3D printing platform and marketplace Shapeways is 10 years old this year – and with that milestone comes change. Back in 2007, Shapeways was co-founded by Peter Weijmarshausen, who helped to build the company while serving as CEO. This week Weijmarshausen has announced that he will be stepping back from his position of CEO, while remaining on the Shapeways board. While the company looks for a permanent replacement, current COO Tom Finn will act as interim CEO. This move is the latest in this year’s slew of changes in the executive structures in major 3D printing companies.
Shapeways is a leading marketplace for 3D printed products, producing about 3,000 unique products every day and roughly one million unique products on a yearly basis. In its 10 years of existence, the company has grown tremendously, and while many other similarly-modeled 3D printing marketplaces and platforms have sprung up, Shapeways will always be known as one of the most successful and well-respected among them.
“I am proud of all we have accomplished during ten years at Shapeways and am excited about everything that I see on the horizon for the company,” said Weijmarshausen. “This is an opportunity for me to step back and reflect on what we have accomplished, while considering my own next chapter. I look forward to Shapeways’ continued evolution and growth.”
Weijmarshausen co-founded Shapeways in the Netherlands and led the company through the opening of 3D printing factories in Europe and the United States, as well as the relocation of Shapeways’ headquarters from Eindhoven to New York. Since its beginning, Shapeways has gathered a community of hundreds of thousands of members and assimilated a marketplace of tens of thousands of shops. The marketplace has served as an introduction to 3D printing for millions of people, and has also helped to launch the businesses of several successful 3D designers.
“I want to thank Pete for the decade he has spent building Shapeways,” said Shapeways Director Albert Wenger. “Pete has really pioneered consumer 3D printing and built Shapeways into the leading marketplace. He will continue to guide the future as a director of the company.”
Who knows what else Weijmarshausen will be pursuing in the future, but it won’t be surprising if his future career involves many more contributions to the 3D printing industry. Weijmarshausen is someone who believes in the impact of 3D printing technology, and that we’ve only begun to scratch the surface of what is possible.
“People have been led to believe that 3D printers as they are today are close to what is possible — I think the opposite is true,” he told 3DPrint.com in an interview last year. “We are at early days in this technology. So many things will become possible that people haven’t thought possible, it’s going to revolutionize how we make products…We can’t predict what’s going to happen, but much more, much more exciting things are going to happen that we can’t expect yet.”
As someone who has already affected the 3D printing industry in a big way, Weijmarshausen still has the potential to do a lot more good over the course of his career. We look forward to seeing what else he will contribute, and we wish him the best of luck in the future. Share your thoughts in the Shapeways forum at 3DPB.com.
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