The 3D4D Challenge is looking for people to use 3D printing to deliver social benefits to the developing world. Teams compete for $100,000 in funding to make their ideas for real.
The challenge is being run by techfortrade / Trade4all Limited, a UK charity, launched with privately raised seed funding in early 2011 with a mission to alleviate poverty through technology enabled trade. Their aim is to act as a catalyst for new ideas, working with innovative projects that have the potential to scale and replicate.
This week the Shapeways community turned up the 3D printed awesome another notch... Check out this cool desktop gift.
I respect one of the most experienced software
engineers on our project. He is very humble, attempting to divert
recognition and point out the accomplishments of others. Despite his
protestations, I believe he has saved our company a fair amount of money
over the course of this project (I think he's been on this project for
5+ years now). So, I wanted to honor him with a desk sculpture. The
whole team chipped in for the cost of the print. I am going to attempt
to get this painted by Monday, since we're doing an important test event
This piece is intended to be in the "steampunk" style - a sort of retro
future where things are powered by steam and mechanical means, and the
style is roughly Victorian / Industrial Revolution. The little plaque on
the front says <his name> and "Chief Engineer". The strange
machine one which he leans is meant to be an imitation of the sort of
product my company produces, since I can't represent software itself
There are a lot of events in life that deserve a spot on the mantle piece or get framed on the wall. Whether it's a wedding, graduation, or birth of a child, we take photos in order to have something tangible that reminds us of that moment and so we can share the memory with others. There's a trend emerging to capture these in 3D and print something much more tangible than a photo.
Check out these wedding cake toppers custom designed to look like the Bride & Groom.
FRED WILSON VC, Union Square Ventures, often recites his rule of thumb of social internet services. It is the 100-10-1 rule. He sees with social internet services that on average 100% of users consume, 10% of users interact and 1% of users actually create.
So how does this apply to Personal Fabrication? As a social service, there are many options for Personal Fabrication. I am thinking of:
sharing of designs between designers
making designs available for fabrication to others
cooperative design of products between designers and users
product configurators made by designers for users
online creation tools for users which interact with all the above
All these options can make personal fabrication a social activity. When you apply the 100-10-1 rule of thumb, the opportunities for scaling such a service become immediately clear. As far as I know there are no exact figures available on how many 3D modelers / product designers there are in the world. But let's assume there are 5 million of them. That would turn social fabrication into a 500M users opportunity. That is Facebook and Google territory. Just imagine 50M users interacting on personal fabrication and the effects it can have on product design and how we design products. This is a very significant opportunity. Of course, the big caveat is that not all 3D modelers / product designers are interested in social fabrication. Maybe only 10% or less. That still leaves a 50M opportunity.
I do wonder what will happen to this ratio. I think it will change over time. I have no data available how this ratio looks like per demographic, but I can imagine that young people are much more engaged to create and interact than older generations. Now when they get older, start their careers and families, I can imagine that some of them drop off. But in general I expect that the creators and interactors groups will become a larger portion of the total users.
Want to learn how to make your own designs for real with 3D printing? The Shapeways Skillshare School is now ready to help. We have started to assemble some highly knowledgable and talented 3D designers to help people learn how to design for 3D printing.
We are in the process of populating the school with classes by Aaron Trocola, Natalia Krasnodebska, Kevin Wei and Duann Scott ranging from beginner to more advanced tutorials. You can subscribe to the school or a particular class to see when one is happening near you.
If you are interested in teaching a class in 3D printing please get in touch and let us know what you have in mind, it may work as part of the Shapeways Skillshare School.
About a year ago, my girlfriend drew a ring that she really liked. So I realized the 3D ring model and started looking for a 3D metal printing service . I found Shapeways as 3d printing service for designers and artists.
How did you learn how to design in 3D?
I have been working as a cad designer in aerospace industry for twenty years, using several 3D cad system.
How would you describe your creative process?
designs arise from a simple sketch, from an idea of the moment, and the desire to create something unique. My thrust is passion for design, and the pleasure of beauty and elegant.
Where do you do your best thinking?
Going around driving my scooter. My city is incredibly inspiring.
What projects are you working on now that you can share?
I'm currently thinking to test the alumide to build casings, but the idea is still in embryonic stage.
How do you promote your work?
Submitting my website to thematic directories, and inviting my friends on facebook page
Who in the Shapeways community has served as an inspiration to you?
BASHIBA rings, unellenu, Bathsheba and Virtox sculptures and I love The Animaris Geneticus Parvus by Theo Jansen
If you weren't limited by current technologies, what would you want to make using 3D printing? I'd like to build everything with 3D printing. In particular I'd like to build a car.
What do you do when you're not designing?
When I don't work, I like to spend much time with my girlfriend.
Ruud van den Muijzenberg from our Eindhoven team explains...
The Dutch company Dejavu Events is one of the first promoters in dance events and DJ space to use 3D printing to add an extra dimension to their music. On the night of April 22nd, they launched their own artist "Mister Dejavu," who was wearing a mask and necklace printed by Shapeways.
My name is Guido. I'm excited to have
the opportunity to be a contributor to the Shapeways blog and closely
follow what the community is up to and what thrilling designs you all
come up with. I will be posting on academic research including my own
research endeavors and as a designer I cannot resist to present
information in a simple but attractive way through infographics.
As Paul Markillie of the The Economistwrote last week, "NEW YORK CITY was once the capital of manufacturing in America, with more than 1m people working in the sector in 1950. Today that number has shrunk to a mere 80,000...Yet nourished by [the] entrepreneurial spirit [of NYC], a new industry is emerging. It might be
called social manufacturing."
We spent some time with The Economist last week in our NYC headquarters and distribution center. Check out "social manufacturing" in action.
Congrats to all the Shapeways community members whose beautiful designs got airtime, including: Anders
Hansen, BAROBA, Bathsheba
Grossman, Bits to Atoms, Continuum Fashion, Cunicode, David Krentz Dinosaurs, Gilbert13, Joshua Harker, Kaetemi, Kevin Wei, Kurt Van den Branden, MineToys, Nervous System, Schreer Design, Sevensheaven, Stony Smith, Theo
Jansen, and Tristan Bethe.
Hello world. We're so excited to hear stories from Shapies across the globe, and we want to meet you, in person, wherever you are! We're hosting several meet ups and will be at several others in the coming weeks. Here's a round-up of where you'll find us: