3D tech businesses taking off in Tampa Bay

TAMPA, FL (WFLA) — People across the country, including right here in Tampa Bay, are launching business ideas using 3D technology, and now there is an affordable way to find out if you can create and market your own idea using the technology.

From jewelry, to pottery, even kinematic designs that can transform into a clothing line, a 3D marketplace called “Shapeways” is giving people a chance break into the high tech business.

“What we do is we give access to high quality industrial grade machines so you can make real products,” said Lauren Slowik, of Shapeways.

You simply upload your idea, and Shapeways does the rest, creating it to scale and even giving small business owners a platform to sell their products worldwide, and ideas are taking off.

The company points to popular jewelry lines getting traction, especially a line by a mother-daughter duo that launched their business on Shapways.

“It’s real silver so we print in precious metals,” said Slowik.

Shapeways is now working with the New York Public Library system to offer free courses in collaboration with libraries nationwide, because more and more people are looking to launch business ideas using 3D software.

The 3D industry is becoming more mainstream now than ever before with Bricks and Mortar stores opening up nationwide and right here in Tampa Bay.

Cool Dims 3D Portrait Studios in Wesley Chapel is hugely popular making life like figurines of people and pets.

“We can essentially make you, your family, your dog, into a life like figurine,” said Chris Lee owner of Cool Dims 3D Portraits.

Cool Dims was one of the first businesses to open in Tampa Bay several years ago and continues to grow. Lee is working to take 3D imaging into the virtual world, putting images of real life kids into video games.

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