Shapeways co-founder and CEO steps down

Shapeways has announced that Co-Founder and CEO Peter Weijmarshausen will be replaced by COO Tom Finn. Weijmarshausen will remain on the Shapeways board while Finn will serve as interim CEO during the search for a permanent replacement.

Weijmarshausen is the final co-founder of the original trio who started the company in 2007.

Commenting on the move  Weijmarshausen said, “I am proud of all we have accomplished during ten years at Shapeways and am excited about everything that I see on the horizon for the company.”

“This is an opportunity for me to step back and reflect on what we have accomplished, while considering my own next chapter. I look forward to Shapeways’ continued evolution and growth.”

Shapeways Director Albert Wenger said, “I want to thank Pete for the decade he has spent building Shapeways. Pete has really pioneered consumer 3D printing and built Shapeways into the leading marketplace. He will continue to guide the future as a director of the company.”

Speaking on the occasion of Shapeways’ 10th anniversary in March 2017 the then CEO explained two ways in which their platform works, “We give our community access to incredible machines, and we help 3D printing companies gain access to the biggest community of Makers.”

Former NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg with Peter Weijmarshausen during ribbon cutting of Long Island City facility.
Former NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg with Peter Weijmarshausen during ribbon cutting of Long Island City facility.

3D printing 1 million unique products a year

Shapeways began life in the Royal Philips Electronics incubator based in Eindhoven, the Netherlands. Marleen Vogelaar and Robert Schouwenburg were also co-founders. Schouwenburg left Shapeways in 2012, followed by Vogelaar in 2014.

In 2010 the company was spun-out of Philips and established a HQ in New York.

Speaking to 3D Printing Industry in 2012, Weijmarshausen anticipated that, “Once fully built out we’ll have 30-50 3D printers at our Long Island City facility capable of printing 3-5 million parts a year. It’s ambitious but it’s possible and we can’t wait to see the factory come to life. We’re projecting that the factory will be fully built out by January 2014.”

Currently Shapeways “produces roughly 3,000 unique products every day and over 1 million unique products annually,” says the company.

In 2015 a financing round raised $30 million, with investors including Lux Capital and HP.

Disrupting how products are made

During 2016 I listened to Peter Weijmarshausen on a Sunday afternoon panel with HP’s Shane Wall at Austin’s SXSW event. The panel, entitled The Next Industrial Revolution: Hype or Reality?, saw Weijmarshausen noting the changing nature of the 3D printing industry, in particular the moves of HP.

More recently Weijmarshausen gave further insights into the future of 3D printing. “I think we will see the mass adoption of 3D printing as a way for Makers to get their own products, and just as important, as a way for anyone to engage and get the products they want.”

“This will massively disrupt how we think about the way products get made, and even have an impact on society at large. I think and hope Shapeways will play a pivotal role in this change, that we continue to earn the trust of our community, and that they continue to see us as the one-stop platform to make their dreams come true.”

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