We were really impressed by the contest entries and the quality and inventiveness of the work. When Shapeways started out we mainly had character modellers on site. It really amazed us how well Shapeways members could do product design. I would really like to thank everyone that participated for pointing the way to the future of mass customization and personal manufacturing, making us smile and inspiring us. I would also like to thank everyone that voted..and drum roll please..selected Peter Hermans and his DDW Punnik2.0 Waistband as the winner!
but don't really have a specific job description. Let's say Editor,
post-production and Director as these are the jobs I undertake mostly.
I graduated from a BA Film and TV at Bournemouth Uni five years ago,
after which I was a post production runner in London before becoming
self employed. In the meantime I've mainly worked as an editor on music
related productions but have also directed music videos, worked camera
on Pimp My Ride UK and also currently make a show on MTV2 in the UK
called Mighty Moshin Emo Rangers. So it's all a broad tapestry of
random things really.
Are you really 108 years old, it says so on your MySpace?
We have been getting some questions on our forum about glueing White, Strong & Flexible. So we decided to research the matter and test out our results. The material that we call White, Strong & Flexible is also called Nylon 12 or Polyamide 12. Polyamide 12 is a flexible thermoplastic that enables live hinges and is generally used for flexible tubing and piping. When it is used in rapid manufacturing or 3D printing it comes from a powder. Polyamide 12/Nylon 12 materials used for rapid manufacturing therefore always have a powdery feel. Each manufacturer has its own version of these materials, EOS for example calls it PA 2200. If you would like more information on the material you can check out our materials page and the acompanying data sheets.
Selective Laser Sintering is the process that turns these materials into parts and 3d models. SLS works by having a laser scan a layer of fine white powder. It then fuses the material where the material needs to be built up. The build tray with powder is lowered and a new layer of powder is applied and the laser continues scanning and fusing. Because of this SLS does not have any support material, the powder that is not fused acts as a support material and can be easily taken out of the model.This glueing advice is meant to be for our White, Strong & Flexible material, not our other materials.
We would advise people to not glue parts unless you have either broken one or want to build something that exceeds our SLS build envelope of 20 by 25 by 23 cms. For this little demo we have taken my little SLS stress ball. I've carried it with me for the last month or so to show people our materials. The ball itself is based on a design by Shapeways member George Hart, you can check out his site here. It was my favorite Shapeways model for a while because you could bounce it. The structure of it is very mathematical and George's page explains it well. So, I carried it with me every day and was continually bouncing it on the floor and street as I walked and off the walls of my office when my boss was out. Then one day it broke.
Breaking rapid prototype parts is either easy or hard, it really depends on the design and the material. If you make a thin tail-like structure such as our monkey's have, then a good push with your thumb will break off the part. If the structure is less limb-like a hammer might be needed to break it. SLS is a strong Nylon and it is resistant to impact. When it does break it tends to shear. The rhomboid structure used in the ball meant that this was a robust enough structure to withstand weeks of bouncing on the streets of Amsterdam and Eindhoven but sadly all that wear and tear built up. The coup de grace was an unfortunate incident of some careless oaf stepping on it.
The picture to the right was the result, my dear little ball had become pacman. If you get the felling that I might very well have become quite attached to my ball then you would be correct. Thankfully our research told me how to repair him. There are two very main stream glues that one can use to repair Selective Laser Sintered Nylon: Super Glue and Araldite.
Super Glue is also known by its much less marketable name of Cyanoacrylate. The glues of this family are ethyl-2-cyanoacrylate, n-butyl-cyanoacrylate and 2-octyl cyanocrylate. Ethyl-2-cyanoacrylate is most commonly marketed as Super Glue(secondelijm(NL), sekondenlijm(DE)). The other two families are used as medical glues so you will probably not find them at your local stores. All of these glues can be used to repair or stick together Nylon 12 parts.
The second type of glue that you can use is Araldite, an epoxy resin. You can check out the Araldite website here. We chose to use Super Glue for our little repairs. Please take into account all the warnings on the packaging such as using a well ventilated room and keeping these products away from children. And don't glue your eye, because that would just be terrible.
I applied glue sparingly and removed any visible left over traces with a paperclip. The glue of course becomes a different colour to the material so any excess glue is ugly. In repairing a complicated face or a large flat face you might want to sand crucial contact points. Generally however the glue bonds very well to the part and this is not necessary. Cleaning a surface beforehand though does improve the bonding of the glue. As you can see from the picture the ball healed well. There was a tiny hairline fracture visible but generally you did not notice it. Indeed my Nikon lens was unable to pick it up on this picture but you might be able to see it on the left.
There are two important things to consider when using glue though. One of these is the material properties of the glue itself. Nylon 12(or Polyamide 12) is flexible the glue , not so much. This means that although the glue repaired the part well and indeed restored the bouncy ball qualities of my object, sadly this did not last. After a half an hour of bouncing, the glue pressured by the forces acting on the sphere let go. So even though super glue works well to repair ornamental parts there are limitations as to how much functionality can return to a part. So, I would not assume that things such as live hinges and springs can be returned to their full previous functionality once broken.
