I came across something truly amazing today. It is Meta-Morphose,
an initiative in 2006 to re-purpose existing objects in order to
prolong their life using rapid prototyping. A standard Thermos flask
could for example at the end of its life be turned into a portable lamp
or patio light with the addition of some 3D printed parts to it. You can find pictures of the result here.
The same Canadian team is now working on Metacycle. I asked one of the team members, Philippe Lalande, a professor at École de design industriel of Université de Montréal, about the project. They are currently using, "Crowdsourcing to canvas the design energies of an international
creative community in proposing how products could be transformed
through the use of Rapid Prototyping." He also said that so far they have had 130 submissions of new ideas. Their first contest was won by, "an office wall clock, was proposed by the Portugese designers Botelho and Gouveia." The clock is composed of recycled markers and a 3D printed housing. I personally also really like their VHS video tape, tape dispenser.
I think that this is a great initiative. On the Metacycle site you can submit your own solutions to recycling challenges as well as rate other people's solutions.
Shapeways member Xcapee made some 3D printed gifts for speakers at a conference that he helped organise. The model is a sleeve that slips over a LED tealight. I love the idea. This is the third time that someone has used Shapeways to make conference gifts and maybe it is a niche we should perhaps more actively approach. I'm not sure how much the LED lights were, but the cost of printing the sleeves was $13.71 so it seems that this is quite an affordable gift too. I think I'll experiment a little with LEDs and our Ring Poems to see if we can make a ersatz version of Xcapee's model that anyone can then make using our Creator. Kudos to Xcapee's for inspiring us, his creative gifts and also for his amazing beard. You can check out the video below.
Next to all the usual ordinary or actually, extraordinary stuff we do at Shapeways, there is now another complete different thing we would like to pronounce.
I'm already here for a year now and I think it's time to let you know what I've done the last couple of months. During my internship last year I created a passion for global sharing..
Once we knew the first Shapeways Creator should give people the opportunity to express their feelings in a personalized and unique way, I started to think about creating a way to get people inspired.
The Light Poem is a perfect way to tell your loved ones that you love them, in a complete unique and personalized way. With these thoughts (that the Light Poem is a perfect gift of love) I created a whole new concept for people to express their feelings.
The website Share the Love is a brand new community where all kind of expressions of love are brought together. The website has a database of poems and other expressions of love in several languages.
You can search on category, language or by tag.
You can upload a poem or expression of love in English and or translate it into a language you master.
So, are you looking for some inspiration for your Light Poem? Or are you just curious about this new community? Have a look at www.share-the-love.net
There were some questions on the forum lately about printing working hinges and what kind of tolerances you need to make them work. Some test objects were uploaded by pzich and we're currently printing those to see how they work.
While we're waiting for them, we thought we'd share a few insights that we gleaned from some test objects that we already have on our tables here
1. Flexible hinges Instead of making a mechanical hinge, you can use White Strong & Flexible to make flexible hinges. Here are two example: one using a 'harmonica' structure. In this case the material is about 0.5 mm thick:
Another approach is to make a long, flat piece of plastic which can bend. The material here is about 0.5 mm thick as well:
2. Moving parts
This 'GearCard' was printed as a single model in White Strong & Flexible. You can make moving parts by modeling air gaps between the gear and the axis. Although our minimum tolerance is about 0.1mm, we do suggest that you keep gaps above 0.25mm to be safe (these measures apply to White Strong & Flexible only).
We'll get back to you once the new testparts are in!
CB Model Pro is an entry level surface modeler that's published by Dassault Systèmes, the creators of SolidWorks. You can use it to create all kinds of objects just by pushing and prodding objects in 3d space - much like working with virtual clay. You'll be using a basic tool set containing tools like Point Pull, Flatten, Bend, Neck, Scale and Poke. You can also draw in 2D on your models and then use these shapes for extruding or bending. Finally you can also 'paint' on your models using colors and decals.
It's a great tool for anyone who wants to get his feet wet in 3d design and it's great fun to play with. Having said that, it's unclear why the product is called 'PRO' because it's certainly lacking a number of pro-features (like having more control over your model and it's dimensions).
CB Model Pro is available for both Windows and Mac OS X, and it's completely free (although after 15 days you'll have to register for a free key to continue using it).
Due to the nature of this modeler, it's hard to create non-manifold objects, and it contains an STL exporter - the basic ingredients for having your model printed are both in place.
The exported STL files need a bit of cleaning up though - they trigger a 'non manifold' error after uploading to Shapeways (even though they're not!). This is easily solved though by downloading the open source package MeshLab, opening your STL with it and saving it as STL again. The default objects (cube, sphere etc) have a dimension of 1, so you should use 'inches' as the STL unit when uploading.
The website CB Model Pro Fans has published a number of nice video-tutorials and demonstrations that should get you started:
Who says a house has to remain in the same place all the time? The Danish art collective N55, together with engineers from the MIT have designed a house that can simply walk away if you fancy a better spot (say, if a flood is coming or you simply don't like your neighbours anymore). It has all the basic necessities for living on board - a living room, kitchen, toilet, bed and a wood stove.