Quickly, the 3D printing web is becoming a vast shopping mall where users can idle by the variety of stores devoted both to the large megastores and the small boutiques. And, while the megastore Shapeways offers every brand imaginable, this may lead some consumers to feel like children lost in the market. Lucky for them, there may be a rise in directory-like sites that can point you in the direction of what you’re looking for. Take StyleShapes.com, for instance.
Not exactly a shop, StyleShapes directs users to various stores offering 3D-printed jewellery. The site bills itself as “an online community and magazine dedicated exclusively to jewellery and other 3D printed fashion items, all of which are designed and created by and for members of the community, as well as for those simply looking for one-of-a-kind fashion pieces.” As opposed to listing everything under the sun, StyleShapes accepts 3D-printed jewellery – bracelets, cufflinks, necklaces, etc. – on a submission basis at no charge. When you decide to purchase an item, it takes you to the designer’s own site/shop.
If StyleShapes ensures that it carefully curates the pieces that it accepts and stays on top of 3D-printed fashion trends, it may act as a style guide and gateway to fine jewellery, dictating who’s who on the AM catwalk. If, on the other hand, they allow anyone and everyone in, they risk the same issues that Shapeways has. Either way, perhaps StyleShapes.com will inspire other object/industry-specific or even rival fashion “magazines” dedicated to 3D printing to take shape. And, at that point, we’ll have to determine who wore it better.