There's been so much going on in the Shapeways community recently, sometimes it's been a little hard to keep up. Before we let the time get too far away from us, I wanted to be sure to give everyone a glimpse into one of the coolest things that's happened in the month of February -- Oskar's trip to NY, the unveiling of his incredible 17x17x17 and the first gathering of Shapeways community members since we opened our office in NY.
On Saturday, Feb 12th, I swung by the New York Puzzle Party Symposium with my coworker, Ben, so we could see the unveiling of Oskar's cube for ourselves. He gave his presentation to a packed house of renown puzzle designers and experts. We couldn't wait to see and hold the 17x17x17, and experience how it worked.
One of the best parts of being there was getting the chance to meet Eric Vergo and Sky Zangas, two up and coming young puzzle designers who have developed a friendship with Oskar.
Then came Tuesday evening's drink up on Feb. 15th. We rented out the private room at Red Sky (a bar nearby our NY office) and got to see and experience Oskar's creations in a laid back, more intimate setting.
SAI Business Insider article comes to the conclusion that 3D Printing is the next trillion dollar industry, recognizing that Shapeways is one of the major players and "One of the reasons why you hear about 3D printing is that there's a small but vocal and growing hobbyists community who enjoy making small doodads. The hobbyist component of 3D printing doesn't sound impressive, until you realize that the first people who cared about things like cars, planes and personal computers were hobbyists." Rock on!!!!, Read on...
Last Thursday Nancy and I had a great time showing Phil Renato and his students, Patrick, Caitlin, Hattie, Ryan, and Katie around the Shapeways office and talking shop. In addition to being a Shapeways community member (you can check out his shop here), Phil is the Founding Chair of the Allesee Metals/Jewelry Design Program at Kendall College of Art & Design. He's also the person that took a miniature model of one of Baroba's trademark bunnies and coated in with clear auto polyurethane, red base, and a heavy clear to result in this beautiful specimen:
Since Phil and his students work in a state-of-the-art studio at Kendall surrounded with metal working, wax injection systems, laser welding and 3D printing, they're embedded in the world of digital fabrication in a way that some of us only dream of.
Hello all! I am pleased to announce we have new colors options available for purchase for our Strong & Flexible line.
In addition to our Black Strong and Flexible, and our Winter Red Strong and Flexible (we're extending); we will also be adding Indigo Strong and Flexible and Dark Grey Strong and Flexible to the family.
Personally, I really like the Indigo. It looks like a rich, vibrant blue in some lights, and look more purple in other lights. We are going to order some more models and take better pictures as the models come through.
The Winter Red, Indigo, and Dark Grey will be available until the end of May 2011. The pricing for these new colors will stay the same as our previous colors, $4 start up cost + $1.99 / cm3.
I'm looking forward to all the cool designs we'll make together with this new palette. Enjoy!
Models used for testing courtesy of boredom.is.me aka Kevon R of microboat.
An Epic Journey into the Grey Spectrum of IP, Creative Commons, Moral Rights & 3D Printing
Many of you may now be aware of the recent exchanges that have taken place over the 3D printed Impossible Triangle (Penrose Triangle) first posted on Shapeways on the 9th of Feb. In a matter of days a sequence of events unfolded that are indicative of the speed that 3D printing community moves when something exciting happens, both good and bad. It has raised serious issues that we need to discuss as a community to ensure the vibrancy and innovation is not crippled by legal interference.
Ulrich Schwanitz first uploaded his item on the 27th of January 2010, which was to be the first ever 3D printed Penrose Triangle. He then received the print on the 9th, took a few simple images and made a mind disturbing video that showed that indeed he had succeeded in making a truly amazing optical mind twister.
We saw his item in the 'It Arrived' forum and reached out to a few of our press connections to share what we thought was a very cool design, the press agreed and sites such as Notcot and Fastco Design posted the item and generated a torrent of interest in the geometric wonder. This led to a bit of conjecture on the internet with a couple of people figuring out a solution including Constantine Zuev and soon after with a 3D model by Artur Tchoukanov where Joris posted the solution on the I.Materialise blog on Feb 16th and Artur also released the 3D model onto Thingiverse.. (but you may not be able to see it right now).
