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)
Firstly congratulations to Janne Kyttänen who founded Freedom of Creation back in 2000, winning numerous design awards, with works in design museums around the world such as MOMA and the Vitra Design Museum, Janne's work has been an inspiration to many designers to adopt 3D printing as a production option for their new designs. The quality and consistency of FOC's work has led them to produce works for clients such as Nike, Hyundai, Nivea and Phillips, opening the eyes to the broader public about the possibilities of 3D printed design.
Now that FOC is owned by 3D Systems it has become part of the rapidly changing 3D printing landscape over the past few years as new players start to emerge, and some existing players begin to merge in to larger conglomerates.
This move might be viewed as surprising, since up to now 3D systems trajectory has been absorbing many service companies (Quickparts, MCast, etc) and companies associated with the making of 3D printers (Bitsfrombytes, Desktop Factory, etc). Freedom of Creation is the first content company and we are very curious to see how the strategy of 3D systems will unfold and what role FOC will play within 3D systems.
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.
Today we are super excited to announce the launch of 3D printed Glazed Ceramics as the latest material available on Shapeways.
Glazed Ceramics is the first food safe material available on Shapeways so it is perfect for any application such as a plate, cup or bowl. Shapeways 3D Printed Glazed Ceramics material properties are exactly the same as standard ceramics as it is produced with fine ceramic powder which is bound together with binder, fired, then glazed with a lead-free, non-toxic gloss finish. The final products have a professional, high gloss white finish that looks simply beautiful.
“Ceramic has always been considered a valuable and durable material in many cultures and, therefore, it means a giant step for 3D printed products. After silver and polished SLS, this is the third material from Shapeways that can easily compete with other manufacturing methods in terms of surface finish, and will therefore be attractive to both designers and consumers.”
For the launch of our new material tomorrow we need to know the surface area of the models. This information is available for all models uploaded since we introduced MeshMedic in March 11th, 2010, but for models uploaded before March 11th, 2010, it is not. This means we will run those models through MeshMedic for the first time.
This run through MeshMedic will also merge separate meshes into one leading to lower prices for some models and higher prices for others as discussed here. It also has an impact on hollow models. Currently hollow parts need to have a hole and we check for that. If the hole is not there we remove the inside mesh to avoid any problems during production. Otherwise support material or other material will be trapped inside your model.
During this run of older models through MeshMedic, it is possible that you receive an error email from us, about an old model you uploaded before March 2010. We can repair most issues, but in some cases we cannot. That is when you will receive this email. It is also possible that we will now detect problems in your models which were accepted before. Here you can read how to hollow out your model.
We expect to be processing models until May 24th. We are very sorry for any inconvenience we may have caused. However it will enable us to launch an awesome new material tomorrow that we hope you will love AND it improves the quality of models in our database leading to fewer problems after those models are ordered.
We are about to launch yet another new material on Shapeways this week so you better get your CAD fingers ready and start thinking what you can do with this awesome material, never before seen on Shapeways...
More machines to get your items to you as soon as possible.
As we communicated in a previous blog post we have been inundated with orders since the relaunch of Silver and the trial introduction of Frosted Ultra Detail (FUD) and Frosted Detail (FD) that has had our machines running at over capacity. In FUD only we have to produce over 1100 models weekly!! To handle the massive quantity of orders we are investing in new machines to ensure we get your items to you as fast as possible.
As of next week we will be back to full production capability in both Silver and Detail materials in all colors so they will now be shipped on schedule and all backlog will be cleared by the end of next week.
We do now have an additional machine to handle Frosted Ultra Detail, but even that extra machine is only barely capable of keeping up with demand.
Please do not let our production team take a breath to catch up by delaying orders (sorry Luuk & Rik :), if we keep up this momentum we can invest in more machines to get your 3D prints to you even faster.
We do want to thank you for your orders and your patience while we fabricate them all. We have seen some amazing ultra high detail models coming through, especially model trains, miniatures and math models that have really made the most of the material qualities. Please be sure to share images of yours in the 'It Arrived' forum, it is one of the greatest joys of working at Shapeways that each day we get to see the cool stuff you are making.
We will also have around two hours of outage Wednesday the 18th at midnight EST, we will give you an update with all the details on tuesday but we need to upgrade the disc array to handle the massive volume of uploads every day. Thanks again for all of your awesomeness.
The pen holder was design from the idea to create a minimal surface from which 2 functionalities could emerge, in this case the penholder and paper tray. Adjustments were made to the initial shape to reduce material and costs without jeopardizing stability. First the mesh was tessellated and only the ribs maintained, than the base of the object was made smaller. This all added up to become a dynamic and novel shape.
