Author Archives: Lauren Slowik

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.

shapeways_29

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.

IMG_0628

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!

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.

12719556_1142617405782664_2841765717877949202_o

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

ALEXIS-WALSH-LYSIS-COLLECTION-1

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

Fashion Spotlight: Jenny Wu LACE

This is a guest post by Shapeways Community member Jenny Wu.

I received a grant from Shapeways to work on a 3D printing project with another emerging fashion designer, Jordana Howard of Echo and Air. The initial concept for the project was rather simple, but the execution of the project opened up a world of possibilities. I realized the project was going to be a pursuit that I will be working on for quite a long time. A bit of my background, I am an architect and partner at the Los Angeles based firm, Oyler Wu Collaborative.

LACE

photo courtesy of LACE

A few years ago, I saw a void within the 3D printed fashion market that I thought I could fill. Most 3D printed fashion falls into two categories: the ultra avant-garde, iconic couture pieces that have graced various well known fashion runways to pieces designed by DYI makers who are exploring 3D printing technology. My collection positions itself somewhere in between, creating high end pieces that are highly wearable (literally comfortable to wear) but bring forth innovative design that utilizes my background in digital modeling to exploit 3D printing technology to its fullest. Last Fall, I launched a line of ready-to-wear 3D printed jewelry collection called LACE by Jenny Wu and have received overwhelmingly positive responses from both the tech and fashion world.

carrie+underwood+parade+4

Recently, much of the advancement in 3D printed fashion has been focused on creating entirely 3D printed clothing, shoes to accessories. For the grant, I was interested in merging 3D printing with conventional methods of fashion making. Similar to my own research in architecture, our office has develop new techniques of working with both digital fabrication with conventional wood or steel fabrication to create work that cannot be done solely based on one expertise. I approached Jordana Howard, a fashion designer based in Los Angeles, for this collaboration because of her interest in unconventional assembly and details in fashion. We have been working back and forth in understanding how to develop new details in combining these two very different ways of working to create a piece of clothing. The first piece is still in its nascency. We started by patterning a conventional piece of clothing and then looked at how fabric could weave into the 3D printed elements so that they become one cohesive garment. Over the past few months, we have had to understand the different technologies and methods to understand how to create something innovative. In the coming months, we hope to put some of these efforts into the details of a ready-to-wear garment that will inspire new ways of thinking about 3D printing in fashion.

Keep up with new LACE designs on their instagram feed.

Guest Post: The Benefits of Attending a Technical University

We get lots of questions from community members asking about how to break in to the industry of 3D printing. It’s a big industry and there are many applications. One way to learn about them is to attend a technical school to get in-depth training. This is a guest post by Lauren Willison, Director of Admissions at Florida Polytechnic University discussing the advantages of attending a tech school.

High school students interested in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) disciplines can attend a technology school to gain the necessary skills and knowledge to lead innovative high-tech industries upon graduation. These types of educational institutions are geared towards students who have decided to pursue a technology-based education. Technology universities generally offer introductory general education courses, electives and hands-on internships.

LFApoly

On the other hand, students who are industry-focused and commuter-based should consider attending a technical school. In general, technical schools are centers that specialize in specific subject areas. Students often attend these universities for less than two years and can specialize in areas such as computer technology, business administration, culinary arts, electronics, medical assisting, legal assisting or automotive technology.

A technical school has small class sizes and students receive personalized attention with classmates and professors. Students interested in specific career paths, such as engineering or information technology, can gain skills and the necessary knowledge to work in specific industry areas such as manufacturing or business. Students will be equipped with the necessary experience to get into the workforce quicker.

Students enrolled in a technology university have a broader area of focus and more course options, as they are enrolled in school longer. Technology universities focus on applying real-world solutions to solve the nation’s challenges. Students have the ability to work with 3D printing systems and interdisciplinary environments with digital objects, printing hardware, software development and emerging technologies. In 3D printing labs, students are able to combine engineering, information technology and computer science with advanced prototyping in order to manufacture 3D technologies and techniques.

In particular, the Rapid Application Development (RAD) Makerspace Lab at Florida Polytechnic University, Florida’s newest university dedicated to STEM, is a hybrid manufacturing systems environment with 55 3D printers and digital object scanners, making it one of the largest MakerBot innovation centers in the world. Students are able to work alongside professors and industry partners in the lab and gain experience designing, testing and generating innovative ideas.

Individuals who attend a tech school in Florida with a focus in a STEM disciple face higher employment rates as these industries are rapidly hiring. The nation’s economic growth will be driven by the rising demand for knowledge workers in sectors such as engineering and technology. Graduates must have an understanding of advanced science, mathematical principles and problem-solving skills. These students will come from technical schools and technology universities with the necessary skills to solve complex problems of our nation’s future. Individuals with knowledge in STEM disciplines will make contributions in most aspects of the economy, including business, healthcare, manufacturing and finance.

