Cathal Garvey is doing some truly amazing stuff with 3D printing. His Shapeways Shop Labs From Fabs showcases all his 3D printed lab equipment. Basically he wants to use fabbing technology such as Shapeways and Makerbot to make inexpensive lab equipment. He sells the printed objects on Shapeways and also makes the designs available for download on Thingverse for anyone with their own 3D printer.
I thought it was a great initiative but recently it turned amazing with the Dremelfuge. The Dremelfuge is a 3D printed attachment that turns a regular Dremel power tool into a lab centrifuge. Cathal's great blog shows you a video of how it works as well as an explanation of the Dremelfuge.
This is a great example of how 3D printing could change industries. A test tube centrifuge is now $64 or $100 if you have to buy a Dremel.
Kevin Kelly has done it again. In his post about 1,000 true fans he details how a designer, artist or any independent creative can make a living as long as they have 1,000 true fans. If you would like to make a living in a long tail world where anyone can make anything and anyone can design anything then please read this post. If you want to use tools such as 3D printing to make a living, then please read this post. If you are a designer, artist or creative on Shapeways, and would like to make a living on our platform, then please read this post. Or if you just want to start a business at one point, then please read this post. I don't know how he does it but Kevin Kelly has through the morass identified and described quite possibly the most important element of becoming successful while using todays democratizing technologies. It is also a quite clear path forward for anyone wanting to turn a hobby and/or a dream into a living.
"I am suggesting there is a home for creatives in between poverty and
stardom. Somewhere lower than stratospheric bestsellerdom, but higher
than the obscurity of the long tail. I don't know the actual true
number, but I think a dedicated artist could cultivate 1,000 True Fans,
and by their direct support using new technology, make an honest living."
We've increased the price of the Text BrandingIron and the Logo BrandingIron by $20. A customized 3D printed branding iron will now cost you $45 (28 Euros) including shipping and VAT if you live in the European Union and $38 including shipping if you do not. So depending on where you live it will now cost you $45 or $38 to get your words; your 2D design, logo or image turned into a mini-3D printed-Stainless Steel Branding Iron.
So why did we increase the price of the BrandingIron? We are simply exhibiting expected behavior for a monopolist. After conquering and dominating the customizable 3D printing mini-branding iron market we of course will raise prices. Just kidding, but the real reason might be more interesting.
One of the truly special things about Shapeways is that we believe that it is our task to democratize manufacturing. We believe that we have the opportunity to provide anyone, anywhere with manufacturing capability. The steps we take, each day, slowly but surely walk towards that goal chiefly consist of us making Shapeways more affordable and more inspiring for our community.
Inspiration is why we develop things such as the BrandingIron. It is meant as a demonstration of what can be done, a new direction, a hint, a trigger for many other designs by our community. Our willingness to earn less than any other company, our scale and our ability to optimize the processes we use better than any other company mean that we can keep costs low. This means that more people can make more stuff. Rinse, repeat.
Thanks to Boing Boing, Wired, Make, many other blogs and people on Twitter (thank you all!)the BrandingIron became a hit. At the ridiculously low price it was at, the product helps spread the word for Shapeways. We now believe that we can use the success of the BrandingIron to in fact subsidize our community rather than offer it at the same low prices as everything else on the site. So we put $20 on top of each BrandingIron so we can build new software and buy more 3D printers. We're also curious to see how this affects demand and to what extent people will be less willing to buy them now. What is the ideal price point for a BrandingIron? How much will you pay to have your logo turned into 3D printed metal? How much is a 'fun idea' an 'edgy' concept? How much does unique cost?
I'd also like to thank everyone that was so concerned with the legal aspects of this. I would also like to reiterate that the objects brought from Shapeways are only for decorative purposes and they are not suited for any other purpose. We wouldn't like to go looking for the edge of the envelope only to find a paper cut.