The 3D printing creator community on Shapeways will benefit from tools to boost product creation, marketing, and brand development.
Shapeways, the platform for product creation using 3D printing technologies, has just raised $30 million in a Series E funding round. The round was led by Lux Capital with participation from previous investors Union Square Ventures, INKEF Capital, and Andreessen Horowitz.
The company will use the capital to boost its growth and launch other services that can accelerate its overall vision. In a telephone call with Shapeways CEO Greg Kress, he stated: “We want creators to become millionaires.” Shapeways plans to become an end-to-end platform for creators to design, make and sell their products: “Our mission is to bring ideas to life.”
The company currently has a community of more than one million creators and 10 million products available for 3D printing. By joining the platform, creators receive design tools and services as well as access to more advanced production technologies. Indeed, Shapeways now offers printing facilities across New York, the Netherlands and global partners.
As part of the expansion, it is launching Design With Shapeways, a programme that provides one-on-one support for creators throughout the 3D modeling process. Creators can seek out support for all the technical 3D modeling pain points, even if they have no experience in it.
“Millions of people have brought their product ideas to life with Shapeways thanks to the company’s unparalleled 3D printing expertise, scale, and capability,” explained Zack Schildhorn, partner at Lux Capital. “The plan is to put this product creation engine in the hands of millions more, though more approachable and expansive services. Life-changing businesses will be built on this platform.”
Simplified 3D printing workflow on Shapeways. (Image: Shapeways)
Customizable collections and end-to-end service coming soon
In addition, the company is planning to launch Spring & Wonder, a customized jewelry collection which users can modify and personalize. Specifically, the look, materials, and designs are all customizable.
This is a showcase on what can be done with the right tools: The collection is essentially a demonstration of the company’s 3D modeling and printing capabilities.
Throughout the year, the company expects to launch many more showcase brands.
Furthermore, the Shapeways team is looking to roll out an end-to-end service that lets creators scale into a small business. By taking advantage of the platform’s experience, users can develop their brand, website, marketing support, merchandise and customer service.
Right now, a few select clients are beta testing the management system for their outdoor recreational products.
The company will announce the full project details over the coming months.
“We’ve just hit our 10 millionth product printed but we are just getting started, there is so much more to do,” added Greg Kress, CEO of Shapeways. “We want to enable more creators to reach success and this will include supporting them through design services, manufacturing beyond just 3D printing and helping them create small businesses.”
Shapeways offers a wide range of materials to choose from. (Image: Shapeways)