Category Archives: What’s Hot

Designer Interview: Flip Vossen 3D Prints Robin van Persie

Happy game day, Dutchies! To celebrate the World Cup and Dutch success, designer Flip Vossen tested his 3D modeling skills to create the one and only, Flying Dutchman! We interviewed him about the process because it’s instances like these that remind us why we love what we do. 3D printing allows everyone to create, produce and show off products so quickly, they are still relevant.

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How long did it take for you to model this?
Creating this model actually took me longer than I had expected it would take me. It was the first time I 3D modeled a human figure and I decided to use the idea as a learning experience. In the past I had modeled many 3D printable product designs but never a model like this. I spent many days and night struggling with new programs and techniques to achieve the model I had set to design.

Can you share your design process with us?
I wanted to use the pros of many different programs so:

1. I started by 3D modeling a figure in poser

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2. I then added soccer clothing

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3. Closing surfaces and adding hair in Rhinoceros

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4. Creating the Base in Solidworks

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5. Merging & fixing meshes in Netfabb Pro

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6. Uv Mapping in Rhinoceros (I would now found out this is easier to do in Zbrush)

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7. Exporting file as VRML + textures.

How long did it take for your receive your model?
I received my model really fast! After uploading it I received it within 3 days so that was a great experience

Obviously that awesome game inspired you to do this, any reason in particular you chose this “move” over a general soccer/football figurine?
Well this match was the kick-off for the Dutch football team during the World Cup and it was immediately against the Spanish team who, as all Dutch people remember, won during the finals in the previous world championship. So I guess you can say it was time for payback.

To be honest I was really skeptical and I think a large portion of the country did not expect our players to win that night, but once the goals started pouring in this was the moment the entire country started to believe that there is a chance we might be able to win this tournament.

The goal from Robin van Persie was the perfect goal with precise timing and he did it with so much feeling for the ball it might well become the World Cup goal of the tournament. The image of him diving through the air quickly became an iconic image for the nation showing the strength and confidence the Dutch team brought to the World Cup. As an ode to this icon I decided to accept the challenge of turning this into a 3D printable object.

Would you have made this without 3D printing?
Without 3D printing I would never have bothered trying to create this model. 3D printing makes it really easy to produce an object in a short time period. Can you imagine producing this 2 years after the goal has been made? Without 3D printing I would have needed a fortune to invest in molds to start creating a figure like this.

What is your favorite part about 3D modeling/printing?
My favorite part about 3D printing is being able to create ideas and concepts and being able to hold them and look around them in real life. There is a big difference between seeing a product on your computer screen and holding it in your hands and viewing it in a certain environment.

3D printing makes it possible to share designs with others without the hassle of difficult production techniques and large budgets. Everybody can become a designer and share their creativity with the rest of the community.

AMAZING work, Flip! These are the stories that remind us how wonderful 3D printing is, ever expanding the possibilities of production, imagination, and creativity! Good luck today!


 

Shapeways + Jewelers: Introducing 3D Printing in Platinum, 18k Gold, 14k Rose Gold & 14k White Gold

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Today, Shapeways got a whole lot shinier! We’re excited to launch a new suite of materials for our precious metals family.

Introducing:


Anvil Necklace by GothamSmith

Jewelry is extremely popular on Shapeways – it’s always been one of our top selling categories. Talented jewelers are using 3D modeling software to create amazing designs that wouldn’t be possible to produce without 3D printing. With Shapeways, jewelers can give their customers access to unique products, created or customized personally by a designer, now in a wide variety of high quality materials.

Benefits for Jewelers of 3D Printing with Shapeways

High Quality, Great Value: 3D print in stunning precious metals for less than you’d expect.

No Need for Inventory: Make pieces when you need them, or sell directly through Shapeways

Endless Possibilities: Easily create intricate details and designs you can’t make by hand

Here at Shapeways, we’re proud to support jewelers. We’re one of the only 3D printing companies to widely offer these new precious metals to everyone, and, with our other jeweler-friendly materials such as 14k Gold, Sterling Silver, and Castable Wax, we now have the most options available for 3D printing jewelry!

