Category Archives: 3D Printing

Local Motors Launches New 3D Printed Car

Ever wanted to order a car on demand? Fantasized about when you design even more components of your life on Shapeways than you already do? Well, with the launch of Phoenix, Arizona, USA based Local Motors new 3D printed car, we’re now accelerating faster towards this future. Meet the Strati, Italian for layers, of course.

3D printed Car

Image, video and specs courtesy of Local Motors

The car is 3D printed in 49 parts, aka less than 1/100th of the 5,000 parts cars that are traditionally manufactured are made of. The 3D printing of the Strati took 44 hours, but this 45 second time-lapse video is one you’re going to have to see to believe:

Local Motors is global innovation community, like Shapeways, driven to make our collaborative dreams into vehicular realities. They are a resource for sharing ideas, designs, prototyping and miro-manufacturing and given the humble vision of their founders, it’s no surprise this community created the Strati. Unlike other prototypes, this model is practical and functional. More of this car was 3D printed than other that has precluded it – including the chassis- and here are the specs to prove it:

  • Engine – 100% electric (not 3D Printed ;) )
  • Features – electronic engine immobilizer, regenerative braking, disc brakes front and rear, rear- wheel drive
  • Transmission – Automatic, single speed
  • Battery – 6.1 kwh battery, 62-mile range, 3.5-hour charge time
  • Motor – 5 bhp or 17 bhp, 42 lb-ft torque*
  • Body – Approx. 212 layers, direct digital manufactured vehicle (DDMV), carbon fiber reinforced ABS plastic
  • Top speed – approx. 50mph*
  • Wheels – custom made by Fifteen52

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The historic first drive of the #3DPrintedCar – Enjoy!

View on Instagram

At $20,000 USD, would you drive a Strati? I’ve certainly signed up for the newsletter to be kept in the know…


 

Shapeways is Committed to Supporting Education–there’s a discount and so much more!

Hello there! My name is Lauren and I’ve been lurking around the Shapeways world as Designer Evangelist for the last year. Today, I want to let the world and the Shapie community know about the commitments we’re making in education and 3D printing.

Shapeways Education Program Benefits include:

10% Discount – We always offer students and educators a 10% discount on their own model prints. Students & educators can register a school email address with Shapeways and save 10% all orders in any of our 40+ materials. Students, head to Shapeways.com/education. Teachers, check out Shapeways.com/educators.

Campus Battle – We’re serious about supporting student work. University students who register on shapeways.com/education between now and November 15, 2014 will receive $25 in printing credit towards their own designs. Students at the school with the most signups will receive an additional $75 in Shapeways credit.

Education Grant – Everyday we hear about how Shapeways is helping students create awesome work such as product development, architecture, and engineering projects. Now we want to help you make those projects really come to life by announcing the Shapeways Education Grant. Each semester we will make up to $5,000 available in Shapeways printing credit awarded to student projects. The application process is detailed on shapeways.com/education.

Shapeways Crew Student Representative Program – Become part of the Shapeways community (and get free stuff)! We love for students to represent us on their campus, and by joining our Shapeways Campus Crew Representative program, You’ll get exclusive offers from Shapeways. Whether you’re printing maquettes for your architecture studio, sculpture materials for Fine Arts, custom arduino enclosures – you name it we can 3D print it!

3D Printing Tutorials – In an effort to help everyone learn 3D design, we’ve assembled one of the largest collections of 3D printing tutorials out there, covering everything from design tools to selling on Shapeways. Whether you’re still in school or a lifelong learner, there are tips for all levels from our team and community of experts.

API and Shape.js – CS Majors are facing a world of competition in apps and services. Today, Shapeways opens entirely new vertical markets for physical products via our Shapeways API and ShapeJS. ShapeJS let’s you create interactive and customizable digital blueprints of physical products and the Shapeways API let’s you price and sell those products to customers around the world.

Shapeways supports education

So I’d like to welcome students, teachers to Shapeways where we’re committed to educating everyone on the ins and outs of 3D printing and giving you all the skills to print your very own ideas. Scope out the education information page and register for your discount and perks. Happy printing!


