Mark Frauenfelder, founder of boingboing interviews Kevin Mack on his use of 3D Printing to make his otherwise impossible art real. There are thousands of amazing 3D Printed sculptures in the Shapeways gallery but it is always inspiring to hear how an artist approaches the opportunity to make the impossible, with math...
As you watch the video of the 3D Printer in action, laying down layer upon layer of acrylic resin you will notice occasional flashes as the UV light hardens the acrylic resin. At the same time as the acrylic resin is laid down wax is also laid down as support material which is why we can 3D Print complex forms with overhangs, under-drafts and moving parts as they are supported by wax.
Another great Kickstarter project that uses 3D Printing to help bring ideas into reality is the POP Portable Charging station by James Siminoff. James used his Makerbot to do the first prototypes then 3D Printed the final version seen in the video using Shapeways.
It is a great idea and another fantastic example of using desktop 3D Printing to iterate and resolve a design, Shapeways 3D Printing to get a high quality production ready prototype (or product), and Kickstarter to promote, gain support and fund the manufacture of the project...
You can back the project now on Kickstarter with confidence, as it is powered by 3D Printing and approved by the Mayor of Maui....
This weeks Designer Spotlight focuses on Erica Schwartz of DesignErica a designer whose path has taken her from religious studies to Pratt, to designing for a private label, to finally launching her own jewelry line.
Tell us a little bit about yourself: Who are you? Where are you located?
I grew up in New York in a household where creativity was not just encouraged but required. I went to college in New Hampshire and moved to Brooklyn in 2001. I live in an amazing house in Greenpoint with a bunch of cool people which also houses my office and studio.
What's the story behind your designs? What inspires you?
I find a lot of inspiration in nature and geometry, but everything seems to come with a certain sense of playfulness. I have kind of a fear of being boring and/or bored. I like to make things that make you smile or make you think. Or maybe both. Right now i'm working on jewelry that is meant to be played with.
How did you learn how to design in 3D?
While studying religion at Dartmouth, I decided I really wanted to be a designer. I went back to school for a Masters of Industrial Design degree at the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn where I took a couple of Solidworks classes and really enjoyed them. Those classes gave me the tools to easily exercise all the other knowledge and skills I learned at Pratt. I created my first 3D printed object at Pratt- a coaster which I still have.
What brought you to 3D printing with Shapeways?
After Pratt I got a job doing private label watch and jewelry design. I spent my days designing high-end objects that I could never afford. This got my mind churning on my own ideas that were not appropriate for the audience I was employed to design for but more for people like me. I started with laser-cutting and 3D printing stuff just for fun. I saw that other people (specifically Nervous System) were selling 3D printed products to people outside of the community and thought: "Hey, I want to do that!"
How do you promote your work?
I started with an etsy shop, which I still try to maintain because it drives its own traffic. I recently launched a full-fledged online retail site as well. I've done some craft shows, sold through a couple of design collectives, and I'm just starting to make some headway in the wholesale market. You can find my stuff at the Brooklyn Museum Shop. I think it's important to get 3D printed products into markets outside of the community of modelers and those "in the know" (ie, you and me). This way they can be appreciated for their inherent design not just because its a cool process.
Who are your favorite designers or artists?
This one is tough! Gaudi and Frank Lloyd Write...Panton, Pucci, Noguchi, Nakashima, Charles and Ray Eames... this list could go on forever!
Who in the Shapeways community has served as an inspiration to you?
Nervous System showed me this kind of thing was really possible and their work is amazing. The boys at GothamSmith are great. And Sandy Noble from UpToMuch, who taught me how to dye WSF in my kitchen. Also everyone who works at Shapeways and deals with me when I'm frustrated, thank you!
German hacker and security consultant who goes by the name "Ray" demonstrated Friday at the Hackers On Planet Earth conference in New York a 3d printed & laser cut keys that open high security handcuffs. He was able to open handcuffs built by the German firm Bonowi and the English manufacturer Chubb who both use a single key design for their products. Although the keys are purportedly harder to come by than more standard cuffs & not commercially available, Ray says he bought a Chubb key from eBay, and obtained the rarer Bonowi key through an unnamed source. He reverse engineered the keys & built CAD models that he then cut in plexiglass with a laser cutter and printed in ABS plastic with a Repman 3D printer.
Ray, says his goal isn't to reduce security but to expose the vulnerability. He states, that his tools are already available to criminals along with the rest of the public. "If someone is planning a prison or court escape, he can do it without our help." says Ray. He says he won't post CAD models online, given that those keys are harder to obtain and providing models for their reproduction could in fact reduce their real-world security. But their availability should serve as a wake-up call. The cuffs' applications include restraints for airplane passengers & plastic keys can easily be carried through airport security. "People who have a high value goal don'tmind the cost of using a higher cost method. Someone with a higher criminal goal doesn't care if it takes one dollar or one hundred dollars to make this key" he says. "Lock security was broken before. I've just made it easier."
