By Julian Kollataj, our Production Planning Summer Intern in the Eindhoven office, who returned to Arcada University of Applied Sciences in Helsinki, Finland, where he's studying Plastics Engineering. Who's moved my manufacturing?
So much has happened over the past three months, that I thought I'd like to share with you, the Shapeways Community, some reflections of my internship at Shapeways before those memories start losing their freshness.
I was wondering where to begin this blog. But then it clicked: first, I was in The Netherlands, the land of Gouda, Edam, and Leyden - and famous for their windmills, dikes, clogs, and bicycles! I've now added 3D Printing to this list of associations, because Shapeways is founded there, of course! Then, the thought of cheese led me to the book and parable about change, Who Moved My Cheese? The book came to mind because of the changes that have gone on within Shapeways and how they are positively affecting the manufacturing and consumer industry. It also came to mind because of the growth which I've had as well. (Hmm, thinking about cheese, I was wondering if they can do 3D printing in chocolate, what about cheese? And look what I found - printed cheese!).
So, the internship started at the end of May. I moved temporarily from Helsinki, Finland (currently the World Design Capital 2012), where I'm studying Plastics Engineering and coaching tennis, to join the Shapeways Production Planning Team. Before arriving, I had some ideas of what to expect, but nothing quite like what I was going to experience. In less than three months, I saw Shapeways grow with: more people joining the company; the launch of the new look and feel; a few new 3D printers installed to add greater capacity; and, the biggest change yet was the migration to a completely new software infrastructure for Shapeways' employees, partners, and you, the community members. I even got to be a part of celebrating Shapeways turning four years old, which was loads of fun!
While all of this was happening, I grew too: in understanding and
having a deeper sense of appreciation for the behind-the-scenes
processes of what it takes to get your idea (or rather, an STL file) to
your doorstep; seeing all those amazing models come through and being
inspired to take up more intricate 3D modelling myself; and, what I
thought most valuable, getting a feel for what it means to be a part of
such a dynamic group of motivated people coming together at a start-up
company. As a side note, my foosball skills improved considerably thanks
to the tough competition, though unfortunately I never made a
'klinker,' but did get to crawl (under the table after losing 10-0),
This is the first of an army of Selective Laser Sintering machines we are installing in our "factory of the future" we are currently building in New York City (Long Island City to be precise). We are using this EOS machine to laser sinter your Nylon plastic parts. This is the second printer we've installed in our temporary space after starting with UV cured acrylic this summer. We have some more exciting news coming up over the next few weeks as we continue to expand our materials and processes in NYC, so stay tuned.
If you are in New York this weekend, be sure to come and visit us in the 3D Printer Pavilion, zone D at the New York Hall of Science in Queens, take a look at some cool 3D Prints and meet the Shapeways team.
TinkerCad is a perfect tool to get started designing for 3D Printing thanks to it's drag and drop capabilities. Because it is browser based you never need to download or update the software. You always have the latest version.
Thanks again to the team at TinkerCad for putting the video together...
Ron Swanson doesn't often use 3D printing technology. But when he does, you can bet that he would want to do it in wood, not some fancy plastic or ceramic. Fortunately for Ron, LAYWOO-D3 is a new FDM filament for RepRap printers that is made of 40% recycled wood material, with the rest made up of polymer binders. More like plywood than a nice hardwood.
The material smells and looks like wood, albeit more of a plywood than a nice hardwood. Once an item is printed out, you can sand, paint, saw, and do just about anything else you would do to the real thing. Imagine printing out your own set of Lincoln Logs or a wooden iPhone case for your outdoors-loving father.
Invented by German Thingiverse member Kaipa, the filament can even simulate tree rings. Heating it to 190 C gives the material a light color, while increasing the temperature to 230 C makes it darker, giving the appearance of rings. The filament is non-warping, can be printed with rough or smooth surfaces, and limited quantities are currently only available in 3mm, although 1.7mm is planned.
Recycling wood and using a renewable resource for 3D printing is admirable on it's own, not to mention the undeniable aesthetic appeal of wood. LAYOO-D3 is an exciting addition to the growing number of materials that can be printed, looking forward to seeing what designers can do with it.
If you want to check it out and get rustic with your printing, you can order some here (supplies appear to be limited), or find some on eBay.