 

Halloween 3D Printing Contest

Hey Blenderheads, have we got a (trick or) treat for you!

Design your best 3D printable JACK-O-LANTERN and enter it into the Halloween 3D Modeling and Printing Contest to win $1,000 worth of prizes!  We’re thrilled to work with our friends at CG Cookie and Sketchfab to bring you these prizes and support your spooktacular creations.

We encourage you to get wild with your creations – fun, scary, cute, we can’t wait to see it all. The First Place winner will receive $100 in 3D printing credit with Shapeways, your design 3D printed in orange strong and flexible plastic ($50 value), a one year subscription to Sketchfab Pro ($120 value) + a Sketchfab T-shirt, Cardboard VR kit ($25 value) and a one year subscription to CG Cookie Citizen ($172 value)!

You have until Halloween night (October 31st, at 11:59pm) to submit your entry. Don’t miss out! Not a Blenderhead? You’re still eligible! See the full contest details and submit your entry here.

contest_halloween-2014_social-feature


 

How much does it cost when you 3D print a thousand different parts all at once?

Since informing you all of the big changes in Shapeways pricing, we’ve had a lot of questions about how and why we price the way we do. Raphael, a product manager on our materials team, has led this project, and can explain the thought process behind our pricing, and the complex and intriguing analysis that’s gone into building the pricing structure we announced a few days ago. For more on the Selective Laser Sintering process for printing nylon plastic please read Pete’s blog post here

This blog post is about showing you how we got here, and why these prices are the most accurate reflection of reality we ever been able to build. The way we calculate pricing isn’t about random transformations or math tricks,  but is a model built to reflect the years of experience we have in producing millions of 3D printed parts.

3D printing build, Netfab, 3D printer tray

An example of a 3D printer machine tray containing 100s of parts

There are several components to pricing, but by far the most difficult to calculate is machine space. Machine space is a huge portion of the manufacturing cost of a model, more than 50% on average. Interestingly, machine space isn’t actually just the cost of the the 3D printer. It has two components: the cost of the machine itself, and the cost of the powder that is in the machine and can’t be recycled after running the machine.

The reason that calculating the machine space cost of your part is difficult is because we don’t print each part individually. Every time we run a printer we are printing hundreds of parts in a “build.” We use a lot of software to pack all those parts as closely together as possible, leaving the necessary space to keep parts from fusing. The geometries of the exact parts in that tray dramatically change how efficiently we can nest them together, and therefore how many parts we can fit in any given tray. Sometimes we can print a part one day, and then print it again the next day, and the second print takes 5 times as much space in the machine simply because of the mix of parts around it. It’s an interesting problem, but at the end of the day when you order a part, you don’t know what other people are ordering.  We need a way to price your part based on the average space it will take up in the machine regardless of what other parts are in the machine. That way we can quote the price ahead, and you get the same price every time you order.

How much space does your model take up in a printer?

How do you do that? First, you need to control for all the chaos happening around your part. There’s two ways to think about that: 1) you simulate every single possible combination of trays, and then you average the space your part takes up, or 2) you build a model of how much space your model would take up in the machine if you had a huge set of parts to pack around it and you could pack them perfectly. Since the first option is impossibly complex to calculate, we went with option two. We established the basic rules for the tightest we would ever be able to pack parts based on manufacturing and part mix constraints, and we built a set of model transformations that estimate the least amount of space a part can ever take up in a tray using these rules. The rules that dictate the smallest space that your part will ever take in a printer are surprisingly simple:

  1. Every part is packed separately to allow each part to be oriented individually to maximize part quality, and to allow flexibility in allocation across machines
  2. Holes in objects that are below a certain size can’t have objects packed into them
  3. Parts can be packed no closer together than 1mm to prevent fusing during printing

These rules are then translated into 3 transformations that are performed on each model:

  1. All non-interlocking and unsprued parts are exploded and each is individually analyzed. The model machine space is the sum of the individual part machine space.
  2. The surface of the model is expanded and then contracted in order to smooth it and close holes of less than 1.5” (38.1mm). This size was chosen because parts smaller than this are generally put into protective cages to prevent loss, and because after a series of tests it best matched our real-world ability to pack parts.
  3. The resulting surface is then offset outwards 0.5mm to capture the share of the spacing between parts attributable to that part.
An example of "wrapping" an object

An example of a model and the space it takes up in a printing tray

The volume of the shape we produce with this operation (or the sum of them in the case of multi-part) is the machine space of that part. What this means is that machine CCs (Cubic Centimeters) aren’t actually the number of CCs used in the machine today, but instead the least CCs that could theoretically be used in a machine in the future. Today, unfortunately, we manage to fill up less than 15% of the volume of the tray with these machine CCs. In other words, we’re at less than 15% of theoretical maximum packing density. Even though we’re not yet able to pack that densely because of limitations on computing power and available part mix, allocating machine cost based on perfect packing is by far the fairest option. Common alternatives such convex hulls and bounding box, do not accurately reflect space in the machine and disadvantage L-shaped and U-shaped models, respectively. Concretely, our average part is about 100 machine CCs or 500 bounding box CCs, and has about 720 CCs of space inside a printer allocated to it.

Calculating machine space in a 3D printing

Comparison of different methods to calculate space in the printing tray

What are the different cost components of producing a part?

Alright, so if this is the best way of measuring how much space a part takes up in a machine, then how exactly do we turn that measurement into a useful price? How much does one of these machine CCs cost? Conceptually, it’s important to separate the cost of running the empty printer, including the cost of the powder that can’t be recycled after cycling through the printer, from the marginal cost of sintering a CC of powder in that printer. In other words, we need to calculate two things: how much would the space your part used in the machine cost if your part was empty, and then how much additional cost is there because of each CC of solid part that is added to this empty space. Thinking about the components in this way allows us to accurately capture the complex interaction between space in the printer and model volume in two very simple components.

How much does it cost to run an empty printer?

Focusing on machine space, the first thing to note is that running a printer with no parts in it actually has two costs: the time it takes the machine to lay down the layers of powder, and the cost of the portion of the powder that can’t be recycled. Powder that’s been heated and cooled has been slightly damaged by this process and will make less consistent prints. To save costs but maintain quality, we mix together 60% recycled and 40% fresh powder and use this to fill our printers. The recycled powder is itself 60% recycled, and that recycled portion is 60% twice recycled, and so on. This makes the math a bit tricky, but it can be calculated. After calculating the effective amount of fresh powder in the printer, and the price of raw powder, you can figure out how much the powder in the empty machine effectively costs. And based on the machine lease you can determine the direct machine cost for the time used to print the empty tray. Finally, you add the labor, utilities, rent and other overhead required to run the empty machine. Now you’ve got the complete cost of running an empty machine.

So how much does one of our machine CCs cost? Using the methodology above, we calculate the cost of running every single machine tray that we’ve printed in the last year, as if those trays were empty. Then for each tray, we assign the cost of running that tray across the machine cc’s of the parts in the tray. Now you’ve got the price of a machine CC taking into account model mix, packing density, machine mix, and all other relevant factors.

If you sinter one additional CC in a tray of parts, how much does it cost?

So we now know how much powder goes into each tray if it was empty, and we know how much powder we’ve used. By looking at each tray individually, we can then figure out the amount of powder that was used in the tray because the parts in it were sintered – this includes both the models themselves, which are much denser than surrounding powder, and the powder directly adjacent to the parts that is damaged and can’t be recycled. This gives us the marginal cost of sintering the parts in the tray, for each tray. Since we have thousands of trays and data on the individual models in every tray we can then use a regression to establish the marginal powder usage per CC of model volume, and therefore the cost.

How much does it costs to plan, clean, sort, polish and dye your part?

