Hacking has traditionally been an
activity whereby people tried to break into computer systems and
networks. They either did this with malice(to steal credit card
information) or good intentions(to improve the security of the system
or to lean how it works). The former spawning the term black hat and
the latter spawning the term white hat. Hacking initially started
with phone phreaking and went via the era of Kevin Mitnick to the
script kiddies of today. Kevin Mitnick himself by the way went from a
hacker who was
imprisoned to a well respected security
consultant and speaker with probably the world's coolest business card pictured above.
The term hacking is now however under
threat. From all sides it is being stretched into all directions much
like Oprah's pants. Sites, such as LifeHacker
give you tips on how to make your life more efficient. Other
sites show you how to hack
every day objects such as coke machines. Hacking is now turning
into a term that means, “experimenting playfully with technology.”
It is becoming a synonym for make. Even though many “hacking sites”
now talk about Hacking
Furby rather than the intricacies of computer security the spirit
of hacking is still alive in them. A curious group of pioneers
exploring, learning about and experimenting with new technology:
hacking if you will.
We're working hard at comming up with new tutorials for you guys so that it becomes easier to upload models to Shapeways. We have a number of regular tutorials on site but are experimenting with video too. Bart, our in house modeling guru, made this video describing how you can fix non-manifold meshes.
Non-manifoldness is something a lot of modelers and designers really don't encounter untill they start designing something that has to be 3d printed. The explanations of manifold and non-manifold is rather complicated but we will give you some more background in a future post. For now, Bart can show you how to solve it.
We really like the idea video tutorials but want to know if you do too. Is the video useful? Did it load quickly? How was pausing and replaying parts of the video? Would you prefer a video tutorial or would you like it a lot more if we just did screenshot tutorials as we have been doing? Please let us know!
Another installment in my "I love LED lights" series: easy to make temporary LED garden lights. Take twenty minutes do do this for your next garden party or bar b q and you'll be the envy of all your friends. Making does not get any easier than this.
There has been a lot of hype lately about Banksy and street art. This to me is a simply stunning work that although it is decidedly contemporary in its' social commentary proves that there is real substance to the street art hype. I think I can hear a collective sigh of relief from all the hedge fund managers collecting street art. Or was it the last vestiges of that pretentious sentence rushing out of me?
The thumbnail above by the way leads to a hilarious picture that you too can take if you're in Barcelona(last time I checked anyway). To me it has a much more left leaning and anti-establishment feel than most of the contemporary street art stuff. Could it be that street art went from being something practiced by rebels who positioned themselves against society to court jesters who ridicule it from within?
Since September 2007 I've worked for Shapeways as COO. My first
priority was to get the internet portal implemented and find 3D
printing capacity. In January 2008 we had our first prototype service
ready and we went into beta testing. I am still amazed that we got so
far in so little time. But there is still a lot to do.
One of our major challenges is to make 3D printing affordable. The
industry is really geared towards product prototyping and small series
production. And what we do falls somewhere in the middle of those two
-- unique products at low prices.
Another challenge is to process 3D model files and validate them to
see if we can safely print them on our machines. Although software
exists which can do that, it is really not meant for automation. It
still needs a human engineer to interpret the data of the model.
So where did I come from? Well I worked for Sangine which was a spin
out of another startup called Aramiska. At Sangine we made satellite
communications equipment and software. Aramiska was an internet
service provider. I love using technology to do radical things. And
this exactly what I try to do here at Shapeways. To enable you to
design and produce whatever you can think of.
In my spare time -- which is little as of late -- I like to play with my
gadgets (Ipod, Acer Aspire One, MythTV), tend my garden or go out to
dinner to a good restaurant.
At Shapeways we have quite a few community members working on printing out their avatars. Artist Marc Owens ups the ante by making a life sized avatar-like suit. The suit was initiated because of this fun statistic, "54 percent of all males and 68 percent of all females "gender swap"--or create online personas of their opposite sex." This suit will allow you to do this in real life. Marc Owens does lots of other interesting stuff on the cusp of virtual worlds and art and he's a sure-fire guy to watch.
We're thrilled by all the people that
are trying out our Creator. Just in case you missed our launch of it:
the Creator is a tool that lets people without 3D modeling experience
customize and create designs. Using the Creator you can make a unique and personal object within two minutes. You can check out the movie here.
The first design that people can
customize is the LightPoem. Most of the people that have made their
own LightPoem either write inspirational
sayings or something
romantic as a gift
for someone else. If you want to read a light poem by the
way, the easiest way is to click "view in 3D" and then slowly turn it on
its' axis. You have to log in first before doing this. What really caught us by
surprise is the sheer variation in LightPoem designs. People really
seem to be experimenting with painting using words. We're really
excited by this and can't wait to see what you guys will do with them in the future!
