Every week we take a look at some of the awesome designs that Shapeways 3D prints on behalf of you, the Shapeways community. If you would like to see your design featured on the Shapeways blog (and more), be sure to share good quality photos in the 'It Arrived' section of the Shapeways forums.
In a recent interview for Dezeen, architect, industrial designer and artist, Ron Arad stated that 3D Printing is abused by designers, in much the same way as musicians used synthesizers in the past.
"Synthesisers were abused completely and so is this technology we're talking about" Ron Arad
Now while this statement may have have an element of truth, it is worth exploring the comparison in the context of Ron's position in the design world, and what this concept opens up.
First, let's compare the 3D printer and the synthesizer.
The first analogue synthesizers made it possible for one instrument to make a massive range of sounds. Professional musicians used these expensive synthesizers to emulate existing instruments in a recording studio and on stage, to broaden their palette of available sounds, whilst only needing to know how to play the keyboard, not strings, woodwind, brass, etc. At the same time some more experimental musicians started to experiment with the synthesizers to make sounds that were otherwise impossible, tweaking resonant filters and using effects to make sounds that were unique to the synthesizer.
The first 3D Printers (or rapid prototyping machines) made it possible to make a massive range of shapes. Engineers and designers used these expensive 3D printers to emulate products quickly in their studios and workshops, to test parts before manufacturing. For many years this remained the case, the 3D prints were expensive and only used to emulate other materials and processes.
We launched the Gold Plated Brass as a trial material just over a month ago, and have seen a great response and amazing designs. The trial period for this material is now over, and we're excited to announce that this material is going to permanently join our range of 3D printing materials with a few changes that ensure we can deliver a consistently high-quality offering.
After producing this material for a month, we've learned a lot about our production costs and how you’re using Gold Plated Brass. By adjusting our prices to better reflect these costs, we can keep prices fair across all sizes of models and across our material family.
As of today, Gold Plated Brass will be $30.00 startup and $22.00 per cc.
This means is that the price for very small models will increase, but all models above 2cm3 models will get cheaper.
Here is a break down of the previous vs new price per cm3:
1cm3 was $40 now $53
2cm3 was $75 now $74
3cm3 was $110 now $96
4cm3 was $145 now $118
5cm3 was $180 now $140
We’ve also learned that producing Gold Plated Brass takes slightly longer than we initially hoped. To manage expectations and ensure your items ship on time we are now shipping Gold Plated Brass in 20 days. We're working on all kinds of creative ways to bring this down in the future -- and across all materials.
We look forward to seeing more of your Gold Plated Brass designs in your Shapeways shop as well as the new mystery metal we are bout to launch next.
The viral epicenter of the digital world, Reddit, consistently surfaces some of the best products on Shapeways, and many of our favorite Shapies are also active Redditors. Rather serendipitously, The Verge just launched a new series called “Small Empires,” hosted by Alexis Ohanian, co-founder of Reddit, which focuses on New York based startups. We're humbled to be chosen as their fifth Episode and had a total blast giving their crew the full tour of HQ and our factory in Long Island City, NY.
This weeks Designer Spotlight focuses on Igor Knezevic, an award winning Architectural and Film Concept Designer based in Los Angeles, CA. He focuses on digital making processes, as well as on film concept design. He has worked in the Art Departments of movies such as "X-Men", "Oblivion", "RIPD", the new "Robocop" remake and more.
Ball joints work as snap-fit components and cannot be 3D printed together as the friction required to make the parts pose-able would result in the parts being fused together. When designing ball joints it is best to make them an 'exact fit' where the positive part (the ball) and the negative part (the socket) are the exact same circumference. You need to ensure the socket component is not entirely enclosed, more like a C shape to allow the part to expand slightly to snap it into place.
Shapeways laser sintered Nylon (WSF) is the best material for creating snap fit ball joints as the material is strong enough to withstand the stress of being snapped into place (our Acrylic might just snap). The Nylon also has a slightly granular surface that also help to make the parts to grip together. Also note that our polishing and dying process which has a smoother surface than the raw Nylon still grips together for a firm fit, you do not need to change the design to allow for change in surface finish or dimensional changes.
To see some really good examples of snap-fit ball joints designed for 3D printing, check out the ModiBot shop by Kid Mechano which has many really good examples of ball joints in action.
This weekend contest is all about MakerFaire, which is coming up in New York in a few short weeks.
