Above are some examples of some of the full color prints currently in our gallery for inspiration.
To clarify a query you can post multiple entries to the contest, your design can be a product, character, jewelry, miniature, sculpture or anything you can think of, as long as you are a student of some description. And of course all IP and rights to your designs remain yours as per Shapeways terms and conditions.
To make sure your entry is valid it is important to tag your design as 'Student Contest' (not competition) either during the upload process, or once the model is uploaded, and that the submission includes a full color render (you will not be judged on the rendering itself) and the model is 'Available to all'.
Below is the upload dialog, followed by the option if already uploaded.
We regularly hold student 3D printing contests together with universities and colleges. These contests are way for us to engage students on Shapeways. The animation, product design or engineering students learn how to design for 3D printing and have a fun assignment that might result in them having a 3D print made. Usually the professor picks a regular in class assignment and tells the students that they can upload to Shapeways and that the best design will then get their model 3D printed. We hope it is a "everybody wins" scenario. We did one of the most recent contests with the Pennsylvania College of Technology's Manufacturing Engineering Technology department and their MET460 Rapid Prototyping class.
We asked professor Eric Albert, who taught the class, how the contest went & more about what seems to be a future ready college course.
Joris Peels: what kind of people were in the class?
Eric Albert: Our class consisted of 26 undergraduates who were seniors in one of two four year degrees: Manufacturing Engineering Technology and Computer Aided Product Design
Joris Peels: What do they use to 3D model?
Eric Albert: We use either AutoDesk Inventor, SolidWorks, or ProE. We are fortunate to have well equipped labs and students become proficient on each of these.
Joris Peels: What was the assignment?
Eric Albert: Their assignment was to create a useful product that fit the Shapeways site in terms of manufacturability by rapid prototype machines, cost effectiveness, and overall product offerings meeting the terms of the site. The students presented each product as part of their final examination session, and the final determination was made by the class as a whole.
Joris Peels: What course was it for?
Eric Albert: The course is called MET460 Rapid Prototyping, which is a required course of our Manufacturing Engineering Technology students, and a technical elective for the Computer Aided Product Design students. This class covers the entire field of rapid prototyping, including even building a RepRap Mendel and a Makerbot this semester. The overall goal is to have students know and effectively use the technology in their fields.
Joris Peels: Why 3D printing? & Why Shapeways?
Eric Albert: The ideas of zero inventory, just in time manufacturing are taught here but to actually create a product and display it for sale is a unique learning opportunity afforded by Shapeways. We are a “hands on” style college and this was a great means to put theory into practice.
Besides an easy user experience and set up, something that Shapeways offers is working within a global view of product design and sales. The assignment was well received and the process went very smoothly.
If you want your college to do a contest with Shapeways then email joris (at) shapeways (dot) com.
In order to let you give us direct feedback and in order to meet more of our community we will be doing two events soon. The first will be a Skype call & presentation by me tomorrow at 19:00 CET and the second will be a Shapeways Community Member Summit in Amsterdam on Thursday the 20th of this month in Amsterdam.
Shapeways Live Materials Presentation
The Skype presentation will be a short 20 minute presentation about our different 3D printing materials. I will run through each material, talk about its uses and limitations and answer any questions you may have about the material. We hope that we can teach you a little bit about the relative strengths and weaknesses of the materials. In turn we would like to learn from you what kind of information about materials you guys want and what kind of materials you would like to see us introduce.
Email joris (at) shapeways (dot) com to reserve a place for our Summit in Amsterdam on the 20th. We want to meet you in order to see how we can improve Shapeways. We want to find out what what you don't like about the site and how you see our combined future. We will also reveal some future developments and ask for your feedback on them. The meeting will be informal, include snacks and drinks. Please email to reserve a place!
Disclaimer, our meeting will not be like the one pictured. Create Commons Attribution World Economic Forum.
