Author Archives: Duann

About Duann

Shapeways Designer Evangelist

Flowers Blast Off with the 3D Printed Rocket Test Tube Holder

What do you get when you combine a rocket, a test tube and 3D printing? Possibly the geekiest vase on the internet to beautify your home.

rocket test tube vase 3D print Shapeways The *rocket test tube holder 25mm by MrNib accepts a standard 25 mm (0.98 inch) diameter test tube to make a nice space age bud vase that you can give to your favorite rocketman, rocketwoman, or friend from another planet.

A segmented friction ring near the top of the holder keeps the test tube from being loose when inserted. There is enough springiness in the design to handle slightly oversized test tubes.

Test tubes are not included but you can purchase them from supply stores like American Science & Surplus.

3D Printed Rocket Test Tube Vase Shapeways

 


 

Day One of 3D Printed SuperFanArt at Comicon 2014 in San Diego

Our 3D Printing partnership with Hasbro has officially hit the floor at Comicon in San Diego as thousands of fans swarmed the booth to get a glimpse at the 3D printed ponies designed by the Shapeways community.  The SuperFanArt section is a relatively small part of the massive Hasbro booth at Comicon, but one that is garnering a lot of excitement among fans, artists and the toy industry.

Superfanart 3D Print at Comicon

If you are at Comicon 2014 in San Diego be sure to drop by the Hasbro Kiosk 3213 (its the huge one) and say hello to the SuperFanArt team.  If you are an artist or designer interested in participating in the SuperFanArt project, please be sure to register your interest to start selling your Hasbro approved 3D prints to fans around the world.

For those who cannot make it, check out some of the craziness that is Comicon.

photo 9 photo 8 photo 7 photo 4 photo 2 photo 1
Yep, and that’s just the people lined up who pre-paid to be first at the Hasbro stand…


 

Not Everyone Has a Heart of Gold, But You Can Get One 3D Printed in Silver

The Anatomical Heart Pendant by leorolph is a beautifully detailed heart pendant that looks amazing 3D printed in Sterling Silver by Shapeways.  Of course you can order the pendant in solid 14k or Rose Gold, it just costs a little more.

Anatomic 3D Printed Silver Heart Jewelry

Take a look at the Owned Shop on Shapeways to see more unique jewelry by this Australian designer.

Remember, we have upped the speed on our Silver, Gold and Brass to get your 3D printed jewelry to you as fast as possible, so if you have an anniversary, wedding, or birthday coming up, Shapeways 3D printed jewelry can make the perfect, unique gift.


 

Hasbro & Shapeways Enable 3D Printing Fan Art with SuperFanArt

For the first time, a global brand will open up its intellectual property to fan designed products using Shapeways 3D printing. We are partnering with Hasbro to launch SuperFanArt, enabling fans to 3D print and sell their own creations based on Hasbro owned content. SuperFanArt, which will debut at Comic-Con San Diego 2014, grants the passionate and talented Hasbro fan base from the Shapeways community a license to create exciting new art and product offerings. The first license is granted to a select number of 3D artists including Brandon Lee Johnson, Paul Philbin, Christophe Vidal, Melinda Rose, and Brian Harris to create artwork based on My Little Pony.

Shapeways & Hasbro 3D Print

We are thrilled to work with Hasbro to be the very first entertainment brand to open up their intellectual property to their dedicated fans to legally create tangible, 3D printed products. This partnership is perfectly aligned with our mission to enable the Shapeways creative community to make exactly what they want, for themselves, to share and sell to others.

superfanart launch Shapeways & Hasbro

For the initial launch at Comic-Con 2014, we will start with the incredibly popular My Little Pony series, to allow fans around the world to create and sell unique, 3D printed My Little Pony figurines. This will dramatically expand the range of products available from the few currently being mass produced by Hasbro, to potentially include the over 900 ponies identified and named by the fans. Many of these designs have been created by a passionate group of fans from the Brony community (for the uninitiated, a Brony is a Bro who likes Ponies so Bro + Pony – P = Brony (welcome to the herd)).  Once we have filled our 3D printers with community designed ponies, we will continue to work with Hasbro and the Shapeways community to enable more Hasbro branded content to be created, 3D printed and sold.

This is a major step forward in realizing the creative potential of 3D printing, to make products on demand that might otherwise never make it into people’s hands. Hasbro has been incredibly forward thinking and open minded, to realize that the existing unmet demand within their fan base can be satisfied with the help of those very same fans. We expect to see many more partnerships like this, to enable user generated content to be 3D printed based on existing intellectual property, with fair attribution and compensation for all parties involved. We’ve seen this model work successfully in the digital realm, and we’re thrilled to be leading the charge in the physical.

Take a look at the SuperFanArt site to learn more, and meet some of the Shapeways community members who are promoting their designs in partnership with Hasbro and Shapeways. Also check out the New York Times article for insight into why the Hasbro team approached Shapeways to be a partner to help them enter the world of 3D printing, thanks mainly to the Bronies in the Shapeways community.

