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The Shapeways 3D Print Flex-Contest


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"Your entry must not have a total volume of less than 50cm3."

In other words it must be GREATER than 50cm3?? That is huge.
#1 Anonymous on 2012-04-11 22:05 (Reply)
ah, changed

#2 Duann on 2012-04-11 22:10 (Reply)
Exciting! Is this material food safe? What temperature could it withstand if I heated it in an oven?


#3 Lincoln (Homepage) on 2012-04-11 22:47 (Reply)
Interesting. Would this material work like a pencil eraser? I'm thinking of how it could make novelty eraser shapes, like what kids sometimes buy. :-)
#4 Roofoo on 2012-04-12 00:26 (Reply)
Does this material have a name? If not, I would call it, "Cheese."
#5 Kiran (Homepage) on 2012-04-12 02:00 (Reply)
Hi Duann,

What kind of size holes need to be in a hollow model?

#6 stop4stuff (Homepage) on 2012-04-12 07:41 (Reply)
Couple of questions:

1. What is the heat resistance?
2. What colours are you offering?
3. Can we paint or dye it ourselves? What process is recommended?
#7 Peter on 2012-04-12 08:52 (Reply)
me again with a couple more questions.

Does the uploaded model need to be made public?

And how strict is the 1mm wall thickness rule? - I have a model with walls that vary from 0.98 to 1.03mm

#8 stop4stuff (Homepage) on 2012-04-12 12:47 (Reply)
Hey Paul, let's say 1mm hole to remove support material.
#9 Duann on 2012-04-12 13:22 (Reply)
Hey Lincoln.

We will check the temp stats for you.
The material also has a powdery ness that makes it a little unsettling in contact with food as particles may come loose.
The previous rubbery material was classified food safe but I am not sure about this one
#10 Duann on 2012-04-12 13:24 (Reply)
I will test it for you and let you know
#11 Duann on 2012-04-12 13:25 (Reply)
Yes. Model must be public

Let's try and stick to the rules of 1mm but we will not check unless you win ;-)
#12 Duann on 2012-04-12 13:26 (Reply)
We will check the temperatures for you

We will most likely print it in black for the contest

The coloring process looks like a complex impregnation process and we have not yet tested with fabric dyes...
#13 Duann on 2012-04-12 13:29 (Reply)
Thanks Duann :-)
#14 stop4stuff (Homepage) on 2012-04-12 14:37 (Reply)
"The previous rubbery material was classified food safe but I am not sure about this one "

One of the categories listed above is Best Kitchen Related Design, so we really need to be a bit more certain about this.
#15 WillLaPuerta (Homepage) on 2012-04-12 17:31 (Reply)
Hi Will,

The best way to go will be to make something for the kitchen that does not come into contact with food?

menu holder?
Cupboard Handle?
Sink Plug?
Teapot trivet?
#16 Duann on 2012-04-12 18:38 (Reply)
can we make an artistic sculpture or does it have to be a product of some kind?

#17 Xanthe (Homepage) on 2012-04-12 21:40 (Reply)
You can make any product! We will be judging on quite a few categories including general innovation and creativity in using the squishy material.
#18 nancyliang on 2012-04-12 22:02 (Reply)
Hi Duann,

Only me (again)

Do you know what it would take to break a 3mm diameter solid rod?

I have a model in mind but don't know if the mechanics would work, I can PM you with details if needs be.

#19 stop4stuff (Homepage) on 2012-04-13 16:19 (Reply)
How well might this material work with a design that had a magnet to be inserted into it post-printing? I'm just worried it might be too squishy. Also, what's the abrasion resistance of it as well, like would it deteriorate pretty quickly after a few scratches or could it hold up to some abuse? Thanks!
#20 kcwinter on 2012-04-13 18:56 (Reply)

Depends on the stress, we have found once we color it elongation snap is at 150%....

is it stretch, shear or compression?

#21 Duann on 2012-04-14 00:22 (Reply)
Magnets sound fine, it is fairly robust,

Abrasion would depend what it is rubbed against,
concrete bad
itself good.

