Black Friday is usually the day of shopping nightmares/bargains in the USA, with congested shops full of shoppers sweating anxiety as they jostle to pick up gifts in time for the holiday season.
Why line up under harsh fluorescent lighting for a mass produced item (manufactured in an assembly line mirroring your shopping experience) when you can find or design unique gifts 3D printed on demand from the comfort of your own home? (Or computer/laptop/iPhone/iPad/Android/commodore 64/wherever!)
We have made selecting the perfect gift a little easier with our curated gift guides, but we will be sharing a little more 3D printed love leading up to the holidays that may make buying the perfect gift a little le$$ stressful. Time is limited though, so check out the last days to order, especially if you are designing something new that has not been printed before.
Stay tuned, keep an eye on the Shapeways Blog and the Shapeways social media stream of your choice for updates as we enter the gifting season...
MeshUp: Mashup for Meshes has only 55 hours left (at the time of writing) to raise an additional $4,000 for there Kickstarter project to be fully funded. MeshUp by Uformia is a stand alone product can be used to:
1) Mix meshes:
Create new objects by remixing any number of meshes and parts of meshes, or combining meshes with native MeshUp or Symvol models, without having to worry about vertices and polygons
2) Make one or two-side shells and combine it with microstructures
Make a one or two-sided shell volume, then combine it with microstructures to create lightweight yet structural object for 3D printing. This shelling feature also means that you can convert ANY mesh into a volume - even meshes that do not represent any kind of solid object (a.k.a. polygon soup).
3) Fix STL and mesh files
Repair holes and other defects with your meshes either to prep your model for 3D printing, or to make it easier to convert the mesh into a volume object. Choose between a typical flat repair or the new rounded repair from Uformia, that acts more like smooth putty or clay when fixing a model.
4) Create slices to go directly to 3D printing
Output watertight STL files, or even better take advantage of direct manufacturing by using vector or image slice data at the resolution of the 3D printer.
For $100 worth of love on Kickstarter you can get yourself a license for MeshUp and one year worth of upgrades. (only 12 left so hurry) or for $5000 you can use their modeling kernel to develop your own app (to plug into the Shapeways API and make customizable, mashable, 3D printable awesomeness.
We see many architects 3D printing their models using Shapeways 3D printing service but most of them remain behind the scenes and never make it onto the Shapeways site or blog so it is always cool to see architectural 3D prints in the Shapeways marketplace to share what architects are doing.
7. Fan Engagement: Put down the bullhorn and have a conversation
8. Data is your Friend: Statistics, Tracking and Analytics
9. Pay for Play: An introduction to the advertising world
Personalization is one of the most popular ways to make a gift special. Not coincidentally, it is one of the greatest things we can do with 3D printing! Luckily, it's easy too.
If you have a model that can be personalized, you can turn it into a co-creator. Good models that could be personalized include rings, tags, keychains, company logos, business card holders, and iPhone cases. The list is endless!
Making a model into a Co-Creator is easy. On your My Models page, under the description there is a link to make this model a Co-Creator
You will get this pop-up where you can specify what is able to be customized on your model whether it is adding text, adding an image or even changing the size. You also indicate how long it will take you to make these changes once someone has ordered your model.
Best Practice Examples.Kaetemi makes this customizable keychain that can have custom images.
This is the what the customer sees for kaetemi's model:
Another example is Ovidu Opresco's ring which is able to be customized with text and for ring size.
It's getting to be that time of year when the weather is getting colder, your clothes are getting cozier, and you're contemplating blasting holiday jingles in your office. This holiday season at Shapeways, we're 3D Printing wishes from our 2012 Holiday Gift Guide!
Marisa Tom, FabSugar: When she's not thinking, writing, and breathing fashion, this Bay Area native can be found in her (other) natural habitat: the East Village. In some circles, she's considered a taco connoisseur; by all accounts, she's a street art enthusiast; and if you want her to make a party playlist, expect Salt 'n' Pepa, Snoop Dogg, and Beyonce.
Ben Parr, CNET: Ben looks for the unique and the geeky. How often do you see somebody wearing a plant? Does anybody expect you to bust out Gangnam Style on your desk? Exactly. His choices will make your friends turn their heads and pay attention..
Jaime Derringer, Design Milk: As founder and editor of modern design blog Design Milk, Jaime has been noted as an expert on design trends, speaks on design and design blogging and contributes to a multitude of design blogs. These picks reflect her exquisite taste!
So what are you waiting for? Start browsing hundreds of gifts designed by humans, handmade by robots.
People often describe the FDM (fused deposition modeling) process used by most desktop 3D printers as 'like a hot glue gun extruding plastic'. Well, check out this video of a DIY hot glue gun 3D printer.
Who wants glue to be the next 3D printed material on Shapeways?
We're excited to announce that we're joining Openhouse in launching 3DEA,a monthlong holiday 3D printing pop up! Set to open on Thursday, November 29th, 3DEA is free and open to the public through December 27.
3DEA features an Inventor Bar, Customization Center, DIY Hub, Body Scanning, classes, lectures, and an entire section for children. At 3DEA, you can customize, invent and replicate products with the help of expert consultants. You'll also be able to order holiday gifts through Shapeways.com and learn more about our manufacturing revolution! If you can think it, you can make it here.
Hours: 3DEA will be open Tuesday-Saturday from 11am-7pm and Sunday from 11am-6pm.
Location: The Eventi Hotel, on the corner of 29th St. and 6th Ave.