A solid brohoof to all the bronies who helped make this happen.

 

 


 

Intricate Sugar Skull Ring 3D Printed in Sterling Silver

As we introduce more 3D printing materials suitable for jewelry we are seeing the Shapeways marketplace evolve to include more amazing designs such as this Sugarskull Ring  by lougon.

3D Print Silver Skull RIng

Showing the intricate detail possible in our Sterling Silver 3D printing, Lougon post processed his 3D print by oxidizing to blacken the Silver, then polishing to return the raised sections to high polish, giving a rich contrast.

You can try this process yourself using egg yolks to blacken your Silver 3D prints to give the same affect.


 

Show Us Your Elasto Plastic 3D Prints

We introduced Elasto Plastic as our first 3D Printing maker material back in May last year so that the Shapeways community could have access to a impact resistant, flexible 3D printing material.  The team at the factory in Eindhoven get to see the amazing products you design with this unique material but because it is a Maker Material, and not available for sale as a product on Shapeways, many of us do not get to see and be inspired by your designs.

flexible 3D print material on Shapeways

We would love to see your Elasto Plastic designs shared in the It Arrived forum so that we can all see the range of products you are designing and get inspiration to explore the material in different ways.  We are looking forward to seeing photos of your designs on the Shapeways forums soon.


 

3D Printing Custom Headphones is Normal

3D printed custom headphones are now available through the Normal app by former Quirky insider Nikki Kaufmann thanks to $5 million in venture backing.

normal 3D print headphone

The super simple app guides you through a photo based ear and face scanning process to configure the headphones to exactly meet your ear shape.  This is possibly the first 3D printing apps designed to make functional products, not a figurine or toy, a major step towards the ubiquity of 3D printing to power customized products.

There are already over 10 million 3D printed hearing aids in the world, now with apps such as Normal, we can expect to see more customized consumer products hit the market.

Speaking of Quirky, check out the video below and download the app to customize your earphones now.


 

Announcing the Winners of the Prototype to Product Contest with Formlabs

We had a huge response to the Prototype to Product Contest we ran with our good friends at Formlabs. Entries ranging from highly detailed ZBrush sculpts through to complex, interlocking mechanical parts, architectural models to 3D printed fashion and jewelry,  through to the whimsically weird.  We even received a submission all the way from Gran Canaria (yes we had to google the location, and yes it is crazy remote).

Although we received nearly 300 designs, only one person will have a brand new Form 1+ 3D printer shipped to their door.  The judges deliberated against the criteria, there were was tension, there was joy, they argued long into the night.  The Formlabs team pumped some serious excel magic to tally the votes, Shawn Sims from NotCot cast his well trained eye over the entrants,  The Shapeways team checked that the designs would withstand the 3D printing test and together they deemed the winner of the grand prize to be…

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Beautifully Painted 3D Printed Sculpture

Even though we have over 40 material options at Shapeways for you to choose to 3D print with, sometimes you are looking for something a little different.  By post processing the 3D printed materials yourself, you can take your design in a whole new direction, be it functional or aesthetic.  PIXOLforge has taken our polyjet acrylic material known as Frosted Ultra Detail on Shapeways to a whole new level painting his sculpture with matte scale model paint after a quick cleaning with mineral spirits.  Once the paint was dry he hand rubbed down his 3D print with artist oil to get this amazing result.

high detail 3D print painted

What processes do you use to take your 3D prints to the next level?


 

BMW 3D Printing Thumb Supports for Factory Workers

3D Printing is perfect for making complex, customized parts to fit a specific purpose and/or person.  Recently BMW has started testing 3D printing custom thumb reinforcements for factory workers to help them to work safely and efficiently with minimum strain on their hands.

BMW 3D Printing thumb protectors

Each BMW factory worker is 3D scanned and a custom thumb support is 3D printed to exactly fit their hand. The worker can then exert far greater force with their hands without stressing the thumb joint that could otherwise be prone to repetitive strain injuries.  This may not be the most glamorous use of 3D printing in the automotive industry but it is one of the more practical and meaningful, especially for the health and well being of the factory workers.

How else could 3D printing be used to help strengthen and support the body at work, whether it be custom exoskeletons as this experiment by BMW starts to explore, or other custom support tools, armatures or jigs.

What could YOU use in your field of work that could be custom 3D printed to EXACTLY meet your needs?


 

Doctoral Research Position in 2.5D and 3D Image Capture and Print

Posted by in 3D Printing 6 Comments

The Graduate School at The University of West England is offering a funded full-time PhD in 2.5D and 3D image capture and print in the cultural heritage field: evaluation of current and developing technologies, potential applications and practical workflows. This is an AHRC funded Collaborative Doctoral Award between the Centre for Fine Print Research and the National Gallery in London.

