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.
We were happy to have Joshua Harker visit us at the Shapeways HQ in New York City to finally meet after 3D printing SO MANY of his skulls. We took the opportunity to record our part of our conversation about how he used Shapeways 3d printing and Kickstarter to take his career into a new direction, how on demand 3D printing makes it possible for artists and designers to realize their ideas, and how platforms like Shapeways and Kickstarter make it possible to reach a massive audience with no financial investment or risk. In short, 3D printing and the 3rd industrial revolution as celebrated by his latest Kickstarter project, Anatomica di Revolutis.
The full interview runs for around 15 minutes and covers much of Joshua's amazing success over the past 12 months, check it out.
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....
We do not always know exactly what everyone is 3D printing with Shapeways, Every now and then we see some odd forms coming out of the 3D printers and we speculate what they might be. A sliding bracket to connect a camera to a dog, a rolling half mount to amplify bird calls, or a weirdly flapping crawler to take flight over Japan? Check out the videos of the ornithopter that was modeled in Autodesk 123D and 3D printed with Shapeways as it is first tested, then launched into outdoor flight. If anyone understands Japanese and would like to translate the site, please feel free to share more information on the project.
As 2012 comes to a close it is time to look forward to 2013 and what exciting new things we can do at Shapeways. One thing we really love is to experiment with 3D printing new materials and post processing. What would YOU like to see us introduce next year?
Should we look at new colors or new finishes, new metals or new ceramics, different plastics or something completely new like 3D printing wax? We have a few ideas and have been experimenting behind the scenes but would love to know what you would like to see next and why. We will read EVERY comment and investigate what is possible. So, what is it going to be???
Let Us Know What Models You Would Like to See in Friday Finds Using @Mentions
Usually for Friday Finds we trawl the Shapeways site, check the It Arrived and Feature This threads in the Shapeways forums, search Flickr, YouTube and even Pinterest. This week we are asking you to use our new @mentions feature to let us know which 3D printed products YOU think should be featured in this weeks Friday Finds.
To suggest a product, simply mention @ElisaRichardson and tell her why we should feature the product on Friday Finds.
Take a look at this really interesting video of an experiment to seal Shapeways 3D printed Nylon with super glue and acetone.
Shapeways community member and Twisty Puzzles Forum member Brandon Enright has shared a really interesting video on YouTube of his experiment to seal a Shapeways Nylon (WSF) 3D print with a mixture of Cyanoacrylate (Super Glue) diluted with Acetone. His experiments show that the mixture quickly penetrates and seals the surface of the nylon giving a glossy texture that is considerably more resistant to getting dirty when tested with tiny particles of copper powder. When compared to unfinished nylon parts there was a massive difference. This is a well documented experiment that is showing some very promising results and we are really looking forward to seeing more results. We also know that people are using floor polish to get a similar effect but you may need to be careful the formulation you use does not yellow over time.
What post processing experiments have you tried on your Shapeways 3D prints? We would love to see more videos of your results.
This week we feature 3D printed products tagged with 'miniature' in the Shapeways gallery.
Every Tuesday we refresh the homepage with products from the Shapeways gallery tagged with a certain theme. We are encouraging you to tag your products to make it easier to find your designs and to help us curate relevant content on the Shapeways site, blog and social media. This week we are (belatedly) featuring items tagged with 'miniature'. If your design is a miniature be sure to tag it and we will continue to add more products to the homepage over the next few hours. If you have an idea for next weeks Tag Tuesday, let us know in the comment section of the blog.
As all parents can tell you, spoon feeding a baby is a messy business. Now, the inventors of Spuni are hoping to make it a bit tidier and avoid waste with their ergonomic baby spoon design.
"We observed that most baby spoons were simply miniaturized versions of adult spoons with little regard for the ergonomic needs of an infant. Close observation of feeding habits and waste helped us develop a product that was truly unique in its geometry. Spuni's patented 'tulip' profile triggers the infant to suck food off the spoon, the redesigned shape and depth minimizes regurgitation and waste."
3D Printed prototypes of the Spuni
3D Printing helped to quickly iterate and test the design with real babies, and now the inventors are launching the final product on Indiegogo for the first manufacturing run.
Best of all, their video gives some nice insight into the design process and has no shortage of cuteness