Janne Kyttanen is one of the very first people to seize upon the opportunity to make designs for consumers using 3D printing. Janne is the founder of Freedom of Creation. FOC is a groundbreaking and inspiring design label that is ahead of the pack with regards to 3D printing & design. We were happy to interview him to find out what Freedom of Creation is all about and how Janne views the future of design and 3D printing.
Joris Peels: What is Freedom of Creation?
Janne Kyttanen:A pioneering design company busy with a new industrial revolution
Joris Peels: How did you get into 3D printing?
Janne Kyttanen:I saw it on some fair in the mid 90’s. I had my first computer when I
was 8 years old and have been pretty much counting polygons ever since.
When I saw the first 3D printer, I immediately saw every object around
me in wireframe and realized where this whole thing was going to go. I
got quite obsessed with it quite early on and skipped making products
by other means. For me it was so clear, that I didn’t see any point
making anything by hand anymore.
The RepRap project has long been a groundbreaking project to create an affordable open source 3D printer that can print itself. Many RepRap parts have already been uploaded to Shapeways. We've always been very proud of that and love the idea of our technology being used to make another complimentary one. Now the RepRapWiki site has a tutorial showing you how to take a part 3D printed by Shapeways, make a mold of it and use it to build a RepRap mendel 3D printer. This could make it very inexpensive to create the plastic parts for the RepRap and will hopefully speed up the spread of the RepRaps to all the corners of the earth.
White Detail, Transparent Detail and Black Detail are some of the most detailed 3D printing materials we have on Shapeways. They are made by hardening an Acrylic-based photopolymer using UV light. The machines used are from 3D printing company Objet Geometries. We just made a movie showing you how Objet 3d printing works. We show you how the model is built up layer by layer by the machine and how Objet support material is removed. Enjoy.
We recently made a huge improvements to our renderings. To do this we used Blender. If you want to read all about how we used Blender you can check out a great article on the BlenderNation blog here.
We love Blender and we're giving you the Blender files so that you can do the scenes at home and play with them at your leisure. We're releasing the files under a Creative Commons, Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike license. You can download them below.
We're also holding a special contest for all you Blender Ninja's out there. The "Have I seen the best scene" contest. Can you use the files above to create the most realistic scene? Can you take Suzanne and put her in the kitchen, the garden, anywhere? To enter the contest just post your scenes here on the forum.
The winner wins $150 in 3D printing from Shapeways!
Some tips from the pros: "Feel free to change anything you want, except for
the camera position and orientation. We need these to be fixed because
of the way the auto-scaling script works (see the 'shoe-box' in layer 2
- each object is squeezed inside).
Also, be gentle with the rendering times. Remember
that we need to render hundreds of objects per day, so don't go crazy
on 'expensive' rendering features. Using the node editor is fine.
Finally, we spent quite a bit of time on the White, Strong & Flexible
material, so please make sure that remains the same, too. Of course, if
you can substantially improve it, we won't complain ;-)"
Bill Cournoyer just made something wonderful with Shapeways. It is the Steam Punk Scout 3D printed neckerchief. For $20 you can now get the perfect accessory to go with your steam powered ballooning merit badge. The Stainless Steel variant would require some serious pocket money saving however at $95.
Bart made a movie showcasing the Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) 3D printing process. SLS is the 3D printing process behind White, Strong & Flexible. In the movie you can see how your models are made. You can see our EOS Formiga P100 SLS 3D printers and also how your models are cleaned. The cleaning step is all manual labor and will probably be the biggest surprise for those of you who think that we just press a button and walk away (if only).
We usually make incremental continual improvements to Shapeways. Mesh Medic represents something much more revolutionary. Mesh Medic is an automated 3D printing file repair system that will deal with many issues people have when trying to design for 3D printing. From now on when you upload files to Shapeways Mesh Medic will be there to help you. He will repair holes, invert your inverted normals so they're normal, repair manifolds and generally make life a lot easier for you.
While Mesh Medic will not work for everyone and not work all the time, this is the most significant improvement to Shapeways so far. Please tell us what you think give us feedback on how to improve Mesh Medic on the Forum. It has never been easier for a designer to take a design that is your head and get it made into a physical object than today and every day after today. You can try Mesh Medic out right now by uploading your STL, x3D or Collada file here.
