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.......
After refining and massively simplifying his designs thanks to the properties of 3D printing, Gavin started to think what it then means to the design, engineering and manufacture cycle once this entire process becomes increasingly iterative, non-linear and available to more people. The role of the passive consumer can move to that of an active participant in the product development cycle, or the consumer is the producer and the entire design, engineering and manufacture ecosystem becomes very localized.
Check out the Video of his presentation and keep an eye on Gavin's blog to see how his project(s) unfolds.
The broad topic of the Apple store presentation was: I believe that in the future manufacturing will evolveand a certain percentage of objects we use will be printed. I showed concrete examples what can be done and talked about Shapeways. I then handed out interlocked hearts (Valentine theme) to people during QA who asked a question. It turned out to be a very popular move and I got way more questions than I could hand stuff out.
Good luck to Juho for his TEDx presentation which will again be about 3D printing and its future implications from his point of view as both a product designer and a manufacturer..
If anyone else is giving presentations on 3D printing please get in contact with us and we will be happy to help promote your presentation. These local presentations that may start small, can really have a massive impact to help feed creative clusters with the potential that is opened up with additive manufacturing and the Shapeways business model for individuals to sell their items with relatively little investment in time and money. Often we spend so much time describing 3D printing materials and processes, that the importance of the ability to sell without investing in inventory, or needing to handle the financial transaction, or worry about the logistics of shipping can fall away, and this is a really important part of the potential with Shapeways... Spread the word....
With three weeks to get your entries in for the Shapeways ICFF 11 Design Contest we have seen some cool entries roll in and had a few questions so I thought it would be a good time for an update, and to take a look at some of the entries so far head on over to the bottom of the contest page to check out the competition.
Firstly to recap the basics.
The winner will get their design 3D printed in the material of their choice and displayed along with the best contemporary design in the world at ICFF in NYC.
To enter, upload your design to Shapeways and add the tag 'ICFF11' to it. It must be a new design to Shapeways and you also need to upload a full color render or photograph. The winner will be chosen by the Shapeways design and marketing staff in NYC. You can submit designs to the contest with a value of up to U$400 and the design can be wholly 3D printed or it can incorporate other components (you will need to supply them if you win to display at ICFF)
Entries are open until the 17th of April 5:00 PM EST 2011
OK, the updates:
The winning design will be shown alongside other objects from the Shapeways Community, curated by Shapeways. The winner will have the option of submitting additional pieces for display at ICFF, but Shapeways will be vetting designs to ensure suitability.
The winner will get to keep their 3D model after the show, we will ship it back to you as per normal.
The 3D model does not have to be fully functional, it can be a prototype, a lamp does not have to work,, but it would be nice.
You can enter as many times as you like, the contest is open to students, professionals, design studios, schools, artists, architects, engineers, anyone but the design must be suitable to be shown at ICFF, so think furniture, home decor, lighting, tableware, and alike.
If design requires assembly with third party parts you will need to supply these if you win. It would be preferable if you could assemble and provide it to us complete. If this is not possible we will need really good instructions along with any extra parts needed (please no soldering, drilling, welding or weaving).
This past Thursday, I dropped by the event Idea to Market in 5 Months: The Making of the Glif, where I had the pleasure of meeting Tom and Dave, and hearing firsthand how their simple, useful tripod holder/kickstand for the iPhone 4 came into being. As most of us around here already know, the guys designed their initial concept through Shapeways and funded production through one of the most successful raises ever seen on Kickstarter. Since last October, their side business and passion project has continued to grow.
Their talk was inspiring for anyone who wants to make a real-life, physical product. "The financial barriers don't really exist, you can create anything these days," said Tom at one point.
Pretty impressive of a fully articulated Zeotrobe entirely 3D printed, nice to see the confidence of going straight from unboxing the parts from Shapeways to fully working in just a few minutes. I am looking forward to seeing more Automata and animated figures like this emerge from the Shapeways community
4th dimension you ask? "yes, it is a zoetrobe. I call it 4D because the figures are already 3D. Add time and you have the fourth dimension. It is my own creation." 4Dm8ion. Cool
On April 28th at 3D⚡DC, the 3D printing community will descend on
Washington, DC to show policymakers what they are up to. Panels will
introduce the 3D printing community to the DC policy community, and
explore some of the policy issues that this disruptive technology will
Shapeways will be explaining the awesome things that are being made by the Shapeways community and the potential empowerment for individuals to have access to tools of production. Let us know if there is anything you think is important for policy maker to know?