We're always trying to push the limits of what is possible with 3D printing here at Shapeways, introducing new materials and encouraging innovation. However, sometimes to grow, you have to let things go.
We've noticed that you haven't been as excited about glass over the last year, and we have a great opportunity to use these glass 3D printers for research and development. This means we will soon be bringing you new materials to replace glass!
Please note that December 6th will be the last day we will be offering 3D printing glass, so you have three weeks to place your orders.
What does this mean for you?
If you're a designer who has glass models available for sale, glass will be removed as a material option starting December 6th. You can, of course, still offer them in other materials. All you have to do is ensure those materials are enabled on your product page. We recommend testing these models in new materials before making them available for sale.
If you want to buy glass products, make sure you do so before December 6th to ensure delivery by the holidays.
Lastly, given that we will be using these machines for research, let us know what materials you would most like to see next!
Shapeways now has hundreds of thousands of 3D models just waiting to be 3D printed. Sometimes it can be a little hard to find exactly what you are looking for (unless you design it for yourself). Giving your design a descriptive title will help people find your product in both Shapeways and Google search, adding your model to a category is essential to them appearing in the galleries and adding tags makes it easier for people to discover products around a very specific theme.
To help make it worth your while to head in and tag your products, we are going to feature a new tag every Tuesday, and so, Tag Tuesday is born. This week we are featuring products tagged meme.
My latest work entitled "Anatomica di Revolutis" is in honor of the developing 3rd Industrial Revolution. My art has been inspired, enabled, & defined by it. The resources & networks of the revolution are my tools, medium, & art gallery. I'm here to present my art within the context of how & why I make it, not on a shelf or wall in a gallery, but within the current landscape of the public psyche & part of a larger event.
ANATOMICA DI REVOLUTIS: Representing the project is a 3-piece sculpture entitled "Anatomica di Revolutis" (loosely intended to mean "Anatomy of the Revolution"). Each component is designed to assemble together to present a larger narrative about the developing 3rd Industrial Revolution. The fully assembled sculpture features all 3 pieces & symbolizes liberty & prosperity through an empowered participatory populace. It is designed to hang on a wall or other vertical surface.
We always like to say that we're making the impossible possible here at Shapeways and today we're tearing down walls... literally.
We're growing our NYC office, starting with expanding into the space next door. In true startup fashion, we're all actually here working while the wall is being taken down.... promise no Shapies were hurt in the process. Did I mention that we're hiring!?
Sketchup is a great choice if you're new to 3D modeling: it's free, easy to learn and there are TONS of free tutorials available. Even so, you may need to know a few things before you can get your models 3D printed.
We all know that is possible to design and make the otherwise impossible with 3D printing: to 3D print incredibly detailed items that are light as air, with thin wiry structures, multiple internal cavities and complex, interlocking moving parts with minimal clearance. Although it may be possible to 3D print such items, they do not always survive once they are removed from the 3D printer, cleaned, packed, and shipped around the world.
Recently Shapeways community member Dotsan designed an amazing Stag Wire 570mm that used the full size of our largest Nylon (WSF) 3D printer. We did manage to print two of these for Dotsan, but the model was so fine, with 1mm wires for such a large object it failed during printing and broke during post processing, so it took us multiple prints to get it to survive. We then packed it very, very carefully and shipped it to Dotsan with our fingers crossed, hoping that it was not damaged in transport.
Fortunately, the 3D prints were delivered to Dotsan intact, as he shared in his very impressive unboxing video. Unfortunately, the risks involved in printing, post processing, packaging, and shipping the item are too great and we have asked Dotsan to take the design down from sale on Shapeways to ensure his customers don't have a negative experience. This is not something we wanted to do, we struggled and debated internally about the ramifications of this, but in the end we were forced to take this action for a number of reasons, the two main issues are:
The cost of such a large, wiry model with very little mass does not match the actual cost of 3D printing, especially as the model is prone to failure at any point along the supply chain so we would have to reprint multiple times.
When a model of this size fails and we need to reprint, it will consume capacity and delay all other models in the queue, especially large ones.
We need to look at how we address the pricing structure to account for large wiry models such as this in the future. We could look at them on a case by case basis, which could slow down the production of large models, lead to rejections after acceptance if they are too fragile and add a degree of unpredictability. Or we could address the pricing structure at Shapeways to better reflect the actual the cost of 3D printing.
At the moment, we only charge for the amount of material used and not the overall size (bounding box) of an object that we 3D print. The size of an object DOES influence the actual cost of printing. If we were to bring the bounding box into the pricing equation, it would make some thin, wiry 3D prints more expensive, but it would reduce the cost of many 3D prints that are thicker, with greater density. Thin wiry models are more prone to print failure, damage during cleaning, post processing and shipping so there is additional cost (and delays) when we need to reprint a model.
We already offer a volume and density discount on Nylon (Strong & Flexible) materials. For models that have greater than 10% density (material volume divided by bounding box volume), after the first 20 cm3, the remaining volume is calculated with a 50% discount.
Perhaps we need to incorporate the bounding box into the pricing equation on all models to better match the actual cost of 3D printing and incentivize designs that are less fragile and more reliable?
We would love to know your thoughts about bounding box being added to the pricing structure and how it would it change the way you design.
We're extremely excited to be at Techonomy this week! Peter Weijmarshausen, our CEO, will be participating in a breakout session today called, "What's on YOUR Printer?" Unfortunately the session won't be live streamed but we'll be posting a full recording following the conference! In the meantime, be sure to check out the Techonomy livestream, the agenda is filled with interesting speakers and topics.