Until the 10th of October we will be offering you a significant discount on large White, Strong & Flexible models. You can calculate your discount using the hyper-mega-awesome-discount-calculator-tool(its an Excel sheet). You can download that here.
If you order a model, in White, Strong & Flexible, that is above $500 then you will get a 25% discount.
Any amount above $1000 gets you a 75% discount.
For example: if you purchase a model costing $3000, you would get a discount of $1625 and pay $1375. 25% discount over the amount above 500, and 75% over the amount above 1000.
This discount is valid for the first 50 models. email
firstname.lastname@example.org, put Think Big in your subject line and include a
link to the model or a model name that you would like to order in the
email. The discount will be over the price of the 3D printing not the
mark up portion of the amount that goes to the designer.
So why are we doing this until October 10th?
We've been thinking and tinkering a lot with our pricing model lately.
We know a lot of you would like to make larger things but are being
held back by cost. We also think that if people see larger 3D printed
objects they will be inspired to make lots of things that are not yet
models do cost a lot more to make because they take up more space and
time in the 3D printers. But, larger models equal bigger orders. And
one large model worth $2000 requires less handling, cleaning etc. than
500 smaller models that would cumulatively equal the same amount.
is an experiment, to see if you guys love this, to see if this
stimulates you to Think Big, to see if after we do all the production
and then the math our assumptions on pricing will turn out to be true.
We know that not everyone has a few thousand or a few hundred dollars,
right now, that they can spend on 3D printing. Even though we can
understand if you're sorely tempted by a Geary Cube,a captured heart or a Fractal Conch.
But, we hope that the few people that do take advantage of this help us
all learn on how to make Shapeways cheaper for everyone.
University of Washington's Solheim Rapid Manufacturing Laboratory, and Professor Mark Ganter are at it again. The same people, the same University that just months ago brought us Ceramic 3D printing have now come up with glass 3D printing.
Professor Ganter is a Shapeways community member and announces ceramics 3D printing and glass 3D printing breakthroughs on our forum which is one of the most ridiculously flattering things ever to happen to us.
In the press release Mark is quoted as saying, ""It became clear that if we could get a material into powder form at about 20 microns we could print just about anything." The Vitraglyphic process uses the powdered glass and a binder. The research was done by graduate student Grant Marchelli.
The cost of the 3D printing material is much less than other materials and the material should be great for artists and consumer materials. Opinions are divided around the office if it looks good but, we all think it is a huge breakthrough.
The best thing is that Professor Ganter, Grant Marchelli and Solheim Rapid Manufacturing Laboratory decided to make their invention available for free for general use!!!
I mentioned Mani Zamani and the awesome model Rose Keeper in the previous post. Mani used Shapeways Steel 3D printing and existing Revoltech joints to make a movable, pose able model that is just amazing.
Below Mani explains to us, a great and inspirational story, the journey to Rose Keeper.
Well I am a foreign
student and graduate of the Design Academy in Eindhoven and as
long as I remember I was always fascinated by those giant robots from Japanese
animation specially the old school ones. So based on that background, believe it
or not, I decided to become a designer.
After coming to The Netherlands,
in my forth year of study I started a project in the plastic course which the
focus was designing a robot action figure based on injection molding in a form
of kit model for kids. For that project I used the simple technique of making
all the parts with balsa wood and simply vacuum form them with polystyrene (the
same material used for kit models) and I used Lego parts for the joints.
A month later a friend of mine
who is also a computer nerdintroduced me to Shapeways. And that was a big deal really big deal. See
after 5 years of modeling in Rhino3d and printing data sheets to make parts in
foam and balsa, Shapeways was a big eye opener.
So I decided to go straight and
without any test print I ordered my first model which was also a very human like
robot inspired by ninja-samurais (The Samurai-Poet Project).
you can see every thing is printed by Shapeways except the ball joints system
which I order them from Japan. I did
some test prints of the same ball and socket system with SLS(White, Strong & Flexible) but it was not as
strong as I expected to be specially for the hip joints where there is more
weightbut I did use the SLS ball
joints in arms where there is no weight issue there .
