Shapeways

Shapeways (12)

Shapeways announced the launch of interlocking metals in their printing portfolio, making it the first online 3D printing company to publicly offer this capability. Available in three metals—brass, bronze, and silver—with two finishes, these new materials allow designers to have up to six interlocking parts printed together—making it an ideal offering for makers creating jewelry, games and decor.

“The launch of interlocking metals is a huge step in how jewelers and designers can use Shapeways to bring their creations to life. From chains to earrings to necklaces, the introduction of interlocking metals not only eliminates post-processing production, but also invites the potential for more complex and intricate designs,” said Peter Weijmarshausen, Shapeways CEO. “By consistently expanding our materials and production offerings, we move steadily toward our goal of being the ultimate creative platform for makers--their designs being limited only by their imaginations.”

The interlocking metals will be offered in two finishes, raw and polished. Products with a raw finish are briefly tumbled for a rustic, matte look, with rough surfaces and some tarnishing. It’s great for antique-looking objects, functional parts, jewelry prototypes, and for metal models that will be polished and finished by hand. Polished products are put through an extensive hand-polishing for a smooth and shiny finish, perfect for jewelry and precious products. The printing for interlocking metals ensures a more durable product construction, due to there being no interlocking seams which would have been otherwise present when manually connecting parts.

The launch comes after having successfully introduced interlocking brass and silver to the Shapeways community via the materials pilot program last year. Bronze was added to the interlocking metals portfolio launch as a result of the feedback from the designer community during that test period.

Among the designers that have already embraced the interlocking metals capability is Lana Lepper, of LanaBetty. "To design jewelry specific for 3D printing is to design a piece that could not be made any other way. What I love about interlocking metals, is that it encompasses this idea perfectly,” said Lana. “Clients look at my interlocked pieces with wonderment and curiosity, searching for the point at which the metal was cut and re-soldered together. When it clicks and they begin to comprehend how the jewelry was designed and created, is the best moment. They get it and they immediately love the piece even more.”

With 13 new materials having been released this year, Shapeways now boasts 59+ material offerings.

Shapeways and Panalpina have entered into a strategic partnership which will enable both companies to expand their digital manufacturing capabilities globally. Panalpina sees digital manufacturing and 3D printing specifically as a perfect complement to its Logistics Manufacturing Services (LMS) offering, giving customers the possibility to customize products and bring production closer to consumer demand.

"3D printing is one of the most exciting frontiers of digital transformation," says Mike Wilson, Panalpina's global head of Logistics. "It stands for the convergence of the real with the virtual world – and it has the potential to dramatically change the traditional manufacturing and logistics industries."

Shapeways CEO Peter Weijmarshausen concurs: "As manufacturing moves from analog to digital, everything we know about product creation will change. Our community the world over is leveraging access to digital manufacturing from our platform to bring thousands of new products to life every day."

While the technology for 3D printing, or additive manufacturing, has been around for decades, its recent surge in popularity makes perfect sense in the context of current major manufacturing trends. On the one hand, shorter product life cycles, the rise in digital purchasing and the higher speed to get products to market, means that production is moving away from centralized manufacturing to a more distributed model. On the other hand, customers are demanding more customized and personalized products and have the ability to influence the product design. "3D printing is ideal for bringing production closer to the end user and aiding in mass personalization," explains Wilson.

With the strategic partnership, Panalpina will benefit from Shapeways' advanced software solutions and in-depth know-how of 3D printing materials, equipment and processes. In return, Panalpina with its global footprint and facilities in major markets can offer Shapeways geographical expansion possibilities and support in logistics, manufacturing, distribution and other value-added services.

"Panalpina is ideally suited to assist with the final steps in the manufacturing process including last-mile delivery. In addition, they are investing in their own 3D printing research and capabilities. This demonstrates how committed and serious Panalpina is about the technology, making them an ideal partner for us," says Weijmarshausen.

Panalpina recently launched two joint research projects with Cardiff University (UK), where the company aims to identify the products that could be switched from traditional to new, additive manufacturing techniques and also the impact these techniques will have on future supply chains. In October of last year, Panalpina invested in its first 3D printer to get an understanding of how the technology works as a complement to its Logistics Manufacturing Services (LMS) offering. Having gone through this learning curve the company is now positioned to take the business further.

