Theo Jansen is a Dutch kinetic artist, since 1990 occupied with creating new forms of life. He is father to the "Animari" beach creatures, or "Strandbeests", made of PVC tubing, that walk the beach powered by the wind. As time progresses the Beests evolve, with the ultimate goal of living their lives on their own.
Now Theo Jansen's Strandbeests have found a way to multiply by injecting their digital DNA directly into the Shapeways system. From now on several small strandbeests are available from his shop
. Next to being a great abstraction of the inspiring work of Theo Jansen, these strandbeests are also an example of what 3D printing is capable of. Right after birth from the 3D printer these models will work straight away and do NOT require any assembly.
Designing the Beests this way proved quite the challenge. They consist of at least 76 separate moving interlocking parts. Multiple prototypes were used to come to the first viable solution, "Animaris Geneticus Parvus" #5. But the evolution process continues with evolutions #6 with lightweight bone structure and #7 with pointy feet.
3D printing is very suitable for rapid design changes, and as time goes by the Beests will evolve and new types of DNA will be added to the store, while others are removed. Expect more evolutions and variations in the future, with possible variation in size, shape, material or means of propulsion.
Also worth mentioning, a big brother to these Strandbeests is the limited edition "Animaris Geneticus Parvus XL", which is only available from Theo's Dutch Gallery Akinci
Animaris Geneticus Parvus is a joint project of Theo Jansen and Dutch Designers Bo Jansen and Tim van Bentum.
Hello again! Today, I'm proud to announce two new developments in the way Shapeways enables your creativity: the remodeling of our creator page and a brand new creator to go with it!
First, our new creator page…Shapeways is constantly looking for new ways to help people who do not know how to 3D Model to design and create new things. We do this via our Creators and Co-Creation Platform. Over time, we have accumulated a lot of different creators and variations, and our Creator page has gotten a bit crowded. This week, we've cleaned it up a bit. Hopefully this will make it easier to use and understand.
Speaking of ways of helping you create, we are also happy to introduce our Image Popper! The concept is simple, upload a black and white JPG, or draw your own right on screen (currently the draw your own feature only works in Google Chrome). Then tell us how big you want it, how much you want to raise it, etc. and watch your design upload directly to your shop.
Today I am heading to Washington DC together with an impressive
collection of the who-is-who in the 3D printing industry in the US.
Shapeways is - amongst others - joined by Makerbot, 3D Systems,
Fab@Home and Makergear for the Public Knowledge 3D/DC convention.
The Public Knowledge 3D/DC convention is organized to give US policymakers a peak inside the 3D printing
revolution which starts to happen. In the book "Where Good Ideas
Comes From" Steven Johnson makes a great case that any disruptive
technology revolution takes about 2 decades to go from invention to
mainstream. 3D printing has been around for quite some years and we
are well into the second decade. You could argue that this
disruption is of a bigger scale than for instance HD television or
the fax machine and it will take more time. I think we just past the
'second decade'. The next decade has the potential to change the
world on a scale of which we have not seen since the internet going
mainstream in the late nineties. It makes me wonder if we will get a
3D printing / making bubble similar to the dot-com bubble?
Any major technology disruption comes with pain because business
models change and existing businesses need to adapt. Incumbent
industries unwilling to change will resist. Just look what happened
to the music and media industry and the advent of the internet, mp3
and ipods. The same will apply to 3D printing. Just imagine people
copying, extending or modifying existing products to make them
better or last longer. Are you allowed to reverse-engineer your car
engine and improve parts of the engine? And what about giving the
design to a friend? Or maybe start selling it (at cost) at the auto
club? Or maybe offer it for sale commercially?
I was hanging out with some friends over the weekend, and we were throwing some Shapeways items around. They asked me "how strong is this material anyway?" "Well," I responded, "what better way to find out than to test it out yourself?"
Woody designs a range of Lego Mini-figurine accessories inspired by historical items from the late 17th and 18th century with nearly 500 items in his Shapeways store and he also offer to do custom items upon request via his Facebook page and check out some of his images on his Flickr page.
We are beginning to see more and more micro-businesses built upon Shapeways, using Shapeways to handle the financial transaction, production and distribution so that designers, artists, makers can concentrate on the fun stuff... Designing and making....
Let us know how we can help enable your business, what can we do to make it easier, what are we doing wrong, and if you have a business you are running off of the Shapeways site, let us know how your business is powered by Shapeways?
It is a fantastic example of the quality of polishing we can now achieve with the silver process so you can get absolute professional results from the Shapeways service. Please be sure to share your items when they arrive, we LOVE to see what you make..
Hello, I'm Nancy, the Product Lead of Materials & Content, and I have some exciting news! One month ago, we sent out a survey in which we asked people what they wanted in Shapeways material. We found that the top 2 qualities people were looking for are higher detail material, and smoother material. As you know, our number one priority is our customer, so we quickly went to work. In under a month, we found a new material! Starting today, we will be introducing this new materials in two different settings: Frosted Detail and Frosted Ultra Detail. See for yourself what is possible...
click on the pictures to enlarge
Frosted Ultra Detail vs. Frosted Detail
Frosted Ultra Detail painted
Frosted Ultra Detail vs. White Detail
As you can see from the pinwheel photo above (the first picture on the left), Frosted Ultra Detail is a crisper, clearer material than Frosted Detail. Also, the thinner pinwheel walls survives printing in the Frosted Ultra Detail material, while the same walls breaks off in Frosted Detail wheel (the wheel on the right).
