Check out this amazing video of a Gear Ring 3D printed in Sterling Silver by Shapeways. The design was 3D modeled in Autodesk 3D Studio Max uploaded to Shapeways to be 3D printed in Sterling Silver in multiple parts then blackened with 'liquid smoke' and assembled in place to make the mechanism work.
You cannot currently 3D print moving parts in metals such as Stainless Steel and Sterling Silver but you can make articulated mechanisms in both Acrylic and Nylon. Take a look at each of the material pages for specifications but you can usually heave moving parts in Acrylic (depending on the geometry) with a 0.4mm gap between parts and in Nylon (depending on the geometry) you can have moving parts with a 0.6mm gap. Any parts that are closer or touching will be fused together into a solid form.
When a small part for Shapeways community member Mitagaki's Panasonic Bread maker broke he looked everywhere for a replacement part. The manufacturer no longer supported the model so what was a $5 replacement part became unobtainable and the $200 appliance was rendered worthless.
Rather than throwing the entire appliance away, Mitagaki 3D modeled a copy of the broken ceramic part and then 3D printed it in ceramics with Shapeways.
We have quite a great collection of 3D printed puzzle uploads from our community, with one of the latest being the intriguing Centrifugal Puzzle Box by Maundy.
The puzzle box can store any object up to 39x39x13mm. Though it seems pretty straightforward, the method of opening the box requires some unique decoding.
Maundy has also created a special embed code with a clue on how to solve the puzzle for those who are having some difficulty. The clue can be purchased separately and requires a smart device to scan the QR code.
Or, for those who want to skip the challenge, check out the video below to see how to solve the puzzle. Warning: Spoiler alert!
How do you plan to stump the community with your next 3D printed creation?
Imagine your Easter Egg as an object floating in the Real World. Your iPhone becomes a Movable Window that allows you to see and paint all sides of your Egg from every possible point of view. STAND UP, hold up your iPhone, and spin around your Egg (seriously!) to see and paint all different sides! Done painting the front of the Egg? TURN ALL THE WAY AROUND the Egg while holding up your iPhone, and you can paint the back! Need to paint the top? Make your iPhone flat, look down at the Egg below you, and you can. Don't forget to paint the bottom! Turn your iPhone up, so you're facing the ceiling, and you can paint under the Egg! When you've finished creating your Egg, you have the option of ordering a "3D printed" figurine of your creation from inside the app! They make great keepsakes or can be hidden in Easter Egg hunts!
With Easter fast approaching on March 31st 2013 you will need to get your orders in VERY soon to ensure you get your 3D printed easter egg in time for Easter. Download the app now from the App Store and start decorating now.
Usually when we think of iPhone apps we think of applications within the iPhone but this application makes it easy for anyone without 3D modeling skills to create a customized stand in just a few mouse clicks.
What makes this app really interesting is that it uses 3D printing to make functional, not decorative items. Most of the apps so far plugging into the Shapeways 3D Printing API on the Create page are making sculptural, cosmetic products or jewelry while there is a huge potential in making 3D Printing apps that connect things to things.
If you want to 3D print a custom product but do not know how to 3D model the iOS Stand Creator App is a great way to get started, if you are a designer and/or developer interested in getting into the 3D printing app market this is a great example of how to make a customizable, functional product. Take a look at some of the stands made so far that are now ready to 3D print.
This weeks Designer Spotlight focues on Wayne Losey, who is striving to get us to play again, by making modular, interactive toys.
Tell us a little bit about yourself: Who are you? Where are you located?
I make playthings! My background is in toy and character design, visual storytelling, and play systems. I've worked on action figures for 20 years. I'm based in Providence, Rhode Island and am a member of the vibrant local maker, startup and entrepreneur communities. Providence is a great place to bring unconventional ideas to life.
“Tech and the City” is the first book telling the story of how and why this is happening: from the birth of Silicon Alley in the ‘90s to today’s level of activity and important milestones, such as the building of the Cornell NYC Tech campus. Based on over 50 interviews with entrepreneurs, angel investors, venture capitalists, university professors, members of the Bloomberg administration and other stakeholders, this book’s objective is to inform and inspire the current generation of entrepreneurs.
Just released on Kindle for less then the price of a decent coffee in NYC and soon to be released on Paperback the book is perfect for anyone who is interested in tech or curious as to why New York City is fast becoming a central hub, attracting entrepreneurs, software engineers and investors.
Drink one less coffee and download the book, or it is free if you are already an Amazon Prime member.
The Desktop Factory Competition launched in June 2012 challenged makers to design a cheap, open source method to turn plastic pellets (which sell for $10 kg) into filament suitable for a desktop 3D printer (that currently sells for $50 per kg). 83 Year old inventor Hugh Lyman developed the Lyman Filament Extruder II which for under $250 in parts can take standard plastic ABS pellets and squeeze them into filament.
The fact that this device is released as open source hardware means that others can modify and improve the mechanism to lower the cost and increase the efficiency, just as we have seen with the open source desktop 3D printers based on the RepRap.
Not only will this result in a massive reduction in the cost of raw 3D printing media, but it is also a very small step away from being able to grind and reuse failed 3D prints to feed into fresh new filament, or perhaps adding conductive media into the hopper to create filament suitable for making basic elctronic circuitry, or any type of tweak to customize the base material.
The speed of innovation in the open source 3D printing world is making many of the large industrial 3D printer manufacturers appear to be moving in slow motion. We are not seeing the same rate of innovation in machines nor materials and we at Shapeways would LOVE to have new materials to share, or have a way to drop the material cost by a factor of five or ten as we see made possible by innovations like the The Lyman Filament Extruder.
Congratulations to Hugh Lyman who scored a giant $40,000 cheque for his invention and the respect of thousands of makers around the world.
Anyone who owns a desktop 3D printer knows that sometimes you need to replace some of the components to optimize performance. In many cases you can simply 3D print a replacement part with your 3D printer which is an incredibly rewarding process of self sufficiency but when it is a critical component that stops the 3D printer from functioning properly it can quickly become frustrating dead end.
Shapeways community member Schlem discovered the extruder gears that came with his Printbot Kit were warped and his 3D printer was not functioning properly. Of course a non functioning 3D printer can not 3D print repair parts so he used Shapeways to 3D print his replacement parts in laser sintered Nylon. By using Shapeways to 3D print the parts for his 3D printer he now has a more durable, higher resolution part that will make his desktop 3D printer more accurate and reliable.
He also made it possible to make the 3D printer even more awesome by designing the Skulltruder, adding a little gothic bling to what is essentially an engineering project.
If you have any 3D parts to share on Shapeways, be sure to tag them '3D Printer' and the type of 3D printer they are for so others can easily find them and repair their 3D printer too.
For the past few months we have been using Instagram to share images of the Shapeways team as we build out our factory in New York, play with new 3D printing processes, show off your designs at events around the world and give a glimpse behind the scenes at Shapeways.
If you are already using Instagram follow us @shapeways for a visual feed of our 3D printed world. When you post images of your 3D prints on Instagram be sure to mention us @shapeways or hashtag #shapeways so we can see your 3D prints in the wild. It is always inspiring for us to see your designs in context, especially if you are experimenting with any post processing of your 3D prints.
3D printing pioneer Joshua Harker gives a presentation at TEDx Bringhampton University of how his career moved from artist to sculptor to engineer and back to artist again via 3D modeling to 3D print. Joshua's Crania Anatomica Filigre has become one of the most recognizable '3D printed products' thanks to his hugely successful Kickstarter campaign that relaunched his career as an artist.
The fully articulated gown based on the Fibonacci sequence was designed by Michael Schmidt and 3D modeled by architect Francis Bitonti to be 3D printed in Nylon by Shapeways. The gown was assembled from 17 pieces, dyed black, lacquered and adorned with over 13,000 Swarovski crystals to create a sensual flowing form.