Tag Archives: Peter Weijmarshausen

Inside 3D Printing Conference in New York – A Retrospective

Inside 3D Printing Conference Entry

Inside 3D Printing Conference

In a context that felt a bit like Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, this week 3D printing went to New York for the first ever Inside 3D Printing Conference.  Over two full days at the Javits Convention Center in Manhattan, a broad array of industry leaders, innovators, academics and analysts gave keynotes, led seminars, and showed off their latest products to over 3,000 conference attendees.  For many in the crowd, this was a crash course on a technology that has been exploding in the public consciousness over the past two years, and for others it was a chance to network, hear from big names in the industry, and get a sense for where 3D printing will go next.

In a role that seemed fitting given his company’s leadership in the industry and status as the conference’s primary sponsor, 3D Systems CEO Avi Reichental opened the conference with the declaration, “Complexity is free” in a 3D printed world.  Never before, he underlined, has a manufacturing process been indifferent to geometric complexity, and to him this is the single biggest reason 3D printing will continue to grow and expand into sectors ranging from education to medical devices to automotive and aerospace.

Cornell Prof 3D Prints Human Ear

Much of the conference’s focus was on these different segmentations of 3D printing, and breakout seminars throughout the two days took a deeper dive in a variety of subjects.  Some of the more memorable seminars explored integrating 3D printers into K-12 education, topology optimization – a complex but very impressive design tool that appears to be a perfect match for 3D printing, consumer desktop and cloud 3D printing, and bioprinting human tissue for medical applications.  Longtime industry analyst Terry Wohlers and Shapeways CEO Peter Weijmarshausen also gave keynote addresses highlighting their vision for the industry’s future.

Sculpteo 3D Printing

3D Printed iPhone Case from Sculpteo

Outside the seminar room the conference also had a distinctly hands-on element.  A bustling exhibit hall hosted dozens of booths showing off a variety of consumer and enterprise 3D printers along with more curious technologies like 3D scanners and novel CAD input devices.  3D printing service companies were also eager to engage with potential customers, showing high quality parts available for remote ordering online.

While many sides of the industry were highlighted at the inaugural Inside 3D Printing Conference this week, the underlying theme was very clear: while 3D printing technology may have existed in research labs and niche applications since the 1980s and ‘90s, it is only now beginning to truly change our lives in meaningful ways.  And from the number of times speakers said “Nascent,” “Just the first inning,” or “Only scratching the surface” to describe the state of the industry, it is clear that insiders see the eventual impact that 3D printing will make on the world to be profound, far-reaching, and on a larger scale than most casual observers can imagine today.


Authored by Brian H. Jaffe, founder of Mission St. Manufacturing and contributor to On 3D Printing.

Read our full coverage on the conference: Day 1 and Day 2.

Inside 3D Printing Conference: Day 2 Top Stories

Inside 3D Printing Conference Day 2

Inside 3D Printing Conference: Day 2

Day 2 of the Inside 3D Printing Conference was exciting and informative. Below are the top stories from the day. (If you haven’t read it yet, here is our recap of Day 1.)

Topology Optimization in Additive Manufacturing: 3D Printing Conference (Part 5)

Topology optimization, a process inspired by bone structure research done over a century ago, is explained by solidThinking designers.

Shapeways Funding: $30 Million from Andreessen Horowitz, Chris Dixon to Join Board

New Shapeways funding! Shapeways announced a new round of funding led by Andreessen Horowitz. Partner Chris Dixon will join the Shapeways board.

Sculpteo Cloud 3D Printing, iPhone Cases, and More – 3D Printing Conference (Part 6)

Sculpteo is a 3D printing marketplace that is innovating on 3D printing services. We spoke with them at the Inside 3D Printing conference in NYC.

3D Printing in K-12 Education: Virginia Leads the Way – 3D Printing Conference (Part 7)

The Commonwealth Engineering and Design Academy in Virginia looks to integrate 3D printing to revolutionize K-12 education.

