The second place goes to Smaller Buggy by Jiovanie Velazquez. "Nice little car, very likeable, impressive demonstration of the technological state" of 3D printing.
In first place is Bottle Opener Compact by aeron23. The jury mentioned that, "very appropriate material/technology choice. The text is customized,
metal is the correct material and the design is appealing. A special
and useful object!"
Eeppium (Erno Mattila) took first place with his skull ring.
In the Art category wuct88 (Chitian Wu) took third place with his Cup."A classic subject, relatively untried in 3D Printing, and skillfully modeled."
In second place was Inlite (Blair Collins) with Dragon. "This is what 3D printing should do. It's modeled very freely. But it's fun and funny and would be difficult to make any other way."
In first place was Whystler (Shawn T. Johnson) with Metal Wand. "A good idea, well executed, and ready for market. It looks tactile and satisfying, with a material and weight that work well, and it comes in at a good price point. This is a solid hit squarely in the design space of the medium."
Congrats to all the winners! 3rd placed winners get $50 in 3D printing, 2nd place $100 and first placed get $100. Thank you so much also for our jury!
We ultimately want the Shapeways upload filters to be perfect. We'd like us to be able to repair any file automatically. And even though each day brings us one step closer to that goal, we are not there yet. Specifically to help you guys out with your wall thickness issues we went on the hunt for a software tool that you could download right now. We hoped that the right tool would make life a lot easier for you guys. After months of looking and two weeks of testing by five of us, we've found one. It is called Netfabb Studio Basic and it rocks.
Previously we helped you guys by showing you Meshlab, a free and open source tool that is great for polycount reduction, mesh resurfacing, normals recalculation, viewing issues with models for 3D printing and converting. We also have shown you Accutrans, a free for 30 days, tool that is great for converting from lots of different file types and scaling. In addition to these tools there is a great closed source commercial package out there called Magics by Materialise, a 3D printing service bureau. This tool even goes as far as to automatically repair your STL files in some cases. It is a great tool, the only problem with it is that it costs $7000. Materialize even has a service called STLFix where you can repair your STLs. There is a free version of Magics called mini-Magics. But this is only an STL viewer and doesn't let you repair anything. There is also 3D scanner software such as Polyworks and GeoMagic that are meant specifically for repairing meshes made from scans. These are also good but as Magics, they are also expensive.
There really was no commercial alternative to Magics, until now. Netfabb Studio views STLs, repairs STL files automatically, scales them, inverts normals, measures STLs and lots more. This tool blew me away. The second best thing about it is that Netfabb currently costs $399. The best thing about Netfabb? There is a free version of it that you can download. This does a lot of the things the commercial version.
With the free version of Netfabb Studio Basic you can:
automatically close holes
automatically invert face normals (inverted or flipped triangles)
automatically repair non-manifold errors
easily measure the wall thickness of STL files
easily measure dimension and volume of your model
easily scale STL files
manually remove, invert and add faces triangles and shells
One huge word of caution before you collapse from joy. Even though Netfabb is a great free tool it can not solve all your problems. A lot of files can simply not be automatically repaired. The free version also does not remove intersecting triangles. The software can not repair with 'degraded triangles.' You can select and remove some shells but the free version does not have a way to automatically reduce many shells to one. So this will not make all your STL problems magically go away. We've been testing it for two weeks and we're impressed but realize that no software tool can fix everything automatically. It is a huge step forward though.
Read on to see how to use and what you can do with the Netfabb Studio Basic STL viewer and repair tool.
Shapeways community member Asher Nahmias (aka dizingof) had a problem. He bought a nice new iPhone and a protective case to go with it. The problem? The iPhone + case would not fit in any of the standard charging blocks and stands. So he, "designed a dock that can charge any iPhone with any skin or protective
case - simply insert the charging cable you received with the Iphone
from below and glue it - and you're done."
The resulting universal iPhone dock can be integrated into a home theater system or be used as a stand alone dock. The unit simply attaches to your iPhone cable. Asher is, "very happy with the result, I increased the height of the design a
little bit by another centimeter so that any charging cable will fit in the design." Asher's iPhone dock is an elegant solution to a design problem. These kinds of little problems will increasingly be solved using 3D printing. The best thing is that at $23 the is solution also an affordable one. Yes, we can all dream of a world where everyone can make everything anywhere. But, this is what you can do right now.
In the previous post I told you about Shapeways Community Member Bas van der Veer and his Design Academy Graduation Galleries design "A Drop of Water." The Design Academy is among the best design schools in the world. Their yearly Graduation Galleries is the showcase for the graduating class' graduation projects. And each year the Rene Smeets Prize is given for the most promissing designer with the best graduation project. And Bas van der Veer, has won this prize this year! This is a very very big deal and we are immensely proud of Bas! Congratulations Bas!
So Bas..tell us how you came up with A drop of water?
I think it is very important to be very careful with our freshwater reserves. Therefore I wanted to create a product that makes it really easy to save tap water. Since we use a lot of our freshwater for irrigation, my thesis was to make a product that makes it as easy as possible to choose rainwater instead of tap water to water the plants.
