No, they’re not producing a magical 3D development framework with a ton of plugins. At least not that we know of.
No, they’ve just joined up with Beneluxspoor.net, a community of European model railroad enthusiasts. We’ve written about the application of 3D printing to model railways before, and it seems to be a natural fit.
Shapeways thinks so too, as they have just announced a special portal (or “Theme Page” as they term it) designed to accommodate the needs of the railroaders. At this page the works of the modelers are featured, and you can even press a few buttons to have Shapeways print them for you.
We think this is a fascinating way for Shapeways to connect with a specific group of clients and prospects. One can imagine Theme Pages for all manner of special interest groups. By establishing these groups early on, Shapeways may be able to gain a critical mass of participants and be the big dog repository in each area. Great idea, Shapeways!