Shapeways CEO: Become a Creator of the Products You Care About – 3D Printing Conference (Part 8)

Shapeways CEO Peter Weijmarshausen delivers an update on his company at the Inside 3D Printing Conference, fresh off of a new round of funding.

Shapeways CEO: Become a Creator of the Products You Care About – 3D Printing Conference (Part 8)

Shapeways CEO 3D Printing Conference

Shapeways CEO Gives an Update on His Company

Peter Weijmarshausen, the CEO and co-founder of Shapeways, a leading consumer facing 3D printing service company, started his keynote address today at the Inside 3D Printing Conference in New York with the question, “What do you really want?”  He went on to explain that the problem with mass manufacturing is forcing individual consumers to buy products that are identical to what other people buy, even though everyone has unique preferences.  To illustrate this point he showed a picture of a custom car.  “This is a labor of love, and extremely costly,” he said, pointing to the picture.  3D printing, on the other hand, makes customization easy.  And that makes it a very valuable service.

Shapeways Growth

So far it appears that Mr. Weijmarshausen is correct, as Shapeways is growing fast, and planning to grow even faster in the future.  Last year the company hosted Mayor Michael Bloomberg to open a new factory on Long Island, and just today it announced an additional $30 million in venture capital funding.  However, Mr. Weijmarshausen prefers touting slightly different metrics.  Today Shapeways has over 10,000 designers and over 300,000 community members that submit and purchase 60,000 new designs every month.

Yet it is not just the ability to upload and purchase designs that excites the people at Shapeways.  As shown in a brief demo of the ‘sake set creator’ app, the real vision is for consumers to be able to customize template designs in user-friendly applications.  Today it might be something as simple as a coffee cup or a lampshade, but Shapeways believes this is just the beginning.

The Future of 3D Printing

When asked what he hopes for the future of 3D printing, Mr. Weijmarshausen paused for a moment and then said new materials and larger scaling of the industry at large.  3D printing, as he pointed out, is still a very small industry.  The faster it grows, the more people will become aware of it, and in his opinion this will be good for not just Shapeways but also for consumers everywhere.


Authored by Brian H. Jaffe, founder of Mission St. Manufacturing and contributor to On 3D Printing.

Shapeways Funding: $30 Million from Andreessen Horowitz, Chris Dixon to Join Board

Shapeways logo

Shapeways Funding Grows by $30 Million

Shapeways, a leading 3D printing marketplace, has just announced a new round of funding led by Andreessen Horowitz. Partner Chris Dixon will join the Shapeways board of directors.

CEO Peter Weijmarshausen revealed the news on the Shapeways blog:

Today marks a milestone for Shapeways. On behalf of the Shapeways team, we are truly excited to announce a new round of financing of $30 million led by Andreessen Horowitz, with Chris Dixon joining our executive board. Our existing investors – Union Square Ventures, Index Ventures, and Lux Capital – also participated in this round.

All of our investors believe, like us, that 3D printing has the potential to completely change the world. With this funding, we will grow our team, 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.

Shapeways also published this infographic.

Shapeways Funding Andreessen Horowitz 3D Printing

Video: 3D Printing and the Future of Personalized Shopping

3D Printing Future of Shopping

ReasonTV’s Nick Gillespie sat down with Peter Weijmarshausen, CEO of the New York based 3D printing company Shapeways, to discuss 3D printing, the future of customization, and the economics behind the new technology.

Gillepsie asks Weijmarshausen if we are “in the dot matrix era of 3D printing.” Weijmarshausen explains how 3D printing will shape the future of  shopping, saying “you may think this is science fiction, but it’s not.”

“What we want…is not to be about 3D printing, but to be about empowering people to get what they want,” said Weijmarshausen. “We enable people to be involved in the products, and I think they like that.”

Weijmarshausen believes that the growing popularity of 3D printing will revolutionize the ways we shop, giving consumers the choice to customize their products rather than settle for the small number of mass produced goods already on the market.

Watch the video below.