Tell us about the work... 'A Drop of Water' is a rain barrel with an integrated watering can that is located right underneath the drainage tube. This means that the can is filled automatically when it rains, and that the surplus will fill the rest of the rain barrel so that it is possible to refill the watering can after using it.
How long did it take to make it?
After several months of research, conceptualizing and fine tuning, I created a 3d model of my final product. This model was then translated into a mdf-mold by Kleizen, a company in Hengelo. After that, I created the actual rain barrel by using different techniques in about two weeks. Parts of the barrel's tap and the spout of the watering can were 3-d printed by Shapeways, the barrel was made from epoxy resin and glassfibre and the watering can was made using thermoforming.
It looks very organic? Yes, to me it was very important that the shape of the product had a clear connection with the subject: water. Therefore the rain barrel is shaped like a drop of water as a symbol for the thing it harvests.
Is it meant to be an environmental piece or just a pretty thing? With this graduation project, I wanted to create a very elegant and smart product with the emphasis on user-friendliness. But since eco-awareness is also close to my heart, I think 'A Drop of Water' is a combination of both worlds. Whether or not people are willing to save on tap water, electricity, gas and so on, is directly connected to the solutions designers come up with to help them doing that. So in order to make a good product to 'save the world' , it is crucial to make the product as attractive as possible, otherwise no one will bother.
It looks a bit like a breast or pregnant woman?
I hear that a lot, some people also tell me that the barrel resembles a fat man's belly! I think it is good that people have a lot of associations with my product, that way they can relate to it, so I'm not bothered at all by that.
What modeling software did you use to make it? I always create my digital models in Rhino3D. When I was around 16 years old, I already started making very basic models in a demo version of Rhino, and this software is the only CAD-software I know how to use.
What did you make using Shapeways? The spout of the watering can was created by Shapeways. It has a very subtle pattern of holes in it, so rapid prototyping was much easier (and cheaper) than any other production technique in this case. Also, parts of the tap at the bottom of the barrel were made by Shapeways in order to have pieces with the exact right dimensions.
What are you going to do after graduation? At this moment, I am trying to find a way to put 'A Drop of Water' into production and to actually sell the product. Apart from that I want to see what other things cross my path this Dutch Design Week and ultimately to find a really nice job as a product designer.
Tell us a little about your other work? I think that both my graduation projects (A drop of Water / Bioplastic Planters) show that I have a passion for ecodesign, but also for making elegant products that people really enjoy using. I always strive for products with relevance and with a clear concept that everyone can relate to, and I think you can see that in all of my products. More information about 'A Drop of Water' and about my other work is also on my website www.basvanderveer.
The Bottom of the Pyramid (BOP) is a term used to describe the largest and at the same time poorest group of people on our planet. This group of four billion people live on less than $2 a day.
The BOP has unique challenges and has traditionally not been served by many companies & products. The BOP could benefit from well designed products that help the poorest people by making their lives easier, longer or even help them escape poverty in some way.
As Shapeways we can potentially democratize manufacturing &
production for anyone, anywhere. We can produce 3D printed goods more efficiently with
more scale and at lower cost than anyone. This means that unique, short run products can be made that potentially help the Bottom of the Pyramid. So how can we by using
Shapeways' strengths bring the benefits of 3D printing to the poor, the
We don't know. So we're asking you for help.
We are looking for viable product idea that could benefit the BOP. During this process, using co-creation, work together with the Shapeways community to improve this idea. We will call this process of working with you to develop this product "3D printing the BOP". We would support your with design, 3D modeling & 3D printing expertise. We would also 3D print iterations and the final product for you. We are looking to, together with you, take this idea and turn it into a product.
The product could either be an end use product or prototype. So, it could either be, for example, a portable water carrier that is 3D printed and then sold or distributed to the third world or it could be a prototype for this product to be ultimately made by another production process.
Do you know a social entrepreneur developing a product for the Bottom of the Pyramid?
Do you yourself want to develop a product for the BOP?
Or do you know someone active in a poor community with a unique design or engineering challenge?
Apply by emailing a short outline of your idea as well as a short description of yourself to joris (at) shapeways (dot) com. Or send this blog post on to the right person so that they can enter. The deadline for entries is the 7th of November. We will then sift through and evaluate the entries and select a project that we will support.
The criteria for the entries are:
Above all: viability
Elegantly designed, simple and robust items would seem to us to be more effective.
Concept is nothing, it depends on execution, the final product, functionality.
The product must ameliorate the conditions of the members of the Bottom of the Pyramid in some way.
The products benefit has to be easy to evaluate and communicate.
It could be a niche product.
It does not have to be a "big" idea that changes everything it could just do something small incredibly well.
CloudFab is a brand spanking new start up that is aiming to become a distributed fabrication platform for 3D printing. They are in alfa right now but you can sign up for a beta on their site.