"The quality exceeds my expectation! It feels the same as injection moulded nylon, like for example the plastic part of a car key...With this quality level it makes the product perfect for selling in a store... I am really enthusiastic about this new SLS treatment!" -Gijs de Zwart, studiogijs
"With the new smooth finish, White Strong & Flexible material has the same feel as a molded plastic part. It doesn't feel like a "prototype" anymore and the smooth surface stands up much better to daily use." -Jessica Rosenkrantz, Nervous System
"The finish is silky smooth, and even gives glints of reflections! The surface feels almost as if the model has been injection molded...My wife has just has a feel of the polished SLS, she says, Ooo... they feel like Mentos!" -- Paul King, Stop4stuff
Unlike Mentos, WSF Polished is not edible (Duann, I'm looking at your son). We even have a video testimonial from Oskar, discussing both pros and cons of the new material
Polished WSF will start at just $0.25/cm3 extra in addition to the WSF costs. We will add the material to all items currently available in White Strong & Flexible, with the same markup as the WSF. If you want to remove this material, or set a percentage based markup price for your products in this material, please see the Markup Bookmarklet an awesome community member hacked together.
Designed as a custom graduation ring for a client in the game design field by Action N
A tiny working model of a retro computing icon offers a blend of nostalgia and sillyness by Rossum.
My first computer was an Atari 400. My first disk drive was the magnificent Atari 810. Overwhelmed by a recent wave of nostalgia from playing Zork for the first time in 30 years I have built a working model of an Atari 810 that uses 8Gig microSD cards instead of 5 1/4 inch floppies to emulate up to 8 drives. Maintaining the relative dimensions of drive to media, the model is somewhat smaller than the original.
3D printed by Shapeways then hand painted, this is by far the cutest external drive, ever.
What other retro devices could be 3D printed in miniature to act as housings for electronic devices with thousands of time the storage and processing capability of the original in some kind of size reduction = capacity multiplication equation?
I've recently joined Shapeways and figured now was a good time to introduce myself. I'm
Alan Hudson your new 3D Tools Developer.
First, a bit about myself. I'm a long time Open Standards and Open Source developer. I'm the project leader for Xj3D which is used to processes your models. I've also been involved in the creation of the X3D and COLLADA standards. Over the years I've put out over 1 million lines of Open Source code like on Aviatrix3D, and I'm excited that Shapeways wants to continue that trend.
I'm going to head up the development of our 3D toolchain. We'll continue to improve the supported 3D formats and reduce the processing time of the system. In addition I'll be putting out code to enable 3D editor creation. In a future post I'll sketch out my plans for this library. But as a teaser it will include Shapeways API support and some code to help in hollowing out your models.
The Shapeways web development team has been hard at work on new features and site improvements. A lot of our recent work has been under-the-hood, which means we don't get to show it off. But we've also implemented some new features that are visible and will improve the site experience for lots of Shapeways members. Specifically, I'm referring to the new "My Shapeways" section of our site.
My Shapeways consolidates and reorganizes your personal profile, designs and shop page into a more clearly-structured section of the site you can find at
www.shapeways.com/me. From here, you have immediate access to configuring your profile information, your designs and shop, and your ordering information.
We released it last week with an announcement on our forum, where you can join the discussion and let us know what you think.
On top of that, we've been on a roll this week with smaller improvements and fixes.
Chris Hardy'sPaper Pendant Lamp is a beautifully simple design that proves that you do not need to have 'an impossible design' that could not be made with any process other than 3D printing for 3D printing to be a valid method of manufacture. What the design proves is that an independent designer can get a unique product to market without investing in the usual 'minimum order quantities' or losing his IP to a manufacturer.
The Shapeways business model allows is for the designer, Chris, to maintain full control over his product, the price point and his profit margin without it being dictated as only 5% by a third party, or having to amortize an investment across multiple units.
Chris is an example of a professional designer using Shapeways as his finance department, manufacturer and distributor and this is why he will be one of the Shapeways community members who will be representing us this year at ICFF in NYC.
In Chris's own words:
"I think that Shapeways is arguably a paradigm shifting resource open to designers, makers, tinkerers, inventors - everyone."
"The openness of Shapeways in terms of the abundant help and information they offer, as well as their pricing structure, removes any mystery associated with prototyping. I use Shapeways in two distinct ways, on the one hand I use it very much from a traditional industrial design perspective where I prototype components for both visual and functional validation, pattern making, exhibition pieces and so on. In addition to this I use Shapeways in terms of the recent development of direct digital manufacturing (DDM). The ability to dream up an idea and very quickly bring that idea to life in numbers to sell to people is something that I would not have dreamed of prior to my experience with Shapeways."
We're gearing up for Maker Faire San Mateo, and there's just one thing missing: You. We're looking for a few community members to join us there at our booth on May 21st and 22nd to show off your Shapeways designs, and chat with passersby about the crazy, wonderful world of 3D printing. A few beers and quality time with team Shapeways are also included. Want to join us? Let me know in the comments, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.