This is also an improvement over our current detail offerings. First, we will allow interlocking parts with this material, which will enable more complex and interesting designs. The material is also smoother, and less yellow than the current detail material (especially the Frosted Ultra Detail, see the comparison photo above). Lastly, because the support material is easier to clean, less parts will get rejected. In the past, hollow parts with tiny holes were very difficult to clean and would sometimes get rejected, in the Frosted Detail materials, the support material is melted out, simplifying the cleaning process, so upload those complex models and off to the printers they go!
We will be offering Frosted Detail materials on a trial basis for 8 weeks. If the community response is positive, we will keep this material permanent, so be sure to give us plenty of feedback on your experiences (both good and bad) with this and our other detail materials.
From the truly-amazing-department: you guys have earned over $100,000 with your Shapeways shops, counting from the moment Shapeways started back in 2008. That's true earnings, not just revenue. I think that deserves a round of applause! How about we aim for another $100,000 in just 6 months from now?
(Picture: record shipment of 136 orders in one day, last month. From left to right: Egbert, Petra en Ramon)
This super sweet design, Mother and a child by Signs is a perfect gift this mother's day with the amazing price for a bespoke piece of jewelry of only $7.50 in Stainless Steel or $40 in Silver......
A little background on Mother's Day in the USA courtesy of our good friend wikipedia:
Anna Jarvis embarked upon a campaign to make "Mother's Day" a recognized holiday. She succeeded in making this nationally recognized in 1914. By the 1920s, Anna Jarvis had become soured by the commercialization of the holiday. She incorporated herself as the Mother’s Day International Association, trademarked the phrases "second Sunday in May" and "Mother's Day", and was once arrested for disturbing the peace.
She and her sister Ellsinore spent their family inheritance campaigning against what the holiday had become. Both died in poverty. According to her New York Times obituary, Jarvis became embittered because too many people sent their mothers a printed greeting card. As she said,
A printed card means nothing except that you are too lazy to write to the woman who has done more for you than anyone in the world. And candy! You take a box to Mother—and then eat most of it yourself. A pretty sentiment. —Anna Jarvis.
OK, so this year, perhaps forgo the empty sentiment of a printed card and go for a 3D printed gift instead...
After the success ot the recent Sydney Meetup now it is Melbourne's turn to get together and talk 3D printing in the warm glow of beer. Bring along your own 3D printed items, whether Shapeways, Makerbot, Rerap, whaterver, especially if you have any post processing tips you would like to share as we saw some amazing items in Sydney. Feel free to bring as many friends as you like and hopefully you can blow my beer budget
Also I (Duann) will be in Melbourne all day on Thursday the 28th of May and I am available to give presentations to any schools, universities, TAFE or Hackerspaces. If you are interested, get in touch duann (at) shapeways (dot) com
I am looking forward to meeting you all and seeing what the 'Cultural Capital of Australia' has to offer.
An often heard request was support for the OBJ file format. This is an open and rather old format, meaning that many many applications offer really good support for it.
After some quiet beta testing, we're now ready to offer it to everyone. So if exporting your designs to STL, VRML97, X3D or Collada always gave you a headache this just might make your life a little bit easier!
A few things to note:
OBJ is a unit-less file format, so you'll have to tell us the scale of your model when you upload it: millimeters, inches or meters. For example, if you select millimeters then 1 unit in your 3D model translates to 1 millimeter in your printed object.
We currently do not yet support material/texture files (.MTL) - this is planned for the future, however. NURBS are also not supported. But in our research we found that NURBS are not commonly used by OBJ exporters of 3D software packages.
Design Darlings Droog Enter the World of Mass Customization and 3D Printing.
During the Salone del Mobile in Milan in 2011, Droog will present furniture and accessories designed for download by EventArchitectuur and Minale-Maeda, including CNC cut tables, cupboards, desks, side tables, shelves, couches and 3D printed electrical outlets, flowers and charms. Droog will also present digital design tools that allow ordinary computer users to easily make functional design decisions, automatically generating blueprints for local execution in various materials. The tools also enable communication between designer and customer, streamlining and lowering the cost of a custom design process. The presented products have been customized by Droog for its collection.
At this occasion Droog will present the outcome of its Design for download investigation, announcing the coming of the first platform for downloadable design, which will feature curated and open content, easy-to-use parametric design tools and a network of local low- and high-tech manufacturers. The launch of this platform, featuring various brands and institutions alongside Droog, will occur later this year. The platform will not only include products, but also architecture, home accessories, fashion, food, wearables, inventions and more.
Wow, so obviously Droog have been taking note of some of the awesome designs that are emerging from sites such as Shapeways and Ponoko, the huge potential of customization and personalization of product designs, that this is where the cutting edge of design currently resides, with bespoke, personalized products.. Awesome. This adds greater validity to what we the Shapeways community already know. It will be interesting to see the level of customization that will be possible with their 'configurators' or whether the downloaded files will be completely open once purchased. Will the purchased digital files then show up for Download on Shapeways or Thingiverse? Will they have an option to share and show off co-created designs or will it be a fully closed, curated eco-system?
I am sure we will see much debate on the Droog angle, but in the meantime, get your entries in to the ICFF contest and lets show them how amazing truly open design can be