The final stop on my Irish, British and Scottish roadshow was ancient Edinburgh. A city as cloaked in history as it is moss. Scotland is a lovely country, making up the Northern UK territory and producing some of the best Whisky in the world, it has always been high on my list of travel destinations. Full disclosure, the original impetus for this roadshow had been a wedding I was asked to officiate in Edinburgh, and given the success of the Shapie community there it made sense to combine work and play. After making some great memories with my old college community, I was excited to see how Scottish Shapies got inspired! I spent Monday with the esteemed Vijay Paul of Dotsan and the evening meeting up with Steven Gray, Chris Dobson and Michael Inglis, three other incredibly talented Shapies. Not sure if it was the gloomy weather or tasty spirits, but Scotland greatly impressed me with the magic of its design culture.
If you’re interested in talking with any of the super friendly designers mentioned here, there is a specific forum thread dedicated to Scottish Shapies you can engage with here! You’re also encouraged to start threads for your own local or digital community.
Monday morning came with typical Scottish mist, limiting the amount we could shoot for a video series with Vijay Paul, the designer behind Dotsan. I had selected Vijay for a video because he has the ultimate Shapeways story. He is a self-dubbed “Digital Nomad;” a designer so successful through 3D Modeling and Shapeways that not only does he get to travel the globe and design from exotic locations (when we set up the shoot, he was in the foothills of the Himalayas), but he’s also had to hire a team of freelance designers to handle all the “designer for hire” work he gets. There will be more on Vijay when the videos we created together are ready, but suffice to say, he’s a great resource for design and entrepreneurial inspiration.
Michael Inglis was the first to arrive at Hollyrood 9a where we were having our meetup. He’s a notorious minifigure accessory designer on Shapeways, and his work has gone viral before. Admittedly, I was not expecting him to still be a student at University, but sure enough, he’s another example of a young and successful Shapie supplementing his income through his Shapeways shop. He’s created impressive products over the last year, and is looking to start experimenting with our API over the summer. I can’t wait to see what he comes up with next!
Chris Dobson is an architect familiar in making and fabricating models and products using many materials. He’s just started dabbling in the Shop Owner space on Shapeways, but his mini (pictured below) and wired skull show a lot of promise. Chris uses Shapeways for work predominately, but we hope he continues to use it for play!
I have been following Steven Gray’s work since before I joined Shapeways. Not sure if it’s his need-finding or playful form that attracted me to his work in the first place, but regardless I was elated to see he’d brought a plethora of models. His lizard coasters were much larger than I’d assumed from the product shots, which was awesome (protip: always use a few points of reference for scale) and his eggbot cufflinks (pictured above the micro skull) as delightful as I’d anticipated!
He iterates until the product is perfect before posting it for sale in his shop, and the precision he uses during the day in construction management is echoed in practical and beautiful form of his models.
Scotland was truly magical. Perhaps it was the mist, or the flock of great designers, or the general fun and creative vibe, but it’s safe to say Edinburgh won a bit of my heart. I hope to see the Shapies in Scotland get together on their own more, and hopefully create more reasons for UK roadshows!
Galways was great, London was lovely, and Edinburgh was an exciting close to a fabulous trip. Thank to everyone who joined me along the road and those of you reading about the journey. Meetups are an incredible way to connect with our community and they’re a lot of fun! Interested in hosting one of your own or just want to talk to 3D Modelers in your area? Add your city to the Shapeways in your Community thread on the forum!
I’ll leave you with one final question, where should we go next?