It’s that time of year again, everyone. It’s time to make that gift list and start shopping for your loved ones, and your kids’ teachers, and your co-workers, and… You get the idea. But there’s a better idea brewing here, and it doesn’t involve trips out to the mall or waking up before dawn to hit those Black Friday sales.
How about killing three birds with one stone this holiday season, 3D printing enthusiast–and checking out 3D printed gifts from Shapeways 2015 Gift Guide? This will have you: 1.) purchasing things online, which is easier than running around; 2.) Supporting 3D print designers; and 3.) Educating people about 3D printing’s amazing customization capabilities.
This year’s Shapeways‘ Gift Guide is so extensive that it’s been divided into major categories, such as Women’s Jewelry; Men’s Accessories; Home; Holiday Décor; Phone Cases +; Math and Science; Life Hacks; Tech Accessories; Conversation Starters; Memes; Minis; Games; and a series of Under $25, Under $50, Under $100, and $100 and Up. This review will just cover a few of the cool items I found while surveying the guide for my own holiday shopping.
Let’s begin by talking about customization for jewelry with Shapeways’ various services: Custom Maker, Pendant Maker, Keychain Creator, and 2D to 3D. Custom Maker allows you to customize, say with someone’s initials, a product already in the Shapeways Marketplace. Then there’s the Pendant Creator, which converts a 2D sketch into a 3D printed pendant in a few simple steps! The same idea is behind Shapeway’s Keychain Creator, which can also be used to make a cool tag for your pet — as featured on the Shapeways webpage.
Now let’s sample just a few gift categories to see what’s here. I like original and unexpected surprises, things that make your daily living easier, so I am immediately drawn to Life Hacks. And lo and behold, yes! There are some way cool items here. Take the 3D printed “Wokitty” that holds a 10mm flat wooden spoon onto the handle of your wok. No more cooking stir fry and wondering, where did I put that darn spoon? There’s also a highly functional Bell Vase for Jar Size: 82 (seen photo) that transforms a boring old glass jar into a flower vase. This is the kind of thing you can guarantee people will use if they’re into flowers. It’s $24.10 — just under $25.00, too!
Next, let’s see what Shapeways has for the tech geek under Tech Accessories. There’s bumpers for watches, earrings for ear buds in the shape of a moon and a sun, and many accessories for your iPhones and androids. I am especially drawn to the Bendu, which is a nifty little brightly colored phone stand. I mean, it can’t get more practical than this–for only $29.90, too!
Now we turn to Conversation Starters. As you may know if you have already given 3D printed gifts for the holidays, 3D printing in itself is already a great conversation starter. There’s so many good things on this page, you’ll just have to check it out for yourself. There’s a credit card sized chess set, a planter for your bike, even a wax sealer imprinted with candy canes. But my favorite item, and in full disclosure I am partial to this one because I interviewed the artist, is Bahsheba Grossman’s lovely and functional Klein Bottle Opener. The holidays are already about imbibing too many spirits, so why not get the party started with a conversation starting and party starting bottle opener? It’s available in many different materials for $64.00, and you’ll be supporting a veteran 3D printing artist who set up the first ever Shapeways shop to sell her designs.
Now, if a cool looking, mathematics inspired, 3D printed bottle opener doesn’t get you into the holiday spirit, what will? I know what: go ahead and take a look for yourself at all of the amazing 3D designs in this year’s Gift Guide, and take care of that list with Shapeways one-stop shopping option.
Will you be buying or printing any of these gifts for the holidays? Let us know in the Shapeways 3D Printed Holiday Gift Guide forum thread on 3DPB.com.