3D printing can be used to make fun things, funner. Like slot cars, sure they can hug the track with terrifying speed and a power to weight ratio similar to putting a cheetah's strength into a hummingbird's body but they sometimes lack personality, say the personality of a 70's Hollywood car chase, with saggy suspension, sloppy handling and a certain clumsy swagger... Enter Chase-Cars, that uses Shapeways 3D printing to help make slot cars with that special 70's style, handling and swagger.
Modern slot cars have magnets to hold them down and powerful motors so they do enormous speeds, but that doesn't make them more fun. I've designed a chassis for a 1:32 scale slot car so 1970s American cars handle like they did in the movies, not like a racing car.
Shapeways 3D printed (Nylon) Strong & Flexible White is used for the chassis parts, everything for one complete chassis is made in one go during the SLS process then I can break them out and assemble them together with metal pins or nylon bearings where needed. The whole lot is incredibly tough, resistant to the heat of the motor and it allows me to make a complicated chassis without any production tooling costs. It also means I can improve the design as I go along with none of the implications of regular production tooling.
I've worked hard to cram all the parts I need into one compact block to keep my costs down, and Shapeways' easy website means I can upload different models and easily see the cost difference. While there's no cost benefit to ordering more than one, Shapeways allows me to group several together which minimises their work and gets me a lower cost.
This is just a hobby alongside my regular job and of course it can't compete with the major manufacturers but I've sold these kits to people in Germany, France, Finland, Norway, Italy, Portugal, the West Indies and of course America.
This weeks Designer Spotlight focuses on Daniela Bertol, an artist who finds commonality in architecture, yoga and the poetics of space, read on to find out more...
Tell us a little bit about yourself: Who are you? Where are you located?
I am an artist, author, designer and yoga teacher, working at the intersections between art science and technology. These practices, often considered divergent, find a common denominator in thinking of ourselves as a part of a system. For instance a yoga posture is about our body defining a geometric form changing in time and relating to space; human movement can also be thought of as a design solution. I have been living in New York for over two decades but I was born and grew up in Rome. Living in a city where you breathe geometry in every building and street, probably had a major influence in my work.
What's the story behind your designs? What inspires you?
My design work is at different scales and created with media often considered divergent: from land art to video, performance and wearable objects. My explorations are also based on different disciplines and forms of human knowledge: philosophy, cosmology, biology and physics as interpreted by the poetry of images. Geometry as the algorithmic generation of forms is the common denominator of all my practices. I am interested in forms either found in nature, a shell, a sunflower, a leaf, or created by the human imagination, such a Moebius strip or a Triple Periodic Minimal Surface. I work with forms which can be created by a process and evolve from simplicity to complexity through a set of rules; similar to a language, where a sentence is created by linking words together. Similarly I combine a set of points in curves, curves in surfaces and surfaces are then articulated through geometric transformations. I started communicating my explorations in a more systematic and rigorous way by writing and illustrating books: SpaceTecture and Form Geometry Structure: from Nature to Design. My latest effort in publishing is the Mathematical Sublime a series of enhanced e-books where interactive multimedia art becomes a remotely available published product with a global worldwide distribution.
How did you learn how to design in 3D?
I started working with 3D design in architecture, as my formal degree is a masters in architecture. I have been working with 3D modeling for over twenty years using several different softwares, from AutoCAD to 3dMax, often writing scripts to customize built-in functionality. More recently I have been using Bentley GenerativeComponents, a parametric associative software, where C# scripts can be used to build geometric elements as well as a sequence of transformative operations. I find GC the best design tool so far for its flexibility; the change of parameters allows me to design wearable objects of different sizes and materials specifications using the same set of operations.
What brought you to 3D printing with Shapeways?
Quality, variety of fabrication processes and materials and affordability. A few years ago I had some models fabricated with stereolithography, but the price was quite prohibitive to allow experimentation. On the other side, low end 3D printers do not offer the choices of materials and the quality is not adequate for the majority of my designs which require quite fine details.
Who are your favorite designers or artists?
Leonardo, Filippo Borromini, Marcel Duchamp, Buckminster Fuller, Philip Stark and Kraftwerk. On Shapeways, I like Bathesba's work a lot.
If you weren't limited by current technologies, what would you want to make using 3D printing?
A leap in scale! I would also focus on materials suitable for outdoor use, waterproof and UV resistant. I've worked on proposals for solar lighting but the cost of realization of prototypes is not yet affordable.
Anything else you want to share?
Creativity, in any type of expression or medium, is very important in life. For me creative expression has often represented a means of survival and healing. Being able to make physical objects out of forms which would exist only in the virtual world adds another layer to creative expression.