Wilson sees additional advantages of 3D printing besides the fact that products make it to market faster and can be personalized or customized at the latest possible stage: "Because the value for the customer is added at the end of the supply chain, the brand owner can keep inventories, as well as the cost of transportation and obsolescence, to a minimum. Moreover, additive manufacturing produces less waste than traditional manufacturing methods, which fits perfectly with increasingly circular economies."

"Digital manufacturing will continue to shape many things to come," concludes Tom Finn, global vice president of supply chain at Shapeways.

Shapeways announced an exciting new 3D printing material, Black High Definition Acrylate, a more durable and flexible material than Frosted Ultra Detail (FUD), due to a combination of its strength and elongation properties, with a smoother finish which takes to paint better. Black High Definition Acrylate is perfect for designers who want a more customizable material for miniatures and other high detail products.

“We are excited to offer our new Black High Definition Acrylate to makers all over the world. We know how much our community enjoys creating incredible, unique miniatures and scale models and we’re thrilled to provide a material that lends itself so well to the creation of high detail, customizable pieces,” said Peter Weijmarshausen, Shapeways CEO. “We aim to provide the highest quality materials for 3D modelers and designers and Black High Definition Acrylate is the next step.”

Model train designers will be particularly excited about this new material. It offers increased detail for fine-edged and intricate models which is especially valuable to miniature scale designs and a smoother finish offers a better paint surface for detailing post production. The durability and the beautiful finish of the Acrylate also make this material ideal for gadget and accessory applications as well, such as phone cases and jewelry prototyping.

Launching in R5 Grey in Black, Black High Definition Acrylate is a UV sensitive acrylic polymer similar to Frosted Ultra Detail (FUD), but with slightly different material properties and printing processes. Unlike FUD, which is printed using a Multijet Modeling process, this new material is printed using Direct Light Projection (DLP) which provides excellent resolution and accuracy.

DLP technology uses visible spectrum light to cure the liquid resin one layer at a time. A resin bath sits above a high resolution projector which projects cross-sectional images of your model. The resin cures with exposure to visible light, curing an entire layer with a single pass. Since the entire layer is cured at once, build speed is generally faster than other technologies such as laser sintering or stereolithography which trace the slice of your model while sintering or curing at precise locations. After printing, models are removed from the build platform and are post-cured by a UV light.

"We're excited that 3D printed products are catching up to the kind of quality and detail that more traditional manufacturing methods offer," said Joshua Bennett, Hero Forge COO. "Our audience is very discerning, and this new material allows for high quality, faithful translation from digital models into a physical consumer product. The incredibly fine resolution means our users don't have to trade detail for customizability. It's really just a great material for us all around."

For more information, visit: www.shapeways.com/materials/high-definition-acrylate

Shapeways, the world’s largest 3D printing service, marketplace and community, announces a new round of funding, led by The Netherlands based investor, INKEF Capital. Hewlett Packard Ventures and Presidio Ventures, the investment arm of the Tokyo-based Sumitomo Corporation, also participated in the round, as well as current investors Andreessen Horowitz, Union Square Ventures, Index Ventures, and Lux Capital. Robert Jan Galema of INKEF Capital joins the Shapeways board.

“Shapeways is redefining how products are being made,” says Peter Weijmarshausen, CEO and Co-Founder of Shapeways. “The partners in this funding round share our vision that manufacturing is moving from analog to digital and as a result it will disrupt product creation, and make it more accessible to everyone.”

Galema sees Shapeways as the clear leader that has established the perfect positioning in its value chain. “The 3D printing industry itself is at an inflection point shifting the user base beyond the innovating group of designers only. The long term impact of industry game changers is very often underestimated and no one really knows how fast things will happen, but it is happening now!”

Shapeways will use the capital to invest in its community, continue to work on new features and materials for its platform, and boost the company’s world-class production environment and supply chain, which already includes two factories and many manufacturing partners. The partnership announced last year between HP and Shapeways to pilot new printers that promise to increase the speed and quality of 3D printed products is one such example.

“Hewlett Packard Ventures is excited to help Shapeways accelerate their momentum and scale their business around the world,” said Lak Ananth, Managing Director, Hewlett Packard Ventures. “As a strategic partner, we will build upon our existing relationship with Shapeways to help make the vision and promise of 3D printing and additive manufacturing a reality.”