For Rhino users it will take away an extra step in checking and converting their models and everyone else shouldbenefit significantly also by having their workflow from file to 3D printed item reduced. Please do always check the uploaded model in the 3D view on Shapeways to make sure that the automatic repair filters didn't repair something they should not have. Mesh Medic currently does work for VRML files but not for the color VRML files with textures and we will enable this as soon as we can.
You can now use the Sandstone 3D printing material. This material is exactly the same material as the Full Color Sandstone just with the color bit removed.
The model depicted is MadebyDan's Square platter. The platter would cost $74. Now you can now use this (our cheapest) material without having to convert or upload your model into VRML. Please do take into account that the material is fragile and does need to adhere to the design rules for the material.
You have until the 14th to order your models in Alumide. We were very happy with your enthusiasm for the material! However we have sad news, we can not offer the material permanently at this moment. At a later date we want to bring it back though but we can not yet say when. The reason for that is that we have been able to consistently fill an entire machine with the Alumide material orders. The turnaround time between White, Strong & Flexible and Alumide is also a bit longer than we would have liked. This means that the machine we have been using for Alumide would be better served in pushing your White, Strong & Flexible orders out the door quicker. In order to keep offering the lowest possible prices optimal machine utilization is very important to us. We have already started looking at lots of different ways in which we can optmize the Alumide production and we hope that we will be able to offer it once again in a few months.
From today until the 11th of April we will be holding the Co-Creator Creativity in Co-Design Contest. We are looking for the most interesting & inspiring co-creators that you can come up with. The winner will be a fun, interesting, beautiful interaction concept (and or final product) that at the same time results in a great gift (for oneself or someone else). The winning co-creator will win $100 in 3D printing. The top ten finalists will get a 3D print of their co-creator competition entry sent to them free of charge!
Thinking about and designing co-creators is very different from making a model or designing a product, we think this is real cutting edge stuff and want to see what you guys can do to push the envelope in co-creation.
We hope a lot of you to participate in this contest because we do think that the co-creators are a real step forward in designers working with customers in order to develop unique customized things. We believe that your creativity and 3D printing technology could result in some boundlessly interesting co-creation concepts and products. Furthermore you can still be "the first" to do something with regards to co-design. Name something else you can be first in?
Combinatory manufacturing is the combination between the unique and the mass produced. 3D printing for example can deliver unique shapes and functionality for a relatively low per unit cost. Mass produced items with millions of copies will be much cheaper per unit but will not be unique in their shape or functionality. But, by being standardized they can pack a lot of functionality into a cheap package. By combining the best of both worlds you can come up with great products.
As a technology platform the cell phone is hard to beat. They are inexpensive, ranging from $25 and up, and within the mobile phone's suite of applications a myriad of technologies are packed. Messaging, speech, speakers, screen, microphones, calling, geolocation and an OS can now be found on the simplest of devices. I believe that a cell phone would be very exciting and powerful technology technology platform for Makers and Designers to build around. Not only straightforward things such as interchangeable personalized covers but also things such as hacking a standard phone so it becomes a tracking device for your car or automatically sends out messages if leaves the county.
This is why I was so happy to see a post on Make about an inexpensive robot that uses a cell phone as its brain. The Android based phone Truckbot is also easy to programme. As much as I love the Arduino these kind of developments really make me think that for the Make community cell phones could lead to a lot of exciting products. Arduino's are great and also really pack a punch but they don't go over the counter in their millions. Check out the Truckbot video below.
The Hurt Locker was not the only big winner at the Oscars this year. 3D printing won big with 3 Oscars and four nominations. Avatar won the Academy Awards for Cinematography, Art Direction & Visual Effects. Detailed models created with 3D printing firm Objet Geometries 3D printing process were used to simulate all the lighting in the movie. This detailed and high impact use of a physical 3D printed model to "engineer" a movie. Objet 3D printing was used even more extensively in Coraline. Coraline (a fantastic and very scary movie by the way, the noise of the scissors kept me up at night) used 3D printed Objet models throughout the film. Coraline was stop motion and many of the things you see in the movie were 3D printed on Objet machines. At Shapeways we use Objet for our White Detail, Black Detail and Transparent Detail materials.The movie below shows you how 3D printing was used in Coraline.