It was after this experience
which I came up with the conclusion that ratchet and klicky ball joints are
better solution for heavy models and after some research I found Revoltech.
Now what is Revoltech: Revoltech is an action figure line from the
Japanese company Kaiyodo. The main selling point
of the line is the 'Revolver' joint, which all of the figures utilize. This
gives the figures a high degree of articulation, allowing for many dynamic and
Exactly 4 months before my visa expired I
saw an announcement of metal 3d printing for all on Shapeways and I went nuts for
it. I had to design a robot all in metal (I have a goal in my life and it is to
design and build robot figures in as many different materials and techniques a as
possible and become a master of it)
So in order to over come the costs I decided to cancel my summer trip to Zurich and spend the money on this project.
Rosekeeper became a different project
during designing. The organic shape of a rose and a background story that I had
in mind lead to this creature which is not a robot but a rejected demon from
hell which has to find the perfect rose in order to bring balance between the
world of angels, demons, humans and birds.
It has 14 points of articulation together
with 2 point extra for knees (double joints).
Unfortunately even with Revoltech joints it
is heavy for some poses but I am really pleased with it and this brings me to my
next project which will be to design my own joint system this will also let me
sell my works without any restrictions. (the figure itself is 205 mm long).
Rose Keeper is just an incredible stainless steel 3D printed model by Mani Zamani. It was made by using Shapeways together with Revoltech joints. The model is unique and by using the standard joints, good movement is added to the model at little cost.
It is a great example of what I call Combinatory Manufacturing. Combinatory Manufacturing is using a high end production process that produces unique parts and then combining them with existing mass manufactured parts to add functionality. The unique characteristics of the high end process coupled with the standardized, cheap and available parts. We have lots of examples on Shapeways of this happening ranging from the technological such as the RC helicopters to jewelery such as the Marble Pendants. You can see a video of one of Magic's great marble pendants here and his Shop is here.
Combinatory Manufacturing is a best of both worlds approach using pre-existing functionality in mass produced parts in a novel, useful or interesting way. Some uses such as Mani's use of Revoltech joints in his Rose Keeper model use the mass manufactured parts in expected ways but to great effect.
Chris Jackson's hot Watering can re-purposes a hot water bottle as a dual use hot water bottle & watering can by adding a 3D printed fitting to it. An earlier example of something like this is the 2006 Meta-Morphose initiative. These kinds of products extend the functionality of mass produced products into new areas.
I believe that we will lots of very very interesting things occurring with Combinatory Manufacturing in the coming years. It will be a simple way for designers to design much more complex items and also allow them to leverage their way into people's lives much easier. Instead of coming up with all the functionality within the confines of your own design you can simply make something that bolts on to something else.
Of course Combinatory Manufacturing is nothing really new. Marcel Duchamp was making his readymade's as far back as 1913. His repurposing of the Bicycle wheel seen here or the urinal as seen in his hugely important Fountain piece(that pissed off a lot of people), would fit comfortably into what I'm describing above. Indeed Chris Jackson portion of the TEN XYZ show that includes the water bottle is called "Digital Readymades." So in Duchamp we all have a precursor. And Duchamp not only deserves credit for his huge influence on the art world but also in being remarkably prescient as far as the development of technology is concerned. Duchamp's repositioning of the functionality of art, artist, spectator as well as the objects themselves however was, in my opinion, intended as more of a theoretical exercise. Combinatory Manufacturing differs because it will become a purely practical endeavor.
What could you combine with a 3D print so that the combined product could exceed the functionality of both the print and the mass produced part? What is something standard that you could repurpose? What technologically complex but cheap item do you have that you could do amazing things with?
Until the 20th of October we will have our largest contest
to date. We will have 9 winners in 3 categories. The categories are
Art, Technology & Jewelery. Submit your most inspiring and
interesting designs in any of the three categories to win $200 in 3D
printing for first place in a category, $100 for second place and $50
for third place.
This contest has more prizes than any other before! We hope that lots of you enter and show us some amazing work!
Until when can I enter?
The last day to upload an entry is the 20th of October. The contest will be
judged by a jury of community members and the winners will be announced
at Dutch Design Week on the 25th of October.