I submit that the zip tie style thumb cuffs are just as effective & cheaper than the old-timey metal ones particularly now that the keys are so easily reproduceable. Hey, you could print the zip ties too!
For this weeks Shop Owner Tip we're pimping the Widget and want to see it in the wild! The widget is our Shop Embed tool that lets you create links for people to buy your Shapeways Shops products right from your own website.
You can easily curate a selection of your best products using Shapeways Labs Shop Embed tool. I suggest a row of three or a cluster of four. Users click the 'Buy' button to proceed directly to Shapeways checkout. You can use this to put up a few products on your homepage, or put up a whole shop on your website. See what looks best with your site's design.
Here's a selection of Jana the bear embedded on Cunicode.com - He's used it to create his whole store.
Use the tool, snap a screen shot and post it to twitter! We've got a $50 voucher for printing for our favorite, so get embedding! Entries close Monday the 23rd July.
The Shapeways 3D Printing Elasto Plastic trial is drawing to a close on July 20th. We are temporarily suspending this material to make improvements requested by the community.
Why are we putting Elasto Plastic on hold?
We launched Elasto Plastic as an experimental material that stretched the limits of 3D printing design. While we were all excited about the potential, there are a few improvements we'd like to make before it goes to prime time.
From a material perspective, the material's minimum wall thickness requirement prohibited cost-effective and super flexible models, which in turn limited the designs you could create. Elasto was also rejection prone, which was not a great experience for you, nor for your customers.
Though we LOVED the innovative and distinct nature of this material, we're going to put it on hold for the time being. We're exploring alternative processes to make Elasto Plastic thinner, airtight, and smoother. If you have any other feedback, please let us know!
What does this mean for you?
If you're a designer who has Elasto Plastic models available for sale...If your models can be printed in other materials, all you have to do is ensure those materials are enabled on your product page. Given that the design rules for Elasto Plastic were relatively restrictive, most models that were designed for Elasto Plastic can likely be printed in WSF or other materials. We recommend testing these models in new materials before making them available for sale.
If you seriously love Elasto Plastic and can't live without it...Stock up while you can! The last day you can order a model in Elasto Plastic will be July 19th.
Thanks for creating the future with us as we continue to stretch the boundaries of 3D printing.
We have seen quite a few of your Shapeways 3D Printed Products go viral through social media recently which brings a massive spike in traffic to a particular product, their shop and the rest of the Shapeways site. Following is a quick case study of how the 3D Printed Rocket Espresso Cup went viral over the past week.
The Shapeways gallery is full of amazing 3D printed products designed by individuals all around the world. Each time the one of their products sells they earn money while Shapeways takes care of the financial transaction, fabrication and distribution to the customer. A sweet deal for designers as they can simply do what they do best... design.
Opening a Shapeways Shop is free and anyone can do it. 3DPrinter.net recently posted a great article on how and why to open a Shapeways shop. It give a great account of the process along with some excellent advice on using descriptions for search engine optimization (SEO) that can really help people find your products..
We all know Bathsheba Grossman's 3D Printed sculptures are massive in the world of math art but now they are just, massive... Thanks to the D-Shape 3D Printer and a valiant attempt on Indiegogo , Bathsheba's Rygo sculpture has been 3D Printed 6 foot tall and has now made it's way to Vancouver (only Canadian Shapeways users can imagine the UPS duties on THIS delivery).
The Rygo is now billed as the largest 3D Print in North America and is scheduled to be installed at VanDusen Botanical Gardens in Vancouver.
Mark has designed a long and a short version, the bottom of the longer version can be seen from outside the vehicle
through the back window so that you can hang your cleaning without
craning your neck inside the door to see what your doing. However, the
long hook is long enough that you may want to remove it temporarily if
you are going to have rear-seat passengers. An elegant solution to perfectly fit the functionality and aesthetic of the car....
Check out some more of the 3D Printed Volvo compatible parts in the Shapeways gallery.
French-born engineer and designer Luc Fusaro, a student at the Royal College of Art in London, claims he has invented the world's fastest running shoe. Using 3d scans, the "Designed to Win" shoe is designed around the unique shape of a runner's foot, weighs 96 grams, and it can improve performance by as much as 3.5% (about .35 seconds in a 100-meter dash). The shoe is not designed for long distance but for sprinter's that time is the difference between silver and gold. Unfortunately it will not be available for the upcoming Olympics but Fusaro hopes to have it ready for the 2016 games.