Author Archives: Lauren Slowik

Packing Light with Multifunction Gadgets

Summer vacation time is upon us and I bet you’re trying to narrow down what to bring with you on that much needed getaway. What a luxurious problem to have! Luckily we’ve found some space minimizing products for you to bring along so you can fit that 4th summer beach read book in your suitcase.

Ultimate Minimalistic Case with bottle opener

Ultimate Minimalistic Case with bottle opener
by Mstyle183
Comfortably holds foreign money, opens drinks and protects you phone and camera all in one.

Belt Clip with Bottle Opener

Belt Clip with Bottle Opener
by MichaelMueller
Having a new routine while traveling means having tools to keep from losing your stuff are super useful. Give this multifunction belt clip a whirl and stay organized while on the go.

Rucksack 'D' Clip

Rucksack ‘D’ Clip
by Lucyrplant
This rucksack D ring is the perfect space saver for strapping that last over sized souvenir to your already-over-stuffed pack.

Foosball iPhone 5 Case

Foosball Iphone 5 Case
by athomitron
A great to to keep track of your phone while having a pickup game with your seat mate in car or train.

We’ve got more ways to multitask and pack light:

Click For More Double Duty Travel Goods

National Week of Making and Shapeways

The maker movement is no secret anymore and that’s a good thing. People the world over are recognizing the power of applying creative thinking to solve their unique challenges. Digital manufacturing tools like 3D printers only expand on the endless possibilities.

That’s why it’s exciting to be part of the 3rd annual National Week of Making (June 17-23). In his declaration President Obama states that “During National Week of Making, we recommit to sparking the creative confidence of all Americans and to giving them the skills, mentors, and resources they need to harness their passion and tackle some of our planet’s greatest challenges.” Our CEO Peter Weijmarshausen is at the White House for the Maker-to-Manufacturer Stakeholder event today to discuss the needs of makers looking to turn their ideas into full-time commitments. We’ll be sure to share notes from the event with our community once it concludes.

In direct response to the White House call to action for National Week of Making that encourages organizations to empower a nation of inventors and entrepreneurs by providing access to technology, Shapeways EDU and the The New York Public Library’s TechConnect Program announced a partnership to introduce creative minded patrons of the New York Public Library to the entrepreneurial side of 3D modeling and printing technology through a free, open-source curriculum. Among the many goals is to educate the public so they can further engage in the current digital era and become entrepreneurs of their own 3D creations. The collaboration will kick off in the fall with a pilot program offering multiple courses over a ten-week period.

Shapeways is also proud to have sponsored the Department of Education Career and Technical Education Makerspace Makeover Challenge contest. All participants of the contest, some 300 schools from all 50 states, participated in the bootcamp to learn the skills needed to have successful careers in the 21st century. The trophy was designed by Shapeways community member Ashley Zelinskie. In addition to the trophies we are also giving a 3D printing scholarship to one of the ten winning schools that has shown a commitment to 3D printing in education.

You can check out other projects and add to the celebration on social media with the tags #NationOfMakers and #WeekofMaking.

 

Shapeways and New York Public Library to Launch Open Source 3D Printing Curriculum

We are announcing an exciting partnership with the New York Public Library TechConnect program to develop an open source curriculum for libraries and other public institutions to teach 3D modeling, printing and digital entrepreneurship skills. Below is our press release about the course. We will be keeping you updated on the progress as we make the program available:

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In response to the White House call to action for National Week of Making (June 17-23), encouraging organizations to empower a nation of inventors and entrepreneurs by providing access to technology, Shapeways EDU and the The New York Public Library’s TechConnect Program today announced a partnership to introduce creative minded patrons of the New York Public Library to the entrepreneurial side of 3D modeling and printing technology through a free, open source curriculum. Among the many goals is to educate the public so they can further engage in the current digital era and become entrepreneurs of their own 3D creations. The collaboration will kick off in the fall with a pilot program offering multiple courses over a ten-week period. Continue reading

Spin It to Win It! Contest

As you know we’re big fans of Gravity Sketch, the new app putting the power of 3D design at your fingertips. It’s so fun and easy in fact that today we’re celebrating it by launching a contest to win some Shapeways printing credit! Simply use the Gravity Sketch app to design and upload your original model of a spinning top to Shapeways by June 23, 2016. For the first round the top eight top designs will be 3D printed. For the second round the top three top designs will win the prizes. Details about the contest and prizes can be found here.

top

Our panel of judges, Shapeways community manager Andrew, Seyi from Gravity Sketch and top specialist Designs by Dalton, will be looking for:

  • Originality and creativity
  • Perceived physics
  • Design aesthetics
  • Best use of the Gravity Sketch app

Download the Gravity Sketch app today, upload your models to Shapeways and tag the model with ‘GravitySketchTop2016‘ to enter the contest by June 23, 2016. We can’t wait to see what spins out of your brains!

