The US Army is taking 3D printing to the front lines with 20ft shipping containers fitted with 3D printers, CNC machines and other fabrication equipment so that they can repair and improvise new parts in the field, speeding up innovation. Each Expeditionary Lab costs a hefty $2.8 million with Exponent Inc. awarded a $9.7 million three year contract worth of expeditionary lab support.
Soldiers no longer have to wait to bring ideas back to scientists and engineers back in the states. The REF has brought the experts to the soldiers in combat.
These mobile labs represent the REF's future as its director, Col. Peter Newell, wanted to figure out a way to help the Army
This weeks Designer Spotlight focuses on Janelle Dehanne Wilson, a jeweler who turned her fascination of fractals into a jewelry line, unellenu.
Tell us a little bit about yourself: Who are you? Where are you located?
Hi, I'm Janelle Dehanne Wilson, located in Sydney, Australia. Approximately two years ago I started my own online business unellenu which focuses on 3D printed designs. I am also employed as a salesperson in fine, high end jewelry.
What's the story behind your designs? What inspires you?
Designing has always been a passion and escape of mine. I am constantly visually inspired by the built and natural environment. I usually design by daydreaming and picturing things in my mind before bringing them into reality. Alternatively I create by experimenting with different digital design processes, and apply various levels of conscious intervention.
What brought you to 3D printing with Shapeways?
I found the Shapeways site through google, and was delighted to see the variety of materials on offer. I was already familiar with 3D printing in the context of wax print to precious metal casting, as it is used in the jewelry industry. 3D printing allows for unique, complex geometries to be developed. It also enables designers to digitally explore exciting permutations of their designs before physical production.
How did you learn how to design in 3D?
My 3D design skills are largely self taught. Having initially acquired some knowledge through following many different tutorials, I combine ideas using traditional and custom processes.
How do you promote your work?
My designs are available online, primarily on my Shapeways shop unellenu, and also my own website. I am interested in exploring more online and retail options very soon. I also enjoy connecting with people who are interested in art, fashion, design and technology via social media. I am active on Twitter, Facebook and have a YouTube channel as well.
Who are your favorite designers or artists? Who in the Shapeways community has served as an inspiration to you?
If you weren't limited by current technologies, what would you want to make using 3D printing?
When 3D printing becomes more affordable for larger items, I would love to create more sizeable sculptures, furniture, and significant architectural components, perhaps part of a building facade or an enormous contemporary chandelier.
Check out Janelle's intricate jewelry designs and this incredible LED fractal lampshade on her Shapeways Shop or her website.
Yes, the free, awesome and easy 3D modeling app 123D has now been extended to 123D Design, available for OSX, PC, iPad AND Web App. That's four times as fantastic with interoperability between all four and the rest of the 123D suite making it easy for you to design for 3D printing with Shapeways.
With Autodesk 123D Design, anyone can have fun designing and making things. Whether it's a new design of your own, replacing a part of something you already have, or reimagining something so that it's just right for you, with 123D Design you can create a digital model of your idea and then directly 3D print or fabricate the things you want, just the way you want them. And the way you work with 123D Design is similar to how you work in other everyday software you're familiar with, so you can avoid frustrations and enjoy the process of making things.
I have had the opportunity to play with an early edition of the software and it is easy to learn and export to 3D print with Shapeways. This is a perfect tool for someone starting to design their own products as we will be sure to cover in our Design for 3D Printing 101 series.
If you are making a movie, and you need special props and effects, you call New Zealand-based Weta Workshops. And when Weta wants to make specialty props, they use 3D printing.
The studio makes armor, costumes, vehicles, and pretty much everything else you can think of. Weta worked on the Lord of the Rings trilogy, and recently worked on the upcoming Hobbit films. They used 3D printing extensivly to build props, including swords and spears used in the film. In the above video, make sure to check out the huge robotic arm they are working on turning into a massive 3D printer.
This summer's stop motion animation film ParaNorman also made news for using 3D printers. Animation studio Laika used 3D printers to create faces used in the film, which were printed in full color on a 3D Systems ZPrinter 650. Using the technology allowed the studio to have 1.5 million unique facial expressions for the main character. For comparison, in Nightmare Before Christmas, Jack Skellington had only 800 possible expressions.
Categories & Tags. How can you help us help you get discovered in search? Categories and tags! On the model edit page, under the material picker, you can choose two categories to put your model into, and then create an infinite number of tags.
Categories are the indisputable "what" that defines a product, and they are mutually exclusive or at least have one primary purpose. Tags will still be used to share other attributes, like the occasion (e.g., holidays, gifts), suggested recipient (e.g., for him, for her, for mom), qualities (e.g., geeky, whimsical), or even potential uses (e.g., driving, photography). The wider the net you can cast, the more potential buyers you can catch!
Two great examples are jewelry and homewares. For a bracelet you would choose the categories Jewelry and Bracelets and then create tags to describe them: the color, the style and who they might appeal to.
Best Practice Examples. Kevin Wei has done a great job with the Cosma Silver Bangle using these tags: art, arabesque, architecture, facet, filigree, floral, lace, lattice, mosaic, romantic, silver, white, Valentine's day. These tags describe his design, and even suggest which occasion it might be appropriate for.
For a coffee cup, the categories For Your Home and Dining are perfect. For the Aero Cup, Kioro Design has used these tags to cover a broad range of searches: art, for your home, dining, ceramics, coffee cup, cup, espresso cup.
The more tags you use, the more likely someone looking for something like your product will find you. It is not redundant to use both the tags coffee cup and espresso cup, it just increases the chances that someone will find it in search, either on the Shapeways site or using a search engine like Google.
Do you have any other tips for getting found in search? Any questions? Feel free to share them here!
Stay tuned for next week's tip: the role of personalization and custom gifts in 3D printing.
