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?
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.
Dolf Veenvliet aka macouno of Enotforms fame has been working on some fun tools to generate 3D forms for the 3D Cad illiterate. Under the ShapeWright moniker Dolf has produced a random space ship generator entitled ShipWright that generates unique configurations of space ships ready for 3D printing with Shapeways... Yeah, awesome.. You can also have a personalized Space Ship generated by your name, or whatever text you enter into the build system... Yeah, super awesome. ShipWright is another awesome project that uses the Shapeways API to upload 3D files to Shapeways, if you have a project to generate 3D forms take a look at the API documentation to see how you can send the files to Shapeways for 3D printing too.
The original version generated space ships based on the nicknames of all Blender 3D coders The code is based on the entoforms scripts... which you can find here: http://www.entoforms.com
Create your own silver ring on your Android device and 3D Print it with Shapeways!
kelecrea is developed for the Android platform by Shapeways community member Lajos Kelemen that lets you add text as engraving or embossing to 3D models. Currently you can modify a choice of rings, pendants, nameplates, coins, brooches and hairpins. You can already see some of the designs generated in his shop gallery.
We mentioned Joshua Harker's Kickstarter project a few days back where he was looking for $500 worth of backing to get his intricate skull sculptures out into the world but with 34 days to go and over $25,000 dollars raised it is fair to say Joshua is very happy with his decision to put his project on Kickstarter.
We also mentioned the Mathematician's Dice by Matt Chisolm who raised $19,620 when seeking $2000 to get his project off of the ground using Kickstarter. I am sure a market research department would have been hard pressed to find enough respondents to take the product to market through any other means, but crowdfunding reveals itself to be a perfect way to find a market for really unique items.
And of course you know how much we love the Glif which raised over $137,000 when seeking $10,000 to get their iPhone tripod connector off of the ground using Kickstarter. The guys from Studio Neat have become the poster boys for success on Kickstarter by successfully launching a second product, 'The Cosmonaught' that even trialled a Radiohead inspired 'Pay What You Want' pledge. Maybe not for everyone but definitely proving the point that products are becoming more digital, in that the way they are designed, fabricated, sold and distributed.
3D print a miniature version of yourself with just two photos and ShapeMe (developed by Archipelis).
Shapeways community member Archipelis has developed a really fun and mildly addictive app that lets you make a miniature version of yourself with NO 3D modeling skills needed. You simply download the ShapeMe app, take a front on and profile head shot of yourself, use the simple interface to map your head onto a range of bodies and you are ready to 3D print in our new full color... You can also add other elements such as hair, glasses and a base.
ShapeMe is currently only for Windows but soon to be released in the Apple app store so you can also use ShapeMe on your iPad, iPhone or iPod touch.. Being so easy to use it is a perfect way to get friends and family to start playing around with 3D printing. What better gift for grandma than a miniature grandchild to put on the mantlepiece, or perhaps you could do a personalised wedding topper, with the bride and groom imortalised in full color. Whatever you choose to do the ShapeMe is fun and easy. Take a look at the gallery of ShapMes so far.
Check out the tutorial page (download link is in the tutorial page), and the video below to get started.
MIT graduate student Steven Keating in the Mediated Matter Group is experimenting with “printing” concrete with variable density as it would allow the properties of the concrete itself to vary continuously,
producing structures that are both lighter and stronger than
conventional concrete, by making it porous in the center and solid on the exterior, just like bones.
To illustrate this, Keating uses the example of a palm tree compared to a
typical structural column. In a concrete column, the properties of the
material are constant, resulting in a very heavy structure. But a palm
tree’s trunk varies: denser at the outside and lighter toward the
center. As part of his thesis research, he has already made sections of
concrete with the same kind of variations of density.
always uses graded materials,” Keating says. Bone, for example, consists
of “a hard, dense outer shell, and an interior of spongy material. It
gives you a high strength-to-weight ratio. You don’t see that in
man-made materials.” Not yet, at least.
This may also have benefits to to make concrete structures to have inherent insulation, to channel, store and filter water, the possibilities are truly exciting.
Mark Frame from RHSC Glasgow recently used CT-scan information and Shapeways to 3D print models of bones with fractures for surgery preparation. Here is his story. File under Awesome.
One day in surgery an opportunity arose, a patient needed a 3D model
created of their fractured forearm to plan their surgery to realign it.
This had already been done via a university department and the model
produced was out of proportion and only a truncated portion due to cost
issues. Even with this it was still north of $1200 for the small model. I
then realized I could do better and for less and challenged my self to
produce a model. I trawled the blogs and the shapeways forums, gleaning
help and advise from many members of the shapeways community. Having chosen my tools I got to work.
There have been many applications of rapid prototyping within medicine, especially recently in maxillofacial (face) surgery and orthopedics (bones). Being able to produce physical models from your 3D scan images are useful for education both of surgeons and patients, preoperative planning and procedure rehearsal, trying out your procedure before you do it in real life.
The issue has always been accessibility. Its has tended to be limited to well funded research projects or to private units with bottomless budgets. This is not the model the NHS use, especially in this financial climate.
As an orthopedic surgical trainee and a big fan of any new tech or gadgets, I couldn’t fail to have noticed this upsurge in talk about 3D printing. Filling up pages of blogs on many sites such as Engadget and Gizmodo. One company that kept getting mentioned was Shapeways.
Ok, so the HP LasertJet Pro 200 color MFP M275 (catchy name) does not really 3D scan an object in any way that is 3D, it does not create a point cloud capable of being converted into a 3D object nor does it make multiple views available instead:
A total of six images are captured per scan or copy—
three with flashes from different angles and three in ambient light conditions with different exposure
levels—producing virtually glare-free and shadow-free images. These separate shots are then
automatically combined into one seamless image of exceptional quality. With HP TopShot Scanning,
you’ll see images similar to or better than those captured by your hand-held digital still camera and
with better depth-of-focus than images from a flatbed scanner.
So this really makes it a handy way to document small objects which HP are hoping people will use to sell their goods on Ebay, Etsy and Shapeways, though they do not explicitly mention Shapeways I am sure it is a prime market. Here is there scenario they paint thanks to some imaginative persona modeling.