From today until the 30th you can order Gold Plated Stainless Steel. This new material gives our 3D printed Stainless Steel a pure gold finish. This will let people create jewels and jewelery using 3D printing with a lot more bling than before! A product in this material has an introductory price with start up cost of $5 and costs $10 per cubic centimeter. The lovely Polyoptic Ring by Euphy above would cost $25 including shipping $29 including shipping. We hope that you can see just how significant a step this is in offering affordable personal production. You can now make a unique ring for your loved one, in a familiar material: gold plate and have it delivered to your house anywhere in the world for $25. Nervous System's gorgeous 1-Layer Twist ring, made to order in your size, costs $20.
Designs made in this material will take 18 working days to reach you. The process is identical to the Stainless Steel 3D printing process only as a final step your model is lowered into and submerged in a gold bath. The outer layer is then firmly coated in gold. In order for us to be able to do this there has to be some kind of eyelet or 'limb' that we can use to tie the model up so we can lower it into the gold bath (and I bet you thought we were all high tech). If you look at the models above they all have something like that. A marble on the other hand would not work. Furthermore the model must be able to sink in the gold bath so enclosed spaces that make it float are not permitted. The maximum build volume for this material is 31 CM by 26 CM by 20 CM so feel free to start ordering your Buddhist temple parts from us.
Blank Label is a great start up specializing in customized dress shirts. On their site you can choose a fabric, cuff style, choose lots of colors, you can add your initials, choose what kind of buttons you want, enter your height and weight etc. etc. Their customization tool is great and we loved the combination between their shirts and our customized cuff links. So if you go over to Blank Label to get your very own customized unique shirt made just for you, type in the promotion code: shapeways and you can get a 15% discount here.
A Quick Tutorial Preparing Cinema 4D Files for Shapeways
Cinema 4D is a modeling, animation and rendering package developed by German based company Maxon. It is capable of procedural and polygonal sub-divisional modeling, animating, lighting, texturing and rendering. Cinema 4D was first released in 1993 for the Amiga. It has been used for architectural and engineering visualizations as well as in games and feature films such as and check out their show reel of (very) commercial work.
A quick tutorial
Set Cinema 4D Preferences to use Millimeters
Create geometry without using Boolean (seems like Booleans never work once translated to VRML but they may work with STL)
For the example above I created a, Objects>Text Spline Primitive of the word 'Shapeways'
I then made an Objects>Nurbs>Extrude Nurbs
In the Object window on the right side of the screen you then drag the Text Spline onto the Extrude Nurbs icon to make the spline into a 3D object
I then made a cube with Objects>Primitive>Cube then Functions>Make Editable then scaled to fit behind the text
Make your geometry a single object, the Objects>Modeling>Connect Object
Drag the elements you want to connect into Connect Object icon using the Object window to the right of the screen.
Keep polygon count less than 100,000 and it must be less than 500,000
Since version 11, if you have Advanced Renderer you can check Render>Cineman>Select non-Manifold edges
Export at VRML 2 with the scale set to 1000
This brings the models in as centimeters, i.e. 100 mm = 10 cm and in
Cinema 4D the object is scaled at a reasonable size so it’s easy to work
Dear Shapies, Joris asked me to write a monthly blogpost about our Customer Service work, so here it is!
It has been quite an interesting few weeks for Shapeways Customer Service Team. Due to the ash clouds in Iceland we had some delays. Sorry about that, but to be fair, this is the first time we have had to deal with natural disasters ;) I am glad that Shapeways has members who bear with us and are so patient! We also introduced a few new materials the last month: Alumide and Milky White Matte Glass . We anticipated a lot of Customer Service questions about this, but in the end this did not occur. This can either mean that our website is clear enough, or that you guys are so kind not to bother us ;-) Regarding the questions we get about any problems with the 3D viewer in different browsers, I want to let you know that our developers are working hard on this to get this fixed. We also started to email customers pro actively, just to let them know if any of their orders might have some delay. If you haven't received an email, your order is still on schedule. We are constantly working on ways to improve our service, just to give you guys the best possible Shapeways experience. If you have any advice for us, or just want to share things, please contact us at Service[at]Shapeways[dot]com Since our last blogpost, the Customer Service has a few more members of the customer service team. Maartje & Tyce Welcome!