With this investment, INKEF Capital confirms its strategic direction to invest in Dutch rooted globally relevant technology companies. “Considering the Dutch roots of the company, as a Netherlands based investor we are especially delighted to support Shapeways in this next stage of development,” Galema adds.

Since Shapeways launched in 2008, the service has 3D printed more than 2.5 million products, with 150,000 new designs uploaded to the website monthly. Of the 620,000 community members, 30,000 sell their unique products on the Shapeways marketplace, which draws a global audience.

For more information, visit: www.shapeways.com

The promise of 3D Printing for all - designers and consumers, alike - takes a significant step forward as Shapeways, the leading 3D Printing marketplace and community, today announced a $30 million Series C round of financing, led by Andreessen Horowitz. The current investors of Shapeways - Union Square Ventures, Index Ventures, and Lux Capital - also participated in the round. Chris Dixon , partner at Andreessen Horowitz, will take a board seat at the company.

"Our vision is big; we want to make 3D printing affordable and accessible for everyone worldwide. This funding will help us realize our vision at an even faster rate," said Co-Founder & CEO, Peter Weijmarshausen . "Andreessen Horowitz has a great track record of investing in companies solving unique problems, and like us, believes that 3D Printing has the potential to completely change the world. We couldn't be more excited about working together."

"Shapeways eliminates the fixed costs of manufacturing and makes use of breakthrough advances in 3D printing," says Chris Dixon , General Partner at Andreessen Horowitz.  "We believe that technology is at its best when it enables human creativity. The Internet unlocked the world of bits. 3D printing is unlocking the world of atoms."

Shapeways plans to use the Series C financing to grow its team, build more factories, and continue to overcome the technological challenges that will allow them to revolutionize 3D printing even further.

With well over 1,000,000 3D-printed products to date, and 60,000 new designs uploaded every month, Shapeways is among the largest online marketplaces for custom products. On Shapeways, individuals can make, buy, and sell custom products ranging from iPhone cases and jewelry to functional parts. Shapeways is home to 10,000 Shops run by independent designers who sell their products to customers around the world.

"Shapeways Shop Owners are the future of small business: they don't have inventory, they rapidly iterate on products, and they have direct access to consumer feedback," Weijmarshausen added.

For more information, visit: www.shapeways.com

Shapeways detailed their plans to bring manufacturing back to New York City with their "Factory of the Future," a new 3D Printing facility being built in Long Island City. Currently under construction, the "Factory of the Future" is en route to becoming the biggest consumer-facing 3D Printing manufacturing facility in the world, with the potential to 3D Print three to five million unique products a year on high-end, industrial size printers. At 25,000 square feet, the expansive facility will house between 30 to 50 industrial-size 3D Printers and create as many as 50 manufacturing jobs in a year's time.

"We're doing something that's never been done before. We are manufacturing, post-processing, cleaning, sorting, and shipping thousands of unique items on a daily basis right here in New York," said Peter Weijmarshausen, Shapeways CEO and Co-Founder. "Why make things overseas and then ship them here? Let's make things local again."

The Factory is set to be fully operational in January 2013, and will be open for tours. Build out plans include the addition of state of the art 3D Printers, including EOS Selective Laser Sintering (SLS), Projet UV Cured Acrylic Resin Printing, and ZCorp full color printing, some of which can make up to 1,000 objects in a day. There will also be a Shapeways Lab dedicated to research and development of new materials, post-production techniques, and community experimentation.

Weijmarshausen added, "It was only a few years ago that we started 3D Printing in the Netherlands with one machine. Now, we have over 7,000 Shapeways Shop Owners running their business on our platform, nearly 200,000 users making unique products come to life, and a team of 60 employees making this vision a reality. We're excited to be able to open our doors to the public here in New York and show people the infinite possibilities 3D Printing enables."

Mayor Bloomberg was on site at the facility for the ribbon cutting ceremony and stated, "New York City the center of creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship is a natural home for Shapeways, and we look forward to seeing what kinds of exciting products and quality jobs they can create."