Crystal Ring by Eeppium

More about the new metals

Platinum: This bright silver-white material is extensively hand-polished to a smooth sheen. A rare metal, Platinum is recognized as being the most precious of all precious metals. Jewelers often select this material for its durability while consumers love it for its luster.

18k Gold: Brighter and more vibrant than 14k Gold, it contains a higher percentage of gold.

14k Rose Gold: Its pinkish tint adds a touch of warmth and romance to any design.

14k White Gold: For a more subtle look, it resembles silver with just a hint of gold.

Arrow Ring by courtneyetc

Like our 14k Gold, all of these metals are 3D printed in wax then cast. Therefore, they all share the same design rules, so it’s easy for jewelers to enable current designs in these new finishes.

Give them a try and let us know what you think!


 

Inspiring the Next Generation of Creators: Announcing Our Collaboration with Google on Made with Code to Inspire Millions of Girls to Code & Create

I’ve been coding since I was 13 years old. I’d spend hours taking apart computers, putting them back together, and creating worlds of my own. Technology has not only impacted the way I solve problems, it’s framed the way I view the world. First with coding, and later with 3D printing, I found that my imagination was my only limitation.

Today, I’m thrilled to share that Shapeways is collaborating with Google on Made with Code to inspire girls to code. Our goal has always been to give everyone access to the best technology in 3D printing, and we’re now investing in that access for girls — a group that has historically been underrepresented in science and technology.

Made with Code offers fun and simple projects aimed at helping girls take the first step in learning how to code. The premier project of the initiative is a coding project based on Blockly, Google’s visual programming editor, in which girls can create a custom bracelet that we will 3D print in our New York City factory using EOS printers.

Made with Code and Shapeways

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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?

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Now Shipping Faster: Gold, Silver, Steel and Gold Plated Brass

Great news, Shapies! Today, we’re excited to announce a global reduction on lead time on some of your favorite metals! Effective immediately, lead times have been reduced for the Silver Family, the Steel Family, Gold Plated Brass and 14k Gold!

You can see the new ship dates reflect on our Materials page, upon checkout and right here in this chart. We are always working hard to get products to you and your customers faster, and we are excited to be able to do so with so many metals at once. Big props to our Supply Chain and Materials Teams for making this happen!

What would you like to see shipped faster next?

 

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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Intel to Create Open Source 3D Printed Robot Kit

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Intel demoed “Jimmy,” a “smartphone with legs,” their latest robot, customized and created from their new open source 3D printed robot kit at the Code Conference this week. This exciting announcement is a profound and inspiring move to increase participation in the robotics space. Intel is selling kits of the internal electronic and mechanical components (yet to be cost effectively 3D Printed), and they are offering the 3D printable hardware designs free online. Any Shapie, or individual with access to a 3D Printer will be able to print their own robot and have access to their social robotics platform to customize its form and function as they please.

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Shapeways 3D Printed Gold Now Available Worldwide

We are excited to announce that 14k Gold, the latest addition to the Shapeways material family, is now available everywhere we currently ship worldwide! Your enthusiasm and patience was noted and appreciated.

Lead Time: 12 Days (16 Days for models with a bounding box greater than 56mm in all directions)
You can get all the details on the Gold Material Page. Note that Gold can now be set as a default material.
What will you make or sell in Gold first?

 

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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Welcome to the Golden Age of 3D Printing: Introducing 14 Carat Gold to Shapeways

Update: As of May 22nd, Gold is now available worldwide and can be set as the default material for the products in your shop. 
Featured models from left to right: Hibiscus Ring by alaswadi, Cousin Gabriel Ring by cousingabriel, Rock Ring by thefuturefuture, and Arrow Ring by courtneyetc

Today, we’re proud to welcome the most precious of metals to the Shapeways family - 14k Gold. We’ve been inspired by the accessories and jewelry you’ve made with our Silver, Brass, Bronze, and Steel; and we have heard your requests for more premium metal options. 


