AMS Below article leader board Dec 14

shapeways-logo-rgb-20141008While several software companies are working on creating easier to use CAD programs that will simplify and streamline the 3D design to 3D printing workflow, unfortunately the learning curve for most design software is still pretty steep. The fact is that learning to design, especially to design in 3D, simply isn‘t easy, and realistically software alone probably isn’t the answer. Some people simply can’t ‘speak the language’ so to speak and will never be able to design 3D models; art of any kind just isn’t for everyone. But for those who can design in 3D, the growing acceptance and adoption of 3D printing technology means that their skills are now in more demand than ever

Ever since 3D printing services provider and 3D model marketplace Shapeways launched their Designer For Hire program two years ago it has proven to be an unquestionable success. The program was created to connect people who had product or 3D model ideas but no 3D modeling knowledge to talented 3D designers who can help make those ideas real. With well over 20,000 Shapeways Shops — Shapeways CEO Peter Weijmarshausen recently noted that 38,000 people have started businesses on the platform — the community was clearly at no loss for talented designers, and the demand for their services has continued to grow. In fact, the demand has completely outpaced the amount of designers in the program, so Shapeways decided that they needed to create a new, more robust and easier to use platform.

Shapeways wants designs to offer their services to Shapeways customers.

Shapeways wants designs to offer their services to Shapeways customers.

The new Designer For Hire platform is now live, and was created to better show off the skills and services offered by their talented community. Designers are laid out similarly to products sold in the Shapeways marketplace, and once their page is clicked potential clients can browse through their designs, their activity on Shapeways, read a bio about them and see the skills that they have to offer. It is a much more user friendly layout, and makes it feel like there isn’t as much guesswork involved with hiring someone.

Designers for hire are now laid out similarly to products in the marketplace.

Designers for hire are now laid out similarly to products in the marketplace.

Now that the new platform is live, Shapeways has put out a call for any qualified designers to sign up for the program so they can be matched to potential clients. In order to qualify, users must have an open Shapeways shop, have their first and last name visible on their profile and have successfully shipped three different 3D models. Any user who fits those criteria will automatically be able to start posting their services for hire. The requirements are to ensure that the designer understands how Shapeways works, and having an operating shop simplifies the process of 3D printing and shipping the final design to the client.

The new Designer For Hire dedicated manager is three-year Shapeways veteran and community leader Lauren Slowik, who is already a Design Evangelist. If you have any questions, concerns or issues related to the program, she is who you want to contact. With her background in online community building from Apple and Etsy, the Designer For Hire program seems to be in fine hands.

The new user-friendly designer profile layout.

The new user-friendly designer profile layout.

If you are a designer who wants to join up, or a user looking to hire someone, here are some Shapeways resources:

  • To join the program and start designing you can check your profile settings here.
  • If you’re someone looking to hire a designer you can do that here.
  • For help from the community go to the forums here.
  • As a starting point, read this article from the blog archive about how to successfully collaborate on design: The Three C’s of Designing.

Does this interest you from a designer or consumer standpoint? Discuss in the 3D Designer for Hire forum over at 3DPB.com.

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