Shapeways, the US (New York) and Netherlands-based 3D printing service and marketplace appointed Gregory Kress as CEO. Kress’ appointment marks the end of the company’s relatively long search for a new CEO after co-founder Peter Weijmarshausen stepped down in August to pursue other opportunities.
Since its founding in 2007, Shapeways has been focused on enabling creators to express themselves through its sophisticated back-end of production, distribution, and supply chain fulfillment. This breadth of the network enables Shapeways’ customers to 3D print in over 60 different materials and finishes.
“While excited about how far we’ve come, I look forward to accelerating Shapeways’ vision to become the complete end-to-end platform helping people, ‘design, make, and sell,’ regardless of their 3D modeling experience.” Greg Kress, Shapeways CEO.
Having accumulated millions of data points from current customers, Shapeways has also identified ways in which it can better support creators through the production process; from the conception of an idea, to the designing and packaging, to the first sale and beyond. With Kress’ hiring, Shapeways plans to implement services that will address both creative and business pain points for creators. It will laterally expand its end-to-end services for current and new Shapeways users to design, make and, interest permitting, sell their products. Shapeways will also expand vertically, providing production services beyond 3D printing.
While 3D desktop printers may not have yet made it into every American’s home, Shapeways is approaching its 10 millionth product printed and receives 140,000 new design uploads each month.
Kress brings more than fifteen years of relevant experience to Shapeways spanning ambitious growth of an international software platform to Sales, Marketing, Supply Chain, and Manufacturing at GE. He most recently served as President and COO of Open Education, where he was responsible for turning strategy into operational and financial success as the business expanded to more than 400,000 students in 25 countries being supported by over 1,200 employees. Prior to Open Education, he spent 11 years in leadership positions across GE.
“We know people have ideas or want products that can be made and sold thanks to advanced design, production, and fulfillment technology — but most of them don’t know where to begin. Without proper support or infrastructure, the entire process seems inaccessible, complicated, intimidating, and expensive,” said Albert Wenger, Managing Partner at Union Square Ventures. “Greg is experienced at growing platform businesses and we’re thrilled that he’ll be applying that deep knowledge and energy to empower creators to realize those design dreams.”