How to enter?
To enter add the tag "Metal Inspiration" to your
model and also add your model to the gallery "Metal Inspiration" when
uploading. All models have to be public. All the models in the contest are visible on the contest gallery you can find that here.
So who will be your judges?
Martin Baumers, PHD student in the economics of rapid manufacturing at Loughborough University.
Thanks to Cavedave on Reddit I just came across a totally touching 3D printing story. It is back from 2000, but I had never heard it before. It is about a blind mathematician named Bernard Morin. He was interested in the topology of a shape he had invented versus a new version of that shape but he could not see the rendering of the new shape. Stewart Dickinson then printed out the shape with the help of 3D Systems so that Morin could feel the difference. Check out the pictures of the topologies and Professor Morin here.
Like all technologies, you can put 3D Printing to dubious use as well..
Today's news is a German hacker, Ray. Ray likes to collect handcuffs and find crazy ways to open them.
This time he was able to duplicate the key to Dutch police handcuffs (there's only one key format - duh!). He simply took a high-resolution photograph of a key that was dangling from a policeman's belt, reconstructed it in 3D software and printed it on a 3D printer. And yes, it worked!
It's probably not legal to own such a key so I don't advise printing one, but it does make for a very interesting demonstration of what happens once production tools become democratized.
Now handcuffs are only for temporarily restraining suspects (at least by the Dutch police), so I don't think this is a major issue for them. Still, the trouble with the interweb is of course that once a file it out in the open (as it is in this case) it's extremely difficult - if not impossible - to remove it, making the key in question virtually useless. If this had happened to, say, a master key of a building, you'd have to replace every lock..
This story is not unlike the British police chief Bob Quick, whose secret document was photographed on the street. Do we need to be more careful 'out there'? I makes me wonder what's next; people taking an ultra-high resolution photograph of your thumb to replicate your fingerprint? (yes Ray, we have your fingerprint on file now, too Replicating your car keys when you leave your car?
Until the 2nd of October we will test White Glaze with you. It is a smooth, bright and shiny 3D printing material that looks a lot like porcelain from a distance. The model above is Bathsheba's CTRL-ALT-Whelk. The material is tough and strong. There is another blog post here explaining the 3D printing process, Stratasys' FDM Vapor Smoothing that is behind White Glaze. We also have a materials page for White Glaze here that summarizes the relevant materials information.
We've selected this material because a lot of you were asking for smooth 3D prints. We've been looking and testing for months. This is the smoothest material we could find and it looks great. The material will be available until October 2nd.
The detail on this material is less than that of our White, Black & Transparent Detail materials and our White, Strong & Flexible material. Therefore, I would not recommend it for models where details are of critical concern. However, the material has a high dimensional stability. I would use it for designs where the overall shape is of primary importance such as Rob Mack's Elegant Bowl Sixties Series I above. Because it so dimensionally stable it is also very suited for housings and parts. When making a housing or part though I would recommend 'oversized' connectors or holes since the Vapor Smoothing process limits surface detail. You can get an indication of surface detail by looking at BAROBA's Bowie the Bunny below.
From a few feet the material looks very smooth. If you are extremely close you can see some unevenness but it still has a glossy smooth finish.
The material is a white ABS plastic.
The minimum detail is 2mm.
Minimum wall thickness is 1.4mm.
Maximum build volume is: 35 X 40 X 40 CM.
The delivery & production time is 15 working days in total.
It will be our cheapest material at $1.45 per cubic centimeter.
"But the minimum order amount per model has to be $23(16 cubic CM). People often think that we just push a button and then the 3D printers do the rest.
But, a substantial cost component for us is people. People have to
clean your models, take them out of the machines, check them, package
them. Every single model is expensive because each requires individual
handling, checking and tracking. By having a minimum order amount per
model of $23 we can substantially bring down the overall cost of the
material. We understand that designers that make tiny models such as
Woody with his great Minifig customs are negatively impacted by this. But, this is just an experiment for White Glaze and we hope you all appreciate that we are also trying to be innovative in our pricing in order to make Shapeways as affordable as possible."