Shapeways also announced its support of the NYC Economic Development Coalition's rapid prototyping initiative and New York's Next Top Makers competition, helping entrepreneurs bring their innovative products to market. Shapeways will be hosting a custom 3D Printing Bootcamp for the winners, providing guidance on 3D design, rapid product iteration, and material innovation. "This contest will make sure New York City stays on the cutting edge of 3D Printing, an exciting new industry with virtually unlimited potential, and which could completely revolutionize manufacturing," said Mayor Bloomberg. The NY start-up will also sponsor $300 worth of 3D Printing for each of the 6 winning teams. Shapeways Designer Evangelists will also support the winners with ongoing mentorship.

"The Factory of the Future builds on New York's proud tradition of manufacturing excellence by creating the jobs of tomorrow starting today," said Empire State Development President, CEO & Commissioner Kenneth Adams. "Under Governor Cuomo's leadership, high-tech, cutting-edge companies, like Shapeways, are choosing to bring their business and jobs to New York."

On Shapeways, individuals can make, buy and sell their own products. By providing a platform for our community members to share ideas and gain access to cutting edge technology, we're bringing personalized production to everyone, whether you're already designing in 3D or are looking to find something just right. We 3D Print everything on-demand, which means that every order is customized and personalized.

Headquartered in New York with offices in Eindhoven and Seattle, Shapeways is a spin-out of the lifestyle incubator of Royal Philips.

For more information, visit: www.shapeways.com



Shapeways, the leading 3D printing community and marketplace, today launches The Vibe, an iPhone Case fully customizable with audio from SoundCloud, the leading social sound platform. The Vibe is the first customizable iPhone case that uses SoundCloud audio and Shapeways 3D printing to make "sound you can touch."

Using Shapeways' easy to use web app, you select your favorite sound from SoundCloud and the waveform will integrate into the very structure of the iPhone case. The result is a beautiful, unique protective case, available in top-quality white or black 3D printed plastic.

The Vibe is the latest Creator built by Shapeways to put meaningful, personalized products into everyone's hands. Users can 3D print any sound on their case, from their favorite song to their child's first words to the sounds of NYC rush hour traffic. The web app, which integrates with the SoundCloud API, is the first on the market that makes turning sound files into physical objects incredibly easy.

CEO Peter Weijmarshausen explained, "We are really excited to let anyone design their own personalized iPhone case with their favorite sound. The Vibe is literally sound you can touch! This is yet another example of how Shapeways is enabling personalized production using 3D printing."

The Vibe iPhone Case launches today at a promotional price of $19.95 through March 18th.

For more information, visit: www.shapeways.com/creator/thevibe

Shapeways, the online community and marketplace for personalized production using 3D printing, announced a new service for 3D printing in glazed ceramic. This is the first Shapeways material that is food safe, enabling designers and consumers to create personalized ceramic tableware, including, salt & pepper shakers, plates, mugs and more that actually can be used for eating and drinking. Additional applications include candle holders, soap dishes, figurines, decorative art and other home décor. An array of Shapeways’ unique, 3D printed, ceramic home items will be showcased at the International Contemporary Furniture Fair (ICFF), North America’s premier showcase for contemporary design, at the Jacob Javits Center in New York City (booth #1451) May 14-17.

“Ceramic is not only a sustainable and aesthetically pleasing material, but it is also food safe, which opens up a whole new set of possibilities for our design community and consumers,” said Peter Weijmarshausen, Shapeways CEO. “With ceramic 3D printing, now anyone can make storebought-quality ceramic home products based on their own design to suit their personal decorating style.”

Designer Gijs de Zwart, The Netherlands, a Shapeways community member and shop owner adds, “Ceramic has always been considered a valuable and durable material in many cultures and, therefore, it means a giant step for 3D printed products. After silver and polished SLS, this is the third material from Shapeways that can easily compete with other manufacturing methods in terms of surface finish, and will therefore be attractive to both designers and consumers.” De Zwart is known for his intricate egg cup designs and other home décor items that can be found in his Shapeways shop StudioGijs.

Shapeways’ new ceramic material is fired with a gloss finish and smooth to the touch. Generally, a 3D printed ceramic figurine will cost approximately $20; a mug, $50-70; a fruit bowl, $100-200; and a vase $40-400. (Pricing varies based on total surface area of raw material: $1.16 /in2 or $0.18/cm2). Suitable for larger 3D printed home décor products, the max build size for ceramics is 7.5 x 9.1 x 5.9 inches or 19 x 23 x 15 cm.