Does this help?
#22 Duann on 2012-04-14 00:23 (Reply)
Are you allowed to upload multiple entries? I'm definitely going to try this.
#23 Callum on 2012-04-14 02:24 (Reply)
I see you printed various version of the Stich Bracelet (with a wire diameter of 2mm and 1.5mm I would say). I am wondering: is the meterial flexible enough to remove (without breaking it) an entire row from the bracelet? If it is the case then you could break apart two or three bracelets of different colors and then re-assemble them after mixing the colors...
Would be really nice...
#24 Magic (Homepage) on 2012-04-14 10:44 (Reply)
Hi Duan,

It would be stretch, the rod would be attached at one end within a larger outer tube.

sorry, another question;
What kind of % reduction in dimensions would be expected for a cube-like frame to snugly fit a cube.

#25 stop4stuff (Homepage) on 2012-04-15 09:21 (Reply)
Well, I shall be making an entry, but: "powderiness"? No, no, could we have a glossy one please :o)
#26 peterhguk on 2012-04-16 00:55 (Reply)

Not food safe/bio compatible is a real downer for me.
It really narrows down it's flexibility (if you'll excuse the pun...).


#27 anachreon on 2012-04-16 14:24 (Reply)
IF we could get a glossy finish we would offer it for sure.
#28 duann on 2012-04-16 14:55 (Reply)
Ooooh, the first entries are n...
#29 Duann on 2012-04-16 22:52 (Reply)
The search is case-sensitive: it currently gives two results for flextest and four results for Flextest

I sure hope that won't affect anyone's eligibility. Will the judges include both tags?
#30 VeryWetPaint (Homepage) on 2012-04-17 04:27 (Reply)
We will incude both terms :-)
#31 duann on 2012-04-17 17:03 (Reply)
Two questions:
- Do you need to choose a category yourself or will the judges decide on that?
- Are multiple entries allowed?
#32 Wahtah on 2012-04-19 09:22 (Reply)
Can we order the new material before the end of the contest?
#33 Marcus (Homepage) on 2012-04-19 22:30 (Reply)
Hey guys,

So this material is super new, and unfortunately we just don't have all the data with regards to elongation, etc. The video should give a good idea of the bendability.. we know it is over 100% elongation at break though. We are also playing around with infiltration to make the material stronger (and thus will change the material properties).

It is not food safe, but maybe you can use it for handles and food equipment that doesn't directly come in contact with food.

As for categories.. just submit, and we will consider all entries for all categories. Heck, you might even win TWO categories!!

Multiple entries are more than welcomed! The more the merrier!!

Order the new material before end of contest? We are moving as fast as possible, and if it's ready before the end of the contest then maybe... but, no launch date as of yet.
#34 nancyliang on 2012-04-20 22:04 (Reply)
re: Stitch Bracelet

Yes, you can remove the individual links no problem!! Even the thinnest one is fine.. though you have to be careful with the thin pieces. :-)
#35 nancyliang on 2012-04-20 22:06 (Reply)
In the contest video, is that a Rubik's cube that is brought out when it mentions interlocking parts?
#36 Callum on 2012-04-22 23:11 (Reply)
No that is Interlocking Cubes. This model to be precise:
#37 nancyliang on 2012-04-22 23:53 (Reply)
Yes,definitely interested. Would be ordering some parts today if you offered it now.

Do you know the durometer of the new flexible material? Can the durometer be varied, ie stiffer or softer? Is this made in the Objet system that enables printing with stiff material in the same piece? If so, will you offer this?
#38 kitemaker on 2012-04-23 16:16 (Reply)
This is not an Objet material. The durometer could vary depending on machine setting, but not by much. From my understand it's the infiltratant used that will change the durometer. We don't have any numbers yet as we are still tweaking the final process, but you can see from the video how stiff/flexible it is. It's not a quantitative measure, but should give you a sense of the material. Does that help?

I look forward to seeing your design in the contest!!
#39 nancyliang on 2012-04-23 16:20 (Reply)
How scratchy is the material? I'm wondering for mobile device cases; is it close enough to a neoprene-like material that it won't scratch the device or wear itself out if it's in constant contact with the device?