The other component, Labor, is less conceptually difficult, but just as hard to accurately calculate and measure. The labor the problem comes down to data. To start with, we knew how many people work at the factory… and not much else. To properly price labor we had to work from the ground up. We built up a team in each factory that took hundreds of measurements of every single step in the SLS process from orienting through dyeing, and after in-depth analysis used this data to build a model of exactly how long a part takes at each step based on key attributes such as model volume, model size, surface area and complexity. How do we define a part? An object that can be picked up, sorted,  or polished on its own. If your model was sitting in front of you, think of how many times you would have to pick up different pieces to put it into a bag and make sure it was all there. Thats exactly what we do when we sort your part, and we have to re-sort it after every post-processing step.

Tiny 3D printed chairs

Using these additional variables allowed us to much more precisely fit our labor models, and then to use the millions of data points of model sales we have to accurately attribute labor cost to different materials and models. You would think that this would mean that labor price is impacted by many model attributes, but it turns out that after all of this analysis we found out that the vast majority (~ 90%) is directly attributable to part count. With this in mind we made one, very careful sacrifice in accuracy. Instead of building a pricing structure with labor spread through all the components, we choose to average that last 10% across model mix, and standardize on simple, clear labor prices per part per material. Yes, this means that you model may be over or underpriced on labor by up to 10% of the labor cost, or $0.15 per in WSF. Other than that, every bit of this new pricing structure is a direct reflection of the most comprehensive and thorough model of SLS production costs we’ve ever built, and to our knowledge the most advanced in the industry.

The last step: we add a (small) margin

One last thing: Our margin. Yes, we add a margin, but we keep it as slim as possible. We’re a business, we need to grow, this is the only part of our business where we have a margin. The 3.5% that you see on marketplace sales are the credit card fees we pay.

Machine space and material have the same margin, meaning that absolutely any size and shape of model has the exact same margin. Simply put, it’s as fair as we can possible be. Here, again, we made an exception with labor. We know that part count pricing is a painful transition, and we chose to take a much lower margin, and even a negative margin in some materials, on the labor / part component of the pricing. In our old pricing structure we lost money on models with more than a few parts. With the new one we almost never lose money on an individual part, but we have carefully and critically choose to take a lower margin as part count increases to lessen the impact on you, our community.

Developing this pricing model has been a long, exciting, and intellectually challenging endeavour. I hope that this explanation helps to clarify how we think about pricing, and why we’ve built the structure we have. Please, comment and ask questions, and I’ll do my best to keep up.


 

Shapeways Launches SVX, a Voxel Based File Format for 3D Printing

Shapeways has created a new SVX format for transmitting voxel data for 3D printing. After much research we found no existing format that satisfied our requirements. Our primary design priorities are simple definition, ease of implementation, and extensibility. There are plenty of things you could dislike about the STL format, but it’s brevity and simple implementation are not one of them.

svx_large

A voxel is a 3D dimensional pixel. Most 3D printers work internally with voxel like representations. Your 3D model is sliced into 2D image slices, each pixel represents a dot of material that the printer builds your object with. Voxel formats allow direct control over those dots. One promise of 3D printing is that complexity is free. Sadly with STL files we’ve had the disconnect that more complexity equals more triangles equals larger files. Above a certain limit you just can’t use triangles to specify the details you want in a 3D printed model. Whether that information be material allocation, density, RGB color both internal and external or a custom id that could be used for another variable, not yet available in the 3D printers on the market.

Another area that is interesting for voxel usage is in making printable objects. A mesh for 3D printing needs to meet certain mathematical properties. It is easier to write voxel software that meets these demands. This makes the barrier to entry much lower for writing creators and its especially easy to include 2D imagery into your designs. See ShapeJS for some examples. One area that is typically tricky is turning voxels into triangles. We’ve worked hard to provide some nice routines for much high quality conversion to triangles when necessary. When you upload a voxel model to Shapeways you’ll be leveraging that work, just concentrate on making the voxels right and we’ll handle the triangles if needed.

You can view the new format specification at: SVX Format. We’ve added support for voxel uploads at Shapeways so you can start sending full resolution voxel files now!