In generative design a designer does not create the final product but rather a system, algorithm or tool that in turn generates the final product. Some generative tools create many iterations and others lead to one product. The designer does not design the painting but rather the brush or the method. Instead of the still life one could develop "painting by numbers" for example. Take Joris Laarman. Joris created the Bone Chair using a software tool that simulates bone growth. GM created that tool to model efficient structures for its cars. This caused C. Sven Johnson to ask a rather pertinent question on twitter, "Who is the designer of the "Bone Chair"?
And the question is not an easy one to answer. Is it Joris? The researcher that came up with the bone algorithm? The software developers that made the tool? The physical principles behind the algorithm? The scientists that discovered those principles? God or nature? All of the above? I for one have no answer. I do know however that generative design has a bright future.
The marriage of tech and design is all around us. In a world where everything is designed a meta "way to design" that algorithmically cuts through the clutter is very appealing. A perfect design algorithm could potentially engender choice in design the
same way that Google's PageRank set of algorithms do for the web. And this is what generative design already partially does. It simplifies design by codifying it and somewhere within lies the promise of "true", "simple" & "beautiful" design.
With technologies such as 3D printing letting everyone design or co-design things there is also a real need for generative tools. They allow for unique designs but since each is machine made, the marriage is a conceptually comfortable and inexpensive one. Also, rather than forcing the customer into a "blank canvas conundrum" whereby the sheer possibility overwhelms them to the point inactivity, generated models could lead to choice or guided choice in design.
Boston based design duo Nervous System (who will be featured in a Shapeways interview soon) write code in Processing that makes beautiful rings and other items. Jessica Rosenkrantz & Jesse Louis-Rosenberg, who make up Nervous, even provide the tools they use to make their jewelry free of charge to other designers on their site.
Belgian design duo Unfold (also the subject of an upcoming interview) who had a breakthrough with their ceramic 3D printing process recently also exhibited at Bits N' Pieces with their Brain Wave Sofa. In this design an EEG was used to "design" the sofa.
Jan Habraken (we will interview him also) & Willem Derks developed Chairgenics for the Bits n' Pieces show. For Chairgenics they created a chair genome and "bred" chairs in order to create the perfect chair.
Singapore based software company Genometri makes technology that designs objects. Their Angel's on Shapeways for example are all generated & all unique.
Mitchell Whitelaw also made the weather bracelet a bracelet that displays the weather of Canberra.
Generative design has a myriad of applications. I anticipate that generative design will grow beyond the borders of the systems they are now. One the one hand ever more whimsical "data representations" will fall short of the strictest scope of generative design. On the other hand the nature of generative design will change. Whereas now the designer designs the tool that creates the product more involvement from "consumers" and more "intelligence" in the software will evolve. At the same time the "pure algorithm" will be ignored or augmented by the designer struggling to regain more input into the final object. To me the resulting movement will not be generative design in the purest sense. Rather it will be "Dasign"or data driven design. This design may be evolutionary, algorithmic or generative design but not necessarily rely on any of these for its core inspiration or make up. It will simply have the intersection of data and design as a identifiable characteristic.
In the future I would expect to see many different data representations, Mii creators, "quiz design" and ultimately profile based design in a lot of different applications.
Data representations could be any representation of data turned into an object. A medallion based on the types of sites you visit as per your browser history. An earing where the thickness of the heart is the number of times it has been broken and the width is the number of times you've broken others. A portrait that does not show you but rather your facial symmetry (or lack thereof).
"Mii creator design" refines the sets of different generations of designs based on the users choices. Using the Nintendo Mii Creator it is already possible to with several generations come to a likeness of yourself or someone else. A similar system for bowls would quickly allow a person to, by simply choosing the design that best matched their preference out of the generated subset, come up with their designs.
In "quiz design" you answer a few questions, "what's your favorite movie? your favorite song? Which picture do you like best? etc. Based on your answers the piece of software will then design the appropriate bowl. This might seem a bit far fetched but the necessary pieces for it are being built as we speak. Initial implementations would also not be that difficult but just have to have a dataset to start off with. This set could then evolve over time.
