If there was one company which could be used as the poster child of 3D printing’s incredible growth, that company would probably be Shapeways. A spin-out of the lifestyle incubator of Royal Philips Electronics, with big name investors like Andreessen Horowitz on board, the company has been a smashing success, perhaps even outpacing the entire industry in terms of growth.
Shapeways allows anyone with design talent, and even those who think they have design talent, to upload their creations onto a personal shop, and sell those creations, 3D printed in various materials, to whoever the heck wants them. Shapeways provides the platform for the shop, and also provides the 3D printing service, taking a cut from every sale.
The company, which was launched in 2007, but really didn’t begin making major strides until several years later, has really hit a growth spurt as of late, announcing that they’ve hit a major milestone just yesterday. They reported that they now have over 20,000 member shops within their 3D model marketplace.
As an example of just how fast the company has grown, leader of the Global Community Team, Savannah Peterson started working there back in May of last year. Here we are just 15 months later, and Savannah has pointed out that the number of shops has doubled in this short time.
“When I started working at Shapeways in May of 2013, we were just crossing the 10,000 Shops mark; to think we’re now over 20,000 is incredible,” writes Savannah on the Shapeways blog. “It’s thrilling to see more and more artists, designers and entrepreneurs making money off sharing their 3D printed creations with the world.”
Because of this growth, the company has been forced to expand their factory and offices in Eindhoven, the Netherlands. Today they announced a move to a new larger facility near the center of the city.
“We have grown out of the current space,” writes Shapeways founder Peter Weijmarshausen. “After adding 30 people to the team, many tables to our distribution center, and 12 3D printers we are in need of something even bigger!”
The new building has somewhat of a storied past, once a DAF trucks factory, then an office for Diesel Jeans, before a marketing company moved in, and now the world’s largest 3D printing service, Shapeways, will call it ‘home’.
For those of you living or visiting the area, the company will be holding a tour of their new factory on Tuesday, October 21 at 3PM local time. They have set up an event on meetup.com for those who wish to attend. Do you have your own Shapeways shop? What do you think about their tremendous growth? Discuss in the Shapeways Forum thread on 3DPB.com.
You May Also Like
Barcelona: Electrostatic Jet Deflection for Ultrafast 3D Printing
Barcelona researchers Ievgenii Liashenko, Joan Rosell-Llompart, and Andreu Cabot have come together to author the recently published, ‘Ultrafast 3D printing with submicrometer features using electrostatic jet deflection.’ Following the continued...
Gypsum-Based 3D Printing Assists in Classifying Geo-Architectural Rock Specimens
Michelle Williams has authored a study (carried out at Sandia National Laboratories and funded by Laboratory Directed Research and Development) for the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Scientific and...
Comparing Surface Finish and Post-Processing Methods for SLM 3D Printed Parts
It’s not easy to produce parts that contain internal cooling channels using traditional manufacturing methods, which makes 3D printing an attractive option for easy, precise integration of these channels –...
University of Chemical Technology: Strengthening FDM 3D Printing with Starch Additive for PCL
Researchers from the University of Chemical Technology in Beijing continue the growing trend for strengthening existing materials with additives, outlining their findings in the recently published ‘Polycaprolactone/polysaccharide functional composites for...
View our broad assortment of in house and third party products.