I hope you are enjoying the 3D printed Glazed Ceramics so far. Along with my goal to give Shapeways more smooth and shiny products, we've also been working with our 3D printed Stainless Steel production partners to come up with some tips on how to ensure your pieces gets a better polished feel.
See above for polished (left) and unpolished (right)
"The quality exceeds my expectation! It feels the same as injection moulded nylon, like for example the plastic part of a car key...With this quality level it makes the product perfect for selling in a store... I am really enthusiastic about this new SLS treatment!" -Gijs de Zwart, studiogijs
"With the new smooth finish, White Strong & Flexible material has the same feel as a molded plastic part. It doesn't feel like a "prototype" anymore and the smooth surface stands up much better to daily use." -Jessica Rosenkrantz, Nervous System
"The finish is silky smooth, and even gives glints of reflections! The surface feels almost as if the model has been injection molded...My wife has just has a feel of the polished SLS, she says, Ooo... they feel like Mentos!" -- Paul King, Stop4stuff
Unlike Mentos, WSF Polished is not edible (Duann, I'm looking at your son). We even have a video testimonial from Oskar, discussing both pros and cons of the new material
Polished WSF will start at just $0.25/cm3 extra in addition to the WSF costs. We will add the material to all items currently available in White Strong & Flexible, with the same markup as the WSF. If you want to remove this material, or set a percentage based markup price for your products in this material, please see the Markup Bookmarklet an awesome community member hacked together.
Hello again! Today, I'm proud to announce two new developments in the way Shapeways enables your creativity: the remodeling of our creator page and a brand new creator to go with it!
First, our new creator page…Shapeways is constantly looking for new ways to help people who do not know how to 3D Model to design and create new things. We do this via our Creators and Co-Creation Platform. Over time, we have accumulated a lot of different creators and variations, and our Creator page has gotten a bit crowded. This week, we've cleaned it up a bit. Hopefully this will make it easier to use and understand.
Speaking of ways of helping you create, we are also happy to introduce our Image Popper! The concept is simple, upload a black and white JPG, or draw your own right on screen (currently the draw your own feature only works in Google Chrome). Then tell us how big you want it, how much you want to raise it, etc. and watch your design upload directly to your shop.
I was hanging out with some friends over the weekend, and we were throwing some Shapeways items around. They asked me "how strong is this material anyway?" "Well," I responded, "what better way to find out than to test it out yourself?"
Hello, I'm Nancy, the Product Lead of Materials & Content, and I have some exciting news! One month ago, we sent out a survey in which we asked people what they wanted in Shapeways material. We found that the top 2 qualities people were looking for are higher detail material, and smoother material. As you know, our number one priority is our customer, so we quickly went to work. In under a month, we found a new material! Starting today, we will be introducing this new materials in two different settings: Frosted Detail and Frosted Ultra Detail. See for yourself what is possible...
click on the pictures to enlarge
Frosted Ultra Detail vs. Frosted Detail
Frosted Ultra Detail painted
Frosted Ultra Detail vs. White Detail
As you can see from the pinwheel photo above (the first picture on the left), Frosted Ultra Detail is a crisper, clearer material than Frosted Detail. Also, the thinner pinwheel walls survives printing in the Frosted Ultra Detail material, while the same walls breaks off in Frosted Detail wheel (the wheel on the right).
This is also an improvement over our current detail offerings. First, we will allow interlocking parts with this material, which will enable more complex and interesting designs. The material is also smoother, and less yellow than the current detail material (especially the Frosted Ultra Detail, see the comparison photo above). Lastly, because the support material is easier to clean, less parts will get rejected. In the past, hollow parts with tiny holes were very difficult to clean and would sometimes get rejected, in the Frosted Detail materials, the support material is melted out, simplifying the cleaning process, so upload those complex models and off to the printers they go!
We will be offering Frosted Detail materials on a trial basis for 8 weeks. If the community response is positive, we will keep this material permanent, so be sure to give us plenty of feedback on your experiences (both good and bad) with this and our other detail materials.
Hey guys, thanks for all your feedback on silver so far! It's great to see so many people inspired and enthusiastic.
In response to your feedback, I am happy to announce that we will be eliminating extra start up costs for pairs of earrings and cufflinks.
We will no longer be charging $40 for each earring or cufflinks!
There is one flat fee for the first 1 cm3 (of $40). Afterwards, each further cubic centimeter will be $20/cc.
Please note though, this does only applies to natural pairings (like earrings and cufflinks), and this does not apply to earrings/cufflinks with more than 2 parts. We incur a lot of costs on a per part basis, hence the flat fee. However, we hear your pain and would like to help you design more beautiful things, so for earrings and cufflinks we'll make an exception.
I hope to see more beautiful things in silver soon! Remember to share your photos in the "It's Arrived" section of the forums.
Yes, you heard it here first. Starting today we are introducing a new material that has been in research and development for quite some time. Our R&D team has labored long and hard on perfecting this material, testing it, getting it ready for mass production. Thousands of cups of coffees and sandwiches later--it is ready.
The best thing about this material is the freedom to design. The material has no minimum wall thickness, geometric limitation or detail restrictions. That's right, if you can think it, we can print it--for reals. Do you have a train model with .0001mm detail because the April 1st, 1941 Edition B-8924 Theta train has window scratch that you MUST replicate? We can print that too. Are you a mathematical artist and want to print your favorite Mandelbrot set? We can do that too. Do you want to print a 3000-sided thorn dice to match your 3000 likes on Facebook? Upload away! Big walls, small walls, transparent walls, imaginary walls. All possible right at Shapeways.
