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.
In November 2010, Adafruit Industries offered a bounty for an open-source driver for Kinect (Thanks to Johnny Lee) which has led to some awesome projects but this is the first to our knowledge to incorporate the 3D depth map for 3D printing, software developed using openFrameworks open source C++ toolkit.
To print at the 3x3cm size they only needed to use one quarter of the full Kinect resolution, below is a full resolution scan, The holes are due to occlusion of the projected IR light and general depth camera noise. This is obviously a very early iteration of something we are sure to see more of, possibly with two Kinects used simultaneously someone will be able to remove the 'shadow' to get a full 3D scan of an object which will be an awesome way to make 3D printing more accessibe for repair jobs, to copy and modify existing objects, to reduce the CAD barrier and it just looks like fun.... I do hope he releases the code..
Karl D.D. Willis also brought us the Beautiful Modeler which used the iPad as a 3D modeling interface including tilt control and multi-touch.. For video of the Fabricate Yourself project read on...
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.
We are really excited to announce that we have our own 3D printer!
Working together with EOS we now have an EOS P100 SLS printer in our Eindhoven office! As we had to move in Eindhoven, we have moved to a location where we can house some production of our own.
Why? Well we have several good reasons: - We want to learn, learn, learn about 3D printing and nothing beats having your own machine in that respect. Can we print even higher details? And if so how can we do that reliably? Can we make incredible stuff? Can we make stuff more affordable? How can we automate more of the production process etc. - We want to support rush orders more reliably. From time to time we get requests to ship parts within one or two days. Having our own machine we can simply use it to get those time critical items out to you before you even know it! With the Strong and Flexible materials it is possible to turn around orders within 48 hours. We will announce rush orders as a new option soon. - Cause its fun! We have learned already that having your own SLS machine is not straight forward. These are big machines and require 380V, compressed air, air conditioning etc. We have also learned that cleaning in different ways can enhance level of details, so expect cool high res prints!
Does this mean Shapeways will no longer work with partners for 3D printing? No, absolutely not, we will keep working with existing and new partners, but we also wanted to have our own and now we do!
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.
Peter recently sent me a link to an interesting piece about "Startup Suicide - Rewriting the Code" on AlwaysOn about the "re-architect and re-write" solution usually being the beginning of the end for a company in a rapidly changing market. This is interesting to me as we ramp up for doing exactly that yet no decisions have been made.
I think it's a perfectly confronting article. There's a lot of truth in it if done the way it is described there: some sort of a big-bang upgrade. I like the phychological aspects of the article, the 'condemned code' part. Very recognizable, very Scary too.
I prefer the modularization of the code model instead, and then optimize / replace those parts. This gives a gradual upgrade model instead of a big-bang upgrade as the article mentions. Like what I'm doing now with the Zend JobQueue migration to the Gearman JobQueue. Replace piece by piece. This however is an easy move compared to replacing an entire PHP framework.
For the modular change model to work one needs an easy and automated way to deploy code changes often. I've implemented a Continuous Deployment system using BuildBot with which we now have unattended and automated site updates available, most even without downtime. We're using that for some time now with multiple deployments per day.
If we ever replace our ATK framework for something else we'll do it piece by piece. I hope that'll scare off the "Startup Suicide - Rewriting the Code" demon
Hans Lambermont, Senior Architect / Developer at Shapeways, Makerbot enthusiast, Astrophotographer, Open Source fan and Juggler.
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.