Below are three picks to get us back in the groove with our Friday Finds. If you're looking to uncover more, check out the It Arrived section of our forum, or the Shapeways tumblr. For all of you designers, we want to keep a steady pipeline of great content, which means we need more great photos of your work! Here's a reminder of what we're looking for. Happy Friday!
leo rolph achieved beautiful, crisp detail in his Tyre Ring, printed in Silver:
bdeaver did a great job of adding some bling to his Frosted Ultra Detail Pug Ornament:
novaking's continues to play off the skeletal design theme with the Skellpod, his latest piece in Silver:
Whilst reading a blog post by Seth Godin entitled The forever recession (and the coming revolution) with the line "When everyone has a laptop and connection to the world, then everyone owns a factory" it reminded me of the book 'Makers' by Cory Doctorow and in turn of the potential of Shapeways 3D Printing as New Work.
Seth's post looks at the current employment recession as a long term revolution, where "The internet has squeezed inefficiencies out of many systems, and the
ability to move work around, coordinate activity and digitize data all
combine to eliminate a wide swath of the jobs the industrial age
created." This echoes elements of Cory's Makers where an economic and employment revolution happens thanks in part to product hacks, access to 3D printing and internet notoriety.
If we look at the potential of Shapeways online 3D printing in the context of these visions which speak of 'employment' in terms of a series of projects you just do, whether they be self initiated, collaborations or by consultation for cash, a factory plugged into your laptop is an incredibly powerful asset.
Take a moment to read Seth's post, set aside some time to read Makers which you can download for free in various formats and prepare yourself for New Work.
Take a look at the tutorial, experiment with your own website, share your examples and let us know if this is something you would like integrated into your Shapeways Shop to sell your own 3D printed designs?
There are plenty of amazing math models 3D printed by the Shapeways community that I like but do not fully understand but none seem to be hurting my head with weirdness quite as much as the recent series printed by Universal Joint Design.
The models presented on Shapeways are recreations of a Classical
Mathematical Model Collection originally made by hand in plaster in the
1800's. This portion of the collection was originally modelled by Carl
Rodenberg under the direction of the famous mathematician Felix Klein.
The main portion of this research involved recreating a series of 24
cubic surfaces which demonstrate types of singularities possible on a
cubic surface. In topology, singularities are opposed to smooth surfaces
in that they demonstrate abrupt changes in curvature at their surface.
The guys at Makerbot are running full steam ahead with improvements to their machines and with the latest Mk7 extruder they are outputting really nice quality 3D prints. Makers of commercial FDM 3D printers lookout.
Want to make your own soaps with 3D printing, the perfect personalized gift? Take a look how Fredrik Perman of the Product Farm and his girlfriend used 3D printing to make his own Pawfect Suds.
The Pawfect Suds paw print shape for our silicone mold finally arrived from Shapeways! We’re really excited to get some OOMOO silicone compound and start experimenting with making actual “negative” silicone molds from this “positive” soap shape.
Techniques used include the inlay of holographic carbon fiber, clear and colored resins, melted plastic an hand polishing. Take a look at his forum post for more details on the materials, tools and processes used.
Here at Shapeways we've been making huge improvements to our packaging process, and we're getting ready to go live. We realize right now the products are are coming in pretty intense packaging. There's the crime scene tape, the scotch tape, the bubble bags, the poly bags, and the multicolored peanuts. It's a regular fiesta in a box.
We'll be starting incrementally with 25% of your orders going in brand spanking new air fill wrap. Peanuts be gone. In the coming weeks you'll be seeing a myriad of other changes - I won't ruin the surprise! Just know it's coming, it's coming fast, and we couldn't be more excited. Aesthetics aside, our redesign is 100% environmentally friendly. We're doing everything and anything we can to make sure your product reaches you safely, unbroken, and hand in hand with the environment.
The Shapeways development, engineering and UX teams have been working to make the Shapeways site better for makers, sellers and buyers. We have taken into account your feedback on the recent product page update and will continue to hone the page to make using Shapeways fast, intuitive and fun.
We will be entering a phase of continuous change on the Shapeways website as we push really hard to bring the entire site up to the level of usability needed. We want to make the site as awesome as the service. We will try and keep you informed of major changes before they go live, but changes at lower levels will need to be put into place continuously. Please continue to give us feedback in the forums as we push these features live so we can continue to make the site work for makers, shop owners and buyers.
We will be putting into place a formal system for your feedback outside of the regular forums so that we can better track, rank and implement your feedback, we will give you more information as it goes live.
Some of the 41 fixes going live in the next update include:
Bug UX, UI, IE8 display/layout issues
Shop section functionality on product details page
HTML characters in model title now correctly shown
Not for sale items show true value to shopper
edit description field show complete description
Remember currency ($ or €) selection
Fix the product description section
Fix presentation/layout for comment section
Add functionality to remove a model
analytics tracking code on model pages
Small browser window horizontal scrollbar
Remember last state on Product Detail page—either Edit or View—for logged in accounts
Thanks to all who have given us feedback in the forums, keep them coming. If you want to join the Shapeways team, check out our Jobs page, we are currently on the lookout for a software engineer and VP of Product.
Over the past three years shapeways has grown from an ambitious idea, to a vibrant community passionate about making their ideas real with 3D printing. In that time we have introduced 21 new materials, experimented with processes and pricing models. The time has come to consolidate the pricing structure to be more consistent, and better reflect fabrication, handling and distribution costs.
The basic philosophy
Before going into the details, it is important to state that our goal is to make it possible for everybody to make whatever they want using 3D printing. To enable this, we feel it should not be the case that large models are too expensive and small models are too cheap. The new price structure is based on the true cost Shapeways is incurring to print all the awesome models made by the community. Why is this important? It gives an incentive to behaviors that helps the community. As an example, shipping a $100 order in one shipment is more efficient than doing so in four shipments. In the old system, there was no incentive for this, with a shipping charge there is. If we all behave in a way that makes Shapeways more efficient, Shapeways will give back those efficiencies in lower prices. That in the end will make it possible for all of us to make whatever we want!
What have we learned
Our current system has “free” shipping and in quite a few cases does not charge a handling fee per model. Why is this the case? When we started we wanted to make the pricing system as easy as possible. The result is that small models and small orders are actually costing us money while large parts and large orders are generating a lot of money. This is, we feel, in both cases not right. Everybody should pay what it costs to produce and ship their products, plus some margin for Shapeways. In doing so we do not penalize certain models or subsidize others and in the end this will make it easier for us to lower prices faster, which is our goal.
The cost of 3D printing is made up of 4 major components:
Material (the material used, the support used, cleaning and polishing materials)
Machine cost (the amount of machine time attributed to the production of the product)
Labor (preparing / checking the file, operating the machines, cleaning the product, sorting and packing the product)
Shipping (shipping cost with UPS)
It is quite easy to reflect the material and machine cost of the products made in the cost per volume (and this is how we started). The cost of labor is reasonably constant per product, whether big or small (the handling cost). The cost of shipping is mostly the same whether one or multiple products are ordered. The main difference with shipping is the shipping destination. Currently our cost within certain European countries, the US and Canada are similar, where we have higher cost when shipping to the rest of the world.
Therefore we will introduce new prices based on:
price per product = handling fee per product + cost per volume of product
price per order = price of products + shipping cost