After lots of hinting and planning, we're ready to party! Shapeways is celebrating its 3 Year Anniversary this coming Friday in New York, and you're invited. We'll be enjoying drinks on the rooftop of the Thompson LES hotel with music from SkyeFlye from 8pm-12am, to commemorate this big milestone.
We are coming up on the end of our 3 months trial with 3D Printed Glazed Ceramics. We've seen some pretty amazing pieces and once again, are wow'd by the creativity of our community. We've also experienced some hiccups in the process, heard your complaints and improved based on your feedback, and are learning everyday about how to better the quality of this material, and improve the reliable of production.
We would like to continue offering this material permanently, but we need to take some time to improve on some of the things we've learned in the past few months--everything from glazing techniques to operational logistics, from increasing structural strength of the material to implementing more secure shipping methods. Thanks to you--our very vocal, creative, and passionate community--we have a lot of feedback to work on over the upcoming weeks. Rest assure, your feedback has not gone unnoticed! Now our team is going to start chipping away to make things better for you guys. We hope to re-introduce this material in the future (we will have news very shortly--be on the lookout next month for updates), and re-introducing with better quality and more consistent lead times. With that said, we will stop offering this material Monday at the start of the business day (NYC time).
Last but not least, I like to thank you all for your enthusiasm and creativity--stay passionate about creating!
A big thanks to all who came ans said hello to us at SIGGRAPH in Vancouver, we had an amazing time, met thousands of people and the Shapeways team survived pulling down the 3D printed booth which did require an impromptu tug of war between Peter, Michon, Alan and Ana to disconnect a few components..
A big thanks to Rene and Todd for coming along and helping us out at the booth, handling questions and explaining the massive potential of 3D printing with Shapeways. Our next events are Maker Faire in New York, Tent in London and Dutch Design Week in Eindhoven, we are looking forwards to seeing you there.
The Shapeways booth at SIGGRAPH in Vancouver has been an incredibly exciting place to be over the last few days. We have seen thousands of people come through and the most common word I hear from almost everybody's lips is awesome.
The Shapeways team here have been doing a fantastic job of explaining how 3D modeling experts, teachers and students can use Shapeways to make their 3D models into reality with 3D printing.
Our booth is one of the busiest at SIGGRAPH with many people returning multiple times a day, bringing friends and colleagues to see examples from the Shapeways community to show the huge range of what can be produced with 3D printing with popular items including the work of Batsheba, Virtox and Ceramic Wombat.
Even our booth is 3D printed with the entire structure held together by 3D printed connectors to showcase the strength and flexibility of 3D printing, an ambitious endeavor that even caught the attention of some seasoned booth designers/constructors... The booth would not have been possible without the hard work of John Briscella, many thanks.
If you are in Vancouver be sure to drop in to booth 816 to say hello.
Shapeways Helps Users of Autodesk 123D Make Their Awesome Ideas Real with 3D Printing.
We are super excited to announce while we are mixing it with the 3D modeling glitterati at SIGGRAPH that users of Autodesk 123D can use the power of Shapeways 3D Printing to make their awesome ideas a reality.
123Dis a free 3D modeling software program based on the same Autodesk technology used by millions of designers and engineers worldwide in software such as 3Ds Max, Maya and Inventor. With 123D's simple yet useful interface you can 3D model your own designs ready for 3D printing with Shapeways.
Once you have created your 3D model in 123D you can export your model in STL for most of our 3D printed materials or VRML to 3D print in full color.*
123D works as a solid modeler with tools ideally suited for creating objects for 3D printing. You can start from a sketch or you can download and modify an existing design, this is a great way to get started if you are new to the concept of 3D modeling and 3D printing. There are also a number of tutorials to help you get started or to just introduce you to the tools and how they function.
Head on over to 123D and download it for free and give it a try, at the moment they only support windows but there are some rumblings in their forums asking for a Mac version which would be awesome. Also, when you download 123D keep an eye out for updates, 123D is in Beta version and they are rapidly adding cool new features and squashing bugs.
*There is an issue in the current build whereby when you export a file the scale can be too small by a factor of 10. If you face this problem you can use the scale tool to scale your model up by 10 in 123D before exporting to correct this for now, but the bug has been reported and will be implemented in the next build soon to be released. Also, you can export full color VRML's but there is currently no provision to export the bitmaps in a way to make it suitable for 3D printing with Shapeways. You can assign color to geometry and print that in full color but no maps for now.
We are happy to announce the beginnings of a new Open Source
toolkit for 3D printing, called AbFab3D. Shapeways is already the host of a wide set of tools that enable you to create and customize products without the need of 3D software. We call them creators. AbFab3D is designed to help speed
the development of these creators and other 3D printing tools.
The goal is to make software development of 3D creators easy. We are curious to see what
sort of creators people will want to create. Can you make the first creator
to fab a million products?
Why are we doing this? Shapeways is looking to accelerate the 3D printing revolution. AbFab3D
greatly simplifies the creation of 3D creators and printing tools. These 3D creators (made using AbFab3D) will enable a
new class of Makers and Shapers to take the
next step on the way to transforming manufacturing. Using an
Open Source model allows the community to reuse common code together.
Shapeways is releasing this code to kick start the community of editor creators.