I wasn't the only one intrigued, CloudFab was featured on the Ponoko blog and also on FluidForms
and now we're going to do an interview with Nick Pinkston, CloudFab's CEO. Isn't that great,
we're just one big happy family of personal fabrication companies.
Joris: So tell us a bit about your team?
Nick Pinkston: Sure, there are two founders:
I'm Nick Pinkston, the "business
guy" of the company. I've been a tinkerer since I was very young - I
learned to solder before I could ride a bike. Since, I've run a few
small businesses, and I've been wanting to start a company that blended
my love of making things with a way to help change the world.
Steve Klabnik is our lead developer, and he's been programming for
most of his life. He really brings a depth of talent and experience
that's been invaluable to us. He's not just a basement-bound dev
though. He's great to toss around strategy with, and he's a true
believer in the cause.
When did you guys get the idea for CloudFab?
At first, we were looking to start a place with equipment to work on
projects like TechShop, but it didn't look like the local market would
support that. It was then that we helped start HackPittsburgh - now the
local hackerspace. We wanted to solve the problem on a larger scale
though, so we looked at how best to make production widely available.
What was it like to take it from idea to website?
We got off to a rough start which put us a little behind, but I have to
say that having Steve leading the development really inspired
confidence in our ability to get things done quickly. The latest drama
was maxing out our servers during the launch, but we're back with a lot
Are there any sites/books/people that inspired you to start your own business?
When I was quite young I read "Engines of Creation", and as a young
tinkerer it really inspired me to look where tech could take us - if in
a futuristic way. Later, I read "Fab", "Democratizing Innovation", and
others which along with many blogs and friends helped inspire CloudFab.
So you guys are a distributed manufacturing platform? What is that exactly?
Distributed manufacturing / fabrication is all about tapping into
existing decentralized production capacity - similar to how the protein
folding project tapped into spare PS3 cycles. We'll be tipping our hand
more a little later, but the ultimate goal is to increase the
accessibility for everyone.
Will you ever do your own production, or is connecting users with producers going to be the only thing you do?
now, we're fully focused on getting the distributed model implemented
and working well. We don't see concentrating buying machines to be the
best model to best serve customers.
How will CloudFab work?
All a you need
to do is upload your STL file and select the build specs. This sends
all the applicable sellers a quote request. You then select the best
quote by price, turnaround, feedback, etc., and once you do we hold
your payment until the parts are delivered. If the parts are good,
you'll leave the seller some good feedback.
Are you guys a Business to Consumer company? Business to business? Both?
we're a hybrid really. If engineers, designers, etc. are considered
business, I'd say we're B2B. The main goal is really to empower people
who don't make things for a living. Once my mom can easliy make things
I'll be happy.
Your CloudFab Manifesto is very similar to what
I think about Personal Fabrication. In it you mention that the goal is
"truly personal fabrication", what does this mean to you?
seems like modern society has alienated everyone from the being truly
invested in their work like artisans of the past. We're at a point now
where technology allows us to be our own artisan. We can see blogs
being personal publishing, and it vastly increased the amount of dialog
and communication. If we can do that for designs and transfer that to
the physical world, we think it's going to vastly increase innovation
in the physical world as well.
So you would like to be a global platform? What you are doing reminds me a lot of Ponoko.
by global you mean having users around the world, then yes. Ponoko
seems pretty file centric. They bridge the consumer-supplier gap by
giving designers a platform to show and make their designs - which is a
Are there any/many differences between yourselves and Ponoko?
really like what Ponoko has done so far. Between them, Shapeways, and
others, the space has emerged as the new kid on the technology block.
It's awesome to see Dave ten Have on the cover of Inc. magazine. As
with any expanding market, everyone is trying to find and develop new
segments. We combine elements of the successful companies in the space
with some of our own.
What will make you guys successful?
They say you can focus on
the horse, the jockey, or the race. I think we're in a great race, we
have an awesome jockey, and I think our horse is pretty solid and will
continue to train to win.
You are in alpha right now, any indication of when you hope to go beta?
(and yes, we of all people know that this is ballpark at best).
We hope to go into open beta in about a month or so. We'll get the private beta robust, and then we'll turn it loose.
Why did you choose 3D printing as a technology?
Not only is 3D
printing able to make a wide range of 3D objects with many materials,
but it also has less complexity than CNC for sellers and buyers. With
CNC there are so many variables to take into account it makes it
difficult to do easily online.
In the long run do you plan to expand into CNC, laser cutting etc.?
cutting will be coming very soon - along with similar processes. CNC is
a harder nut to crack, but 3-axis shouldn't be too far away. Seven axis
Swiss machines aren't around the corner though.
Do you guys believe that "everyone will make everything" through 3D printing? Or are you less optimistic/more cautious?
very optimistic about distributed fabrication, but it doesn't consist
of only 3D printing, laser, etc. Especially for large objects, we're
far away from that. Metal stamping and injection molding have benefits
over digital techniques in many areas, but they're all apart of the
fabrication ecosystem. I'm sure we'll see such technologies becoming
more available as well as time progresses. In any case, I think we're
on our way to many people making a lot of things, and that's still a