“The use of a warm and traditional material like ceramic highlights an object’s design and beauty,” said designer Vincent Greco, France, also a Shapeways community member and shop owner. “To the end consumer, a 3D printed ceramic object appears to be an ordinary ceramic object. The 3D printing becomes more of a mystery, the technology that enabled the design to come to life.” Vincent has tested 3D ceramic printing with his square mug design, Concave Cup. It can be found along with his other designs in his Shapeways shop, Magic’s designs.

How does ceramic 3D printing work? Layer by layer, binder is deposited on a bed of ceramic powder. Once all layers are printed, the object is put in an oven to dry and harden. The brittle, fragile object is then depowdered and fired in a kiln at high temperature. Finally, a glaze is applied and the object is fired again at a lower temperature, which makes it become shiny and smooth.

More information about Shapeways’ wide range of 3D printing materials can be found at: www.shapeways.com/materials

Shapeways, the online community and marketplace for personalized production using 3D printing, will be showcasing the latest 3D printed home décor items created by its talented community at the International Contemporary Furniture Fair (ICFF), North America’s premier showcase for contemporary design. Among the items will be an elegant dual purpose desk accessory, a combination pen holder and paper tray, designed by Shapeways community member Dominik Raskin. Chosen as the winner of Shapeways’ recent ICFF design competition, Raskin’s 3D printed design will be able to be seen by more than 24,000 interior designers, architects, retailers, designers, manufacturers, representatives, distributors, and developers who attend the show at the Jacob Javits Center in New York City (booth #1451) May 14-17.

“Our community truly amazes us with the incredibly cool things they make every day,” said Shapeways CEO Peter Weijmarshausen. “Our ICFF design contest not only inspired our community to get creative, but it also enabled one lucky winner to show their personal design to some of the most influential people in contemporary home design; hopefully, all the while having great fun!”

Dominik Raskin and His Winning Design

“My design concept came from the idea to create a minimal surface from which two functionalities could emerge, in this case the pen holder and paper tray,” said Shapeways community member and designer Dominik Raskin. “Adjustments were made to the initial shape to reduce material and costs without jeopardizing stability. First the mesh was tessellated and only the ribs maintained, then the base of the object was made smaller. This all added up to become a dynamic and novel shape.”

Raskin studied architecture in Brussels, Belgium. After working on a wide range of projects and gaining experience in several architecture offices, he moved to Mumbai, India to teach interior design and travel. His encounter with local students and designers such as Nuru Karim and Sameep Padora strengthened his instinct for poetry and natural forms in design.

After two years in India, Raskin pursued a new challenge to live and teach in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. The penetration of contemporary Western thinking in Asia is something he deals with on a daily basis while working with students. They are eager to learn the Western way of thinking and designing, but Raskin also teaches them to value and not forget their cultural heritage.

Shapeways ICFF Contest Judges Weigh In

Shapeways asked journalists at some of most respected media outlets that cover design, 3D printing, and home décor to help judge the ICFF competition. More than 150 entries were received, and the judges were asked to choose their favorite designs, taking into consideration each item's aesthetics, as well as the innovative use of 3D printing technology.

Here’s what the judges had to say about Raskin’s winning pen and paper tray holder:

“What a great idea! It's multifunctional, beautiful, and quietly efficient,” said Suzanne LaBarre, senior editor at Co. Design, the design news site of FastCompany.com. “Plus it shows how 3D printing can be exploited to create exquisitely complex patterns that'd be next to impossible by any other method.”

“If you've ever seen dimensional illustrations exhibiting the effects of gravity and black holes deforming space-time, they look strikingly similar to the ornate symmetry exhibited here, transforming what is usually the most mundane of products, a paper tray, and injecting an element of motion and direction all across its surface,” said Gregory Han, managing editor of Apartment Therapy Unplggd, a site dedicated to the harmonious art of balancing technology with home decor. “There's also an entomological element which reminds of the strength and inherent beauty of insect wings, and the wave-like form (which at first glance I thought was a table) adds a playful temptation, inviting one to place something on its end, if only to see if the design counterbalances the weight. Overall, my favorite in form and function.”