As a part of the toolkit, we're releasing a sample creator for you, called the Image Creator.
This creator takes a base shape, embosses or engraves an image and then applies
a connector. The creator is good at creating custom pendants. By
customizing this creator you can easily make it work for Dice, Phone Covers, LightSwitch Covers,
Drink Coasters and Trivets. Perhaps you'd like a jewelry box with a custom top? All
of these variants are easy to create with the toolkit.
Inspired yet? It's quite easy, grab the toolkit and start creating new editors. Make something
cool and then open your own shop at Shapeways.
Here are some items we're working on next for the toolkit:
Hollow Out - A set of tools for hollowing out a model.
Remove Unattached - Remove parts of a model that will fall off.
Automatic Upload to Shapeways - Calls to the Shapeways API to upload models, get price etc.
Come visit the SIGGRAPH 2011 Web3D Tech Talk on the exhibition floor this Wed 5pm - 6pm to see
the new toolkit in action (near the Shapeways booth #816)
The name you ask? Let’s say I’m a fan of British Comedy.
W would like to announce a few updates to the design rules for White Strong & Flexible Polishing. The more we work with these materials, the more we learn about what is possible and what isn't. Over the past few months, we have learned some important things to take into account when designing for this material process. Please take the time and look this over, it will save everybody time and disappointment in receiving their models broken or out of shape!
White Strong & Flexible Polished bounding box: we are asking for minimum of 10x10x2mm per part (not per STL)
If your STL has multiple parts, the STL may still get rejected if any particular part in the STL is smaller than the above bounding box
Why? This is because we are finding that pieces smaller are falling through the grates in our polishing machine, or getting stuck or lost among the media used to polish. We hope this won't be too much of an inconvenience. Most pieces of this size will lose details in the polishing process.
Suggestions? We recommend looking at White Detail, or Frosted Detail/Frosted Ultra Detail instead for a smooth finish to smaller pieces.
White Strong & Flexible Polished wires supporting larger items (eg sprues): When you have a thin wire supporting a larger item, try making the wire at least 1.5-2mm thick for White Strong & Flexible Polished
When designing for WSFP, try to avoid support larger masses with small wires. This is the helicopter problem, where the propellers are supported by a tiny wire that connects to the body of the helicopter.
Why? When put in the polishing machine, it is very easy for these types of structures to snap.
Suggestions? We recommend making the base supporting wire thicker. Right now, it looks like things around 1.5-2 mm would be strong, but we will be making some tests so to get a better understanding of what the ratio should be.
Thanks for your input and understanding as we refine these processes to ensure we can produce your designs reliably, at the highest quality detail.
Just a quick update to let you all know that our 3D Printed Silver production is purring like kitten, running like clockwork and any other cliches that may apply to say that we are on target with our delivery times for silver.
If you have been following the recent influx of DIY 3D printers you will notice that most, understandably are based on the RepRap but Junior Veloso has taken another route with his ultra high detail DIY 3D printer he is developing for sale. So how fine is the detail of the prints I hear you ask? Check these images out.
While the Shapeways logistics team have been working hard to process existing orders, they have also been upgrading our production facilities to handle growth so that we can continue to deliver your 3D printing to you as fast as possible. We do not yet have a conveyor belt fed 3D printer, but we have installed the first of our conveyor belts to speed up and streamline our distribution center.
This is true mass customization as each of your orders we 3D print and send is completely unique, yet we are using tecniques from mass production to reduce and amortize the cost of all aspects of printing and distribution through volume of production. We are also working to reduce delivery time so that as well as reducing cost, we are continually improving our workflow to get your items to you as soon as physically possible...
A big thanks to you all for the orders coming in and keeping our logistics team busy, we LOVE seeing all of the amazing objects you are making with Shapeways 3D printing.
Ok, you may have one of the coolest prams on the market but when that thing fails the repair bills can be astronomical.. Thanks to 3D printing with Shapeways, a bottle opener and a pocket knife, a DIY solution is less than $25 away.
But more importantly, are there any repairs that you have undertaken using 3D printing that you can share? Are there any projects you have completed that you can share on Instructables? Let us know if you have any 3D printed projects already up on Instructables so that we can share them on the Shapeways blog too.
So you want to go to the SIGGRAPH conference to soak up the latest in computer graphics, interactive techniques and 3D technology but do not have $1000 ready cash to purchase a ticket. Well are you in luck, we just happen to have a spare ticket to give away to one lucky Shapeways community member and all you need to do is tweet to be in the running to win.
To win the Full Conference Pass valued at $1,270:
1. Make sure you have a (free) Shapeways account, as only members are eligible for this prize. Sign up here. if you are not already a member.
4. The winner will be selected at random, and will be contacted via a Twitter Direct Message on Saturday, August 6th, 11am, Vancouver time. Reply within 12 hours, or we’ll have to select a new winner!
If you just want to come along to check out the exhibition and visit us at booth 1150 we also have 50 passes to give away. To get yours, simply mail bart(at)shapeways.com and include your full name and Shapeways username.
While we are in Vancouver for SIGGRAPH we thought it would be a good time to get to know the local Shapeways community a little better. Join us at The Mill Marine Bistro for a 3D printed show and tell accompanied by a beer or two with views of the harbour Monday the 8th of August, 8pm.