Profile based design goes further still by assuming, based on previous web searches & purchases, choices and content enjoyed, which designs you would enjoy. This is a rather compelling technology for online retailers to put it lightly and they will drive adoption for it. If you are a designer you should to not sit still until Amazon or Facebook come out with the "you would like to create this" recommendation engine. I urge any and every designer to explore the wealth of possibility that is generative design, right now.
So there is this fruit company. It is one of the biggest fruit company's out there. It makes high margin, high concept, very expensive fruit. They used to be mocked because they made incompatible fruit that was all about looks. Now they are lauded for exactly the same reasons. This fruit company cares a lot about its Intellectual Property. They would like to protect the magic that lets them sell more than 60,000,000 identical things each year while retaining a feel of exclusivity. They like to send people letters. And one look above into the adoring but somewhat disdainful eyes of James Potter tells you that these letters will not be ignored. The image below of the waving alien is an example, used here for educational purposes only, of an inappropriate use of the Apple logo.This is an example of something we would not like to see on Shapeways.
Since a several people are making items that are MP3 player accessories we thought it prudent to point you to some trademark guidelines. You can find Apple's trademark guidelines for 3rd parties here. And from them one gets the impression that the 1st and 2nd parties, is where its at. The trademark guidelines are written by lawyers and lawyers are expensive. In order to justify this expense they tend to be baffling. You would be good at being baffling also if you were being paid $500 an hour to tell people stuff they already know in such a way as to make them doubt that they know it. But, if you are a designer and want people to respect your IP, then setting a good example can not hurt.
Apple states that you are only allowed to use their logo if you are an authorized reseller. For educational use you can have a look at the above logo. The above image is an educational illustration of an inappropriate use of the Apple logo. You could not use such a logo on your products. You are also not allowed to imply that Apple endorses you. So "Apple loves Joris", or "Iphones love to be cuddled by my Iphone case" would not be OK. When making an Apple accessory, it is OK to say, "Compatible with Apple Ipod." "For use with Apple TV" or "Compatible with Iphone" is OK. But, Apple gets nervous when you call your product 3DprintedIpodcase or "Apple wants you to buy my 3D print" or "Authorized Apple 3D print."
Apple also prohibits people from making any kind of merchandise with its logo on it. You are also not allowed to say anything mean to or about Apple. As such, I would like to apologize to Apple on behalf of the entire world for what we said about the Ipad.
For a completely mysterious reason you are also not allowed to mention things such as: Appletree, Apple Cart, Jackintosh or PodMart. The last one is a shame really because I could see PodMart become a totally huge retailer of stasis pods. And Jackintosh should be a great descriptor for the nonsense Apple fanboys sprout. Also, Appletree is not incorrect English but copyright infringement. "Think Different" is both. Throw Leopard or Snow Leopard Rug, are not mentioned nor are MacPoorBro or Uwork. Lets say you wanted to make an Apprika for example. For educational use
only the image below illustrates that such a use of the Apple logo
would be inappropriate.
Please also pay attention to some of Apple's lesser known wordmarks such as Shake and Safari, the latter especially if you are Kenyan. Aperture might not sound relevant now but come the apocalypse I'd like to see who can beat Jobs with regards to that trademark.
I am completely not kidding about the following: Apple does not want you to take a picture of an Ipod being used or shown next to your accessory. Only very few companies have the permission to do this. So even if you buy the Ipod you are not allowed to photograph it next to your accessory. Our previous statement was incorrect. You can show a picture of your Apple compatible item with an Apple product. Any kind of rendering is not allowed however.
As a suggested step I would add “Joris is an independent publication and has not been authorized, sponsored, or otherwise approved by Apple Inc” to any and all communications. Yes, this will make twitter challenging & birthday cards seem stand-ofish but it is better to be safe than sorry.
On the up side you can however get a lovely Powered by Darwin web button. This is completely free and a lovely accessory for people who like evolution.
On a completely unrelated note: the top image is the property of Apple, the second, third and fourth images are used under a Creative Commons Attribution License and remixed by people who will remain nameless.