Without further ado, we are happy to bring you this season's Spring Aeros Uber-Transparent Detail & Flexible! Can't wait to see your designs!
See below for samples:
Want more information? See below for the mechanical properties of SAU-TD&F
Hello all, for the past few weeks we've been nailing down design rules for Stainless Steel. I know there has been some confusion over the rules, and there has been community members (understandably) upset at the conservative 3 mm minimum wall length.
We are releasing two versions of design rules, one Basic Design Rules, which indeed has a minimum wall thickness of 3 mm. We are also releasing an addendum that will hopefully help you better understand how to best design if you would like to have walls less than 3 mm thick.
We are also building up a Design Rule Repository. This is a subsection of the website dedicated to design rules. Going forward, the blog and forum will be used to report on changes to this repository. It should not be considered a reliable source for listing the rules; the official rules will be found (or linked to) in the design rule section of the web page.
Last, I'd like to discuss some ideas we have for design rule changes going forward. Changes to design rules are inevitable. We have an incredibly creative community who constantly push the boundaries of 3D Printing. We will always get designs that fit the rules but are difficult or even impossible to print. While we continuously push our partners to advance their technologies to better suit your creativity, we will also work to ensure that the design rules and updated in a way that helps everybody design models that can be printed at reasonable cost. Over the upcoming weeks, we plan to work with each of our suppliers to create a process for handling design rule changes. Of course, it will include communication to you--our designers. We will work to give you lead time to learn the new rules, and tips on how to change existing models to fit the new rules. We will also work on grandfathering in as many designs as we can (so designs previously printed may still be acceptable under new rules), but of course there will be certain models that are too risky or too expensive to print.
I would like to get your feedback on the design rules. Some of you are quite experienced in 3D printing, and have a better sense than I do on what is possible and what is not, so I am very interested in hearing your thoughts on whether the rules make sense, are missing things, etc.
Product Lead for Materials and Content
Hello all. A while ago, we announced the addition of two colors:Indigo and Dark Grey, to our strong and flexible family. In addition to our Winter Red, we will keep these three colors until the end of May (Black will stay a permanent color). We know there was an error last time when we added the new colors, specifically we added the colors with no mark up to your jobs. We have since removed the colors and are now re-adding them with the correct markup. Starting this week, we will automatically re-add the new colors (Indigo and Dark Grey) to all products currently available in Winter Red. Mark up will default to the highest mark up for any strong and flexible item in your shop.
Hello all! I am pleased to announce we have new colors options available for purchase for our Strong & Flexible line.
In addition to our Black Strong and Flexible, and our Winter Red Strong and Flexible (we're extending); we will also be adding Indigo Strong and Flexible and Dark Grey Strong and Flexible to the family.
Personally, I really like the Indigo. It looks like a rich, vibrant blue in some lights, and look more purple in other lights. We are going to order some more models and take better pictures as the models come through.
The Winter Red, Indigo, and Dark Grey will be available until the end of May 2011. The pricing for these new colors will stay the same as our previous colors, $4 start up cost + $1.99 / cm3.
I'm looking forward to all the cool designs we'll make together with this new palette. Enjoy!
Models used for testing courtesy of boredom.is.me aka Kevon R of microboat.
Hi, I'm Nancy, the Product Lead for Materials and Content at Shapeways. I know maybe some of you are confused and frustrated with the Stainless Steel design rules,
and the disappointing rejection notices you get regarding wall
thickness and other violation of design rules. I'd like to take some
time and update you on what we are doing at Shapeways to address this.
First, I'd like to recap some of the important design rules..
Basically, the way I think of it--it's less about the precise number of millimeters and a precise ratio (like 1:2 will work but 1:2.01 will not work, or anything under x millimeter will work and x-.1 millimeter won't), and more about the question, will it break? The part of the process where a model usually breaks is when the material is in the "Green State." The way I like to think of it is, if I sculpt this out of wet sand--can I pick it up without it falling apart? Or, if I made this out of really brittle, unbaked clay--can I pick it up without it breaking?
While visiting our suppliers, I took a quick video of me playing with the Stainless Steel in the Green State (a fragile stage in the middle of the process). See how fragile and easily breakable this is? And this piece is actually 3 mm or over!
The current version of our Stainless Steel design rules can be found here, in detail. There's also a blog post
that describes some of the nuances. But more importantly, here's what
we're cooking up to deal with the confusion over these rules.
Hello all! A few weeks ago, we decided on new colors to replace Winter Blue and Winter Green Strong & Flexible. We will still keep Winter Red around since it was one of our best selling colors.
We had a survey to poll the results, and the top three colors were Purple, Orange, and Grey. Even though I know Orange is popular, especially among the Dutch football/soccer fans among our community, it actually didn't sell too well when we offered it. So we decided to go with the other two (Purple and Grey). We ran some tests and here are the results!
(BTW: Many thanks to Boredom.Is.Me for letting us use his designs!)
Here are the various grey combinations we try. The different shades are due to experimenting with different concentrations of dye and different length of time the objects soaked in the dye. I think they turned out nicely, if I do say so myself.
A better, white balanced picture:
The "Purple" was interesting as well. The models actually sort of a midnight, Yves Klein Blue (which btw is a lovely color). They do have some purplish hue in them, a Blue-Purple if you will (Blurple?). Check it out:
So... what do you guys think of these colors? Let's hear your thoughts!