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.
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
Sometimes one good project leads to another. At the University of Virginia, a class project to construct a 3D printed plastic turbofan engine replica, sponsored by Rolls-Royce, got the students some attention and has led to the creation of a flight-worthy 3D printed drone.
The engineering students built a plastic turbofan engine using 3D printing technology and some copper tubing that could be powered with compressed air, for under $2,000. A YouTube video of the engine caught the attention of the Mitre Corporation, a defense contractor. Two of the students, Steven Easter and Jonathan Turman, went on to receive a summer internship at the company with a far more challenging goal: build an Unmanned Arial Vehicle (UAV) from 3D printed parts.
The team worked with their professor from the engine project, University of Virginia alumni David Sheffler, who has 20 years of experience in the aerospace industry. The project's mission was to create a UAV with a 6.5" wingspan, made from assembled 3D printed plastic parts.
After completing construction of the UAV, the team conducted four test flights in August and September, where the aircraft hit a cruising speed of 70 kilometers per hour. Observers from Mitre and the U.S. Amy watched the final test flight and were sufficiently impressed; the team's internship has been extended and they have been tasked with building a lighter and easier to assemble model.
Students at the University of Virginia are well situated to take on these kind of exciting projects, the school's Rapid Prototyping Lab has six uPrint 3D Printers and a Fortus 3D Production System from Stratasys.
You may have seen from yesterday's blogposts that we were honored to have Mayor Bloomberg cut the ribbon at the groundbreaking of the Shapeways Factory of the Future, with 3D Printed Scissors, of course.
We modified the design ever so slightly, introducing a slight curve in the blade to compensate for the 0.6mm gap that ensured the moving parts did not sinter together but there was still an easy shearing motion between the two blades. Then without further testing (yikes) we put the design on top of the build so that Mayor Bloomberg could take the scissors from the powder, clean them off and cut the ribbon.
Here you can see the progress with Mayor Bloomberg looking a little surprised that they worked perfectly straight out of the 3D Printer while Peter and Marleen look on relieved/joyous. It was a fantastic event and a massive thanks go out to Mayor Bloomberg and all elected official and press (including Betabeat and Gizmodo who gave the scissors some love) who attended along with the entire Shapeways team for making it happen, especially Carine and Elisa who spent HOURS in preparation....
In the U.S., we have the National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute (NAMII), opening in Youngstown, Ohio. The center is focused on additive manufacturing and 3D printing, and is the first of 15 institutes to be opened in the U.S. as part of the National Network for Manufacturing Innovation (NNMI). The program has $70 Million in federal and private funding. We covered the center previously here.
Now, on the eve of the 3D Printshow London 2012, UK-based Big Innovation Center, a spin off of Lancaster University and the Work Foundation, is recommending that the British government review and adopt policies to support the 3D printing industry.
The paper, Three Dimension Policy, outlines the way that 3D printing will impact the UK economy, as well as the challenges and policy gaps that need to be closed. The report authors note that the country must be prepared to navigate massive changes to intellectual property, regulation of dangerous printed items, liability, safety standards, new and suitable materials, and both digital and physical infrastructure.
In the report, the authors emphasize that the growth of the 3D printing industry in the UK will empower business by encouraging customization of products, reducing the need for large inventories, shrinking capital and transportation costs, and limiting environmental impacts.
There was also this nice thought for Shapeways users: "3D printing could significantly increase the market for design services, by placing increased emphasis on the value of design." The report goes on to say that we are likely to see both a globalized market for design and a rise in localized production, and that "If the customer is able to choose a product design from the internet, with the manufacturing process and materials relatively standardized, design is likely to the be the key selling point for many products."
The report cautions that the rise of a globalized design marketplace places extreme strain on the intellectual property laws, which will need to be updated to keep pace with the technology.
The full report is really fascinating, and provides some great insight into which industries are facing significant disruption as 3D printing matures. Highly recommended reading, check it out.
And since we are in a British mood, here is a sweet 3D printed replica of London's famous Tower Bridge, by the UK's own Chalk Studios.
We are very excited to share that we have improved our dying processes and quality and are launching new colors in our Strong & Flexible family!
Starting today, you will be able to order 3D prints in our dyed & polished red and purple, as well as two new colors: Royal Blue and Hot Pink. The new dyes are a potent mixture of pigment and dye which saturates both the surface and the interior of the nylon plastic. The results are vibrant and consistent, and means that the colors will last longer and appear brighter.
Most excitingly, all Colored Strong & Flexible plastics will now be polished first. By polishing and then dying, 3D prints look and feel like final products and the quality rivals what you can find in a store. We have gotten great feedback on the quality, consistency, and aesthetic and hope you like them!
This is the first of many more colors we will be introducing. We chose to add blue and pink based on your feedback and we can't wait to see what you design for these colors.
New Colors: Properties and Design Guidelines
The design rules are slightly different as the models have to withstand polishing first. The bounding box for polished colors is slightly smaller at 150x150x150mm and the minimum for unsupported wires is 0.9mm.
For more details, please see the Product Detail page here and refer to the design rules for polished products. Remember, you can still order White and Black Strong and Flexible in unpolished.
