Robert and I just made it back from SXSW Interactive in Austin. It was a great time where we devoured tacos, ran to and from panels, got into cool conversations, and soaked in tech at ridiculous quantities. Having been to SXSW once before, it was lots of fun to bring a fellow Shapie into it and help them get familiar with everything, while exposing lots of new people to what we do. And the response was awesome.
On Sunday we took part in the NYC Startup Meetup, an all-day gathering of over 30 different New York-based early stage companies where we got to know one another, scoped out new talent, and took turns giving demos. We were the only guys there with actual physical products, and that meant we really stood out. Our table was nearly mobbed from start to finish. Lots of people had no idea that 3D printing at the level our community is familiar with is currently possible.
It was really inspiring to see a crowd of people who are usually accustomed to digital products fall for Shapeways. The population at SXSW is definitely known for making things, but those things are usually in non-physical form. Still, everyone we spoke to didn't miss a beat -- they totally loved the idea of using tech to make real world stuff. Hopefully we'll be welcoming a whole new group of creatives -- the techies who now want to hack in 3D.
We can't wait to see what next year brings! So, where would you like to meet up with us next?
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.
Bart and I were lucky enough to attend the Maker Faire Newcastle last weekend ( 12 and 13th of March) For the third year in a row it was a huge success for Shapeways with hundreds of new potential users flocking to our stand. They were all eager to check out what Shapeways is all about: the models, the materials, the people.
Maker Faire is all about do-it-yourself creation and there were heaps of cool/crazy art installations to admire. To name but a few: the Nightingallery singing mechanical bird, remote controlled garbage bins that chased kids around and performers with huge Tesla coils. Also, lots of home 3D printing with printers like RepRap and the eMaker.
Especially our new Silver fascinated the crowd. Community members Euphy and Stop4Stuff traveled to Newcastle and helped us out for the full two days. It was great to see them promote their models to all the enthusiastic people who came by our stand. Thanks again guys!!
We had a chance to get to meet some members of the Shapeways community members, who were also so kind to join us for a nice dinner in a Tapas restaurant.
We can't wait to see what the Maker faire 2012 will have in store for us!
If you've got your own domain and want to use it for your Shapeways Shop, you might think you're out of luck. But, you're not--because although we don't have an official feature to support this use, there is a small hack that several shops have implemented already.
Just create a frameset on a webpage hosted at your domain, and place your shop inside. I've already stumbled across two clever shops doing this:
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. 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 they 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
There are so many amazing items being made with Shapeways every day, with over 115,000 printable objects in the Shapeways database and thousands of items being 3D printed each week it is hard for us to keep track of all of the awesome things you are doing. Share photographs and descriptions of your items on the Shapeways 'It Arrived!' forum and on our Shapeways Facebook page so that we, and the rest of the community can be inspired by your items.
We are VERY excited to announce the return of Solid Silver to Shapeways with a better price and the same amazing quality.
Due to requests from the Shapeways community we trialled Silver late last year and saw some truly awesome items in the Shapeways Shops, especially in the jewelry section. After the trial we looked at the products, process and price, taking all that we have learned and applying it to our new, permanent offering of silver on Shapeways.
The Price and Delivery Time
With our new production partner we have managed to reduce the price!
$40 for the first cm3, then $20 per cm3 for additional volume, with a minimum cost of $40
We will also be offering an additional Silver Glossy post process for $10 per item.
This video has been doing the rounds of the blogosphere over the past few days but for anyone who has missed it so far it is worth checking out. Surgeon Anthony Atala demonstrates an early-stage experiment that could someday solve the organ-donor problem: a 3D printer that uses living cells to output a transplantable kidney. If you are impatient skip to around 7:00 to see a nice desktop inkjet printer hack used to implant bone into a patient, and then goes on to show a kidney being printed a kidney-shaped mold being printed on stage and explained how one day – many years from now – the technology might be used to print actual organs. (update thanks to Glen Slingsby)
Anthony Atala is the director of the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine, where his work focuses on growing and regenerating tissues and organs. His team engineered the first lab-grown organ to be implanted into a human, a bladder,and is developing experimental fabrication technology that can "print" human tissue on demand.
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....
Hello all. A while ago, we announced the addition of two colors:Indigo and Dark Grey, to our strong and flexible family. In addition to our Winter Red, we will keep these three colors until the end of May (Black will stay a permanent color). We know there was an error last time when we added the new colors, specifically we added the colors with no mark up to your jobs. We have since removed the colors and are now re-adding them with the correct markup. Starting this week, we will automatically re-add the new colors (Indigo and Dark Grey) to all products currently available in Winter Red. Mark up will default to the highest mark up for any strong and flexible item in your shop.
Radio Netherlands recently took a visit to our Eindhoven office to do a feature on 3D printing and filmed the products and process. (I know, weird, TV on the Radio).. Anyway take a look, it is in Dutch but there are subtitles and you will get to see our brand new 3D printer in action..
Want to show your stuff in New York City alongside the best to press, peers and punters?????
We are about to launch an exciting new contest for all you budding designers out there. Winners will have their design(s) shown at the 2011 International Contemporary Furniture Fair in New York City, May 14-17 alongside the best emerging and established designers. Details will be released over the coming days but you will have to be quick to get in and have the opportunity to expose your designs to thousands of influential retail buyers, press and design loving public.
An interpretation of Marcel Breuer's 1928 classic, the Cesca chair.
Chris Hardy's response to Powerhouse Museum's Re-loved exhibition arose from looking at modernist attitudes to adopting new technologies in the early part of last century. Just like Breuer's Cesca chair, one of the first cantilevered chairs brought about by the use of new fabrication techniques, this reinterpretation of the Cesca chair (a modernist classic) uses contemporary generative techniques and rapid prototyping technology as an homage to modernism.
The generative method used is voronoi subdivision of a point cloud. This enabled further meaning to be built into the chair by using an image of the chair's creator to influence the point cloud - Breuer becomes a ghost in the chair. The technology used to build the chair was selective laser sintering (Shapeways). This was used based on its strength characteristics and its ability to be formed quickly and easily based on the quite complex geometry.
The seat and back were sintered in pieces then assembled and attached to an existing frame circa 1970's. It will be interesting to see more furniture modifications such as this that build on an existing components in a post-modern kind of mash-up that also reduces the cost of production.