So what makes this item 'go viral' when others may be ignored? I am not initiated in the world of Dungeons and Dragons so I may be missing some major point, and please let me know if I do, but here are a few reasons these designs are working.
Firstly, the designs are highly original, a cohesive aesthetic among the entire group and really well realized, (read awesome)
Secondly, The dice are for a passionate niche group that is quite active online, and have a history of user group participation as well as physical, local networks.
Thirdly, they are social items, used in a social context of game play where people gather over a common interest that is reliant on the object.
Fourth, one image tells the story, perfect for the microsecond attention span of the online mind.
Fifth, Facebook, it is being shared via the Like Button on the Shapeways site, which shows up on everyone's friends pages....
What can you take from this for your items to help them get exposure to others who are as passionate about your hobby/interest/game/sport/gadget/obsession as you are?
Is there an existing fan base of obsessives just waiting for the next cool thing to show off to their friends online and in real/physical life? Design it for yourself?them and let them know.
Submit your items to the blogs, forums and sites where you hang out (including Shapeways It Arrived and Feature This)
Like your items with Facebook, get your friends to, get your Mom to, get your Mom's friends to and spread the word. We have updated our Facebook integration to make it easier for you to share because it has become such a major force in the internet, make it work for you.
Oh yeah, in the time it took me to write this post there have been over 100 more tweets about the thorn dice, over 1500 more hits to the Thorn Dice page on Shapeways bringing it up to a total of 70,467 so far and the traffic keeps rolling in with Facebook being a MAJOR factor in driving traffic....
Check out the Made by Wombat site for your D&D addiction.And Congratulations to Chuck.......
So if you are new to this whole 3D modeling dealo and you want to experiment then this may be a perfectly playful introduction that you can easily output to Shapeways for 3D printing. If you do have 3D modeling chops it is still great fun and may even be perfect for holding your own Cut & Paste 2 minute challenge with you friends, classmates or co-workers. If you are looking for a source of 3D models to play around with check out this great list of 60 sites for free 3D models that includes 3D Total, Turbosquid, Google Warehouse and, 57 more...
The latest update of Meshmixer now supports OSX along with 'deform tool' for pushing geometry around, and a 'smooth tool' for taming gnarly meshes that might otherwise create problems for 3D printing
If you are involved in any kind of 3D software and you are interested in making it easier for people to output their models for 3D printing, take a look at the Shapeways API, take a look at the tutorial and please contact us if you need any assistance implementing it into your software.
Check out the tutorial overview and his cool design, you can purchase the tutorial from Luxology for $35, the glasses are not for sale, yet..
If you do not want to part with $35 to see how the glasses were made, you can always swing over to Cad Junkie's site where you can check out some free, and some premium tutorials.. All of them clear, concise tutorials that are really easy to follow.
Also, take a look at the tutorials currently on the Shapeways site and let us know if there is any software you would like to see tutorials for, either step by step or video?
We are seeing the legal issues surrounding 3D printing begin to emerge with part of the complexity being that different laws are a applicable in different territories. Papers released have looked at the U.K. and U.S. system but they do not necessarily hold true to Europe, Africa, Asia or Australia. For Australian designers there is a great resource called The Australian Design Unit which links to a toolkit for contracts, IP, marketing, financing and more. Part of the information network is an article by Design Victoria that is a specific guide to Intellectual Property for Australia’s Industrial Designers.
In Australia there is a category of 'Design Registration' that protects how a product looks, but not how it works. This is a relatively cheap protection in Australia though it is unclear how this protection transfers beyond Australia.
Copyright protects 3D designs that are artistic. To avoid overlap with registered designs, most 3D designs that are mass-produced have very limited copyright rights. This means that if you have created a 3D design for industrial purposes you will usually need to register it as a design in order to receive protection. 3D designs that have been registered have minimal copyright protection, even if they are an artistic one-off.
Hello all, for the past few weeks we've been nailing down design rules for Stainless Steel. I know there has been some confusion over the rules, and there has been community members (understandably) upset at the conservative 3 mm minimum wall length.
We are releasing two versions of design rules, one Basic Design Rules, which indeed has a minimum wall thickness of 3 mm. We are also releasing an addendum that will hopefully help you better understand how to best design if you would like to have walls less than 3 mm thick.
We are also building up a Design Rule Repository. This is a subsection of the website dedicated to design rules. Going forward, the blog and forum will be used to report on changes to this repository. It should not be considered a reliable source for listing the rules; the official rules will be found (or linked to) in the design rule section of the web page.
Last, I'd like to discuss some ideas we have for design rule changes going forward. Changes to design rules are inevitable. We have an incredibly creative community who constantly push the boundaries of 3D Printing. We will always get designs that fit the rules but are difficult or even impossible to print. While we continuously push our partners to advance their technologies to better suit your creativity, we will also work to ensure that the design rules and updated in a way that helps everybody design models that can be printed at reasonable cost. Over the upcoming weeks, we plan to work with each of our suppliers to create a process for handling design rule changes. Of course, it will include communication to you--our designers. We will work to give you lead time to learn the new rules, and tips on how to change existing models to fit the new rules. We will also work on grandfathering in as many designs as we can (so designs previously printed may still be acceptable under new rules), but of course there will be certain models that are too risky or too expensive to print.
I would like to get your feedback on the design rules. Some of you are quite experienced in 3D printing, and have a better sense than I do on what is possible and what is not, so I am very interested in hearing your thoughts on whether the rules make sense, are missing things, etc.
Product Lead for Materials and Content
With the latest site update Shapeways is making 3D printing more social with the ability to log on to Shapeways with your Facebook and Twitter accounts.
With this first round of integration it simply makes it easier for new visitors to the Shapeways site to sign in to upload their own items, or to purchase 3D printed products from the Shapeways shops. It also means that existing users can link their Facebook and Twitter accounts to make it easier to share your designs, or recommend those of others by tweeting about them, or posting them on your Facebook wall.
This is the first stage of integration that will be followed by greater functionality over time to make it easier for you share and promote your designs in your social networks.
Why share items on social networks? Because there are really cool designs that the Shapeways community is making that your family and friends (and friends friends) may not know about. It is really exciting for us to see the amazing things that come through Shapeways every day and this is another way to share that excitement.
For Shop Owners who have installed Google Analytics into your shop may be tracking the growth in referrals coming in from Facebook over the last few months is quite substantial in volume alone, but also the conversion rate is much higher than most sites making it even more important as a sales referral tool. When we consider the reason why a higher rate of sales come from Facebook we have to understand the importance of social networks in connecting together people of similar interests and socio-economic backgrounds, and how when we share on Facebook we are sharing with people who know and 'like' you, are interested to see what you are doing, be it chugging beers or designing a 20 sided dice. Having a social connection with you as a designer also lends a level of exclusivity and authenticity when someone purchases an item from you. So let your friends know, let your parents know, let that guy/girl you always had a crush on at school but were to shy to ask out so now you 'liked' him/her on Facebook so that you could check out his/her photos know, the cool things YOU are 3D printing with Shapeways....