3D Print Your Custom Awards

Posted by in 3D Modeling

Unusual materials and unique designs are the hallmark of designing and printing with Shapeways. Recently there have been more and more examples of clubs, groups and contests using 3D prints as trophies. Paired with the CustomMaker options these 3D statues open up a whole new world for giving tokens of recognition. See below for a collection of unique ways to make a lasting 3D memory.

This year Eyebeam Art and Technology Center 3D designed and printed their 2016 awards with White Strong and Flexible Nylon for a truly unique commemoration.

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These simple awards for the Urban Assembly Maker Academy were made with Tinkercad shapes and then customized on Shapeways with a CustomMaker script using the school logo.

There are also great products that can be customized to be a nice token of participation or a contest without designing from scratch, like designer Michael Mueller’s What A Day Pendant.

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And of course with 3D scanning all kinds of customization is possible, like this baseball trophy designed to hold a real baseball from a 3D scan of a pitcher’s hand.

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Teach 3D Design On Skillshare, Earn $100

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Shapeways and Skillshare challenge you to create the 3D printing class you wish you could have taken when developing your design skills. From top tips for using CAD, to how to design 3D printed jewelry, to the best 2D to 3D design tools, we want you to share your 3D printing expertise with a global community of students two million strong. Go to Skillshare for more information and to sign up your class for “More Than Plastic: Teach 3D Printing and Design on Skillshare”.

As a teacher on Skillshare, you’ll build your brand and reputation as a designer while earning money for every student who enrolls in your online class. No prior teaching experience or special equipment is needed. To make a class, all you need is your passion and computer and Skillshare will give you the support and resources you need to create your curriculum.

Now is the time to jump in. If you complete and publish a class in June, you’ll be eligible for a $100 cash bonus.  And if your class is truly extraordinary,  it could also get featured here on Shapeways.

Designer For Hire: Resource Review of “The Freelancer’s Bible”

We expanded our Designer For Hire program so that great 3D design talent could connect with client demand. But designing “for hire” can come with different rules and challenges than designing in-house or as part of an agency. For designers looking to dip a toe or jump all the way into working as a freelancer, this is the resource for you.

Divided into five distinct sections, between which author Sara Horowitz says you will move nonlinearly as that is the way of the freelance life, The Freelancer’s Bible offers readers a well-considered, thorough guide through the challenges of driving your own career and being your own boss. As Sara writes, “Freelancing’s inherent flexibility may offer unprecedented freedom to live life on your own terms[.] With research and planning, you may find an exciting new life is within reach.”

freelancer

The book begins with advice for finding your strengths and listing your goals for pursuing freelance work. From there the book dives deep into the five major categories: Getting Started, Getting Work, Growing Your Business, Managing Your Business, and Your Business and Your Community.

One of the most thoughtful chapters is devoted to the topic of finding, and keeping, clients. The chapter begins with outlining six fundamentals of influence and persuasion. Social psychologist Robert Cialdini has recognized that we all use them and once you know to look for them you will see them everywhere.

  • Reciprocity: Sharing information and connections will grow your network and more importantly, as Sara writes, will “build your love bank account.” An example of reciprocity is talking up and referring others in your industry; they will likely reciprocate.

  • Consistency: Showing a sustained interest in certain elements of your work will always build towards trust as well as naturally grow your network.

  • Social Validation: This can be shown in the form of testimonials from previous clients, references and even your social media presence. These all can suggest that you are worth choosing because others have chosen you.

  • Liking: When you meet new clients look for a common connection but be genuine. Ask them questions. This usually leads to finding something in common and builds trust.

  • Authority: Be proud of your qualifications which you can showcase in your resume, your website or portfolio, your Designer For Hire profile, your memberships and your client list.

  • Scarcity: Limited editions, small class sizes, busy schedules–scarcity is used in all of these scenarios to drive action and it works for driving people to book you too.