“The beauty of Dominik's pen holder design is in the simplicity but most certainly in the dual purpose of such a piece,” said Josh Mings who writes at SolidSmack.com where he covers product development, design and related technology. “It's streamline and brings back the elegance of putting pencil to paper. The white material seems to spread off the paper and wrap around the instruments used to put thought back onto the paper.”

For more information visit: www.shapeways.com

Shapeways, the online community and marketplace for personalized production using 3D printing, launched a new service enabling anyone to make products in pure silver. Shapeways is the first consumer platform to enable anyone in the world to make unique and personalized products in silver.

“3D printing was first created for industrial use,” said Shapeways CEO Peter Weijmarshausen. “Now, using Shapeways, anyone can 3D print in refined artisan grade materials, including precious metals like pure silver. We can’t wait to see what our community will create with this new capability!”

Taking Do It Yourself (DIY) jewelry making to the next level, Shapeways’ “Draw It” creators offers users with no 3D modeling skills the ability to draw their own rings or earrings on paper and have those jewelry designs come to life. Anyone can personalize an existing jewelry design found at Shapeways.com or shop from thousands of unique accessories in the Shapeways shops and have them custom made in silver using 3D printing.

Those with 3D modeling skills can now design original jewelry and other decorative items using traditional 3D design software and print them in silver. Designers can also open a Shapeways shop and sell their designs directly to consumers—Shapeways handles the 3D printing, shipping and customer service.

"Now that Shapeways is offering 3D printed silver, designers are poised to reinvent the jewelry industry," said Nervous System’s Jessica Rosenkrantz. Nervous System is a design studio that works at the intersection of science, art, and technology.

Shapeways community member Christina Westbrook added, "Now 3D printing can enter the world of Fine Jewelry! Both the jeweler and 3D modeler nerd in me is stoked."

The new silver material likely will be used primarily to create jewelry, but there are certainly applications for the Shapeways hobbyist community as well—expect to see silver dice, spaceships and model trains.

Items ordered in silver are first 3D printed in wax and then cast in silver. Rings will cost approximately $40, earrings, $80, and bracelets, starting at $140. Pricing is based on the total amount of material used, $40 for the first cm3 plus $20 per additional cm3. As always, Shapeways includes free shipping worldwide. The maximum size for Silver is 15x15x10 cm (6x6x4 inch) Silver will be available in two finishes, polished and high shine polished (for an additional $10). Average delivery time is 15 business days. For more information about 3D printing in silver, please visit: http://www.shapeways.com/materials/silver

Shapeways, the online community and marketplace for personalized production using 3D printing, announces today that the company has opened a production center in Eindhoven, The Netherlands and installed its first EOS 3D printer. This first printer will 3D print items ordered at Shapeways.com in its strong & flexible plastics, as well as Alumide, and enable the company to ship items in as little as 48 hours. While this addition expands the company’s capabilities, Shapeways will continue working with its production partners to offer community members the widest possible range of top-of-the-line 3D printing materials.

“Consumers have rapidly moved from mass market products to unique customizable items, but, at the same time, they demand the same speed and quality at that same price,” said Shapeways CEO Peter Weijmarshausen. “By setting up our own production facility, we are advancing industry knowledge of personalized production. As our own manufacturer, we can be immediately responsive to customer demand.”

The new Eindhoven operations and production center opens simultaneously with Shapeways’ New York City headquarters, which will house marketing, design, software development and community relations, allowing the company to easily serve its community from two continents.

Shapeways’ 3D printer, a Formiga P 100, is a Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) machine made by EOS of Germany. Reading a 3D design file, the printer uses a laser to harden very fine powder and build the object layer by layer (commonly known as additive manufacturing). The Formiga P 100 can print objects as large as 7.9” x 9.8” x 13” (200mm x 250 mm x 330 mm).

