Veldhuizen gave us a tour of the company’s European headquarters in Eindhoven as part of our research for Print Shift, the magazine about 3D printing we launched earlier this year.
“Shapeways is the world’s leading 3D printing marketplace and community,” he says in the movie. “You can design anything, have it 3D-printed, share it, sell it, make it your business. We have 250,000 community members right now who are designing their own work and who are selling and buying on the website.”
Strandbeest, mechanical toy printed in one go using laser sintering
One of the most popular products available on the website is a fully working model of a walking sculpture created by artist Theo Jansen, Veldhuizen says. Called Strandbeest, the intricate toy is printed in one go, without any assembly required. An optional propellor can also be printed separately and added to the model to make it wind-powered.
“It contains 75 moving parts and it will actually walk,” says Veldhuizen. “It’s wind-powered, you blow on the propeller and off it goes.”
Strandbeest being removed from a cake of nylon powder
Starting the tour, Veldhuizen takes us to a computer room, where incoming 3D files are processed and assessed….
Every Thursday is #3dthursday here at Adafruit! The DIY 3D printing community has passion and dedication for making solid objects from digital models. Recently, we have noticed electronics projects integrated with 3D printed enclosures, brackets, and sculptures, so each Thursday we celebrate and highlight these bold pioneers!
Have you considered building a 3D project around an Arduino or other microcontroller? How about printing a bracket to mount your Raspberry Pi to the back of your HD monitor? And don’t forget the countless LED projects that are possible when you are modeling your projects in 3D!
The Adafruit Learning System has dozens of great tools to get you well on your way to creating incredible works of engineering, interactive art, and design with your 3D printer! If you’ve made a cool project that combines 3D printing and electronics, be sure to let us know, and we’ll feature it here!