Minifig Pussyhats on Shapeways

Minifig Pussyhats are now available for sale in my Shapeways store.


I posted the design, STL file, for the Minifig Pussyhat on my blog and on Thingiverse for free. Normally this is good enough because most of my readers have access to a 3D printer. The Pussyhat Project reposted a photo and suddenly there was a huge surge of people interested in the mdoels. Many of these folks don’t have access to a 3D printer.

Ideally, everyone would be able to 3D print the design on their personal 3D printer. I encourage people to check their area and see if the local library or makerspace has a public access 3D printer. 3D Hubs connects customers with 3D printers in their local area. If none of those options work then Shapeways is a 3D printing service bureau that can print on demand in a wide variety of colors and materials.


I made the design available on my Shapeways store to help people that don’t have other options. My main motivation is that I have an upcoming project with a Marketing class in my high school. The students will be designing a product that we will have prototyped on Shapeways. The product will then be sold in the school store. Having a Shapeways store with sales will allow me to share a real example of how a storefront works with the students. (Shapeways donated $1,000 in store credit to my school as part of the prizes for the CTE Makeover Challenge.)

The problem is that there is a lag of at least 10 days between ordering the model and receiving the finished product. I had designed the model based on my home 3D printer. Customers that received the finished product say that only 2 out of 5 model have a snug fit with the rest being loose. The accuracy of the pink strong and accurate material  is +/- 0.15mm and 0.15% of the longest dimension. A genuine LEGO brick is accurate +/- 0.01mm. So… the Shapeways models can’t be guaranteed to fit like a regular minifig accessory.


The customers were mainly happy with the product but suggested I clearly state the fit may be loose in the item description. I’ve made small tweaks to the size to get as close a fit as possible without being too tight. @colleeniebikini on Twitter also suggested I get the price down by using a sprue to connect multiple hats together into a single item. There is a base price per item with additional cost based on amount of material used and build volume. The per item cost makes the cost of individual hats very high. I created a sprued model but it will take 2 weeks before I know if it works.


Have tips or tricks for running a successful Shapeways store? Leave a comment or contact me on Twitter @DesignMakeTeach, Facebook or  Instagram.

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