For the second thing we have to paint the model. Paint, what did he just say paint? Yes, later this week we're going to give you some more advice on painting your models. But, to show you this one thing we had to give you a sneak peek. You see, once you paint a model that has been glued in some cases the paint accentuates the hairline fracture and the glue itself. If you look at the picture of my pretty red ball it looks great.
I painted it using a standard Tamiya Colour Spray paint. It took seconds and was fun to do. However when using paints the paint sticks to visible glue left overs. Strands of glue that you did not see previously will also become very visible now. It is very important that you use very little glue and have next to no left over glue before you paint a model. On my model my near invisible fracture now looks like this:
Some delicate work with an unfolded paperclip meant that I could quickly remove the paint that had built up in the openings. The roughness on the outside though is still visible and will take some sanding and several coats before it is covered up.
So I would recommend that you use glue: only when necessary, as little as possible on visible parts, take care of leaving behind glue residue. I would also warn you that it is difficult to glue live hinges and springs while maintaining their functionality and to be extra careful with glue when you intend to paint the part afterwards. As a last piece of advice I would also warn against bouncing a recently spraypainted ball off the walls of your office. In some cases small red splotches of paint might appear.
We would love to have more tutorials up. So, are you an expert with a particular 3D modeling tool and would you like to help the Shapeways community and the people that use the same tool as you do? We're very interested in tutorials that help people convert files to Shapeways. Email me! joris (at) shapeways (dot) com Tutorials on how to design for 3D printing or with tips such as how to invert normals are awesome too. We will credit your work on the tutorial as well as place a shrine in your image at the Shapeways offices.
Over the course of the coming weeks we are going to be doing a number of Shapeways member interviews. We're going to be asking people about 3D design, 3D modeling, what inspires them, why they became designers/artists and about their work. If you would like to be interviewed, by phone or email, write me an email at joris (at) shapeways (dot) com.
We're looking for people with interesting stories to tell from all kinds of backgrounds. You could be a professional designer or just someone with a burning passion for model trains. We're looking for fun, inspiring stories. If you've seen work on the site that inspires you and you'd like to know who is behind it let me know also and I'll chase that person and their story down.
All the entries are in for our Dutch Design Week Contest. So, who will be the winner? Who will win $250 in 3D printing and their very own model shipped to them for free after their model is exhibited at the Dutch Design Week? You get to decide! Go to the contest gallery to check out all the entrants and vote for your favorites. Which model to you exemplifies 'every day design'? What would you like to have 3D printed and use in your home? Will it be something beautiful, inspiring, useful, original? We will announce your choice on the 30th.
We're in the process of negotiating with the big packaging delivery boys and girls. We're trying to see who we will work with to deliver our Shapeways orders. Until we select the right partner we've had to come up with a temporary solution to deliver our packages for a while. That temporary solution will probably not get us any supply chain management awards any time soon.
Today Ralph and myself went to the postoffice with a carload of packages. The closest post office is a booth like thing inside a book store. When Ralph told the very nice woman behind the counter that we were going to return with even more packages her eyes bulged. Luckily for us we had a brainwave and used a shopping cart from the nearby supermarket to shuttle the packages from the car to the book store.
A line quickly formed behind us but for some incredible reason it was filled by the most patient people on earth. Only a queue of buddhist monks might have shown more restraint and peace while waiting. An eldery man found himself a chair while he waited and I tried to look as friendly as possible. As the line started to snake through the bookstore Ralph volunteered to help the nice lady with stickering the packages. Ralph took well to the stickering and was even offered a job with the post office which he politely refused. I've added some pictures of Ralph made with my cameraphone below. The pictures suck, my apologies.
The best things in life are free - here's one that may not be on your list yet, but it will be soon enough!
MeshLab is an excellent tool to convert and process 3D files: it reads and writes STL, Collada, OBJ, 3DS and a few more. It also contains a large set of filters such as non-manifold face removal and hole closing.
It is free, open source, and runs on all mainstream operating systems: Windows, OS X and Linux. I love it!
I talked to MeshLab's creator Paolo Cignoni to find out more about this project.
Q: Can you tell us a little about yourself?
A: A senior researcher in a Italian government research institution with a lot of interest about the theoretical aspects of practical Computer Graphics and the practical follow up of Computational Geometry. I proudly belong, since its foundation, to the Visual Computing Laboratory of the ISTI-CNR, one of the most important CG research lab in Italy.
Q: How would you describe MeshLab to new users?
A: A versatile, powerful, ever evolving, tool for (mostly) unattended 3D mesh converting, processing, cleaning and repairing. (and that sometimes crashes more than necessary )
Q: What made you decide to create MeshLab?
A: It was the combination of two distinct motivations.
In our VCG lab, in the last 10 years, we developed a nice, rich, complex c++ library for 3D mesh processing ( http://vcg.sf.net ) that we have used for all our many research projects, I wanted to have a easy to use tool where the many features of our vcg library could be evident, but I always lacked the will of doing such an effort.
