This week's Designer Spotlight focuses on Mark Bloomfield of ElectroBloom. His customizable jewelry designs let you be part of the creative process, by adding charms to a bracelet or choosing your own colors.
Tell us a little bit about yourself: Who are you? Where are you located?
Hi, I'm Mark Bloomfield and I'm a designer living in London. I've always been obsessed with making things and there was a time when I used to make stuff by hand! It would always be small sized objects so jewelry became my area of choice, although I have designed and made all sorts of things.
What's the story behind your designs? What inspires you?
I've designed and made jewelry for many companies over the last 20 years. In 2011, I decided it was time to design my own collection that would be made using 3D Printing. I'm inspired by many things and love figuring out how they work, particularly natural forms. It was the sheer diversity in the natural world that led me to devise a customizable system and allows customers to build their own jewelry items and participate in the creative process.
What brought you to 3D printing with Shapeways?
I was researching rapid prototyping machines, and I came across Shapeways as an alternative to buying our own kit. We used different service bureaux before buying our own 3D printer. When I finished working with that company I wasted no time setting up a Shapeways account!
How did you learn how to design in 3D?
I have always loved making things and I also got into home computing early on so 3D modeling was like a natural next step. Although 3D modeling in the early 80's was very basic it's been very rewarding growing with the software, I've used many different types of 3D software over the years but decided in 1999 to focus on Blender which is just brilliant and free!
How do you promote your work?
I keep getting sales through my Shapeways shop, which is great as I don't do that much promotion. I am now gearing up for a sales drive and I'm talking to traditional retailers and magazines. It's best to be active in as many channels as possible, both on and off line in order to get as many potential customers interested in your products.
Who are your favourite designers or artists?
I'm a big fan of the historical classics like Lalique, Faberge, Cartier, Van Cleef and Arpels, Leonardo da Vinci and Karl Blossfeldt.
Who in the Shapeways community has served as an inspiration to you?
It's very inspirational to see so many individual designers realising their ideas with Shapeways. The brilliant thing about the community is that there are always new ideas happening daily, something that just doesn't happen with traditional forms of manufacture. Dario Scapitta is really good at putting together a collection and he's produced some stunning designs that all work well together, his Black Rose collection is my favorite. I love what Museum of Small Things are doing, they are like little treasures you can wear. Probably one of the first designers I discovered on Shapeways was Up To Much and I still really like his combination of engineering and jewelry. Colors of Birch are doing some really interesting accessories and jewelry, and I love their branding! And Colleen Jordan's planters are just brilliant, everyone should have one!
If you weren't limited by current technologies, what would you want to make using 3D printing?
Most of my work is based on natural systems and it would be wonderful to be able to print the designs using a true multi-material printer. Just imagine different material properties and characteristics in a single build! It could mean that the designs could move or change shape allowing them to open or close based on heat or even change colour or light up when it went dark, one day, perhaps soon!
As we brace ourselves in New York City for Sandy/Frankenstorm to hit tonight we will be wrapping our 3D printers in aluminum foil and locking our robots in a small windowless room on high ground. This does mean that our printers and distribution center in NYC will be closed down on Monday October 28th so there may be a minor delay in some packages in the US and Canada. We will still be printing and shipping from Eindhoven so there should be no delays in printing or distribution for the rest of the world, and our customer service team will still be able to answer all of your questions.
We are really, really close to signing up our 200,000th Shapeways community member and we know that word of mouth/social networks are the way most people find out about Shapeways 3D Printing in the first place.
We would love for you to help us spread the word so we can connect with our 200,000th Shapeways community member and as an incentive, we will contact the 200,000th member, ask them how they found out about Shapeways, and if you recommended them we will share the 3D printed love right back to you by delivering some special 3D printing to your door.
So this weekend, spread the word far and wide, recommend a friend to Shapeways and we will share the love right back to you.
PS. if the 200,000th person randomly found us, we will contact the 200,001st etc. until we find a social sign up.
Every Product Page on Shapeways has a Favorite button to the right so that you can let designers know just how awesome they are. The Wishlist Button helps you to keep track of the 3D Printed goodness you want to have and hold. Clicking either button will send love to the Feed, so everyone can see what 3D Printed products are popular at any one point in time. Let's take a look at the 10 most popular 3D printed designs for the past week in order of popularity from number 10 up to number 1.
Mobile printing at its most accessible...on the street corner between the hot dog guy & the mime. Unfold Design Studio (also known for their 3d printed ceramics) follows up their orignal Kiosk project with a new & improved verison...Kiosk 2.0. They state "Kiosk is a project that explores a near future scenario in which digital fabricators are so ubiquitous, that we see them on street corners, just like fast food today sold in NY style mobile food stalls." The mobile printing station features a Bits to Bytes FDM printer, multiple filament spools, & an onboard scanner all mounted to a sweet ride with an umbrella.
They ask "How does this scenario challenge our perception of authorship, originality, design, what the role of the designer when goods are moved around in the form of digital blueprints and appropriated in ways beyond our control?" These are good questions to be asking as we move forward at the quickening pace of the 3d printed future.
There's one thing that a Shapeways shop owner loves (almost) as much as sales, and that is data. A few weeks ago we introduced an improved 'My Sales' page. Today, we're improving the Sales Overview Download (XLS) and it is full of data. The Sales Overview Download (XLS) is going to allow you to see exactly what models you're selling in which material, when it has shipped, and which country it was shipped to. With this data you will be able to create your own shop analytics which can help you improve the performance of your shop.
We will of course be improving the tools on your Shapeways Shop page to make it much easier for you to have insight into what is selling in your shop so you can optimize for sales.
Launched by Mayor Bloomberg at the Shapeways Factory of the Future, Next Top Makers is New York City's is challenge makers, designers, and engineers to create product prototypes.
New York's Next Top Makers is a challenge to prototype new designs
that have commercial potential. The goal of the challenge is to support
design-driven production, and promote a culture of innovation and
commercialization within New York City's industrial business, design and
Starting in mid November, makers, designers, engineers and others
will be invited to enter prototypes in the challenge. It is anticipated
that New York's Next Top Makers will be open for submissions until
mid February 2013.
Finalists will be selected by an expert judging panel, and will
receive assistance on the path to commercialization during the studio
phase. Assistance will include studio space from sponsor NYDesigns,
business support, and mentorship from industry experts such as Adafruit
Industries, Honeybee Robotics and Shapeways. It is anticipated that the
studio phase will run from April to August. Judges will award an
additional cash prize to the most promising winner following the studio
LATTICE LAB is a two-day workshop run by our friends at modeLab on the topic of
Topological/Subdivision Modeling with Paneling Tools and Weaverbird with 3D Printing in mind.
fast-paced and hands-on learning environment, we will cover Fundamental
Concepts related to Working with Mesh Geometry, High-Order Topological
Smoothing, and Grid-Based Modeling. Drawing inspiration from the
patterns found in 3-Dimensional Lattice Structures, we will create
geometrical units capable of responding to a range of dynamic contexts.
Additionally, we will explore the limits and opportunities of 3D
Printing while testing the visual and structural effects of our