Blur/Defrag 2012: 3D Print Your Life/The Future of Stuff

Charlie Maddock (@CharlesMaddock) of Shapeways combats mass produced junk to personalized manufacturing.


Blur/Defrag 2012: 3D Print Your Life/The Future of Stuff

Charlie Maddock (@CharlesMaddock) of Shapeways combats mass produced junk to personalized manufacturing.

Storified by The UpstartCO · Thu, Nov 15 2012 17:05:38

@charlesmaddock showing minecraft characters created and sold at Shapeways #blurcon http://instagr.am/p/SEaqucsVTx/Kelly Tidd
Charlie Maddock (Shapeways) talking about 3D printing as way of escaping mass production sameness and fostering personal expression #blurconNishant Kaushik
"3D Print Your Life" – SO much cool stuff being shown by Charlie Maddock of Shapeways! #blurcon … now a video: http://youtu.be/qJuTM0Y7U1k #usvGraemeThickins
Charlie Maddock started his presentation with a challenge: Everywhere we go, we’re surrounded by products that all look the same. The questions is, do we really want to settle for this lack of innovation and bland homogeneity? 

He says “no way!” People should customize their stuff. We should take the time to make things our own. We do it in small ways, be it painting our car or stickers on our laptop. But making new and different things is something the American people used to do back in the Industrial Revolution. We used to know how to make things, but not so much anymore. Shapeways is here to change that and bring the spirit of innovation back to the individual. 

So how do we go from mass produced junk to personalized manufacturing? It’s easy with 3D printers.

Shapeways works for individuals three ways. The first is for people who have a unique design that they want printed up just for them. Shapeways prints it, ships it and follows up. Second, some creators have beautiful designs that they want to sell online to people around the world. Shapeways prints the design when it’s ordered, ships it, managing the money and handles customer service. Finally, if you have an idea, but have no idea how to design it, Shapeways has a fleet of folks fluent in CAD design that will help make their vision a reality and let ecommerce take over. Also, customers can use their creator programs to design one of a kind pieces without knowing exactly how to design, thus eliminating many of the barriers to entry.

Another advantage is being able to make changes to products in weeks, rather than years, reducing the risk of innovation to next to nothing. The application ranges from jewelry, art, geek stuff, functional decor and their artists and creators pushing the boundaries of design. 

In 2012 alone, they printed over a million products and they’re encouraging their designers to produce more unique products in the years to come.

"There’s no penalty for innovation." – @shapeways #blurconThe UpstartCO