Author Archives: Natalia

Hire a 3D Modeler & Designer: The Three C’s

Getting in the DIY spirit and want to hire a designer to bring your project to life? You’ve seen the directory of Designers for Hire, read about a designer you like, and now you’re ready to get started. Even if you’ve never hired a designer before, keeping the three C’s in mind is a good guide: Clarity, Communication and Cost.

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Clarity

Knowing what you want is half the project! The more specific you can be, the better chance you will get exactly what you want.

When talking about your idea, sketches, photos, Pinterest boards, magazine clippings and even screenshots of elements you like are all really helpful in communicating what you like. Photos are especially useful whether it be similar items that represent your idea or elements of different objects that you would like to incorporate.

It also helps to be specific about your preferred style, finishing touches and how your completed product will be used. If you know what material you would like the finished product to be made it, that helps immensely, as the 3D printing guidelines vary between materials and may influence the design itself.

If you’re still in the ‘concept’ phase (say if you are designing a new functional product) and are seeking project guidance or inspiration, be sure to choose a designer who has those skills listed as their specialty.

Designers are creative problem solvers. Once you have given them a clear outline of your requirements, let them do their creative thing and come up with creative solutions.

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Communication

Designers are experts in bringing ideas to life, and most of this magic happens through effective communication. Throughout the creation process, it’s important to communicate openly and frequently with your designer to ensure that they have a clear understanding of what you want, and you know their schedule. They should be asking you just as many questions are you are listing specifics.

Throughout the process, be honest but polite. If your designer is making something that isn’t going in the direction you were imagining, let them know. Many designers are more than happy to modify their designs as long as they have clear direction. I recommend highlighting what you liked (the more specific the better) and exactly what they need to improve on. Don’t just say “I don’t like the hard edges”. Explain why: “The hard edges make it feel minimalist and modern, I am looking for a romantic, organic feel”. The latter statement is much more useful.

In the end, designers like being able to use their own creative judgment to improve ideas. So while it is important to be specific, leave them some space to work their magic to delight you.

Depending on your project, it may be a good idea to formalize your agreement in writing. This digital contract should include all of the specific details that you and the designer agreed upon, including timing and pricing.

The process of bringing an idea to life

 

Cost

Which brings us to the last and most important point: Money. Two things to keep in mind here are how much you are willing to spend and understanding the design process.

Part of having clarity around your idea is knowing how much are you comfortable spending. Three things to consider may help you get an estimate beforehand:

1. Finished product or 3D file? Do you want just a 3D printable file that you will upload and order yourself? Or do you want a finished item? Material cost comes into play here – if you want a silver ring, part of the cost will be made up of the silver itself, and part for the design.

2. Time and labor. Larger or more detailed projects can sometimes take more time to complete, and therefore cost more.

3. One of a kind design. If this is a one of a kind item, it’s not something that you could buy in a store even if you wanted to, so the price may be a little higher than you would expect. If you are working on a brand new product, it’s worth investing in a good design. There is really no way to put a price on how incredible it is to hold something that you imagined, so keep that in mind!

4. Similar items.To get a sense of the general cost of an item before you hire a designer, look for similar items and get a sense of the price. For instance, if you want to make a piece of jewelry, browse our jewelry category section to find a handful of custom items that are of a similar size and scope. The average cost of those items is often a good starting point for you to discuss your budget with a designer.

It also helps to understand the process. Designing is a process that takes time and effort. You may not be aware of all of the “behind the scenes” work that takes place including creative brainstorming, sketching, drafts, revisions and renders. Asking your designer about the process involved in making your specific idea will help you understand the level of work involved.

Communication is key here as well! Talk to your designer as some charge by the hour, some charge by project and the complexity of your design will influence this. The more detail you can give them, the better they are able to estimate a price for you.

3D printing gives us the unique ability to make custom things to order, helping you get exactly what you want, and not just what is available. While we at Shapeways do what we can to give access to the best materials at the lowest prices, ultimately the design is what sets a product apart, and this is where the skill lies. Translating an idea into a physical object is a designers skill, and this alchemy is worth paying for!

How you work with a designer comes down to your project but keeping in mind the Three C’s should help you minimize stress and get exactly what you want. Have you hired a designer on Shapeways? Tell us about it in the comments! If you are a designer, what other tips would you offer for potential clients?

Happy creating!


 

Six New 3D Designers for Hire

Excited by 3D printing, you’ve got an idea but don’t know how to make it? We’re got an ever growing list of Designers for Hire to help you! Sometimes, the best way to get what you really want is to make it yourself, or better yet work with one of our talented designers.

Whether you are looking to make that custom piece of jewelry, have a killer product idea or just need help with getting your 3D file repaired there’s a designer who can make your dream come to life.

We’re adding new designers regularly, and this weeks roundup includes six new faces:

First up, jeweler Kathy Cherry has 14 years experience designing jewelry for brands such as Jessica Simpson, Vince Camuto and Guess. She enjoys challenges and unusual projects, so give her your best ideas!