In addition to the crazy amount of tips Sara and co-author Toni Sciarra-Poynter provide, they also include a healthy list of additional resources, such as:

I highly recommend this book for anyone, even industry veterans, pursuing the freelance life.

3D Modeling At Your Fingertips with Gravity Sketch

Drag. Pan. Scale. Rotate. Orbit. Pan. All these terms to match all these different key and mouse movements! 3D software can be a challenge to pick up quickly. Luckily our friends at Gravity Sketch have created an incredible app to make 3D design almost as intuitive as finger painting.

They have even gone one step further and created this awesome playlist of short tutorial videos to get you rolling with their innovative 3D modeling iOS app. (Android users don’t fret, they’ve got an app for you in their pipeline.)

Designer For Hire: 8 Questions Your Client Doesn’t Know to Ask You

When you embark on a design project with a client, often the client is new to the process of hiring a designer in addition to being new to 3D printing. Below we’ve collected some questions that the client will have but perhaps won’t know or think to ask until it’s too late. If you are able to address these questions from the start of your collaboration both you and your client will be more likely to have a great experience.

1. What material can I print this design in?

Clients may only think of plastic when they think of 3D printing. Being aware of all their material options might change the direction of the project.

2. What size/scale is possible?

For some projects this will be self evident, i.e. a ring. For many clients you will need to break down their options based on what they want to do. The answer to the previous question is important too as each material has its own design guidelines and requirements for successful printing.

3. Does this project necessitate being 3D printed or is it something I can do myself?

Sometimes a design doesn’t need to be 3D printed! It’s okay to let them know about their other options. Or if they can use a 2D to 3D app or something in the custom maker library to make it themselves, it is reasonable to suggest they check that out first. This is up to your discretion as a trained designer.

4. Does your price include prototypes and the final printing?

Many times the design process will be very new to your client and they may assume printing costs are included in your fees. You should break down your fee structure and what is and is not included in it. Please see our previous post on this very topic. Remember this is your chance to give them a great experience and create return customers; being clear up front sets the stage for that.

5. I don’t just want the print, I want the digital design file. Does your fee include handing that over?

This is a subject best addressed in your contract, which should cover who owns the IP connected to the file that is created, as well as who gets to keep the file after the work is done.  If the client gets the rights and the file, it is reasonable to charge an additional fee for that.

6. How frequently can I contact you/how often will I get updates from you?

Be clear about how you’ll be contact with them over the course of the project, whether you’ll have regular check-ins and on what platform. Phone, Google hangout, Skype, email, and in-person meetings all work; choose whatever works best for you and the project. Also, spell out the number of design iterations or rounds of edits included in your fees to set expectations appropriately.

7. Are you comfortable with the timeline that I have presented?

This question goes both ways. Do they understand how long it will take you to deliver? Have they considered that they will also need time to provide feedback or deliverables to you? Be honest about timelines from the start and always build some padding into the final schedule.

8. If I need updates or changes to this design in the future is that something you can help me with?

Be clear about whether or not you’ll be available to work with them in the future. It is okay to say that once the work is completed, a new contract will need to be in place before design updates can occur.

Have other questions you wished your client knew to ask upfront? Please share them in the comments for an open discussion about how to set proper expectations for your work with clients. Happy designing!

fast cheap good

 

Designer For Hire: Tips for Setting Your Rates

One of the best advantages of taking on freelance 3D design work is being able to do the work you love on your own terms. If you are just entering the world of Designer For Hire then you are probably new to figuring out what those terms are. Luckily there are numerous resources for for figuring out how to set your rates as a designer. We haven’t included numbers in this post because determining your fees, rates or pay structure is an individual endeavor. It pays to do you research and to talk with others in your industry, and fortunately we’ve a great community of them here on our forums!

Tips

–It’s your job to communicate your value and educate your customer.
In addition to doing “the work” once the brief is agreed upon and the contract is signed, a big part of your job as a designer for hire is to educate your client on their options, processes, costs and most importantly, the value of what you do. The client is hiring you because they are not a designer and they may not always understand how the design process works.

–Create a formula for determining your basic hourly rate.
What you charge will depend on the demand for your 3D modeling and printing skills, your level of experience with the type of product and materials, and will vary from client to client. To begin charging prices that you are confident in, it’s worth doing a quick calculation of how much you’d ideally like to make. The equation, which is adapted from Freelancers Union’s excellent resource on the topic, is this:

(annual salary + annual profit) ÷ annual billable work hours = your basic hourly rate

Annual salary should what you would pay yourself if you were your boss. Annual profit is what you would like to make in compensation on top of being paid for time working. Billable hours should be determined by how much you will actually be working, so factor in weekends and having full-time job if that’s your scenario. This will give you a starting number with which you can work.

