After a brief hiatus, the Friday Finds weekend kickoff is back! Enjoy a look at some of the awesomist stuff being made by our community this week. If you'd like to see more, just check out these designers shops, or the It Arrived section of the forum. Happy Friday.
MJoachim designed his own protective case for his Panasonic, wowing us with his product design prowess.
One of the coolest things about my role at Shapeways is that I get the opportunity to see the amazing diversity of amazing stuff that is being 3D printed by the Shapeways community. I get to take a peak into where you all hang out online when you are not hanging out in the Shapeways forums, and I get to see the excitement that spreads into other members of your communities when they see the Shapeways awesomeness.
I recently stumbled across a few sites dedicated to Transformers that have a fertile community including TFW2005 that had a few interesting threads singing the praises of Shapeways and showing some fantastic models that have not cropped up in the It Arrived forum, yet.
James from TFW was kind enough to direct me to a few threads including Share Your Shapeways Finds which at five pages long only starts to cover some of the 3D printed robot action that is happening through Shapeways.
is always on the lookout for ways to spread the word about your 3D
printed projects and recently we have been experimenting with a new Shapeways Tumblr feed. We have been testing the format with the type of posts that are most popular from articles, links, videos, the Shapeways widget and images.
I recently posted an image on Tumblr of a quirky concept by Cunicode for the Octo Handle Cup, which is part of a One Cup A Day project. A great idea to do a design a day to stimulate your creative juices and generate some interesting items.
The Octo Handle Cup has struck a chord with the caffeine junkies on Tumblr and it has now spreading across Tumblr with 85 90 notes and counting.
So your iPad is not quite loud enough, you want to stay wireless, don't want to plug into external speakers and don't want to wear your great grandfather's old ear trumpet? Then we have the solution for you, the Mega Toot turns you iPad into a digital gramophone with no additional batteries, no hand crank and 120% style....
There are a few of really unique aspects to this happening on Shapeways.
Firstly the Shapeways 3D print service, with no file reading fee and a $25 minimum order that includes shipping means anyone can afford to replace a rare part without necessarily having to go to an engineer, prop maker, industrial designer or other specialist and pay large amounts of money to replace a small component needed to maintain the function or value of an item. All you need is a way to accurately measure the item then a way to 3D model it and the replacement part is only an upload away in a range of materials, one of which is bound to have suitable material properties for your particular needs. Eventually we are bound to see an extensive inventory of replacement parts on Shapeways 3D Parts, Thingiverse, Google 3D Warehouse or some other 3D model repository to make it easier for anyone to repair, replace, configure or just hack existing products.
An awesome industrial design project that uses 3D printing to construct a custom PC case from scratch. Very ambitious and very impressive project by Pazu....
We see many projects on Shapeways where a 3D printed component is combined with a single other component to improve or extend the capability of a product. We see a lot of protectors and stands for mobile gadgets, especially the iPhone and iPad. We see occasional projects that combine multiple 3D printed materials together to make the most of there different material properties, but we rarely see them combined in one big project. Pazu aka ArkAngel has spent a couple of months designing, detailing and constructing a stunning custom PC case that utilizes 3D printing in an intelligent, efficient and aesthetic manner that is a great example of how to realize a relatively complex item.
We will have loads of awesome 3D printed products from the Shapeways community on show in all of our materials from the classic WSF to the brand new ceramics. Come and MeetUp with the Shapeways crew, chat about the materials, processes, your items and your shop. We love these events as we get to share the enthusiasm and excitement in the flesh...
We are getting many really cool designs in silver. One current issue we have is trying to balance enabling our community to create things, no matter how challenging they are and ensuring that the amazing designs actually can be printed. Sometimes, this means adding or changing design rules, sometimes, this means modifying our methods of production to accommodate.
For silver, one issue we often run into is that very thin designs do not survive the wax process. For example, if you have a thin bar (like a pin, an earring hook, or a necklace hoop) attached to a thicker object (like an earring stud), handling the wax can be quite difficult and often results in having the pin snap. Of course, we do not want to say "no more earrings or pins" because that would just be too limiting. To solve this, for some parts, we may print the pieces separately and then weld them together after they've been cast. We have worked with our supplier to ensure that the end result is indiscernible. For example...
The left side is a picture of the computer generated model, the right side is the hoop welded on.
We have received customers informing us that the welded parts do not conform to their original designs. We have worked with our supplier to ensure that we do not use stock items, but will print the pieces of the actual design. We have also stepped up our quality check in our Netherlands distribution center to catch these prints if they still come through. For the long term, we are investing in more advanced machine that can produce stronger wax models, which will eliminate much of the need for welding altogether!
We hope with this technique, we will simultaneously maintain the integrity of the design while enabling more interesting and "fragile" designs. If you have any questions, or you feel like the welding was done improperly, please e-mail our lovely Customer Service department at service (at) shapeways (dot) com and they will take care of you.
Yesterday afternoon, the Shapeways NY team disassembled our first ever booth at ICFF. The International Contemporary Furniture Fair has been around since 1989, and has become the most sought after interior design trade show in North America. What was exciting for us though, as the new, hyper modern customized manufacturing kids on the block, was how warmly we were welcomed. Not only did most people we talked with already know what 3D printing is (the Javits center was full of product designers, after all), most people had already heard of Shapeways, and had even come to the Fair looking for us. Watching so many designer's eyes light up as their imaginations began to churn was a thrill. The words "I just placed an order with you!" was uttered more than a few times.
Shapeways is already well known among students and teachers at schools, colleges and universities around the globe. Every event we go to we get hundreds of students approaching us to let us know they have an assignment where they must use Shapeways to 3D print a product, or that it is cheaper to use Shapeways than their 3D printers at their school where they are paying for material only. We also get the occasional request from teachers for content for a presentation or to find out other ways they can incorporate 3D printing into their curriculum.
We would like to encourage students, schools and teachers to get into contact with us and let us know how we can help bring 3D printing into your curriculum. If you are a teacher, professor, lecturer or head of school, please get in contact with duann (at) shapeways.com and we can discuss how we can help your students. If you are a student please pass on this message to whoever is in power to make things happen at your school.
Since the introduction of Shapeways Frosted Detail and Frosted Ultra Detail we have had a flood of orders from people making most of the high resolution 3D prints. Many of you have shared your items as they have been delivered to your door and it has been really exciting for us to see your reactions. Our printers are working around the clock, and even the UPS crew are struggling to keep up. Check out some of the images posted so far in the It Arrived forum.
I hope you are enjoying the 3D printed Glazed Ceramics so far. Along with my goal to give Shapeways more smooth and shiny products, we've also been working with our 3D printed Stainless Steel production partners to come up with some tips on how to ensure your pieces gets a better polished feel.
See above for polished (left) and unpolished (right)
Today it starts, ICFF in New York City is the biggest design event in the USA and Shapeways will be there at Booth 1451 so come and meet the Shapeways team and take a look at some of the 3D printed awesomeness we have on show.
During the course of the show we will be posting updates, photos and maybe even some video of the event on our Tumblr so keep an eye out for what will surely be an exciting event. Next weekend Shapeways will be at Maker Faire in San Mateo so if you are on the west coast we will see you there.