focus on holiday gifts that offer a Technical Advantage, we’re taking a closer look at a small business that wants to give your wearable technology a fashion upgrade.

True to bytten’s mission to “bring your fitness tracker’s style and personality to a whole new level,” the Lucas slide for Fitbit Flex takes inspiration from computer circuitry to create an intricate, cutting-edge look.

Lucas slide for Fitbit Flex by bytten

For the minimalists on your list, The James Slide for Fitbit Flex is like wearable modern architecture.

James slide for Fitbit Flex by bytten

The Rasa slide for Fitbit Flex allows you to make their tech a personal statement, with custom text options available at no extra charge.

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Bytten’s Fitbit cases are available for multiple models of the popular fitness trackers. The designers also enjoy experimenting and creating pieces in response to feedback from the Shapeways community. The image below shows the symbol collection, which was inspired by requests from bytten’s customers.

The Symbol Collection by bytten

Check out bytten’s full collection in their Shapeways shop to make your fitness-tracking friends more stylish than ever. Plus, don’t miss our Technical Advantage collections for gift ideas that let you personalize, modify, and improve their favorite gadgets.

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.