The scholarship is available from October 2014 and consists of an annual maintenance bursary of £14,413 per annum for up to three years. In addition, full-time tuition fees will be covered for three years (Home/EU rates only). A travel allowance is also available. The deadline is 5pm 30th June 2014 to apply download and complete the application form and send it directly to the UWE Graduate School.

Full details on the University of West England Centre for Print Research site.


 

Reality vs 3D Print in Miniature

We see thousands of miniature buildings emerge from the 3D printers at Shapeways, everything from architectural maquettes of proposed buildings to scale models for trains like the Honiton High Street in British N Scale (N Gauge – 1:148 Scale) by nosomosnada.

Comparing the 3D print of the miniature town with the actual street scene, the accuracy is amazing, we can not wait to see how it looks once he has finished painting in the details.

Check out the rest of nosomosnada’s miniature models all 3D printed in white Nylon (WSF) by Shapeways.

We see many people using our high detail acrylic 3D printing to get the finest possible detail in their miniature 3D prints but our Nylon can also capture remarkable detail, making it suitable for many miniature 3D prints at a far lower cost with the benefit of increased strength and durability.  


 

Have You Entered Your Design to Win a Formlabs 3D Printer

Posted by in Contests Post a comment

You know you want a Formlabs 3D printer so you can iterate your designs to bring them to market quicker at Shapeways.  Use your awesome design skills to win yourself that Formlabs 3D printer along with Shapeways 3D Printing credit by entering the Prototype to Product 3D Printing Contest

Contest ends June 30, 2014.

Judging based on the following criteria:

Creativity: Novelty and originality

Culture: Social importance of the design

Complexity: Significance and technical sophistication 

Check out the contest page for the full details and get your entry in now to nab your self a high resolution 3D Printer of your very own.


 

Wake Up to the Smell of 3D Printed Nescafe Coffee (Alarm Cap)

What better way to wake up in the morning then with the chirping of birds and the aroma of freshly brewed coffee.  The team at NOTLABS have collaborated with Publicis Mexico with a little help from Shapeways 3D printing to create the Nescafe Alarm Caps.  

The alarm awakens you with the soft sound of chirping birds and a ring of LEDs illuminating the cap, to turn the alarm off you must unscrew the cap (and make yourself a cup of Nescafe).  This elegantly simple idea was realized thanks to Shapeways 3D printing and Arduino based electronics that are accessible to anyone.

It is a prefect example of a major brand taking inspiration from the maker movement, using innovative design firms to create short run products to keep their brand fresh and agile.  Nescafe do not need to invest in 10,000 units to meet minimum order quantities to take their product to market.  Like Shapeways shop owners who understand one of the key assets of 3D printing, that supply exactly meets demand, Nescafe can inspire and supply a key market, whether they be Nescafe lovers, influential celebrities or Folgers fanatics.

We are seeing more and more major brands start to approach 3D printing to connect with their customer base in a more bespoke way, with the democratization of manufacturing with digital fabrication, the biggest firms need to act small to keep up with the rapid innovation possible with smaller agile design firms and even individuals.

Check out the video to see the Nescafe Alarm Cap in action, is that how you would like to start your day?

Also be sure to check out the full unboxing at NotCot and the making of at Cool Hunting that features a couple of images from inside the Shapeways 3D printing factory in NYC.

Thanks to Jean and Shawn at NotCot for the images


 

Celebrating the 40th Anniversary of the Rubik’s Cube with 3D Printing

Posted by in 3D Printed, Puzzles 1 Reply

Twisty puzzle fanatics on Shapeways may already know that today we celebrate the 40th Anniversary of the Rubik’s Cube invented by Hungarian sculptor and professor of architecture Erno Rubik.

Legend has it that Ern? Rubik was working at the Department of Interior Design at the Academy of Applied Arts and Crafts in Budapest. The Cube was designed as a teaching tool to help his students understand 3D objects and space, during the process he was solving the structural problem of moving parts independently without the entire mechanism falling apart. He did not realize that he had created a puzzle until the first time he scrambled his new Cube and then tried to restore it.  He Patented his accidental invention in 1975 and has since inspired and challenged millions of minds around the world.

Because 43 Quintillion ways to scramble the ‘simple cube’ is not enough for twisty puzzle fans, many have come to Shapeways to design their own 3D printed twisty puzzles riffing on the original Rubik’s Cube concept.  3D printing makes it possible to create the most complex puzzles as there is much less cost in creating intricate details as there is with other manufacturing methods.  Because each product is 3D printed on demand, people like Oskar van Deventer can take his 17x17x17 Over the Top puzzle to market even if there are only a few people brave enough to take it on.

Following are some of the most popular, mind bending 3D printed twisty puzzles on Shapeways.


Over The Top – 17x17x17 by Oskar_van_Deventer


Elemental Cube – world’s smallest Rubik by grigr


Easy Cuboid: 1x2x3 by TomZ

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