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.
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
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.
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.
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.