So, the Fastco article gets updated with Artur's CG renders and boingboing posts about Artur's solution on the 17th but unintentionally omitted to mention the 3D item was first realized by Ulrich. Ulrich is disappointed that his concept solution has been leaked (perhaps a simple "I solved it" would have been enough without releasing the solution as a cad file) and that he was not attributed as the inventor on boingboing. Upon notification that Ulrich designed the original 3D model Cory Doctorow updated his post as soon as he could to rectify the omission.
It does not end here as Ulrich, disappointed at the decision of Artur to render the original design worthless by releasing it into the public domain also sent a take down notice to Thingiverse under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act...
Hi, I'm Nancy, the Product Lead for Materials and Content at Shapeways. I know maybe some of you are confused and frustrated with the Stainless Steel design rules,
and the disappointing rejection notices you get regarding wall
thickness and other violation of design rules. I'd like to take some
time and update you on what we are doing at Shapeways to address this.
First, I'd like to recap some of the important design rules..
Basically, the way I think of it--it's less about the precise number of millimeters and a precise ratio (like 1:2 will work but 1:2.01 will not work, or anything under x millimeter will work and x-.1 millimeter won't), and more about the question, will it break? The part of the process where a model usually breaks is when the material is in the "Green State." The way I like to think of it is, if I sculpt this out of wet sand--can I pick it up without it falling apart? Or, if I made this out of really brittle, unbaked clay--can I pick it up without it breaking?
While visiting our suppliers, I took a quick video of me playing with the Stainless Steel in the Green State (a fragile stage in the middle of the process). See how fragile and easily breakable this is? And this piece is actually 3 mm or over!
The current version of our Stainless Steel design rules can be found here, in detail. There's also a blog post
that describes some of the nuances. But more importantly, here's what
we're cooking up to deal with the confusion over these rules.
US Congress is getting ready to decide if we will have any Net Neutrality rules at all. If the proposed bill passes it will not only repeal the FCC's current rules, but also prevent the FCC from making any net neutrality rules in the future. Without government-backed Net Neutrality rules ISPs will be free to pick and choose which websites work and which websites don't.
The Internet Strikes Back is a day - February 17th - where we are asking the Internet to call your Representative and tell them how important Net Neutrality is.
Go to www.TheInternetStrikesBack.org to find out more, get a button for your website, and even sign up to participate in advance. If you sign up in advance, you will get a text message on the 17th that will automatically connect you with your Representative.
What does this have to do with me? I hear you asking.
Once ISP's have the power to throttle or open the network based on content it means they will start demanding money from sites for high speed access and making deals to choke competitors.
If suddenly a competitor to a web service you use, be it Shapeways, Vimeo or BitTorrent started choking the service it could completely cripple the site, imagine waiting 4 times as long for your content to upload/download?
The barrier to entry for internet start-ups like Kickstarter,Shapeways and Etsy would be raised to the point where many great ideas would never be realized.
Once the proposed bill is passed it can NEVER be turned back!!!! Click the image below to take action...
Thanks again to Michael Weinberg of Public Knowledge for pointing this out, let's not let it happen.
This month the highly influential Economist Magazine featured 3D printing on the cover along with three articles within exploring the potential changes in manufacturing and medicine brought about by additive manufacturing.
It is an enormous validation of the direction Shapeways is taking to make 3D printing accessible to all when the Economist recognizes that this is a "... a new manufacturing technology will change the world"
Though 3D printing is not new itself, the ease of access to high quality materials and processes with the lowering of cost is recognized as a chief driving factor in the article that mentions Shapeways as part of the revolutionary force. The articles also touch on the speed innovation made possible by the quick iterations, the move from large scale factory to distributed micro production, and with that the change in globalization and labor requirements. Both articles also touch very briefly on the IP complications that are sure to arise with the increased probability of product piracy, but the need not to tighten up legislation to put restrictions that would choke the innovation made possible by the technology. We will cover these points in greater detail over the coming weeks, but it is worth going over these points now briefly, before we delve in deeper.