Whether you're a designer, inventor, hacker, tinkerer, or weekend
DIYer-anyone interested in finding out more about 3D printing and design
is welcome! We suggest getting together at convenient locations such as
a hackerspace, coffee shop, community center, library, or restaurant.
Bring your laptops, tablets, smartphones to access the Internet and G+
Hangout On Air. The first 25 organizers will receive a MAKE meetup
welcome kit that includes: 12 copies of the MAKE Ultimate Guide to 3D
Printing, MAKE T-shirts, notebooks, stickers, and buttons. The top 3
organizers with the highest number of RSVPs will get a $200 stipend for
beverages and food!
As people rebuild their lives post Hurricane Sandy, the Shapeways team and community feel passionate about doing our part to help with relief efforts. 10% of your purchases on Shapeways.com today will go to the American Red Cross' Sandy relief effort. Additionally, products tagged "Sandy Relief" signify that the designer has pledged to donate all of their profits from today to relief efforts.
We want to thank each of you for participating and have highlighted some of our favorite products below.
Welcome to Design for 3D Printing 101: Intro to Design for 3D Printing.
When you are designing for 3D printing there are two main factors that you really need to take into account before you start.
What application to design with
What material you are designing for
In this first introductory session, we are going to look at choosing the right type 3D modeling software.
There are now many 3D modeling applications you can use to 3D model your designs to 3D Print, ranging from very expensive professional engineering software to free online tools to get you started. Choosing the right software is an important first step in ensuring you can realize your ideas with 3D printing.
If you want to create organic, sculptural forms and characters to 3d Print, you may want to start with freeform surface modeling software. This modeling process represents the surface of the object, not its volume. With this method you will manipulate the surface of the model to create the form with points and curves. This gives you the freedom to do flowing forms, but can sometimes make it harder to achieve tight tolerances if your design is made to integrate an external object.
If you are looking to engineer a product (or robot) for 3D Printing, you are better off using Solid Modeling Software. This process defines the volume of the object you wish to model, by creating solid geometry, which you then modify by extruding or cutting away mass. The "Design for 3D Printing 101" image above was modeled using TinkerCad, a browser based 3D modeling application with drag and drop functionality to make it very easy to get started.
You can of course experiment with each to to find what works best for you, but often the tools within the application are designed for a specific kind of geometry. There is a relatively steep learning curve when you start to learn to 3D model, but once you hold your first design in your hand, it makes those challenges a pleasure.
There are a number of free applications in each type that you may want to download and play around with to get a feel, watch tutorial on YouTube and ask questions in the Shapeways forums as there is a wealth of knowledge within the Shapeways community.
In the next Design for 3D Printing 101, we will look a little closer at some of the 3D modeling software options available to get you started 3D printing.
Iconic.am is a waterproof case that mounts your iPhone anywhere. Secure quick-release adapter, wide angle optics, wireless recording, and instant share app. That's more than 4 kinds of awesome to augment your iPhone. Iconic.am is powered in part byShapeways 3D printed mounts are a key part of what makes our product unique and enables our users to extend the product with creative mounts as you can see in their Shapeways shop.
Coral reefs are incredibly complex, one-of-a-kind creations. Unfortunately, we are also destroying them at an alarming rate. Fortunately, a joint Australian/Bahraini team is working to 3D print replacement reef units. The team is made up of Sustainable Oceans International (SOI), an Australian reef design consultancy, architect James Gardiner, and Reef Arabia, a reef construction company in the Arabian Gulf.
In 2010, James Gardiner won an award from SOI for his conceptual project that used a construction-sized 3D printer to create replacement reef units. Now, the company has partnered with Gardiner to design, print, and ship the first prototypes, two of which have been purchased by Reef Arabia. The prototypes are 1 meter tall the weight 300 kg each. In Bahrain, the first prototypes will be placed among 270 standard concrete artificial reef units, to test the effectiveness of the design.
The 3D printed reefs have several advantages over traditional concrete-poured replacement reef units, namely that they can replicate the complex internal caves and connections of a real reef, and have specific features added to appeal to certain kinds of marine species.
A firefighter in Queens NY, where there was a fire on October 29th. (AP, via Atlantic Wire)
With so many in distress in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, including several members of our team who are recovering from damaged homes, our thoughts go out to everyone affected. We were very lucky to emerge relatively unscathed, but we know there are still many without power, food, and homes.
As people throughout the Northeast rebuild their
lives, the Shapeways team and community felt passionate about doing our part to help with relief efforts.
This Thursday, we will donate 10% of our sales revenue to the American Red Cross' Sandy relief effort: $0.10 on every dollar anyone spends on Shapeways.com (excluding markup) will go to Sandy Relief.
Shop Owners, we hope you will join us in our efforts! We've heard that some of you would like to donate your markups to charity for the day (big thanks to Shapeways community member Michiel Cornelissen for starting the conversation). We invite you to join us on Thursday by pledging to donate your markups for the day to Sandy relief.
We will supercharge your efforts: by tagging your products Sandy Reliefnot only will you be pledging to donate your markups, you will secure a spot on the Shapeways homepage as we'll be featuring those products from Thursday to Sunday.
We know there is still a lot of work to be done, but we hope you will join us in doing what we can.
What is the future of creativity, manufacturing, and design? How is the
Shapeways community and 3D Printing enabling everyone to make their
"It was this real desire to make real things..." explains Peter Knocke of Brooklyn-based GothamSmith, a four friend team who are "taking the benefits of digital and applying it to the physical world for something that's new and interesting." Carl Collins and Peter share how they stumbled into designing popular 3D Printed cufflinks and jewelry.
This is the third in our series of films about 3D printing, our
creative community, and how this incredible technology is changing all
of our lives.