That roaring tiger head coming out of a lattice work structure? That’s Shapeways. On their blog and at the Inside 3D Printing conference this week, they announced a $30 million round of funding from Andreessen Horowitz’s Chris Dixon. He’ll be joining the executive board and, you better believe it 3D shop-makin’, material-bakin’ fiends, Shapeways is preparing to tear into the arterial neck casing of 3D Printing possibility… with, ya know, refinement and not so much a mess.
3D Printing for everyone
Along with the announcement, they put together this snazzy infographic, showing just how big Shapeways has grown since 2007 and how prevalent a Shapeways shop owner is. Combined, Shapeways members who sell products, made over $500,000 in 2012 alone.
With this funding, we will grow our team (we’re hiring!), build more factories around the world, and solve challenging technology problems. Though many people have heard about 3D printing, we have a ways to come. We will make our service much easier to use. We will explore the frontiers of 3D printing materials, enabling YOU to make and purchase any product imaginable.
I expect all of this will come together for more material options, interface improvements and better shipping options among many other developments. And, if you’re dreams of wearing a respirator and pulling 3D printed creations from the print bin have not been all but dashed by your skeptical 2D printing friends, they are indeed hiring. Don’t worry, there are plenty of development, marketing and managerial positions as well.
When I show people Shapeways, they’re usually amazed that a site like that exists. If you’ve used Shapeways you know the magic that lies within their service. If you have your own 3D printer, you’ll also realize the advantage someone, or even yourself, has with the amount of materials they offer and their shop API, not to mention that you don’t have to fiddle with all the different machines. More and more, it seems that Shapeways is going to be the power play for 3D printed product and I’m looking forward to see where this takes them, and even more, where it takes you.