Maartje: Hi there! I’m Maartje, born in Eindhoven 1979, I live together with my husband Leon (he is a Police officer) in Borkel & Schaft (that’s at the end of the Netherlands, near the Belgian border). I have been working at the Shapeways Customer Service since September 2009. Before I came to Shapeways I used to work for Strukton Rail Eindhoven in the Safety Division of the Dutch Railways. When I started out at Shapeways I was amazed to see that you can print out your own drawings, I couldn’t just sit and watch so I’m very pleased that my own Money Pig came alive (special thanks to DotSan) in February 2010. In my private time I’m always around horses, my hobby is to photograph them, I have my own website to show it to the rest of the world. I like my job at Shapeways, it’s a nice personal team with a great community. Every day I have the opportunity to see the most beautiful creations that I could never imagine before, where is this 3D printing revolution going to end………? Talk to you later by E-mail! Cheers Maartje
Tyce: Hi community, nice to meet you! Let me introduce myself. I'm Tyce van Alphen-Wintermans (a whole mouth full and I kept it short this time . Last year I hit the magic number of 30 years and I'm married to my lovable hubby Rob. Together we have a fluffy cat named Freggle who rules our house and furniture. Besides my work at Shapeways I still study and in the spare time I have left, I really enjoy theater, a good book, music and movies. Before Shapeways I worked as "Data and production Manager Assistent" at a big Semiconductor company. Sounds fancy but it mend in general that I took care of internal communication and that everybody worked according to procedures. Now I have the big challenge to communicate with you guys ;) Within our wonderful Customer Service, I am the newby of the team as I've only worked here for a few months. I've never had so much fun in a job as I do now because we get the possibility to solve the issues that you have. The biggest challenge, for me personally, is to come up with ideas to make things easier and more understandable for everyone. So that's me and now you know who you are talking to at firstname.lastname@example.org! Greets, Tyce
Ralph I guess you guys already know me by now, but just for the few out there: I started out at Shapeways in April 2008. I got my bachelor of Science degree a couple of years ago, and I've been working in the IT-business for several years now. When I got the opportunity to work for this internet start-up, I didn't even hesitate for a second. To me this is a dream come true. I mean, come on, we're printing the future! So, what's my role in the Shapeways team? For those who have encountered 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 a 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 . For the rest, I'm enjoying life, I'm a huge soccer fan (VVV Venlo) and I like spending time with my friends, and watching movies. Well that is it for now! Hope you got a bit of an insight of our Customer Service Team! Cheers, Ralph
I made a new Design Rules for Stainless Steel tutorial for you. This tutorial should help you guys tackle the issue of designing for Stainless Steel 3D printing. I basically used the Glass Design rules tutorial as a starting point and was able to recycle all the images in that along with some text. This should give you an idea how similar the processes are. They are however different, more is possible with Steel. I like for this to be a "living document" and update it with new feedback from production or you. So please either email, comment, or write in the forum if you think new things need to be explained. I hope you find the new tutorial useful.
The main issue that we are seeing right now are moving parts. This causes a lot of Stainless Steel models to fail. We are cognizant of the fact that we would love to be able to tell you upon upload if a model will work or not. Our automated filters have come a long way, especially with the recent introduction of Mesh Medic. However we still are not able to always tell you in advance if a model will print or not. With the thermoplastic 3D printing processes we are further along then with steel and glass. This is partially because the Steel and Glass processes are so new that they and their design rules are evolving. Another reason is that these processes themselves are much more complex.
The moving parts issue is one such issue. Moving parts are possible but I would discourage them. If you do want to do any kind of moving or loose part a 10mm gap between both loose parts is necessary. Any loose part can not be longer than 80mm. Even then your part might fail.
With regards to these rules, Cooldjez's great ring, pictured above was posted on the forum with "defying the steel rules" and indeed it does. We can still print it but we did not anticipate being able to do so ahead of time. We would love for our design rules to be set in stone. We know this will be much easier for all of us. Indeed, its no fun having to tell people that their design is not printable. We hope you guys understand that all this is very new and things change.
A few months ago we started the "co-create your community manager" process. The basic idea
is to let the community evaluate me and determine what my job is. This
survey is also meant to get an initial understanding of what the
community thinks our priorities should be and where they think Shapeways
should be going. This, rather long, blog post will present the results of the initial survey.
