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.
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.
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.
I haven't been able
to find any in stores, and it seems mind-numbingly obvious that this is
what people really want on their tree. A limited time offer, this model
is available THIS YEAR ONLY. A perfect, unique gift for zombie and tech
Digitally sculpted from scratch, this is not a modification of any
Once your shop is set up for holiday sales, you're well on your way to being optimized for selling into the new year. These last few tips are going to help you set up a longer term strategy for maintaining a good shop.
By now you've hopefully been running a successful shop, your friends and family flock to it, bloggers are driving traffic, and you've got good data from google analytics to show you whats happening and how to adjust it.
The next step is advertising. A quick and easy introduction to advertising is by using Google AdWords.
You create ads and choose keywords, which are words or phrases related to your products. Your ads appear on Google and when people search on Google using one of your keywords, your ad may appear next to or above the search results. This means you're advertising to an audience that's already interested in you. Read more and get started
Why bother with advertising you ask? Shapeways designer Seth Alexander of Masterworks shares his story:
I have a different ad with different keywords for each set of dice and more general ads for related products such as DND. I'm currently running 8 ads, each with 5 or more keywords.
For my Steampunk Dice ad I use these keywords:
Steampunk, steampunk shop, steampunk gear, steampunk theme, steampunk dice, steam punk shop, steam punk gear, steam punk dice, steam punk theme
Generally, you want to avoid very general keywords such as 'dice' or 'Shapeways' since these tend to draw a high click-through rate but no sales. This means you will be paying a cost per click but getting nothing in return. The keyword 'Steampunk' is debatable because it's so general but I decided to leave it because Steampunk itself is a niche market.
AdWords has doubled my sales from approximately 25 sales/month to 50 sales/month. It costs me approximately 25% of the monthly Shapeways income at my current settings. So the net profit is a 50% gain from AdWords. I would need more time to study the statistics as this is only a 3 month analysis, but I believe it is worth it!
As you probably already know, getting linked on major news sites and blogs has the largest effect and AdWords will add visibility, so those stories are more likely to appear.
What an inspiring story, thank you Seth!
And there you have it, our top tips for your shop. Happy shaping and wishing you lots of sales!
Check out the awesome space, bring 3D prints to share, mingle with other Shapies and meet our special guest all the way from Eindhoven... Mitchell Jetten, better known as our Customer Service agent extraordinaire, and creator of awesome model trains!
3DEA Pop Up Shop
Corner of 29th and 6th ave
RSVP on Meetup.com and sign up to hear about all our upcoming meetups. Sneak peak... 2013 will bring Factory of the Future tours!
This week we take a look at the animalistic 3D prints in the Shapeways galleries.
Every Tuesday we update the Shapeways homepage with your designs based on a particular tag. This week we are featuring products with the tag animal to curate the homepage, and show some of the massive diversity of designs within a set theme. Be sure to tag your designs so that we, and others can better find your designs. It only takes a few seconds and makes your design infinitely more findable. If we can find your design via your tags, and feature them on the Shapeways homepage you will see an immediate spike in traffic, and hopefully sales too. If your design on Shapeways has some animalistic qualities, be sure to tag it animal and it just may make it's way on to the Shapeways homepage too....
A Look at the Colors We Launched Earlier This Year.
Earlier this year we launched some new colors and improved the process for our existing colors to make your 3D prints smoother, with more reliable colors. We just wanted to share some images of the current colors across variable geometry, from curved to flat surface, angular sections, emboss and engraving. You can see that the color is quite consistent across the diverse range of geometries. The only significant difference being where the text is engraved or embossed, where small details look to hold slightly more color. We have also noticed that some thin, wiry parts can look slightly darker, with more saturated color than solid, flat surface.
Now that we have these colors locked down, what color Nylon would you like to see us introduce next? Let us know with CMYK or Pantone colors?