Oskar van Deventer, our resident "Puzzle King" will be in NYC over the weekend to unveil his world record breaking 17x17x17 cube at the New York Puzzle Party Symposium. Since NYPPS has a cap on attendance, we wanted to make sure the community at large gets a chance to catch up with Oskar. We're inviting all local puzzle lovers in or around the New York area will join us this coming Tuesday, Feb 15th at 5:30 for a meetup to see the 17x17x17 and hear straight from Oskar about it's creation. Rumor has it there may even be a drink on us in the works. Midtown location to be announced.
Hello all! A few weeks ago, we decided on new colors to replace Winter Blue and Winter Green Strong & Flexible. We will still keep Winter Red around since it was one of our best selling colors.
We had a survey to poll the results, and the top three colors were Purple, Orange, and Grey. Even though I know Orange is popular, especially among the Dutch football/soccer fans among our community, it actually didn't sell too well when we offered it. So we decided to go with the other two (Purple and Grey). We ran some tests and here are the results!
(BTW: Many thanks to Boredom.Is.Me for letting us use his designs!)
Here are the various grey combinations we try. The different shades are due to experimenting with different concentrations of dye and different length of time the objects soaked in the dye. I think they turned out nicely, if I do say so myself.
A better, white balanced picture:
The "Purple" was interesting as well. The models actually sort of a midnight, Yves Klein Blue (which btw is a lovely color). They do have some purplish hue in them, a Blue-Purple if you will (Blurple?). Check it out:
So... what do you guys think of these colors? Let's hear your thoughts!
Open Attribute is a simple add-on (currently available for Firefox & Chrome) that makes it easier to attribute the proper Creative Commons license at the click of an icon on your toolbar..
License attribution is relatively simple, but sometimes people get it wrong. We will be talking about this more in the very near future, and will be implementing functionality to give you the option to apply creative commons licenses to any files you make available for download on Shapeways. Until then, take a look at Open Attribute to help you ensure you do not inadvertently step on anyone's digital toes.
"That’s why we’re building Open Attribute, a suite of tools that makes it ridiculously simple for anyone to copy and paste the correct attribution for any CC licensed work. These tools will query the metadata around a CC-licensed object and produce a properly formatted attribution that users can copy and paste wherever they need to.
Open Attribute is at the early stages and it looks like they will be broadening their range off tools, it would be great to see them include the option to add the icon for the license used along with the attribution and location. I did do a quick test and picked up a glitch where the attribution referenced the wrong URL, also it did not pick up the license out of Flickr even though they use it as an example.
This past Tuesday I dropped by the New York International Gift Fair to say hi to our friends from Nervous System, Jessica and Jesse, and to get a pulse on what's going on in the gifts and crafts world. Nervous System's beautifully delicate, mathematical work seemed to be gaining plenty of attention, even on a day when the convention center was mostly empty thanks to icy, rainy NY weather. With extra touches, like necklaces hung on orange and white wall pieces faceted to resemble the shape of minerals, the scene was really striking.
I asked what else I should check out and they mentioned that there was one other artist at the Gift Fair who works with 3D printing. Jessica helped me find GDG Studios' booth, a jewelry and home decor shop that specializes in a blend of hand crafted and digitally manufactured products. Joe Gower, GDG's founder (pictured below on the right), showed me their collection including their vibrantly colored, highly unique "digital bracelets." I was very excited to learn that Joe and his team are heavy Shapeways users, and I urged him to keep in touch and give plenty of feedback.
It was great to be able to connect up with old Shapeways friends, and to serendipitously meet community members for the first time. I was also glad, in the big picture, to see personal manufacturing slowly becoming more pervasive. I'm looking forward to checking out NYIGF one year from now, and seeing how the number of artists using digital fabrication changes, and increases!