Michiel Cornelissen's work transcends & extends 3D printing while being both inspirational
and fun. We're
very proud that he is a Shapeways community member and also proud that
we played some small part in helping him launch his solo career. As
part of New York Design Week 2010, Michiel will exhibit at the Model
Citizen NYC show at the Hosfelt Gallery starting on May 15th. To
celebrate this, we interviewed Michiel.
Joris Peels: Why did you want to become a designer?
Designer Anna Bullus was bothered by chewing gum. She saw used gum stuck everywhere. Anna designed the Gumdopbin a streetside bin where you can deposit your chewed gum. The next step she took was to spend months in the lab trying to find a process whereby chewed gum could be turned into a plastic that could be injection and blow molded. She succeeded and now the first Gumdropbins (actually made from recycled chewing gum) are being installed in the UK. When the Gumdropbin is full the entire bin is collected and recycled into more bins.
In a word: fantasic! We've all seen the dirty sticky chewing gum debris stuck to floors & the street. Anna did something about it by comming up with a end to end process that is self-reinforcing.
Photographs propterty of Anna Bullus. Thanx to Renny Ramakers for the tip!
Mr. & Ms. Fixit in 2010 but when will manufacturers catch up?
Prior to the industrial revolution it was customary that you would care for your possessions, repairing them so that they may last a lifetime and in some instances be handed down for generations. With the post WW2 economic globalization and the outsourcing of manufacture to third world countries it often became cheaper to replace a product then repair it, leading to a culture of disposable products, planned obsolescence and waste. Some products such as headphones there are no replacement parts are available forcing the consumer to either fix it themselves with gaff tape and super glue or buy a new pair.
Engineering student Sam Roesch had an interest in pulling apart consumer products and found himself with a few pairs of broken Sony headphones that all shared a common problem of the headphone bracket breaking. He 3D modeled up the part in CAD and ran a quick FEA (finite element analysis) "for fun", which confirmed the weak point in the design so Sam thickened up that area and 3D printed the bracket to repair his headphones. Within a couple of weeks of Sam posting his process on his blog he had a number of requests for the printed of parts and was generous enough to share the 3D file for download on Thingiverse where it can be 3D printed on a Makerbot or uploaded to a site like Shapeways to be 3D printed.
Currently it is possible to have us dye White, Strong & Flexible for you in 3 different colors. We want to continue to innovate so we will be replacing those three colors: Blue Jeans, Terracotta & Limestone with three new ones. This should happen in a month or so. So, you have a month if you would like to order something in those colors. We would like to ask you guys however which colors you would like to try. So what colors do you want as Shapeways next 3? Please take 30 seconds to pick your favorite three colors. The colors you can choose from are shown below. Arnoud is responsible for selecting the pink by the by.
We are huge supporters of open
source software. The complete architecture of the Shapeways web platform is
built around open source software (both commercial as non-commercial).In this post I
would like to go into the our contributions on Xj3D.
Xj3D is a Java toolkit
for working with VRML and X3D content.We use Xj3D
throughout our 3D file processing, conversion and validation chain. And more
visibly we also use it in our Shapeways Creators like the LightPoem or
contributed quite a lot of code to Xj3D (approx. 100,000 lines of code).
have we added? An overview:
New filters:Combine Shapes -
combine multiple shapes in one mesh
- change a transform hierarchy into global coordinates
Index - change
non-indexed to indexed geometry
Reindex - detect
shared coordinates and change them into shared indexes
turn any X3D geometry into a flat triangle array
Center Filter -
center an object
- change the view point or create a new one if not there
The most time went
into the ReIndex filter since it was the most difficult to get right. Although
the concept is simple rounding problems with float values gave us some
headaches. Collada (read)VRML97 (writing)STL (writing).
The great thing
about open source is that you do not have reinvent the wheel. We know that
Xj3D is also used by the American Navy,NASA and Emerson. And they also contribute back which benefits
Shapeways and you -- our community. Photograph used under Creative Commons Attribution, Khrawlings