–Decide if you want to charge by hourly rate, daily rate or by project/package rate.
With their calculator, Freelancers Union has a rather simple comparison list for each of these rates along with this advice: “After you figure out your basic hourly rate, it’s time to figure out how you’re going to present this fee to clients in a contract. (Yes, contract! All freelancers need contracts. Please work with a contract.)” Once you have used the equation to price your time, skill and you can choose to provide a quote in the form of an hourly, day, or per project rate. The summary is that an hourly rate is good for simplicity and a job scope that may change. A day rate is good for taking on a small project that wouldn’t be cost-effective otherwise. A per-project or package rate is helpful if you want to publicly post your prices and lets the client feel in control of the costs.

–Get a budget from client but also do market research.
It seems obvious but knowing what percentage of their budget they’ve allocated for design will help you set your price. If they are new to hiring a 3D designer they may not have an idea of what they should budget.

TL;DR? Communicate your value, determine your basic day rate, evaluate each job with your criteria, use a contract. We’ll have more tips on successful designing for hire along the way but here’s hoping this will get you started confidently pricing your skilled work. Happy designing!

Become a Designer For Hire

Exciting news in the custom design world of Shapeways! I’m happy to tell you that today Shapeways has launched an updated and expanded version of the Designer For Hire program. This program connects people with product ideas but who have little 3D modeling knowledge with skilled 3D designers to help bring those ideas to life. Since launching this program about two years ago, the number of requests coming in daily has outstripped the availability of the designers currently in the program. A more robust platform was needed for these talented designers to display their skills and services. That new platform is now live and all qualified designers are invited to sign up for the program.

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How does a designer qualify? Community members who have an open shop, have first and last name visible in their profile and who have successfully shipped three different models or model versions will be able to post their services for hire. These checks have been put in place to ensure familiarity with the Shapeways system. Having a shop makes it easy for the final design to be printed and shipped to the client without the designer having to manage those details.

  • To join the program and start designing you can check your profile settings here.
  • If you’re someone looking to hire a designer you can do that here.
  • For help from the community go to our forums here.
  • As a starting point, read this article from our blog archive about how to successfully collaborate on design: The Three C’s of Designing.

 
An important program like this needs a dedicated manager and that’s me! I’m Lauren, Design Evangelist here at Shapeways, and I’m thrilled to officially be the point of contact for questions, feedback and support of the program. Before working at Shapeways I was with Apple and Etsy.com helping their creative communities. I also teach in the Design + Technology MFA program at Parsons School of Deign here in NYC. I have spent the past three years at Shapeways teaching 3D modeling and coding so that new users can bring their ideas to life.

Me at the Shapeways factory with Levar Burton during a shoot for Reading Rainbow!

Me with Levar Burton when Reading Rainbow visited the Shapeways factory!

Shapeways on Capitol Hill: 3D/DC 2016

It’s easy to think that great technology advances are inevitable, that they will flourish and provide the best possible world for the people making them. But in reality paradigm shifts like 3D printing are aided by a host of people working to make a future they think will be an improvement. This week Shapeways got to participate in discussions with hard working people who see the potential for 3D printing to improve our lives in miraculous ways. In a series of 5 panels, 3D/DC took place on Capitol Hill in Washington D.C. By providing a platform for discussion in front of Congressional policy makers, myself and the other participating in the panels got to have a voice in the discussion about where 3D printing will go next.

Led by Public Knowledge, a group that promotes freedom of expression, an open Internet, and access to affordable communications tools and creative works, hosted the fifth 3D/DC at the Rayburn House Office Building in Washington D.C. on April 13-14, 2016. My panel was all about discussing the best ways that students and teachers can promote STEAM education. My fellow panelists were high school educator Joseph Williams, 3D education software developer Sophia Georgieu of Morphi App, and student makers Becky and John Button.

In short, 3D printing will only be effective in education if students like Becky and John have unfettered access and qualified help from educators to pursue their inventions. Children are already taking to technology learning tools like Minecraft and littleBits to augment their understanding of concepts. During this panel all of us stressed that the community around makerspaces, that having access to other interested people, is equally important as getting your hands on some 3D modeling software. As you can see, kids like John will make the most of anything you put in from of them, but they need our help to use it in the right learning environment.