Earlier this year the designers of the OP-1, Teenage Engineering released the 3D files for accessories for the synthesizer when they could not find an affordable distribution channel for their international community. This was the first time we have seen a manufacturer releasing 3D printable files so that their users could 3D print their accessories, either with a desktop 3D printer or via a 3D printing service such as Shapeways. Now we see Pretty Graffiti may be the first user to carry on the momentum of adding value to the synthesizer, without Teenage Engineering investing in design time or manufacturing.
I am sure this is the very first ripple of a tidal wave of 3D printed products we will see on Shapeways that add value to an existing product with little or no investment by the original manufacturer. When manufacturers do get on board and start making 3D printed parts available we will see the same speed of innovation and product diversity as we already see happening within the Shapeways community.
Who do you think will be the first manufacturers to really take the opportunity and run with it? How can we help them to understand it is in their best interest to start releasing accessories to be 3D printed on demand?
2012 has been a massive year for 3D printing and the Shapeways community. We have seen many of your products go viral and get a lot of love from the internet. Following are the 10 most favorited 3D printed products of 2012. This does not mean they are the most sold or viewed items, simply the products that have been given the most love from the Shapeways community, either by being favorited, or added to a wishlist. What was your favorite 3D printed product of 2012? Did it make the list?
There is little more rewarding then giving a loved one something that you have made especially for them. The value of the item far exceeds the sum of it's parts, as the act of making embeds meaning into the object far beyond a mass produced item, or a unique item you may have chosen from as artist or craftsperson. Your participation in the item adds a level of depth to the story and meaning behind the gift, that simply cannot been bought. The item becomes priceless, not in a Mastercard advertisement kind of way, but the item is embedded with genuine meaning.
Designing a gift using on demand 3D printing with Shapeways may not mean you are hand forging every atom in the item, but the thought and emotion behind your design, the time spent 3D modeling (if you can), along with any post production you do increases the social value of your gift.
There are many beautiful stories in the Shapeways forums of people 3D printing gifts for loved ones. One of the most recent stories to capture our hearts at Shapeways is an age old story:
Boy meets girl
Boy falls in love with girl
Girl mentions she loves a pendant that is no longer for sale (the impossible mission is set)
Boy becomes the hero, locks his mission into his sights and decides he must design, 3D print and assemble the pendant to give to her (in 2012 the hero fabricates the Holy Grail)
Not knowing how to 3D model so well he enlists the help of a designer from the Shapeways forums (cutting the Gordian Knot with a little help from 3D superstar Kevin Wei)
Shapeways 3D prints the design in Sterling Silver and sends it to our hero's door where he then has a crash course in setting jewels as he glues 150 Swarovski Crystals into the pendant
Once complete he packages up the pendant and sends it across the ocean, nervously anticipating how she will receive the gift he has invested with so much time and energy.
Oh well, right now it's being transported...
so I don't know yet whether she likes it. But honestly, when I send it
off... it felt like I was sending a piece of myself... the amount of
work and dedication that goes into making this... really made it the
most special gift I have ever given somebody.
To help you make the most of the current discount on Stainless Steel we wanted to share some of the all time most popular products 3D printed in Stainless Steel. Of course if there is nothing that tickles your fancy you can also (quickly) design your own as long as you get your order in before the December 31st at 04:59 GMT. Enter code jv9dv at checkout where it says "Promo Code" (not "Apply Credit").
3D Printing is not always about the new, sometimes it is about repair the old, like a (very) personal favorite of mine, Repair Part for a Bugaboo.
If you are designing something new to be 3D printed in Stainless Steel, be sure to pay close attention to the design guidelines for stainless steel. A few of the most important things to keep in mind:
Your design must have a minimum thickness of 3mm.
The entire part must be bigger than 3x3x3mm and smaller than 750x381x381mm.
No interlocking or moving parts.
Be sure to follow these rules to avoid the disappointment of having your design rejected due to one of these issues as the discount will not be carried over to reprint or replacements of any rejected parts. The discount does apply to all stainless steel finishes including the Bronze and Gold finishes.
Take a look at TurtleWorks shop on Shapeways that does not contain any turtles, but does contain many more 3D printed miniatures that you can order in the material of your choice then customize by hand painting for yourself. We also have an entire gallery of 3D printed miniatures on Shapeways, if any of your models are suitable to be included in this category, be surte to assign them in your product page.
What other 3D printed replacement parts will we start to see emerging in the Shapeways gallery, especially for collectible items where replacement parts are no longer available and in the past collectors had to cannibalize other broken units to get the part they are looking for. The problem here is that there is often a faulty component such as the case with the YF-19 that always fails in the same location making it sometimes impossible to find a replacement part. 3D printing to the rescue...
Many complained that iphone cases out there are really hard to put on and take off. Horror stories; girls breaking their nails, guys getting really mad and slamming their phones, just, really crazy stuff. So I decided to put an end to this madness by inventing an extremely simple way to fit the case around your iphone 5.