To celebrate this new addition and help you prepare your shop for the holiday season, all colored Strong & Flexible plastics will be 10% off until October 31st.
Thereafter, the prices will be:
White Strong Flexible - $1.50 startup, $1.40 per cc - no change
Black Strong Flexible - no price change
White Strong Flexible Polished - $2.00 startup, $1.50 per cc
Colored Strong Flexible - $2.25 startup, $1.50 per cc
What this means is, excluding black, everything over 2cc will now be cheaper. That's right, not only are we introducing new polished colors, we're making them cheaper too!
Your Shapeways Shop: What does this mean for you?
Shop Owners, as of today, you will have the ability to add these colors as a new material option with enough time to get some samples before the holiday season kicks off.
If you currently have colored products in your shop, these will be added automatically enabled, though we will not automatically enable blue and pink. That's up to your discretion.
If you do not have colored products in your shop, you will have the opportunity to add these material options starting today, October 17th.
So try them out! Print your models in these vibrant new colors and get ready to be amazed at the vibrancy and finish! Let us know what you think! What colors would you like to see next?
Sivam Krish is a busy man. He co-founded Genometri, an early generative design firm which we profiled in 2010, and just last week launched a Kickstarter to fund One just One, his new 3D printed jewelry brand. There are 26 days left to go, so head over and check it out.
Generative design is a design process that uses advanced algorithms to explore potential design possibilities. The results mimic what happens in nature, no two items are the same, each is unique. One just One is initially working with a small group of designers to build collections of unique designs that were each generated from a single genetic base model, with the goal of eventually building a larger global community of technology-savvy and skilled designers.
As Sivam puts it, "Generative design is inspired by natural design processes where genetic structuring of design data enables the creation of variations. No two people are alike and now, no two products need be alike."
The One just One Kickstarter campaign offers pieces of original jewelry in exchange for pledges of support, starting at $20. And if that's not enough to get you excited, One just One orders are filled by the one and only Shapeways.
We have already received some very impressive entries so the bar has been set quite high but it is always worth entering because there is always room for more awesomeness and hey, if it does not win it still might sell if you have it for sale in your Shapeways shop....
To enter the contest:
Upload a new design to Shapeways with the tag iPhone5_3D by 5pm EST Friday October 19th 2012.
Upload a description of your design specifying the use/context.
Make it awesome.
Terms and Conditions:
Free prize draw, closing date, 5pm EST Friday October 19th 2012.
Winner will receive $500 worth of 3D Printing from Shapeways.
The winner be notified in writing by October 30th, 2012.
No purchase necessary.
Multiple entries allowed.
Entry must be a new design uploaded after September 13th, 2012.
Entry must be on display to public to be eligible
All IP for all entires remain property of the designer as per standard Shapeways terms and conditions.
All entries, images, renders and 3D prints may be used by Shapeways for promotional purposes
By entering this competition, entrants will be deemed to have accepted and agreed to the conditions.
No cash or other alternative prizes available.
The prize draw is not open to Shapeways employees or their families.
The promoters decision is final and no correspondance will be entered into.
Promoter: Shapeways LLC, 419 Park Ave South, New York, NY 10016, USA
Short answer, no, 3D Printed nylon is not microwave safe.
We were testing the water fastness of our dying process, the usual office experiments of soaking it in a glass of hot water for a couple of days (looking good) and then we wanted to dry it quickly, but maybe we dried it a little too quickly.
As per the WSF material page the 3D printed nylon is dishwasher safe and heat resistant to 80c / 176f degrees, clearly the microwave was a little hotter....
Sorry for melting your Rodin Pendant Nat, I will print you another one..
The Edgewood Chemical Biological Center, located at the U.S. Military's Aberdeen Proving Ground in Maryland, is up to some mind-blowingly cool stuff. Researchers at the center are using 3D printing technology to solve some serious problems that the military faces, including replacing lost limbs, speeding the development of aircraft, and fine-tuning the design of field gear for soldiers.
The researchers are using CAD software to design objects, but are also using 3D scanning to reverse engineer items, for example protective masks for combat troops.
Lost limb replacement is probably the most fascinating (and morbid) project they are working on. The premise is that by scanning soldiers before they go to war, a 3D model exists in case any body part is lost. If the soldier loses their lower leg, a prosthetic can be quickly produced that looks exactly like the real body part.
A very interesting company in this space is Bespoke Innovations, who specialize in 3D scanning and printing of custom prosthetic limbs.
Shown above, Rapid technologies Branch Chief Rick Moore describes how the Edgewood Chemical Biological Center is using 3D printing technology.
3D printing technology is not new to the military, the most impressive example is the Army's Rapid Equipping Force. The mobile lab is contained in a 20" shipping container with gear that include a 3D printer, CNC machine, and plasma cutters. The lab deploys with two scientists who collaborate with soldiers and other engineers to develop solutions to pressing equipment problems. The labs have already been deployed overseas in combat zones, and a future lab is planned for disaster and humanitarian relief missions.
Warning: Video features bad animation and cheery, upbeat military imagery.