Lauren Willison is responsible for supporting the Executive Director of Enrollment Services and the Associate Director of Admissions in managing recruitment efforts. She develops and coordinates on- and off-campus events, as well as manages the campus visit experience.

BotFactory Develops 3D Printed Hardware with Shapeways

This is a guest post by George Kyriakou of BotFactory

With Shapeways we suck more, literally. Imagine if every time that you wanted to make a change to your website or app, you had to wait for two weeks to see the results. This is the reality in the electronics prototyping world. My name is George Kyriakou and I am the COO of BotFactory, where we make Squink, a Desktop Electronics Printer that can create the sort of PCBs to power any device, from drones to watches. We use Shapeways in order to get high precision and quality parts without having to order thousands of units.

BotFactory aims to reassess the way we think about Electronics and hardware prototyping. Instead of waiting a couple of weeks procrastinating while your board is being manufactured and shipped, BotFactory inkjet prints your traces in a jiffy using silver-based nanoparticle electroconductive ink. Instead of searching for interns to burn your freshly cooked wafer, BotFactory solders and picks and places for you. And all that through a single device that sits on your desk: Squink.

As COO I manage our supply and manufacturing chain, which means I also serve as the janitor, packer, shipper, assembler, purchase manager, etc. My long-term goal is to make sure that BotFactory can scale production effortlessly and meet our big vision to have Squinks on everyone’s desk. From the early days, we designed and 3D printed all of the parts for Squink on our handy Makerbot Replicator 2X. We felt that we could scale with only one machine – how wrong we were!

Final Squink Pics - Above view 2000x2100 Empty

Continue reading

Georgia Tech Design Entrepreneurs: “Design, Print, Profit”

This is a guest post by Georgia Tech student, Josh Dycus

Dycus_Advert

In the past if a designer wanted to turn an idea of their’s into an actual product to be sold and used on a consumer level, years of development, thousands of dollars, and excessive materials had to be used throughout the process. Now, with the powerful capabilities of 3D printing, a designer can go straight from an idea to an actual product ready for the consumer in the matter of months – with very little money out of their own pocket.

The Design, Print, Profit project begin with drawings on paper — possibly the shortest segment of the process — before moving quickly into 3D modeling. From the 3D models, multiple test prints in plastic (in numbers close to the 40′s) are produced to help develop form and fit. This process ensures that the final result is exactly as the designer had intended; and only takes a fraction of the time that traditional prototyping (making molds, forging by hand, etc.) would take. Once the final form has been decided upon, the file is sent off to Shapeways to be 3D printed and produced in metal; resulting in a beautifully finished product ready for market.

RingEventFlyer

 

Design, Print, Profit is showcasing a series of rings made my Georgia Tech students this Friday. Be sure to check it out if you are in the area!

UNICEF Innovation Summit and The aNYThing Conference: 3D Printing and the Future of Education

This past week I had the privilege of being invited to speak at the first UNICEF Innovation Summit. Start Up to Scale Up: Global Innovations for Children and Youth Summit was held in Helsinki, Finland. Comprised of tech and impact innovators from around the world we were hosted in the gorgeous Finlandia Hall for two days of panels, presentations and discussions about the future of tech in the lives of children around the world.

© UNICEF eLearning

© UNICEF

On the Future of Skill panel I was joined by moderator Kathryn Myronuk Faculty & Coach: Synthesis & Convergence, Singularity University, Roshan Paul CEO Amani Institute, Virginia Tam co-founder of Lean In China and Kristina Kaihari, Counsellor of Education at the Finnish Ministry of Education, Finland to discuss how to prepare today’s youth for the jobs they will do in the future. We all agreed that it is important to incorporate 21st century skills like self-learning, collaboration and perseverance in the face of failures into the modern classroom. The complex world issues that today’s youth will inherit call for creative problem solving and resiliency in order for new ideas to succeed. 3D printing is a powerful tool to tackle some of these very problems, turning software tools into physical tools and allowing new ideas to be tested rapidly and improved upon. Later on during the conference I held a workshop and discussion panel on the advantages and ares for opportunity in incorporating 3D design and manufacturing into the education space.

© UNICEF start up to scale up

On Thursday November 5th I had the pleasure of talk about Shapeways EDU at the aNY(Additive New York) Thing Conference at SUNY New Paltz. In this first annual conference speakers from presented new concepts and ideas from a range of applications of additive manufacturing across art, design, engineering, education, agriculture, manufacturing and medicine.