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Urbano Rodriguez is an Art Director, Designer and 3D Modeler at mkt1, a Digital Agency based in Sao Paulo, Brazil and has over 14 years experience. Contact him with your product design ideas like his fun desk urchin.

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Justin Armstrong has a degree in 3D Design & Animation and a certification in 3D commercial design. He has worked commercially with well-known companies, like Budweiser, for a over decade and specializes in character modeling.

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Jeffrey Keiffer has over five years experience 3D modeling jewelry, architecture models, personal accessories, and other inventions. He specializes in woven or Celtic knot-like patterns,  and can help you design specifically for ceramic, metals, plastics and resins.

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On the materials note, former Shapeways employee Kat Kinkead has an extensive knowledge of our materials, and can help you with your industrial design projects from jewelry to hardware.

Last but not least, José Miguel has been the 3D content director for Vórtice Digital Media since 2000. His skills cover every step of an audiovisual production, from modeling to rendering. He can help you with portrait modeling and taking your ideas from sketches into 3D.

Ready to get started? Browse our Designers for Hire now! If you’re a 3D designer and wish to be considered, apply here.

What will you make this weekend?


 

Shapeways takes part in National Manufacturing Day

Today is National Manufacturing Day in the United States. The day was created to address common misperceptions about manufacturing by giving manufacturers (like Shapeways) an opportunity to open their doors and show, in a coordinated effort, what manufacturing is — and what it isn’t.

Our Vice President of Manufacturing David wrote in detail about how Shapeways is tackling challenges to manufacturing in the 3D printing industry and our CEO Pete spent a great deal of time explaining what we’ve learned about manufacturing with 3D printing over the last six years in his series of blog posts.

Watch the journey of a 3D printed product through our factory below. On average ten people handle each of the 120,000 parts that are printed and shipped every month. We’re 140 employees strong, manufacturing products for customers in 119 countries across the globe.

All the discussions are great, but we all know seeing is believing, so we’d like to invite you for a peek behind the curtain and join us in late October for a tour of the factory. RSVP here for details. In the meantime, here’s an express tour:

 

Day of Action: Stop the Slow Lane

Earlier this summer, we wrote about Stopping the Slow Lane, a push back against the FCC’s intent to propose rules that would allow Internet service providers to charge websites to access a “fast lane” and slow down every site that doesn’t pay. Now, we’re almost at the deadline. September 15th is the last day that the FCC will accept public comments before they make their ruling. Shapeways submitted a formal appeal to the FCC, where we outlined how we support an open internet so we can continue to provide a platform where entrepreneurs like our 19,000 shop owners can flourish.

Today is an internet-wide day of action for Net Neutrality. You may have noticed some of your favorite sites have the “please hold, loading” spinning wheel on their homepage – is this the future you want? Neither do we!

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Here’s what you can do:

1. Take two minutes to sign the Citizen Petition on Battle for the Net

2. Tweet it out:

I support real #NetNeutrality. Sign the citizen petition www.battleforthenet.com  #InternetSlowdown

Startups need real #NetNeutrality to protect the open Internet. Call your Senators today and let them know! www.engine.is/netneutrality #InternetSlowdown

3. Part of a startup? Call your senator and tell them to support real Net Neutrality

Want to learn more?

Check out this great Mashable video explaining the proposed changes, and help keep the internet the open and innovative playground it should be.


 

Join Shapeways in London for the 3D Printshow

Shapeways is coming to London this week for the 3D Printshow. We’re hosting a meetup, we’ll have a booth at the show and we’re also in the running for the Global Awards!  We invite you to join us at these events:

 London 3DPrintshow

3D Printing Meetup

Wednesday 3rd September, 7-9pm

Join the team at Hung Drawn and Quartered Pub. RSVP for all the details

3D Printshow
Thursday 4th and Friday 5th September 9:30am – 6pm

Saturday 6th September 9:30am – 5:30pm
1 Old Billingsgate Walk, 16 Lower Thames Street, London
Visit us in booth D10

3D Printshow Global Awards

This year, we at Shapeways are thrilled to be nominated for two categories for the 3D Printshow Global Awards: Brand of the Year and Best Online/App Based Service. There’s time until Wednesday so cast your vote now! (Please ;-) )

We hope to see you in London this week!


 

The 3D Printshow Global Awards – Vote for Shapeways

The 3D Printshow Global Awards acknowledge inspirational work that has helped develop and elevate the art of additive manufacture, as well as those businesses that have risen to the challenges of the marketplace, flourishing in what is a highly competitive industry.

This year, we at Shapeways are thrilled to be nominated for two categories for the 3D Printshow Global Awards: Brand of the Year and Best Online/App Based Service.

London 3DPrintshow

 

To vote, all you need is your name and your email – just click on the awards:

SHAPEWAYS

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Thank you for all your support and stay tuned for our London Meetup and events in September!

For those of you who will be in London, we look forward to seeing you at the party on Thursday 4th September, you can get tickets here.

 


 

Join Shapeways at SIGGRAPH in Vancouver

Posted by in 3D Modeling, Events

Next week the team will be in Vancouver for the annual SIGGRAPH conference. Come chat with Alan, Natalia, Carine, Blair and Trey from Shapeways.

