Enabling the Makers: An Intro to Design for 3D Printing

This past Saturday, the NY team held the first ever Intro to Design for 3D Printing workshop, in collaboration with CASE Inc. The concept was a simple one — provide a forum where people who’ve been excited about 3D printing but have no modeling skills can get their hands dirty. Tickets for the event quickly sold out. 



On the day of, the event space at Union Square Ventures (thanks Gary!) was rearranged classroom-style and quickly filled up with enthusiastic new faces from design agencies, local architecture schools, and other startups. The workshop went through two main exercises. To begin with, we created a file from scratch of interlocked cubes. Then, after a lunch break, we reconvened to open up an existing STL of an iPhone bumper and put our personal touches on the design. 

Many thanks to Dave Fano of CASE who broke down complicated concepts into something so simple, people were 3D modeling before they even realized it. In the end, 27 people who had never (or barely ever) done 3D modeling realized that they could create real things.

The workshop marks a small but important step for Shapeways. 3D printing is a new and exciting technology, but because it is so new, we need to provide people with the tool set they need to wrap their heads around it. As we begin thinking about how to turn this into something bigger, I’d love your input. 3D printing is picking up traction as a new industry, and people within Shapeways’ community are poised to benefit from it the most. What should we be doing to help educate a new generation of maker and enthusiasts?


  1. Charles Mallea

    My thanks to Ana & Dave for holding a VERY effective workshop that provided an introduction to using (free!) Goggle Sketchup through to uploading and use of the Shapeways ordering system.
    I can forsee these workshops by providing a real world space eventually building up to the vibrancy of the Shapeways online community.
    Good work!

    1. Steve Hayhurst

      Agreed; Webinar or a recording of the training would be awesome.

  2. Aaron

    How about video or a how to guide for everyone who couldn’t attend?

    1. plastic_avatar

      Yeah! Surely they recorded it.



      Cause any new info from the masters is info I don’t have =)

    2. Anthony Williams

      For all those who *live a long way away* (Europe) a *web course* would be a wonderful idea. Please think about it seriously – it would help many people who are enthusiasticand want to use the system but get a bit lost in programming/drawing details (me for instance) and get their model plan drawing full of holes……I have no idea how I managed that!

      Anthony Williams
      Vienna, Austria

  3. jon

    I would love to see a recording of this presentation!

  4. Ana Hevesi

    @Charles thanks for the kind words! I’m so glad we could provide you guys with a useful experience. :)

    For those who weren’t there, *this time* we didn’t record it. We’re still researching which equipment we need in order to provide you with a decent viewing experience. But it’s good to know that you guys are interested.

    I’m meeting the head of video at Etsy tomorrow to get some advice, so next time we hope to be all set to record. :)

  5. jon

    It’s not rocket science: anyone with a $300 camera and a tripod could have recorded the presentation.

  6. Ana Hevesi

    Hey Jon, sorry, the timing just wasn’t right. We hope to have it set to go for next time.

  7. jon

    I look forward to that! I’ve used SketchUp for years, and would love to be able to use that to create printable 3D objects. Thus far, I have been unable to make that work.

Comments are closed.