Working with production partners, Shapeways also offers 3D printing in stainless steel with a variety finishes, including gold-plating; glass, in matte and two gloss finishes; full color sandstone; white, black and transparent detail acrylic-based plastics; as well as grey robust ABS plastic. For more information about the various materials offered at Shapeways.com, please visit: http://www.shapeways.com/materials/

Shapeways (www.shapeways.com), the online community and marketplace for personalized production using 3D printing, is excited to announce that internationally renowned puzzle designer and long-time Shapeways community member Oskar van Deventer has achieved an unofficial world record with the creation of his 17x17x17 twisty puzzle 3D printed at Shapeways.com. The previous record was held by Leslie Lie from China for his 12x12x12 cube.

“When I heard about the world records being set for Rubik’s Cubes, like the 7x7x7, 9x9x9 and 11x11x11 created by Panagiotis Verdes from Greece, and Lie from China for his 12x12x12, I wanted to try to set a new record myself,” said Oskar van Deventer. “With sponsorship and prototyping help from my good friend Claus Wenicker, I began designing and testing a number of prototypes, and my third attempt was printed successfully with Shapeways.”

The puzzle, entitled “Over the Top,” took more than 60 hours over the course of the last year for van Deventer to design. The final puzzle design was 3D printed in 1,539 individual white strong and flexible plastic pieces by Shapeways. The pieces were then sorted and hand-dyed by van Deventer, a 10 hour process. Subsequent assembly added an additional five hours of labor. The result is a fully functioning 17x17x17 mechanical puzzle measuring 140 millimeters or 5.5 inch side to side. Puzzle enthusiasts need not have envy, 3D-printed do-it-yourself kits for a fully functioning puzzle are now available for sale for $2,000 at Shapeways.com: http://www.shapeways.com/model/64058/over_the_top___17x17x17

“At Shapeways, we enable anyone to bring their ideas and designs to life as real world objects,” said Shapeways CEO Peter Weijmarshausen. “With 3D printing, people are only limited by their imaginations. Shapeways inspires people to think outside the box, which fosters fresh ideas and innovation in product design. That’s the power of Shapeways.”

Van Deventer, an electrical engineer living in Leidschendam in the Netherlands, started designing his puzzles as hobby at the age of 12. Since 1988, he has sold puzzle designs to toy companies as a side job. Now, thanks to the invention of 3D printing technology and Shapeways.com, van Deventer is able to bring his puzzle designs immediately to a consumer market.

“Currently, when I have a new idea -- say, for a twisty puzzle -- a simple one might take me 5 hours from idea to market,” van Deventer said. “It’s a very quick way to get the design out of my system and into the world.”

Now, more than 30 years since he designed his first puzzle, van Deventer has certainly earned his reputation as one of the world's most prolific puzzle creators. Today, several of his innovations are sold at traditional toy stores and many more are available in his Shapeways shop “Oskar Puzzles”: http://www.shapeways.com/shops/oskarpuzzles. Most recently, one of Oskar's twisty puzzles, “Gift Cube,” was even used for a very original marriage proposal.

Shapeways’ vibrant community includes many puzzle enthusiasts. Some of the greatest puzzle designers in the world, such as Bram Cohen, Richard Gain, George Bell, Tom van der Zanden, Garrett Ong, Rik Brouwer, Tanner Frisby , Adam Cowan, and Vesa Timonen have teamed up with Shapeways to offer the most mind bending, complex, complicated and intricate 3D printed puzzles. To see some of these mind-blowing creations, visit www.shapeways.com/themes/3d_puzzles.

ABOUT SHAPEWAYS Shapeways is the online community and marketplace for personalized production where anyone can make, buy and sell their own creations. Custom-made products are created one-of-a-kind and on-demand in a variety of materials using the latest 3D printing technologies.

The innovative designs found at Shapeways.com have been created by a diverse community of product designers, artists and enthusiasts. Community members engage in everything from collaborative creation through the Shapeways blogs and forum to selling their designs as products through the Shapeways Shops, an international marketplace for consumer created 3D printed products. As the Shapeways community continues to grow, more and more products become available to consumers.

Consumers can shop for unique giftware in the Shapeways Shops or co-create a wide range of personalized, affordable products, from customized cufflinks and jewelry to puzzles, home décor and more.

Headquartered in New York with offices in Eindhoven, Shapeways is a spin-out of the lifestyle incubator of Royal Philips Electronics. Series A investors include Union Square Ventures in New York and Index Ventures in London.

For more information, please visit www.Shapeways.com

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