Shapeways is a Philips spin-off company focused on bringing 3D rapid manufacturing technologies to main-stream consumers. Although they don’t sell any actual lighting fixtures, Shapeways offers an intriguing glimpse into the future of the lighting industry.
Shapeways website is designed to enable non-3D-cad-savvy people to share in the possibilities of the technology. Shapeways has developed a series of “Creators“, small applets that allow people to design and order their own customized 3D printed objects, by simply adjusting the parameters or entering information, such as a string of text in the votive candle holder they call the “Light Poem.”
Shapeways has also created a forum where designers can easily post their designs for sale, along with simple web-based technology to allow people to view and manipulate 3D content right on the website — without having to learn some complex and expensive 3D modeling software.