At SIGGRAPH, our Community Wall was the star attraction in our booth, and it gave me such joy to showcase the work of our talented community. For MakerFaire, we want to go even bigger and better. Along with the Hall of Fame Search Contest, this weeks Weekend Contest focuses on showing off the potential of our materials.
Developed by Kit Robot in collaboration with legendary experimental electronic pop band Devo, DevoBots is an app for Apple iOS devices to design your own army of DevoBots.
DevoBots is a 2 in 1 DEVO Synthesizer featuring unreleased DEVO sounds coupled with a powerful Devo Robot Maker & Photo booth:
Kit Robot has been working in collaboration with pop icons DEVO to bring you this exclusive App featuring unreleased Sound Loops from the 1980s Devo Archives, allowing you to play and mix your own music using our unique DevoBots loop synthesizer.
Inspired by analogue synths and toy organs from the 1970s, we bring you a sound device reminiscent of DEVOs own synths utilizing their very own sound.
DevoBots is a digital robot assembly kit, like a digital Lego, paper dolls or Mr Potato Head. The user can create millions of robotic characters out of the box using our professionally created assets, mimicking the bands outfits and personas from the past 40 years.
Currently seeking backers on indiegogo, the FABtotum might just be the ultimate desktop fabricator.
More than just an FDM 3D printer, the unit also has 2D milling suitable for carving everything from wood to circuit boards, with 4 axis machining which is also amazing for a desktop unit but it also includes a 3D scanner so you can go from real world to digital.
If the team from Milan can deliver on their promise based on their initial prototype, this might be one of the most disruptive stand alone machines to hit the market.
Their indiegogo campaign is looking to raise $50,000 with over $20,000 already raised and 47 days to go it is very likely we will get to see the FABtotum realized and shipped early 2014. The early bird special of $849 for the assembled unit is already sold out but you can still pick up a kit for $999 including shipping or $1099 for an assembled unit.
Check out the full specs of this open source beast.
It was not easy to pick a winner with over 160 entrants in what was one of our quickest contests we have ever hosted on Shapeways. We are continuing to work on bringing you more high quality 3D printing material options to Shapeways with our new Mystery Metal the next in line with many more to come. We are focusing not only on bringing new materials to Shapeways, but also working hard to improve the quality and consistency of our existing options. You should see your prints evolve over the coming months.
Welcome to the 5th Community Journal, and check out what's been happening in the Shapeways community the past few weeks...
Lately, we've had a few exciting gift stories on the forum, so we collected two of our favorites to share with you. First up, we have turnip_stew, who was in China for his mother's birthday. Knowing that he couldn't be there to give her a gift himself, he designed this Geometric Elephant, inspired by her memories of Africa, and ordered it through Shapeways. Not only did it turn out to be an awesome gift, but he was still able to give her something personal and custom from far away.
Hey Shapies! Super exciting news! Tomorrow, Peter Weijmarshausen, our fearless leader, will be opening the floodgates and inviting the reddit community to "Ask Me Anything." Weijmarshausen (ShapewaysPete on Reddit) and the rest of our super sweet team will be standing by starting at Noon Eastern time today, August 20th. We'll post the reddit thread live HERE when it's go time.
Hope to see you there!
Can't make the AMA? Feel free to ask questions in the comments below and we'll get back to you.
P.S. There will be a special discount code for everyone who joins us tomorrow, don't miss out !
Tokyo police have been using 3D printing to create full color 3D models of wanted criminals to help them track down fugitives on the run, models of crime scenes and replicas of weapons to be used as evidence.
In this instance they created a 3D model of Takahashi Katsuya who has been wanted in connection to the Sarin gas attacks in the Tokyo Subway system in 1995. The 3D print of the fugitive who had evaded police for 17 years was shown on national Japanese television and was captured soon after, though not as a direct result of the footage.
Researchers at Rutgers are also testing 3D printing faces as a way to help diagnose schizophrenia. The researchers are finding thatpeople susceptible to schizophrenia are not fooled by a common optical illusion. By 3D printing a face with a concave, instead of convex face, most people will not see the face as being concave, but will see the eyes of the face following them in a creepy way. People with schizophrenia just see a creepy inside out face.
This weeks Designer Spotlight focuses on YOU. Why? Because we know our community is capable of designing the most amazing things, and we have the best materials to print them in. Everyday we are blown away by the things you create and we want to share that with the world. For MakerFaire this year, we want to showcase the best of the best. The best models, in the best materials.