I hope that the pricing decision is clear. We are not trying to disadvantage any one individual group on Shapeways. Our mission is to bring production capacity, the ability to customize and make to as many people as possible for as many applications as is possible. We will concentrate on making 3D printing as cheap as it can be and then stand back and watch you guys make amazing things.
Since we're testing both the material and the pricing model for you we'd really like to get any feedback you have here.
The FDM (Fused Deposition Modeling) finishing process makes FDM models look real nice and is a huge step forward in "consumer friendly" 3D printing material. That is why we are trying out Vapor Smoothing for our White Glaze material.
FDM is a tried and trusted process it produces very dimensionally stable parts in ABS plastic. FDM does not have the level of detail that some other 3D printing processes have. Another limitation is that, until now, FDM 3D printing parts have simply been less pretty than other materials. The surface finish has also been coarse.
If you are making robot parts, functional parts, housings and the like then this process and material are eminently suitable. The Vapor Smoothing process sacrifices some surface detail but removes the one biggest problem that FDM has had: it just wasn't pretty.Until now:
The material that we use for White Glaze is ABS M30-White. After Vapor Smoothing the parts are very very smooth. They look like glazed porcelain from a distance and look & feel much like the injection molded plastics that surround us. There can be a slight unevenness at certain points but generally the process holds up under scrutiny.The part should also be as dimensionally accurate as it was before the process.
Please do not try this at home. It looks deceptively simple but I managed to nearly kill myself and ruin my kitchen doing this(don't tell my girlfriend). So how does Vapor Smoothing work?
1. A FDM printed part is cooled in a cooling chamber.
2. It is then exposed to "solvent vapors" for up to 30 seconds and then goes back into the cooling chamber. This is then repeated.
3. The part is then blasted by soda (sodium bicarbonate or baking soda).
Presto! You can compare an original FDM part with the Vapor Smoothed one below. The original is the top one.
For those who have encoutered non manifold, bad edges problems, questions about delivery or shipping status, you've already emailed back and forth with me. I'm the Service Customer Manager. Previously i was the Shapeways Webmaster but i've changed so that i can help you with any issues you can have.
Because we are still growing rapidly as an internet start-up, and therefore receive more and more orders from around the globe (thanks for that!!), we are in need of excellent customer service. I hope to make you as happy as can be, and this is my job. Our main goal: 100% satisfied customers
But first..i will be going on holiday from 18th September till the 12th of October. OMG! Three weeks! No this was not a typo..THREE weeks, hehe Yes my boss thought it would be helpfull for me to get some new inspiration for your customer needs. That's why he sents me of to America's West Coast! America: " Do not fear, Ralph is here!"
While I'm gone you can still email service (at) shapeways (dot) com and the guys will take care of you.
Meanwhile, for inspirational issues I will be visiting San Francisco, Los Angeles, Las Vegas and:
But that's not all! If you live in one of these places:
You can have the opportunity to meet me in person! To win a meet and greet with Ralph complete the following statement, "My life will be complete once I've met Ralph because..." The winner will recieve a 7.5 minute Ralph encounter and two signed portraits measuring aproximately 4.5m by 4.5m.
I can even drop of your order myself!! Just email Joris: joris (at) shapeways (dot) com and he will arrange it. Bear in mind, the Ralph Personal Delivery Experience is not included in the free Shapeways shipping. Hope to see you soon in person!
Mitchell Whitelaw's Weather Bracelet is a stunning piece of wearable art. The 3D print visualizes one year of the weather data in Canberra. The outer edge is determined by the daily minimum and maximum temperatures. The holes indicate rainfall. I love this piece, both the look of it and its concept. Mitchell(
Mitchell Whitelaw: I'm interested in ways of manifesting data , making it tangible - visualization, but also other forms. Data-sculpture isn't an original
idea, I'm inspired by others including Andreas Nicholas Fischer and Fluidforms.
I'm also interested in weather and climate (and the line between the
two) and how we can make long time-scales tangible - this relates to an
earlier project, Watching the Sky.
J: Where did you get the idea from? The data?
