A great community deserves a great journal. While we already share a lot of designs on this blog, they are only the tip of the iceberg of what's going on inside the community. As of now, we'll be sharing the inside scoop of the Shapeways community in our new Community Journal.
Jonny from InnerbreedFX is working on an incredible animatronic owl. It is intended for raptor research - replacing a live 'lure' animal to help capture other birds. While Jonny admits that there's still a lot of work to be done, it's already an amazing project.
Shapeways went to Minecon 2012 in Paris! Michon and Bart were lucky enough to host a meetup on Friday the 23rd of November in a typical French cafe. The evening was amazing, intimate and animated. I'd say the Parisian Shapeways members found each other. You'll find more pictures on our Meetup page.
A BIG thanks to community members Edouard Gautier, Wong Hua and Jean-Philippe Goussot for helping us pick a good place for the meetup!!
Do you want to host a meetup in your city and meet other Shapeways users as well? Contact us and we'll get you started!
NYC Meetup at 3DEA Pop Up shop
Shapeways is part of the 3DEA Pop Up Shop in New York, located on the corner of 29th st and 6th Ave. There are Ultimaker printers running, a whole bank of computers to play around with 3D modeling and loads of Shapeways community designs and products displayed. Additionally, most evenings play host to a class, lecture or meetup - check out the website for the calendar of events. We had an opening day meetup there, which was great chance to test out the space. Thank you to all who came by! The next one will be on the 19th of December, stay tuned on Meetup.com for details.
We were featured at the livestream during MINECON! Take a peek:
Our moderator Michael received an amazing gift. He writes: "Caia Koopman emailed me about a hollow shell of a model. After helping her make it printable, she sent me this lovely print on wood."
Dec 12 - Shapeways Live - Our periodic live video show where we'll inform you of upcoming things, introduce you to new team members and answer all your questions! More information.
Jan 11 - Shapeways Tour: Eindhoven, the Netherlands - Meet our team members, check out some of the coolest 3D printed models or just hug our printers (if you can, hah!) from 1.30-3.30pm. More information. Tours in our new facility in Long Island City are in the works as well for early next year- stay tuned!
3DEA Meetup NYC - December 19th, soon to be announced on Meetup.com.
That's it from the Community this week! If you have any suggestions for improvement or future topics, let us know!
Sketchup is a great choice if you're new to 3D modeling: it's free, easy to learn and there are TONS of free tutorials available. Even so, you may need to know a few things before you can get your models 3D printed.
Dutch 3D printing lovers are in luck as we're hosting TWO workshops in the Netherlands in June!
The first one, on Sunday June 3rd in Amersfoort, focuses on Blender. The teacher is Diana Wildschut, who is one of the founders of the local Fablab there. The session starts at 14.00.
The second workshop is on Friday the 8th of June in Breda, and dives into Google Sketchup with Charlotte Jansen. Charlotte is an experienced jewelry designer, and works at the Protospace Fablab in Utrecht.
Both workshops aim to give you a basic overview of a specific 3D application (Google Sketchup or Blender). During the workshop, you'll create a design and upload it to Shapeways with the included free printing voucher. Two weeks later you'll receive your work!
The workshops both cost EUR 40 and include a EUR 15 printing voucher for Shapeways. To participate, please register using the following links:
Our community manager Bart will be hosting a talk on the future of production at the Thema Cafe in Amersfoort, the Netherlands. He will briefly touch on the technology behind 3D printing and then move on to demonstrate the current quality of the materials, and the impact that Shapeways has on designers and consumers.
Of course there will be plenty of objects to see!
Last Friday, about 30 Shapeways enthusiasts met in Amsterdam. This made it the largest usermeeting so far! Many brought their own work, and we discussed all kinds of topics like what's going on in the company, technical stuff and how to start up a Shapeways-based business.
Many people asked me if we had already planned a new meeting, and you've made me realise we should do this more often. So: stay tuned - I'll make sure there's another meetup in Amsterdam this year. I'll also make sure there's space to present your own project next time.
It certainly was a very inspiring evening for everyone and it was awesome meeting you all. Thanks for coming, and see you next time!
High-quality 3D printing at home has just come one step closer. Researchers at the Vienna University of Technology in Austria have presented the smallest 3D printer to date. At the size of a carton of milk and weighs 1.5 kilograms, it currently costs around €1,200 but the makers expect the price to drop quickly.
The printer uses stereolithography: it hardens layers of synthetic resin by an intense beam of light of only .05mm wide. So not only is this printer small and cheap, but it also prints at a very high resolution!
With the introduction of the new Frosted Detail and the re-appearance of Silver, our production facilities have been pushed beyond their limits. As a result, some of you may experience a delay in delivery of your items. Let me take a moment and talk about the specific issues that we’ve run into and what we’re doing to solve them.
I think it’s fair to say that we’ve never seen a material introduction that has been as successful as Frosted (Ultra) Detail. Just within the first few days we received the same number of orders as we usually do in one month for the regular Detail materials and they are continuing at the same rate. At this moment, our printers are running 24-7 but it’s not enough. We’re adding more printers this week to match the demand. We should be back on track in two weeks from now, but until then you may experience a delay of up to 10 working days.
