Shapeways, the Etsy of 3D printing, which moved to New York in after an investment from Union Square Ventures, is poised to open a “factory of the future” in Long Island City. Fresh off a $6.2 millon fundraising round led by Lux Captial, the company is eager to share some impressive new numbers.
Today, the company told Betabeat that Shapeways’ marketplace now offers “6 billion product variations.” Or, as they clarified, “one unique product for everyone on the planet.” To put that in perspective, Walmart only offers about 120,000 unique items in their stores. Suck it, big box bores.
Shapeways also shared this handy infographic with Betabeat, which sadly arrived by one-dimensional email:
In a statement, CEO and cofounder Peter Weijmarshausen said, “3D printing is already enabling designers to make whatever they can imagine, but we’re really excited that our marketplace empowers anyone to get exactly what they want. Using just your web browser you have access to six billion product variations, ready to be made just for you or anyone in your life.”
While the 3D printing boom has the potential to upend production and product design the world over, some are still confused about its value. MTV Style’s Mary H.K. Choi tweeted yesterday, “Has anyone ever printed 3D food? Not like boring dessert crap.” Well yes, just this summer an NYU student created a 3D printer for burritos.
Everyone knows, the way to the future is through our stomach.