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Thx to @publicknowledge for letting me join my panel-mates @einsteinunicorn @MorphiApp @jswilliams at #3DDC2016 - via  @laurenlacey April 14, 2016

Shapeways EDU Spring 2016 Grant Winners!

Posted by in Education

We are pleased to announce the Spring 2016 EDU Grant Winners. The Shapeways EDU Grant is $1000 in printing support awarded twice a year to university level students and professors whose proposals push the boundaries of the materials and technology available in the 3D printing. This spring’s grant recipients are:

Shawn M. V. Jones - Northeastern University, Boston, MA
Shawn will be prototyping a SCUBA flipper for amputees that can also function as a prosthetic device on land.

Pablo Gonzalez – Fashion Institute of Technology, New York, NY
Pablo will be employing 3D scanning along with printing and traditional fabric draping for his senior fashion show.

Jonathan Gerhard – James Madison University, Harrisonburg, VA
Jonathan is transforming complex mathematical knot studies from theoretical 2D problems into tangible objects mathematicians can hold in their hands.

Akshay Goyal - Harvard University, Cambridge, MA
Akshay’s project Soft Tectonics investigates systems for design and production of
transformative objects through a study of structural collapse and functionally graded material.

Tom O’Mahoney - University of Manchester, Manchester, UK
Tom is creating scientifically accurate reconstructions of fossil humans for use in research and academics and sharing his research via open source.

Past grant recipients have completed projects in the fields of applied psychology, product design and mathematics, to name a few. The fall 2015 grant recipients Shanna Chan, Catherine Zheng and Melissa Zucker reflect on how they implemented their project Lunar Gala 2016 Strain – Abraxas and what challenges they overcame and learnings they gained.

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What part of this project could not have been realized without 3D printing?
We would not have been able to realize our vision for our finale dress, which involved intricate parametric patterning that could not have been made with any other fabrication method.

How did support from Shapeways enable you to realize this project?
The Shapeways Grant allowed us to increase our budget and physically be able to 3D print the more detailed pieces within the last look. This helped us realize our whole concept of our line, which depended on a transformation of flowing geometric lines into more complex parametric form. Without the grant, we wouldn’t have had the materials to successfully create such complex

How did this project contribute to your growth as an artist or designer?
We explored alternate ways of fabrication and learned to expand our knowledge of both digital fabrication and mixed media design. We pushed ourselves to learn and use digital modeling software and to design various design iterations that allowed for any buffer room within modular 3D printed pieces.

What was one challenge that you needed to overcome or one thing that surprised you when you were working on this project?
For our fashion line, each article of clothing was custom fit to its respective model. For the pieces made with more traditional fabrication methods, fitting was simple. However, for our 3D printed pieces (and with the breastplate especially), ensuring a good fit was challenging since we were creating 3D models on Rhino software. Because we did not have access to 3D scanners, measurements had to be extremely exact and modeled on our software with great precision. From this work, we learned to be accurate about dimensioning and to be proactive about timing, since we were a little pressed for time with the 3D prints.

Shapeways EDU $1000 Grant – Deadline Extended!

Posted by in Education

Attention university students: Apply to receive up to $1000 in 3D printing to support your project!

The Shapeways EDU Spring 2016 Grant deadline has been extended to Thursday, March 31st! So you still have two weeks to get your application materials together and submit them to education@shapeways.com

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A piece from previous grant recipient Alexis Walsh’s graduate collection ‘Lysis’ from Parsons School of Design.

Not a designer or engineer? No worries, we’ve awarded grants to students doing work in psychology, computer graphics, fashion and more. If you’re pushing the boundaries of 3D printing or experimenting with new applications for 3D printing and design then your project more than qualifies. See shapeways.com/education for complete grant application details.

Highlights from Makerfest India with NYC-Based Lady Tech Guild

The Lady Tech Guild is a collective of professional women who are 3D artists, designers, biohackers, educators and entrepreneurs in the 3D industry, with decades of experience and specialized knowledge in our fields. We support like minded girls and women to become resourceful, inspired creative professionals. We empower women by connecting them to technology and to each other.

Many of these ladies are also Shapeways community members doing amazing things for women and girls in tech. Below is a highlight reel from their recent trip to Ahmedabad, India where they were invited to participate in Makerfest 2016.

The group was also included in the Times of India coverage of the event. For Information on the LTG please visit their website ladytechguild.com