Formlabs has just rolled out their FORM 1 3d printer on Kickstarter. They have become fully funded in just 2.5 hours ($100,000 goal)! There are some exceptional differences in this machine compared to the typical FDM & DLP printers out there. This is SL based technology (stereolithography) using a $10 Blu-Ray laser (same as in hi-def DVD players) for photo exposure versus a $10,000 laser typically found in SLA machines. FORM 1 boasts build resolutions of 25 micron (.001") in Z & 300 micron (.012") feature details. Build envelop is listed at 125 x 125 x 160mm (4.9 x 4.9 x 6.5 inches). This is a substantial improvement over other desktop printers in its class. Although this price tier is sold out (higher priced tiers remain at time of this writing) the starting price for the machine was placed at $2,299. This project is exceptionally well put together & the machine looks to be at a considerably mature design stage. Formlabs states that they have built 7 generations of prototypes & a production run of alpha machines. They have developed their own software package for build setups & support generation which does not look to be opensource. No mention of future software/hardware support but the project is already a go so we'll see how the company & product develops. Exciting stuff, Love it!
We're heading to Maker Faire this weekend!! Shapeways will be spreading the 3D printed love at World Maker Faire New York and hosting a meetup beforehand as well.
Maker Faire will sprawl the grounds at the New York Hall of Science in Queens, NY and you can find Shapeways in the 3D Printer Pavilion, zone D. Swing by, say hello and check out some of the cool 3D printed products that we will have on display from the Shapeways community.
We will also be hosting a meetupon Friday September 28th at 6:30pm at Mason Jar Bar. Come mingle with community members and and have a beer on us at 43 East 30th Street, New York, NY 10016. RSVP via our Meetup page.
This weeks designer spotlight focuses on David Lobser of HiLobster, an animator who let his creations jump off the screen and into real life!
Tell us a little bit about yourself: Who are you? Where are you located?
I've been living in NYC for 15 years, long enough to call myself a New Yorker. Most of that time has been in Brooklyn.
What's the story behind your designs? What inspires you?
I am an animator as an avocation and vocation. I always wanted to be an experimental film maker like the Brothers Quay or Stan Brakhage. I still love it but I've been thinking a lot about new mediums lately, I want to learn new things, do new things, and make art in new ways. Of all my designs I think a couple of them are successful. The elephant, one of my friends remarked, is perfect (nothing is perfect, but let's say it works nicely). The elephant was actually the result of a few weeks of struggling with curves so it really was an organic process. One thing about 'photo realistic' computer animation is that it looks like quite a lot of work, whereas with design, if you do it right, it appears nearly effortless.In the end the elephant can be reconstructed from scratch with very little effort using a birail. The heart apple is also lovely, but not quite perfect. I also have a soft spot for 'five horns' - they are the elephant's and bird's little cousins (and they unscrew!). All this is to say, you have to make a lot of stuff before you can make anything really good.I will say that making a good thing is one of the most wonderful experiences. If you give love to your art, and you stick with it through the tough times, the rewards are as boundless as your heart and your imagination.
How did you learn how to design in 3D?
I taught myself by just plunking buttons until things started to happen! I've been working with 3D animation tools for twenty years (gasp), which puts me maybe one generation back from the leading edge of the field. I've been working in the field for the last 12 years, mostly in NYC, and I've been exceptionally lucky in that I've had opportunities to pursue my own work and my own vision. My dream was to make films, and I wound up making films on the computer. Printable sculptures are a small step from where I was. I love the idea of actually having a physical object in my hand, and I also love the idea of unlimited reproducibility. Thirty years from now I can order one of the prints I made today, and I'll be able to order it in a huge variety of materials.
What brought you to 3D printing with Shapeways?
The service is great, the price is great, it's tailored to artists rather than engineers, the quotes are instant, deliveries are on time, good customer service. I love Shapeways!
What intrigues you about 3D printing?
3D printing presents an array of issues to consider from a design standpoint. For starters, what is the necessity of it? Most of my sculptures could in theory be produced in other ways, so the only real necessity is that I want an object but don't want the hassle and expense of mass manufacturing. It's good for prototyping of course, but I'm interested in figuring out what 3D printing will always be able to do better than standard manufacturing processes. The structural possibilities blow away casting techniques, the ability to print something inside of something else is huge in terms of expressive potential. Aside from that I really think that the ability to customize objects is really where 3D printing will shine. The models in my shop represent a large investment of time, so over the course of a year I'll only be able to add so many different works. If I can come up with a tool that would allow users to alter my work then it would become a collaboration. This is the most exciting aspect of printing to me right now and I'm presently immersing myself in code so I can learn how to make that happen. With tools like processing or open frameworks and the libraries available within them it seems like not such a huge stretch to get to that point.