A while ago Jochem our CMO was playing with one of our Monkey Babies. They're the cute little models that we use to help you compare our materials. During Jochem's playing/testing of this particular money, he broke off its' tail. This was both sad and really fitting.
The Long Tail has gone from a little
idea published by Chris Anderson to a huge one that determines a lot
of corporate strategy and business thinking nowadays. There are a lot
of businesses springing up operating in the Long Tail. They are not
going for blockbuster hits but rather lots of small successes with
niche products for small groups of customers.
At Shapeways we allow people to upload
or modify any design and then have it 3D printed. A lot of people
might think of us as a typical Long Tail business. Potentially
however we are actually a non-tail business. Since every design on
our site is unique and made by one single individual for themselves
or as a gift for someone else, typically we sell just one printed out
copy of each design.
Of course crowds bring crowd-like
behavior and in future some of our designs will become popular. For
now however the blockbusters are things like earrings or bookends
where people print two copies of the design. In the future there
might be a lot of businesses out there where every product has a
market of one.
I believe that for cultural products such as movies and books the blockbuster model coupled with the Long Tail will be prevalent. But, in the world of manufactured consumer goods will a market of one not make more sense?
At SIGGRAPH we unveiled the Shapeways
Creator. The Creator is a way for someone to create a 3D model in a
few minutes without any 3D modeling experience. With the Creator you
can resize a model, determine its' contours and shape or add text to
it. The model you start with is called a Shapeways Shape and this is
a template especially prepared for the Creator. Initially we only
have one Shapeways Shape, the LightPoem.
With the LightPoem you can pick a
font, type in whatever text you want and your words will form the
actual LightPoem. Do you have a favorite inspirational saying? Would
you like to make one for a specific occasion? It can be a unique gift
or personal item. If you want to see it in action you can either try
it out here or watch
You can save the resulting designs and
share them with people. It will probably also not be a great surprise
to you that if you want you could have us print out the design for
you and ship it to you within ten working days. In a mass produced,
mass manufactured one size fits all world world you can now hold a
unique machine made object in your hands in ten days.
SIGGRAPH was in a word: overwhelming. I had never gone and so was
surprised at the size of it. The companies that are there range from
DreamWorks to Autodesk to Intel and some people put on an amazing
show. Our booth was tiny in comparison to the big boys(it was a bit
bigger than the cupboard that Pixar used to store its snack food) but
we were busy the whole time talking to members and met lots and lots
of people. We got a lot of questions about the materials, durability
and cost of printing but most of all people loved to touch the
materials and get a up close and personal look at the designs.
We're happy to announce that you, our community, have voted and determined the winner of the SIGGRAPH 3D design challenge. And the winner is..jongold with The Birth of an Idea. Jongold aka Jonathan Gold wins $500 in 3D printing.Tomorrow we will gingerly pack The Birth of an Idea into a box and send it off to him. The crowd at SIGGRAPH loved the model and the other contest designs. We were so proud to show off the models to everyone. The response we got was amazing! Our stand was filled to the brim and once we're back in Holland I'll have some time to do a more detailed post about all our SIGGRAPH experiences. We would like to thank everyone for entering into the contest and be the first to congratulate Jonathan!
After debates, arguments and discussions our judges have been able to pick the top ten finalists for the Shapeways SIGGRAPH Design Challenge. We had a lot of great, exciting and inspiring entries. Each of the finalists' models will be printed out and exhibited at SIGGRAPH. We'd like to thank everyone for entering their designs in the contest. Shapeways will have plenty of more contests so do not despair if you didn't win this time.
Perhaps you're more interested in a pocket Bar-b-q? For those I'm on the move and need meat moments. The awesome early 90's house music that comes with the clip alone make the video worth watching. (Via Make:zine)
DIYDrones is an extensive site with lots of information on Do It Yourself Drones. As in DIY Unmanned Aerial Vehicles. Stop and think about that for a moment..as a hobby nowadays you could make a unmanned self-flying airplane from the comfort of your own home.
well, let me first introduce myself: I'm Ralph and I’m the youngest (29)
male member of the Shapeways team (yeah!)
I started out at shapeways in April this year. I got my bachelor of
Science degree a couple of years ago, and I've been working in the
IT-business for several years now.
When I got the opportunity to work for this internet start-up, I didn't
even hesitate for a second. To me this is a dream come true. I mean,
come on, we're printing the future!
So, what's my role in the Shapeways team? I'm trying to make life a bit
easier for all you out there, by making improvements on the website,
sending out Newsletters and Surveys and basicly doing all of the
Testing the website.. testing the upload of models..well testing almost
As soon as one of you has any problem with your model, I'll probably be
diving into that.
For the rest, I'm enjoying life, I'm a huge soccer fan (PSV Eindhoven)
and I like spending time with my friends, and watching movies.