I regularly teach the advanced Computer Graphics course at the Computer Science department of the University of Pisa. It is a course with a small number of usually smart students; some years ago I become tired of seeing always the same mostly useless 3D projects done by the students so I thought to a system with a very modular plugin based architecture that allowed to students to independently develop small portions of a complex system. From a didactic point of view it was a success. Students are really very motivated to see their "home-work" being something real that last for a long time after the end of the course. In practice it was rather easy to make them work really hard and in a professional way.
Q: How many people are working on MeshLab? Who are they?
A: I have never exactly counted them before now . According to Ohloh.net at least 42 people committed code to the base, but the real number is probably a bit larger. Students often work in pairs and sometimes they perform all the commits are done with a single account. Most of the developers are students that work on a very focused task for a limited period of time and then maintain it over the time.
In the last year a few other very talented developers from all over the world have freely joined to the MeshLab team in the classical wonderful Open Source spirit. I wish to warmly thank them for their precious and significant contributions.
Q: Are there any features that are unique to MeshLab and that aren't offered by other (commercial) programs?
A: Initially not so many, probably the users liked a lot the surface simplification tool that is really robust and fast (according to many users much better and faster that the one that you can find in the High-End package like 3ds max, or maya). Now very recently developed CG techniques are being dropped in. I wrote that code more or less 10 years ago, and it was used as basis to the out of core system that simplified the huge Digital Michelangelo Project models.
Also 3D scanning pipeline (alignment and merging) is rather good. It has a rather rough interface but its core is very good. The core of that library was used too in a lot of famous projects,
Just to cite one, it was used to align and merge the meshes of the Parthenon Project of Paul Debevec.
In general the capability of working with very large unstructured meshes is rather rare in most 3D packages.
By the way I think that its overall goal of mostly unattended processing, is something that make MeshLab very distinct from most of the other 3D packages that are more oriented on the design/edit/build paradigm.
Q: Which new features can we expect in the near future?
A: More mesh formats supported, More filters, new algorithms for cleaning meshes, tools for offsetting surfaces, more controllable hole filling, retopology tools, new merging algorithms, a lot of stuff for managing color over meshes, expression parsing in the parameters, and finally a command line version of MeshLab for unattended pipelined processing of meshes.
In a not so near future, MeshLab will have a really well integrated undo, a redesign of its gui (i got tired of floating windows), and eventually a bit of scriptability.
Download MeshLab here. On the download page, click 'download' and select the right version for your system:
Just today I saw something wonderful outside of Shapeways too, they are Jonathan Ben-Tovim's encoder rings. The rings, "store precious digital information" and the surface of the rings are "blobs and holes that represent binary information." A great concept and also, and I mean this in the best way possible, a great product.(via PFSK)
Jewelry lends itself well to 3D printing, the size of the objects mean that prints are relatively cheap and more importantly every 3D print is unique. Rarity has a lot to do with why some jewels are appreciated. But, will people start to wear plastic jewels? I had a discussion about that and more with Wildsketch in the comments of another post.
Will the fact that you can create a truly unique object outweigh pre-concieved notions about the 'worth' of plastic versus gold? Can Jontathan Ben-Tovim's "precious digital information" make an object precious? What is the value that we place on unique?
Inspired by a post on Fabbaloo I'll explain how the support material for FDM or Fused Deposition Modeling works as used by the Stratasys machines that we use. For that to happen I'll first explain how FDM itself works.
Each 3D printing process and family of 3D printers has their own process and because of this their own type of support material and method of applying it. Support material is essential though for any 3D printing process. One of the most common is Stratasys' FDM method and their BASS or Break Away Support System.
Fused Deposition Modeling is a 3D printing process....
For the month of October we will be running a contest together with AWN, Animation World Network. If you somehow managed to miss this great resource for 3d modelers you should check it out.
The contest is titled: does your character have character? So while our contest for this month is aimed at product designers this is one is for all you character modelers and animators out there. So, what does character mean, and how do you show that your model has it?
This one will be quite a challenge because it is a 3D printing contest. All the high end tricks with shading, lighting etc. you can just throw overboard because with a maximum polycount of 100,000 and a definition of 0.2mm in the produced model, animating for 3D printing is an entirely different story. So it is back to basics and back to the actual design.
We will print out the winner's design, give it to them and give that person $250 in 3D printing. The top 3 designs will be featured on Shapeways and AWN.
To enter submit your model to Shapeways with the tag AWN. You can submit your entries until the 20th of October. We will announce the winner on October 30st.
Jimmytwinkle made a case top and bottom but I'm still mystified as to what they are for.
Some people are getting a little bit ahead of us by adding suspension bridges, kajak's and CPU towers which will probably be a little too expensive to make with 3D printing for now. Furthermore a suspension bridge or full sized kajak would probably not fit into our build envelope.
We promissed to offer some new 3D printing materials and our next one will be a relative of White Detail. It will be priced similarly and the material properties will be the same. We have two colour options for you though: black or blue.
The black is an interesting one it is a solid black when looked at from some angles and in others looks much more faded. The blue is a pale blue that also changes colour, from a light blue to a blue-ish grey. Both models actually look very different depending on the type of light and brightness you expose them to. I've made a bunch of pictures below, and the poll can be found on our main page. So hurry on over there to vote so we know what our next colour should be!