If you weren't limited by current technologies, what would you want to make using 3D printing?
A shiny new brain, maybe just a little one to augment my own ... or a monkey that would type for me.
We have updated the downloadable files for customization now that we have been able to test the fit, especially around the corners for the iPhone 5, the case can be downloaded here, and the bumper here.
This is urban planning for people who thought the best part of Monopoly was playing with the little houses and hotels. At Louisville, Kentucky's Ideas festival, community members got the chance to rearrange the city and try out new ideas for future development, all with the help of 1/1000 scale 3D printed models of existing city buildings.
The buildings were printed out live at the event by local hackerspace LVL1, who had collaborated with University of Kentucky architecture students to develop the models. Attendees were not only able to move the 3D printed buildings around the huge map of the city, but the building's designs could be modified via Google SketchUp and printed live on one of the five 3D printers that LVL1 provided. Sort of a real-life D&D tabletop game, although with no dice or goblins, and more discussions of traffic patterns and zoning designations.
The interactive event was used to kick-off Vision Louisville, a planning initiative to shape the next 25 years of the city's development. The city plans to hold on to the 3D printed building models and record the ideas that were developed on the map for future use. Louisville is not the first city to get the 3D printing treatment, Chicago was rendered in 3D in 2009 as part of an exhibit by the Chicago Architectural Foundation.
Sound like a lot of fun (maybe even more than Monopoly), and if you want to get going on arranging your own city, maybe check out these sweet buildings from Shapeways' own pfeiffer stylez.
Minecraft fans, this is your chance to win $300 worth of
Shapeways 3D Printing along with a 250GB XBox 360 thanks to Curse, the #1
resource for core online gamers and official forums for Minecraft.
The Contest will run from Sept 25 - Midnight PST Oct 25 and
is open to everyone.
To Enter: Create a structure in Minecraft related to 'Mists
of Pandaria', export the model with MineWays and upload to Shapeways with the tag Curse-Contest_MoP ensuring it is Public so we
can all see your design.
Grand Prize winner will receive a $300 Shapeways gift
certificate and an XBox after being selected by Curse Minecraft Forum Content
3 runners up will be selected by those models with the most
'favorites' on Shapeways with tag Curse-Contest_MoP.
Each runner up will receive a $100 Shapeways gift
certificate so they can 3D Print their Minecraft creations. Get designing!
This is the first company that I have seen so far that offer replacement parts to be 3D Printed by their consumers. This is an incredibly smart move as it takes away the need for them to warehouse and distribute replacement parts. It also means that their fans have an opportunity to modify and customize aspects of their synthesizers.
We work hard to make our OP-1 users happy with free OS updates and added functionality. But sometimes we fail. As some have noted, the shipping cost of the OP-1 accessories is very high. This is because we can't find a good delivery service for small items. Meanwhile, we have decided to put all CAD files of the parts in our library section for you to download. The files are provided in both STEP and STL format. Just download the files and 3D print as many as you want. Next fail is the OP-1 manual update. We are almost there...we promise it will be ready sometime next week. Thank you all for your patience, we promise to work even harder in the future to make you happy.
Ikea is using 3D Renders as it is faster and cheaper than photographing an object in different settings, it also means they can prepare the catalogue artwork before the product is in production. Ikea as a brand is reliable enough that we understand the basic quality of product we will receive if we purchase from the catalogue.
Kickstarter is moving away from 3D renders so backers can better understand the quality of the product they will receive. The projects on Kickstarter are not (often) from a reliable brand, so people are taking a risk that they can actually deliver the product they promise, to an acceptable quality, in a timely manner.
Shapeways renders your 3D model as soon as you upload it so you can preview your design before you 3D Print it for yourself. We recommend that you do 3D Print and photograph any product you would like to sell so that your customers can see exactly what they will get. Like Ikea, uploading photorealistic renders is often faster and cheaper than taking photographs but like Kickstarter potential buyers of your designs are relying on these images to determine the look, feel and scale of the design as proof that your design will work. This is the reason we only promote products that have photographs, not renders to ensure that your customers have a better understanding of what they will receive.
We would love to get your thoughts, are there any scenarios where you think a render is suitable?