Can you test an existing model designed for one Strong and Flexible printing with the new material and let us know if there needs to be a sizing adjustment? The Strong and Flexible material can "snap" around objects, which I'm guessing this new material can't, but if it's printed a hair smaller it may be able to stretch and cup the device corners?
#40 MidnightLightning (Homepage) on 2012-04-25 19:19 (Reply)
It will definitely stretch to fit. We tested a rubber band iPhone case, and it was too loose to fit on an iPhone. However, we wrapped it around a Vibe iPhone Case, and it fit better (still a hair too loose). If you submit an iPhone Case, we can work together to figure out what the "conversion" should be in terms of sizing. We'll have to print it in a few sizes to be sure. One idea is to have the design wrap around the phone more, like this:

As for scratching, it's not scratchy, but it's not completely smooth either. I wouldn't worry about it damaging my phone though because it is a soft material so it's rough but not as abrasive.
#41 nancyliang on 2012-04-25 19:37 (Reply)
does it float?
#42 designerica on 2012-04-25 20:42 (Reply)
Yes, Squishy Floats!
#43 nancyliang on 2012-04-25 20:46 (Reply)
Does it blend? ;-)
#44 roofoo on 2012-04-26 18:41 (Reply)
Yes it does....
#45 duann on 2012-04-26 18:44 (Reply)
Is it air tight?
#46 marc (Homepage) on 2012-04-26 21:13 (Reply)
No.. the material is not air or water tight.
#47 nancyliang on 2012-04-26 21:37 (Reply)
That's a great piece of news.
Mixing different colors for the bracelets would be a real advantage.
Thanks Nancy.
#48 Magic (Homepage) on 2012-04-27 17:20 (Reply)
Ahhhh I see what you are getting at :-)

The thickest stitch bracelet worked well, the thinner ones kind of fell apart. The thinnest one just kind of came apart by itself, since it was squishier due to the thin walls.

Also, after doing a few test prints, it looks like we need to up the min wall to 1.5mm. Even on "normal walls" (like BAROBA's bunny) at 1mm, the walls often crack during before its infiltrated.
#49 nancyliang on 2012-04-27 17:23 (Reply)
hi ,

how manny models can i use to participate ?
and how can i find find the models of other contestants ?
#50 belgian on 2012-04-27 20:24 (Reply)
You can submit as many as you want. Just remember to tag them "Flextest".
#51 nancyliang on 2012-04-27 20:25 (Reply)
Hi Belgian,

You can enter as many times as you like.

To find other entrants search for FlexTest on Shapeways
#52 Duann on 2012-04-27 20:26 (Reply)
Not airtight! Bah, I thought it was! Anyway, I have made my entry, which Nancy will recognise :oP
#53 peterhguk on 2012-05-03 17:03 (Reply)
Do you have to make the models public?
#54 xGATOxMALOx on 2012-05-11 11:26 (Reply)
Yes. Models must be public.
#55 Anonymous on 2012-05-11 11:29 (Reply)
Do we enter the tags under the description or in the model name itself?
#56 TheCartographer on 2012-05-11 17:57 (Reply)
You need to enter the tag on your product page, on the lower right hand side is an option to add tags.

you need to use the tag


Good Luck
#57 Duann on 2012-05-11 18:05 (Reply)

just read this last post on the "tag". I uploaded my file on time, but overlooked to tag it flextest. updated the model tag now. Does this mean i'm ... out ? (pulling my hear out as i type)
#58 ilcanario (Homepage) on 2012-05-11 19:51 (Reply)
You are good,

An hour to spare :-)
#59 Duann on 2012-05-11 20:00 (Reply)
#60 TheCartographer on 2012-05-11 20:07 (Reply)
Glad I saw this and was able to come up with an idea quick enough :-)

First upload to Shapeways so I posted the description on the product comment. If there is no better place, then we're all good.

glhf all
#61 ivorivetta on 2012-05-11 20:11 (Reply)
nvm figured out where the product description goes from other entries :-)
#62 ivorivetta on 2012-05-11 20:14 (Reply)
sorry guys EST CET
#63 ilcanario on 2012-05-11 20:21 (Reply)
Don't know why my comment doesn't get posted.....what are the results of the contest?
#64 KGB on 2012-05-17 02:24 (Reply)
Contest winner will be announced later today. :-)
#65 nancyliang on 2012-05-17 19:35 (Reply)

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