There has been a bit of discussion in the past couple of weeks about 3D printing in the home, the world of possibilities it opens up and the IP implications that may also unfold. It is great to see more people being made aware of 3D printing and how it is becoming increasingly accessible, but the quality of most 3D prints at home are not quite at the level of consumer ready products. It may not (or maybe it would) please Gorge Lucas to see a gnarly, malformed and barely recognizable Darth Vader head being extruded out of an open source 3D printer, but I don't think the Star Wars franchise is too concerned about the potential income lost (they have malformed and barely recognizable new 'Star Wars' films for that).
meshmixer is a free experimental 3D modeling tool for Windows designed to make it easy to compose a new 3D models from existing meshes. So if you don't have any CAD skills but would like to try tweaking an existing model downloaded from Shapeways, 3D Warehouse or Thingiverse, simply download meshmixer and start tweaking. Of course you could also make a mash-up of a few of your own designs and see what kind of wild amalgamations you can come up with to 3D print.
Ok, instead of just taking a look at what has arrived over the past week, I thought it might be interesting to use the new Shapeways widget to share some of the cool items to arrive on the site in the last few weeks and show off the versatility of the widget at the same time. Using the widget also really shows how important it is to take some decent photos of your items and ensure they are in 450x324 or 700x519 format to ensure they sit right in the frames.
I made the gallery above by adding a few of the recent models to my favorites and making a 3x4 widget with the code fav=USERNAME. As far as rows go use this to adjust the frame size
If you want to sell your designs you must watch this presentation from the 2010 Blender Conference in Amsterdam by Andrew Price AKA Blender Guru. It may be about being a digital artist, but the same rules apply to all independent designers whether it is CG, Jewelry, Product, Furniture, Graphics, or Needlecraft.
If 35 minutes is too much of your time (I listened while doing other menial tasks (not work related)) you can always read the article on his blog..
If you do not have time to watch or read, here at least is a summary of what you need to do to succeed. Step 2 could be replaced by having an exhibition, market stall, trade fair, Shapeways shop, PDF portfolio, press pack etc etc...
The 12 days of Christmas are covered with 12 Apple Geek gifts on Shapeways..
Looking for the perfect gift for the Apple obsessed in the gifting season? Check out some of the products for the iPad & iPhone along with a few beautiful oddities designed by the Shapeways community that may just hit the mark..
Stabilize, cover & protecting the Apple iPad the Shapeways community with some of the coolest designs online.
The Intellectual Property Implications of Low-Cost 3D Printing looked IP law and 3D printing through a UK legal lens, Michael's paper has
a more US focus, taking a brief look at copyright, patents and
trademarks, 3d printing replacement, remix and repair. Michael warns
that legal battles surrounding other digital formats such as music,
games and movies may soon happen around 3D printed products, and
concludes with a call to action:
There will be a time when
impacted legacy industries demand some sort of DMCA for 3D printing. If
the 3D printing community waits until that day to organize, it will be
too late. Instead, the community must work to educate policy makers and
the public about the benefits of widespread access. That way, when
legacy industries portray 3D printing as a hobby for pirates and
scofflaws, their claims will fall on ears too wise to destroy the new
Do you think we need to start organizing ourselves to protect our rights to have access to enabling technologies like 3D printing? Or will more open systems prevail and we can get down to the business of creating innovative designs?
This perfectly speaks of what it means to be create, monetize and market online in 2010. We use online digital processes to make physical objects, we sell them via e-commerce directly to peers, then we, our friends and family promote them online using social media.
Especially interesting that one Venture Capital firm is behind each and every step. Looks like they know something we know.
Brilliant, let's not get bogged down in trying to model 3D objects with the limited CPU of the iPad, but use it as a control interface for software running on a networked computer. Beautiful Modeler by Interactive Fabrication even uses the iPad's accelerometer to control the rotation of the object, very cool.
Beautiful Modeler and the Beautiful Controller were created using openFrameworks. The finished mesh can be exported as an STL file (thanks to ofxSTL), meaning the sculpted form can be fabricated immediately. In the video above, the positive mesh has been post-processed to create a negative form for fabrication with a plaster-based 3D printer.
Interactive Fabrication showcases projects exploring Interactive Fabrication: interfaces and devices that take real-time input to fabricate physical form. They are Karl D.D. Willis, Cheng Xu & Kuan-Ju Wu collaborating with: Golan Levin, Mark D Gross, Juncong Lin, Jun Mitani & Takeo Igarashi.
In this guest blog post, 3D designer extraordinaire and all around nice guy Virtox has been generous enough to share his experience manning the Shapeways stand at Dutch Design Week 2010. Design fairs and trade shows can be an exhilarating experience, let's get Virtox's point of view.
This year I had the opportunity to help out Shapeways at the Dutch Design Week in Eindhoven. One of the biggest Design events in the Netherlands! I was really excited about it, as I had the chance to show a lot of my work in the real world Wow! it was a truly awesome experience! The Shapeways Stand was very, very popular, and it has been a mad nine days! As I’m currently still recovering from it all, it seems like a good time to write down my learning experiences for others.
We have been looking for ways to help the Shapeways community get their designs out into the wild and have got a few exciting projects on the boil. One that we need you to help us test is the Shapeways Widget that allows you to embed your Shapeways shop into other sites using a HTML snippet.
This widget is still in the testing stage and we would really like to get your feedback on how it works, if you run into any problems and if you would like to see any more details or options. Also feel free to send us links of where you use the widget so we can get an idea of the context in which you use the widget.
As I trawl the web for what is new and innovative in the world of 3D printing, on demand manufacture, mass customization, contemporary design, jewelry, DIY, hacking, maker movement, art, furniture, computer graphics, software, intellectual property, CAD and etc. (phew), I quite often come across the Shapeways community in a broad range of places. I have spotted your products in the smallest to some of the most widely read blogs on the internet, in forums on twisty puzzles and trains, miniatures and anime, robotics and RC, CG and animation. I have seen many Shapeways products tweeted about as well as shown on YouTube, Facebook and Flickr.
So rather than simply stumbling across where you show your wares I thought it might be handy if you let us know where you promote your products. It does not have to be to sell or make a sale, but to share with the Shapeways community where you share your shapeways products.
This may inspire others to join in the conversation and share their designs in the same, or similar places. And at the same time give the Shapeways staff a chance to see the reaction of your designs in your peer communities.
I am always surprised by how much I learn whenever I catch even a snippet of a 3D modeling tutorial and cadjunkie's video's are easy to follow and understand for the beginner, with enough new information to be worthwhile even if you have thousands of hours experience with a CAD package. If you would like to delve deeper into the theory behind CAD modeling you can drown your self in some serious CAD geekery on Adam's site.