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Here’s where we will be:

Pre-SIGGRAPH 3D Printing Happy Hour with Shapeways & Formlabs
Monday August 11th 6:30-8:30pm
Earl’s Restaurant, near the Convention Centre
Come grab drink with the teams from Shapeways and FormLabs at the 3D Printing Happy Hour. Meet and mingle with designers in the area and attendees excited by 3D printing. Feel free to bring your 3D prints to show off and share!

SIGGRAPH Exhibition

Our booth is #747, Hall C in the West Building

Tuesday 12th and Wednesday 13th August 9:30am – 6:00pm

Thursday 14th August 9:30 – 3:30pm

We will be demoing the new Printability Centre,  a shared canvas where customers and 3D Print Engineers can work together to create manufacturable products. We’ll also raffling off some amazing products, so stop by our booth. We hope to see you there!


 

Faster 3D Printing in Our Most Popular Materials

We’re always striving to make 3D printing more affordable and to get your products in your hands as fast as possible. So we’re excited to share that today, we’ve reduced lead times globally for Full Color Sandstone! We’re also increasing speed in the Strong and Flexible Family for our European and worldwide customers.

Textured Cuff by Ina

Textured Cuff by Ina

You can see the new ship dates reflected on our Materials page, upon checkout and below in this chart. In order to maximize the reductions we’ve broken the Strong and Flexible family into new sizes. Currently we only have a split between small WSF (<20cm) and large WSF (20cm>), by adding the medium category, we can make all of them faster, and let you get your small parts really fast: in just four days!

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Big thanks to our Supply Chain and Manufacturing teams for making this happen. These new faster speeds and size breakdowns are currently available ONLY for our European and worldwide customers, and we hope to roll them out soon to the USA and Canada. Stay tuned!


 

We Need You! Join Shapeways Insiders and give us your feedback

Posted by in 3D Modeling

Shapeways is built upon our incredible community of makers, designers, creators, entrepreneurs, shoppers – people just like YOU! We literally couldn’t have come this far without all the input that you give us, not to mention pushing the boundaries of 3D printing with your models, and shaping our features with your suggestions.

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We want to keep listening! We invite you to join Shapeways Insiders to take part in in focus groups, feedback sessions and user testing as we constantly improve our offering to serve you better.

Fill out this quick form to tell us about yourself and join Shapeways Insiders and we look forward to continuing to shape our future with you!


 

Introducing our newest color: Orange

You asked for it, so today we bring you orange! That’s right, all our new colors are World Cup related. Last weeks Green and Yellow launches were for Brazil, the host country* and today we are rolling out Orange, for our Netherlands team ORANJE!

Flowers Bangle by Marmalade Park 

This brings our color palette for our dyed strong and flexible family to a full rainbow, just in time to show our support for Pride Month here in the USA.

Join in the Orange conversation in the forum or let us know your feedback here in the comments. We are trialing this specific shade of orange for four weeks, so let us know your feedback about the shade and we may adjust after the trial.

What will you make with orange? Will it be as good as Van Persie’s goal? What other colors do you want for your team to 3D print in?

Continue reading


 

Join Shapeways in Paris this weekend for Maker Faire

Posted by in Events

Bonjour amis! Our European events team is at it again, this time they’re excited to travel to Paris for Maker Faire. Join Ryan, Marie and Antoinette at these events:

On Friday June 20th, we are hosting a 3D Printing Meetup at the appropriately named Dernier Bar Avant La Fin Du Monde RSVP on Meetup.com for all the details.

On Saturday and Sunday, find our booth at the Maker Faire in Le CentQuatre from 10am – 7pm. Meet Makers and Shop Owners using Shapeways and find out more about how to bring your own products to life!

Nous espérons vous rencontrer à Paris!


 

Introducing Castable Wax: Our Newest Maker Only Material

We know you’ve been asking for it for a long time and we’re beyond thrilled to announce our next Maker Material: Wax!

From the moment we introduced metals, you asked if we could just ship the castable wax. As of today, you can order the wax of your model, ready for you to cast into any number of metals, either in your studio or at a casting house. Our wax can be cast just like normal investment casting wax, for which there’s a large variety of methods. 

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Shapeways supports Net Neutrality: Stop the Slow Lane

You may have heard about Net Neutrality in the news recently. Here’s why we at Shapeways support it. The core principle of net neutrality is that all traffic (data) traveling across the internet should be treated the same at each stage of the process. The FCC intends to propose rules that would allow Internet service providers to charge websites to access a “fast lane” and slow down every site that doesn’t pay. Any plan that allows for “pay-to-play” access is bad for startups, bad for growing businesses, and will hurt our economy.

Even though for example, Netflix, may want to pay for faster access to deliver your video, when a new video streaming startup comes along, they could be forced into a slow lane if they couldn’t pay and their videos would be patchy. Essentially, the startup is doomed before it even gets going. This is so anti-innovation that Netflix is actually against it. As are we.

Image Source: CFC Oklahoma

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