Earlier this year we wrote about how there is a revolution going on in manufacturing due to the advances in 3D printing. The New York Times also recently covered the many businesses springing up around this technology. We are excited to announce today that together with Index Ventures we are backing the team from Shapeways in creating a marketplace for the design and 3D printing of objects.
Shapeways motto is "Personalized products FOR you and BY you" which captures the two goals for the company. The "BY" part of the motto is about empowering 3D designers to sell products without having to invest in their own production capacity (and is a good example of our belief in the Internet's force in shifting "power to the people"). For designers Shapeways is constantly expanding what can be done, such as making a raft of new materials available including silver and even glass.
The "FOR" part is about making it easy for anyone to find a product, customize it further and then have it delivered all without having to know anything about the underlying 3D printing technology. Objects available on Shapeways range from art to games, to jewelry. There is virtually no limit to what may eventually be available. If you are intrigued by 3D printing but have no idea what it is or how it works, Shapeways has put together some great videos which you can find on their Youtube channel.
Shapeways was founded in the Netherlands but with this financing the company will move its headquarters to New York City. With Makerbot here and Shapeways arriving, we are also excited to see New York becoming a center for a new kind of manufacturing.