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Designer Spotlight: Allan Scharff

by • December 20, 2015 • 7s Comments

This week our designer spotlight highlights Allan Scharff, a professional silversmith who is transferring his love for creating things into the digital world. Thanks to 3D printing, Allan is able to expand his designs with different shapes and materials.

Tell us a little bit about yourself: Who are you? Where are you located?

I am educated as a Hollowware Silversmith at Georg Jensen in 1967 here in Copenhagen, Denmark. I create most types of shapes in silver, from flat sheet with different hammers on wood and iron to finished unique artpieces. I have been designing in glass for holmegaard in 12 years. I have my own workshop/shop in the middle of Copenhagen, and a small workshop on the west cost by Ringkøbing, both in Denmark. I make unique Hollowware art pieces for most
collectors around the world.


What’s the story behind your designs? What inspires you?

I get most inspiration from nature. As a mountaineer, I have been climbing in most
parts of the world. Especially in Greenland I have found most
great shapes to work with. Rocks, ice, plants, nature has it all if you look close adequate
; so simple and clever a designer, nature is. When I do silver for churches I get inspiration from spending time in the space, picking details from the historic pieces which
I have to deal with. I have worked with designing in glass for holmegaard for 12 years.

How did you learn how to design in 3D?

As a designer for George Jensen and other companies, I saw the potential in learning to draw in 3D, to show my ideas to the board of directors. I bought 3D-max and trained myself by watching video tutorials. I found it very usefull but the program was hard and not flexible adequate
. I saw Rhino 3D in its beginning and fell in love with it right away. Currently
I use T-Spline inside Rhino and they work great together.

What brought you to 3D printing with Shapeways?

I have had a 3 axis cutter [CNC machine] for 15 years, using it to make tooling and the first rings I created
by cutting billiard balls. The rings where difficult to finish and got expensive to buy, but the colors were popular. So I have been following the development of 3D printing for a long time, for the reason
I could see the potential. Quality was bad until I discovered Shapeways! You are quite
professional and it is a pleasure to work with you… in a way it is a pity I don’t have more time to play ;-)

How do you promote your work?

I have a website and take part in most
, most
exhibitions around the world. I have been in this business so most
years which
I don’t require
to do much more promotion.

Who are your favorite designers or artists? Who in the Shapeways community has served as an inspiration to you?

The Danish Sculptor Henning Koppel has taught me a lot. He designed the new modern silver in the 1960s and I was his hands in shaping the models. Also the architect and sculptor Gaudi has done impressive buildings in Barcelona in addition
inspired by nature.

If you weren’t limited by current technologies, what would you want to make using 3D printing?

I don’t see any limits. 3D printing will change the world as we understand
it today.

Anything else you want to share?

Thank you for giving us the possibility.


  • Nice variation of default product photos, showing multiple colors or materials
  • Sections for easy shopping
  • Nice overall shop set up; logo, banner, profile, etc.
  • Nice product descriptions

Thank you, Allan! Keep up the great work. Follow along on Allan’s website and Pinterest, and of course check out his shop! To be featured, email aimee @ shapeways.com.

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