After a Year in New York City, 3D Printer Shapeways Quintuples Its Staff

A dreaded case of Christmas boxface hits Shapeways NYC.

3D printing shop Shapeways’ New York production facility—Imagine that! Modern-day manufacturing right here in NYC!—won’t be open until the second quarter of next year. In the meantime, however, the Etsy of 3D printing decided to celebrate its first anniversary of working on Madison Park by showing Betabeat some go-go numbers.

The number of staff at its New York headquarters—moved into by the Dutch company after an investment from Union Square Ventures—might soon outpace its existing production facility in Eindhoven. The New York office grew from four people to 21 people, where the office in Eindhoven doubled from 12 people to 24.

Meanwhile, Shapeways’ community of designers (hence the Etsy comparison) is growing exponentially. It’s now at more than 100,000, thanks to features that make it easier to customize and create 3D designs, even without the technical skill.

Shapeways told Betabeat that company currently has almost 4,000 shops (cottage businesses, selling custom products) in its marketplace. “After they upload the product, we take care of everything from production to shipping to customer service. We also help with marketing and promotion,” said marketing communications manager Carine Carmy.

This November, the site shipped 80,000 products, quadruple the number of sales from last November. “Many of these products were unique products, so this is a major stride toward enabling customization at scale,” said Ms. Carmy. From those sales, shopowners made $26,000 in profits.

While it’s not quite quit-your-day-job paper just yet, it is enough to stuff a loved one’s stocking with propeller propulsion Strandbeest.

Yes, Virginia, they do exist.

After a Year in New York City, 3D Printer Shapeways Quintuples Its Staff