MW: Mostly the idea of wearable data - making abstract patterns literally
tangible. Also I'm a huge fan of Nervous System's jewelry (http://n-e-r-v-o-u-s.com)
and have been watching their 3d printed work closely. A bracelet seemed
like a good template to use - I did an earlier experiment along those
lines. I also
have a thing for radial time-series, as in Watching the Sky. Then it
was a process of playing with forms - I used Processing to generate the
geometry from the data.
J: At what show are you going to exhibit it?
MW: It is called Beginning, Middle, End - at the School of Art Gallery, Australian National University, Canberra - opening 6pm Friday 18th September!
J: Is it actually going to be used as a bracelet?
MW: I hope so, it depends if anyone wants to wear it! The current form is
really a prototype; I'm planning to fabricate some different versions -
including a large one in cut paper. I'm also thinking about other
time-spans and locations, and the mass-customization approach that
people like Fluidforms are exploring.
This has nothing to do with Shapeways but I got a couple of questions about my visit to North Korea so decided to post some pictures here of the Arirang Mass Games in Pyongyang. I've put them below the fold so read on if you're interested.
Several years ago Neil Gershenfeld of MIT's Center for Bits and Atoms coined the term personal fabrication. He was also the initiator of the FabLabs, places filled with CNC machines, laser cutters and other tools where you can go to in order to make your own unique things. Fablabs enable personal fabrication just as Shapeways does. Personal fabrication revolves around the idea that you will get access to production capacity and then design and make your very own things.
I agree completely with most of the personal fabrication idea. I personally believe that mass production does not provide for us as well as it should. Unique things, with a use case of one should outperform items that have millions of copies made for millions of people with millions of use cases. Furthermore I think that there are currently many people out there that want to design and make certain unique items. I think that allowing people to have access to production capacity is the most powerful and fundamentally interesting thing that we do at Shapeways.
But, we all know that not everyone will take the time to design. Many are stuck in the Matrix, accepting the reality that brands repeat over and over again. Many more just simply will not make an effort because they are fine with as the world is. So where my thinking recently has diverged from the idea of personal fabrication is that the goal should be to make everyone an artisan. The goal to put a desktop 3D printer on everyone's desk, the goal to get everyone to make things in Fablabs. I'd love for everyone in the world to use Shapeways or something that affords them with the same opportunities. But, will everyone want to and is everyone able to be a designer, an artisan? And most importantly should you concentrate entirely on "everyone" or just the skilled?
One thing that keeps bouncing around in my head is a blog comment that Whystler made in response to the Singer post. I was talking about the tipping point for 3D printing and his comment stated "When everyone is taught or develops a highly evolved sense of design." But, what if some don't have it? Is it not much like playing a musical instrument? Something that requires practice & dedication and for which some are more suited than others? What if no matter how easy 3D modeling applications become or how good our Creators could ever be some people just are not creative enough. What if some are unable to articulate their own needs?
To me there is a real and huge difference between: Is the ultimate goal to turn everyone into a designer? Or is it to enable anyone to get unique things?
I believe now that it might be the latter. To me, whatever tools there are, the division of labor still makes sense. If this is true than things such as the Shapeways Shops and the Co-Creation Platform and our community itself could be more indicative of the future than the "everyone is an artisan" idea. If this is true it would not point to a future of personal fabrication but rather collective fabrication. Groups of people would work together each in their specialized roles either commercially or non-commercially. The tools & interaction would be different and you would have more control over the things in your world but not "design" your world.
This whole discussion might seem a bit arcane but I do think that the difference between developing "designers & design tools" and "access to custom products" poses a huge dilemma for people designing a future where everyone can make everything.
In terms of tool design Personal Fabrication would need:
easy to use machinery, easy to use software, cheap desktop machinery, design classes & courses, widely available inputs, ubiquity etc.
Collective Fabrication would need:
interaction, strong communities, interaction tools, high end machinery & operators etc.
Personal Fabrication would point to a future where everyone is educated in design and manufacturing whereas Collective Fabrication would point to a future where everyone interacts with designers and manufacturers. What do you think?