Droplet Pendant by LIFIC

Our solid, hand-polished 14k Gold is simply stunning. It’s meticulously polished to a beautiful, smooth sheen. With a high-shine look that’s perfect for rings, cufflinks, pendants, earrings, charms, or whatever you decide to create. Not to mention, wedding season is right around the corner, ladies and gents!
Greek mythology deemed the people of the Golden Age the “golden race” of humans who came first. You’re all part of the Shapeways Golden Age, so which one of you fearless designers will try our Gold first?

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Order in time for Mother’s Day!

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Mother’s Day is just around the corner here in the US, and we want to make sure you can get your goods in time for your lovely mothers and important women in your life. We’ve mapped out a schedule for select materials, and you can always reference our material pages for more information. These cut-off dates are based on next day shipping for a May 9th delivery within the US. If you are ordering from outside the US, or ordering a personalized product, please allow for extra time.

Future Bow by jbare design

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Making Bank: Shapeways Partners With The United States Mint

We’re extremely excited to announce an incredible partnership that shows the true potential of 3D printing. For a limited time, the United States Mint is partnering with Shapeways to make 3D printed coins in our Premium Silver. We are authorized to create a limited number of silver coins with a special bonus. For the first time in history, a lucky few will have the exclusive privilege of having their face embossed on the back of what is slated to become the ultimate collectors item! 

This is a once in a lifetime opportunity that Shapeways is proud to offer exclusively to our loyal 3D printing community. You are the ones that have helped pave the way for Shapeways to be at the forefront of the 3D printing revolution and this is our small way of giving back and saying thank you. 

We have a mintage limit of 50 coins, so as we expect demand to be high, submissions will be taken for the next 48 hours and then will be drawn as a lottery once the period has closed. To take advantage of this offer, message us on Facebook or tweet at us with the hashtag #PenniesFromHeaven. Submissions will be taken until at Midnight PST April 3rd. All entries will be placed into a lottery and the lucky 50 winners will be contacted directly by our dedicated customer service team on Thursday.

Good luck!

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A Sign Of The 3D Printed Times: Shapeways New York Times Feature

In case you did not spend your morning with a coffee and a New York Times print edition in hand, you may have missed Shapeways was featured on the front page of the Home section! But don’t worry—the article is also available online here, complete with a slideshow and video. 

Our Designer Evangelist Duann Scott discusses how 3D printing is impacting the future of business and design and how Shapeways can be a resource for designers launching new products. The article also showcases a few of our amazing Shop Owners and community members.

Thank you to our talented designers featured in this article for being such amazing ambassadors:
Susan Taing of Bhold design
Evan Gant of OliveBird
Sarah C. Awad and Dhemerae Ford, aka The Laser Girls

Ashley Zelinskie of Ashley Zelinskie Art

Ryan Kittleson of Ryan Kittleson’s Sculptures

Sergio Diaz of N-cora

Joaquin Balwdin of Designs by Joaquin Baldwin
Chris Vidal of Vidal Design 
Bathsheba Grossman of Bathsheba Sculpture LLC
Vijay Paul of Dot San
We’re thrilled about this feature and hope you’ll check it out and share it with your 3D print enthusiast friends.

 

What the Oculus Rift Acquisition by Facebook means for 3D Printing

The tech world collectively gasped and gossiped yesterday as Facebook announced its purchase of Oculus, a virtual reality headset originally launched on Kickstarter, for a cool $2 Billion Dollars. Safe to say that their 21 year old CEO and his team of are set for life, but what does this mean for the rest of us?


Our very own Brad Dickason rocking his Oculus Rift

In sum:
  1. Hardware is back
  2. People powered product > other stuff
  3. Communities are empowering the future of design meaning innovation is no longer dictated by big brand hegemons
  4. Shapeways, like Oculus, is at the epicenter of this next industrial revolution

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