I just wanted to give a sneak peek at a project I have been working on for our press kits in preparation for Showstoppers at CES in Las Vegas, January 6th 2011. Instead of the standard pamphlets and generic DVD or Flash Drive, we are going to be using fully articulated 3D printed robots that transform into cute little trucks, to back into your computer and share Shapeways info.
This is the first iteration so it will need some tweaks, but fairly close considering it was my first attempt at living hinges, sliding mechanisms, locking mechanisms and pivots!!! I wipe my brow with relief that they all worked.
We have made it easier to find a unique gift for the ladies in your life this season with a selection for her from the Shapeways shops. If you cant find the perfect gift here, you can always design your own and have it 3D printed to impress.
With the Lightpoem for LED candle you can tell her how special she is to you with a message in 3D
The Shapeways Live webcast is hosted by community manager Bart Velduizen and is a great way to find out what is happening on Shapeways. It is also the perfect way to let us know exactly what you would like to see from shapeways, be it a material, service, shop or website improvement. You can also use the live chat to get together and connect with other Shapeways community members. The live chat is always open so you can use it to communicate with each other at anytime.
You can also watch the archive of all previous Shapeways Live webcasts to get a taste.
For those of you who are initiated in Blender and are interested in creating your own 3D printed jewelry Artur Tchoukanov a video tutorial on how to create a simple ring from a bitmap. Blender is a free open source 3D modeling and animation software, available for all major operating systems under the GNU General Public License. Download Blender and follow the tutorial to create your own ring.
And of course to keep up with the latest Blender info check out thew Blender Nation and Blender Guru blogs for more tips, tutorials and inspiration..
If there is any other CAD software you would like to see tutorials on how to prepare for 3D printing, please let us know. In the meantime check out Cad Junkie and Lynda (Lynda for Blender) for more CAD tutorials.. Warning: Hours of your life may be lost following CAD tutorials, proceed with caution.
The Shapeways community of designers, makers, jewelers and artists have shared more cool items this week in the forums, check em out! If you would like your design included next week, be sure to post your designs in 'It Arrived', Features This and even Work In Progress.... As well as making sure that we get a chance to see your designs, it is a great way to share, inspire and get some feedback from the community.
And the original sketch. "I'd like to share with you, the winning design of a small design competition I have held in the class of my (8 year old) son. I've had the opportunity to show them the magics of 3D printing and promised them to make the winning design in real. The winning design was a very cute necklace, that just makes you happy instantly. The hard part was to turn her sketch into a printable object, while keeping the feel of the hand made sketch and the delicacy of the thin lines. Therefore, all the items were drawn instead of modeling a few and copying them."
A super sweet thing to do for your children and their friends, something they will treasure forever.
Three awesome NYC startups star in this video: Watch Glif cofounders assemble iPhone 4 tripods, using parts from Shapeways, and funded by Kickstarter. Kickstarter CEO Perry Chen will speak to students April 20.
A big welcome to Derek, Dave and the rest of the team at Ponoko who have made the move into the third dimension by adding 3D printing to their current 2D laser cutting.
Realized in partnership with Cloudfab, Ponoko are offering a range of 3D printed materials from their US hub including white polyamide, UV curable acrylic resin, ZCorp, stainless steel and gold plated stainless steel. They add 3D printing to their existing options which includes laser cutting of a vast range of materials along with electronic components via Sparkfun.
It is exciting to see another voice emerge along with Shapeways to promote the huge potential of 3D printing to independent designers and 3D printed products to potential buyers.
Online sales typically pick up in the weeks leading up to Christmas with people searching for the perfect gift for family and friends, colleagues and clients. Now is a great time to take a good look at your Shapeways Shop to ensure that it is presenting your items for sale in the best possible way.
Images: Ensure your items are well photographed in 450x324 or 700x519 format, either with a plain background or in context to represent scale and use. If you do not have access to a decent camera get a friend with a camera to lend a hand, take a look at the photography tutorial for some pointers and please, please, please do not use your low resolution camera-phone, do not use a camera top flash, use a tripod instead....
Clean up your shop: do not clutter up your shop with 'default renders' of unrealized products. If you have great photographs next to bad images it erodes the overall integrity of the look of your shop. Decisions to purchase are often made the moment an object is seen (everything after that is usually a process of self-justification), make the decision easier with a clear, consistent shop.
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).
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