We’ve offered Silver a couple of times before in the past, but its current popularity is unprecedented. In addition, people are no longer designing small objects (like rings), but also beautiful larger objects of up to 10x10cm. It seems like silver has been discovered by a new breed of designers!
While this is fantastic news, it also places a heavy burden on our wax printers (which can take up to 70 hours to print a large model!). We’re working hard to add additional wax printers early next week and solve the backlog by the end of next week. Until then, you may experience a delay of up to 10 working days.
As if the sudden growth of orders in Frosted Detail and Silver was not enough, our Objet printer has broken down. We’re busy getting a new one - hopefully early next week. Once its in, we should be up to speed again in 4-5 days. Until that time, Detail orders may be delayed up to 10 working days.
What about your order?
As soon as we see that your order is delayed, we’ll get in touch and keep you informed of the progress. If you have ordered parts in multiple materials, we’ll ship the each part as it’s ready. Of course, if you have any questions you can always contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We’re sorry things are taking longer than you’ve come to expect from us, and we’re all working hard on a solution. Thank you for your patience!
Theo Jansen is a Dutch kinetic artist, since 1990 occupied with creating new forms of life. He is father to the "Animari" beach creatures, or "Strandbeests", made of PVC tubing, that walk the beach powered by the wind. As time progresses the Beests evolve, with the ultimate goal of living their lives on their own.
Now Theo Jansen's Strandbeests have found a way to multiply by injecting their digital DNA directly into the Shapeways system. From now on several small strandbeests are available from his shop
. Next to being a great abstraction of the inspiring work of Theo Jansen, these strandbeests are also an example of what 3D printing is capable of. Right after birth from the 3D printer these models will work straight away and do NOT require any assembly.
Designing the Beests this way proved quite the challenge. They consist of at least 76 separate moving interlocking parts. Multiple prototypes were used to come to the first viable solution, "Animaris Geneticus Parvus" #5. But the evolution process continues with evolutions #6 with lightweight bone structure and #7 with pointy feet.
3D printing is very suitable for rapid design changes, and as time goes by the Beests will evolve and new types of DNA will be added to the store, while others are removed. Expect more evolutions and variations in the future, with possible variation in size, shape, material or means of propulsion.
Also worth mentioning, a big brother to these Strandbeests is the limited edition "Animaris Geneticus Parvus XL", which is only available from Theo's Dutch Gallery Akinci
Animaris Geneticus Parvus is a joint project of Theo Jansen and Dutch Designers Bo Jansen and Tim van Bentum.
From the truly-amazing-department: you guys have earned over $100,000 with your Shapeways shops, counting from the moment Shapeways started back in 2008. That's true earnings, not just revenue. I think that deserves a round of applause! How about we aim for another $100,000 in just 6 months from now?
(Picture: record shipment of 136 orders in one day, last month. From left to right: Egbert, Petra en Ramon)
An often heard request was support for the OBJ file format. This is an open and rather old format, meaning that many many applications offer really good support for it.
After some quiet beta testing, we're now ready to offer it to everyone. So if exporting your designs to STL, VRML97, X3D or Collada always gave you a headache this just might make your life a little bit easier!
A few things to note:
OBJ is a unit-less file format, so you'll have to tell us the scale of your model when you upload it: millimeters, inches or meters. For example, if you select millimeters then 1 unit in your 3D model translates to 1 millimeter in your printed object.
We currently do not yet support material/texture files (.MTL) - this is planned for the future, however. NURBS are also not supported. But in our research we found that NURBS are not commonly used by OBJ exporters of 3D software packages.
The Médaille Coloniale -- the French Colonial Medal -- is a prime uniform decoration for any good 19th-century soldier. Adding some campaign clasps to a recreationist friend's medal seemed like an excellent project to test out the Shapeways workflow, from reference images to final prop.
This instructable is mostly concerned with the method(s) of working in scale from photograph to final item.
He takes you through the following steps:
Gathering reference material and processing it in Photoshop.
Setting up your working size in Carrara Studio.
Designing the clasps.
Checking if the model meets the Shapeways design rules.
One of the things I simply couldn't wrap my head around is how people design Rubik's cubes mechanisms. Eitan Cher shows us how to do it - it involves some clever Solid Works tricks and a LOT of manual labour.
Some of you may have seen the plethora of puzzles that have been uploaded to Shapeways in the past few years by members such as Tom van der Zanden and Oskar van Deventer. Well, I'm one of these twisty-puzzlers, and I've just made a video showing how to do it.
Bored out of my mind in freshman CAD class, I decided to find better things to do with my time, and promptly began to design twisty puzzles. In the 5 minutes that follow, I'll walk you through through the design of my most recent puzzle, the Master Heximate, ending with me holding the finished puzzle in my hands. It goes by kind of fast, but if you've had any experience with CAD you should be able to get the gist of it.
Eitan is currently finishing up his 3rd year in mechanical engineering at the University of Colorado at Boulder. If anyone out there is looking for an enthusiastic product design intern for the summer, a single email would seriously make Eitan's day. To see some of his other designs, pay a visit to Eitan's shop.