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
We work really hard at Shapeways to get your 3D prints to you as quickly and cheaply as possible with the best possible quality 3D printing available. Occasionally we run late on some materials due to machine malfunctions, sometimes a parcel get's lost by UPS and we even have old fashioned human error mess things up, but we will always correct our mistakes and continue to try to give you the best possible service. Anyone who has used digital manufacturing technologies knows it is not always easy, anyone who has tried to do a large run in a school, fab lab or industrial complex knows this makes it even more complex when dealing with multiple machines, file types and level of experience.
Today I spent the entire afternoon in my local
university's 3d printing lab. They have 2 different 3d printers, 1 is a
Zcorp color powder based machine, 1 dimension abs printer, a 5 axis cnc
and a cnc router, 2 50W CO2 lasers and a next 3d scanner.
After watching the staff deal with build table cleaning, print head
cleaning, part cleaning, wrong type of material in the lasers, incorrect
part fixturing in the cnc's, memory addressing errors on the 3d
scanner, incorrect file types, corrupt files, files missing textures,
non-mani files and a slew of other issues.
All on a much much smaller scale than Shapeways...the staff of Shapeways
should be commended for getting the volume of work done that they do!!!
Anyone who has a hard time understanding why your model might not be
quite perfect should go see a 3d print house and just stand around and
watch what goes on!
I have a much better understanding of the complexities involved with
this industry, going in the shop to machine my parts is a cakewalk by
I have been told I can come in anytime and print my own items, guess
what, I will still send my files to Shapeways. It is far easier to just
send my files in and get my finished items shipped right to me!
Thanks again Shapeways for making this all so easy!
Thank you BVR, we will continue to work really hard to make 3D printing easy for you, your schools, everyone...
There is also a really helpful tutorial on Instructables by Rachel that shows how to 3D model and 3D print a mold. For her molds, Rachel uses an Objet machine with their ABS like material which gives a hard, smooth and relatively heat resistant finish as she is using an exothermic reaction to cure her finished parts (meaning the material produces heat when curing). At Shapeways we use an Objet machine for our Acrylic Detail Materials but it does not have exactly the same material properties with a heat resistance down to 48C/118F so you may be better off using polished Nylon (PWSF) or Alumide which has a heat resistance of 80C/176F, 172C/342F respectively.