I'm back again with a few more the coolest things that have come through Shapeways this week. Just remember, we're only scratching the surface. If you want to see dozens of other ingenious 3D printed creations, check out the It Arrived! section of our forums (you know you want to).
WOW, The Bartlett School of Architecture Summer Show is a collection of over a
thousand models, installations, prototypes, drawings, photographs,
films, sketches and designs presented across four large exhibition
spaces in the Slade School of Art, UCL each summer. The show lasted for
just seven days but is now completely archived in 3D... 48 hours of color 3D scanning produced 64 scans of the entire
exhibition space using a Faro Photon 120 laser scanner. These have been
compiled to form a complete 3D replica of the temporary show which has
been distilled into a navigable animation, check out the spooky cool video here.
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?
Since starting at Shapeways, one of the best parts of my job has been getting to see the mind-blowing things the community is making. I'm wowed on a daily basis on the forums, and I keep on wishing I could share what everyone is working on with a bigger audience, more often. That's why I'm resurrecting the Friday Finds tradition. Check these out:
20.30; let's see if I can finally get some writing done, now that the worst of the heat is over here in Recife, Brazil. After a great but hectic year, it seemed like a good idea to take things a bit slower for a while; so my wife (who's from Brazil), our little daughter and I decided to spend some weeks in Recife, in the Northeastern part of Brazil. And although the visit was mainly meant as a holiday and family visit, I thought it was also a good opportunity to pick up a project which I'd been thinking about, on and off, for a long time.
I started doing capoeira, the Afro-Brazilian martial art, years ago. Calling it a 'martial art' doesn't really do capoeira justice; it's an art form with its own music, songs and instruments as well. One of the instruments used is the caxixi, made from a type of rattan, a piece of gourd and plant seeds to create a rattling sound, and I've always loved the simple but elegant shape and construction of it. Also years ago, I had the idea that the caxixi's basic form could be adapted to work as a mulifunctional light. However, I was never able to come up with a good way to design and create the parts for positioning and replacing the light bulb and I didn't take the project any further. Then two things happened: I found out that our friend Cabral Elastico, a capoeirista and craftsman from Recife, was making some really nice variations on the caxixi; and Shapeways came along, of course. So when we were planning our visit for this year, I decided the time was right to give the project another go. I created the parts to replace the original gourd piece, so that they would take a replaceable light bulb. I also had a sort of weaving mould made, so we would be able to create a slightly more controlled shape.
So one day, Cabral shows up on our doorstep, with his bike full of materials that we would use for the project, and we got going. The series of photos below shows the process of creating KXX; not all that complicated in principle, but involving a lot of skill for the choice of the right material, preparation of it, controlling the density of the weave and finalizing the shape in a well-detailed way.
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.
We are super happy to see the April 2011 issue of Wired Magazine has just hit the newsstands with a cover story of How To Make Stuff. Shapeways was featured in a few places including visual assets such as the 3D printed 'How To Make' text for the contents page and a spread on Shapeways community member Stony Smith.
It is awesome to see a Shapeways community member get some exposure and their chance to tell their story of how they use Shapeways and 3D printing as a viable production method (not just prototyping). This is an important distinction the most Shapeways users already realize, but that the history of 3D printing is rooted in the term 'rapid prototyping' still creates a stigma in the minds who dealt with the earlier incarnation of 3D printed parts. We now need to move away from the term 'rapid prototyping' and continue to adopt 3D printing or additive manufacture as a more accurate description of what Shapeways offers.
The more articles that appear in mainstream print press such as Wired Magazine, The Economist and the New York Times that bring 3D Printing and the Maker Movement into the awareness of the broader public, the greater the opportunity we have to encourage more people to make, sell and buy 3D printed items from your Shapeways shops. The more users we have, the cheaper we can make 3D printing for everyone.