 

Enter The “You Are How You Eat” Design Contest

Like to eat? Like to design? Combine those two passions by entering the “You Are How You Eat” design contest! We’ve partnered with Design Milk, Adobe, and Alessi to bring you this contest, which asks you to reimagine the everyday tools we use to eat.

Design Milk contest

To enter, create a design that:

- Is a completed design product concept;
- Is designed for the average adult male and female consumers in any country, who eat food using a utensil;
- Demonstrates an innovative approach to eating;
- Demonstrates your abilities as both a designer and communicator to convey new ideas through one image, title and description.

The contest will be open through October 19, and then judging for finalists will begin. The judges, including our very own Designer Evangelist, Lauren Slowik, will be looking for innovation, creativity, functionality, completeness of design, and adherence to creative brief. Then you – the design community – can vote for the winners!

The Grand Prize winner will receive $1,000 cash courtesy of Alessi, 1 year of Adobe’s Creative Cloud Photography plan (includes Photoshop), $200 of credit to Shapeways so you can 3D print your design*, and your design prominently included in a feature on Design Milk

Two (2) Runners up: 1 year of Adobe’s Creative Cloud Photography plan (includes Photoshop), $100 of credit to Shapeways so you can 3D print your design*, and your design included in a feature on Design Milk.

To see the full contest description, read the rules, and to enter, go to: http://design-milk.com/enter-eat-design-contest/.

Happy designing!

*Note that the designs 3D printed by Shapeways will not be food safe


 

Fascinating 3D Printed Animatronic Honey Bee

At Shapeways we’re accustomed to seeing incredible 3D printed designs and DIY projects using Shapeways 3D printing. Today we wanted to highlight a nature inspired 3D printed animatronic Bee project by designer Jonny Poole of innerbreedFX. Jonny was contacted by his local bee sanctuary seeking to add some animatronics to their tour.

Jonny took it upon himself to take advantage of Shapeways 3D printing and SLS technology to design a fully articulated Bee using the Shapeways strong and flexible nylon material. Here are some photos of from project.

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3D modeling of the Bee design

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Animatronic Bee fully articulated printed in nylon plastic 

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The wings were printed in Fine Ultra Detail

Screen Shot 2014-09-26 at 12.05.01 PMThe final result of the Bee! You can purchase the articulated honey bee on Jonny’s shop here.

We’ve noticed a few amazing 3D printed insect designs on Shapeways. For example check out the articulated mantis by designer Brian Chan and the Bee Keeper Chess set by designer Ricky McRae. Do you have a DIY project you’re working on that you want to share with the community? We’d love to see it, share it on the “Work In Progress” section of our forums here.

 


 

How Shapeways is Tackling Challenges to Manufacturing in the 3D Printing Industry

Hello to all.  My name is David Gillispie, I’m the Vice President of Manufacturing for Shapeways and I thought I would start by telling you a little about myself.  I’ve worked in engineering and manufacturing for over 20-years in both start-ups and medium sized companies running their operations.  I consider myself a lifelong learner and a dedicated practitioner of lean manufacturing and continuous improvement.  I’m super excited to start a series of discussions on manufacturing with our community.  I would like to preface my discussion by first saying how delighted I am to interact with our community.  One of my goals will be to keep my topics relevant and accessible.  In the future I will cover topics on manufacturing to include lean manufacturing, innovation, processes, and manufacturing strategy.  Your feedback and suggestions are welcomed and I’ll try to make these posts informative.

Shapeways 3D Printing Factory

Factory floor at our Long Island City facility.

One of our core values at Shapeways is fun.  We take pleasure in transforming the skill and imagination of creative individuals into tangible products.  I would like to start with a general discussion around manufacturing challenges and strategies we use to improve our processes.

Some of the challenges facing Shapeways and other 3D manufacturers for the consumer market is the lack of benchmark data.  While Business to Business 3D printing has been going on for years, the consumer market is less established.  There are enough similarities to make decisions on printers, materials, and some processes.  The challenge is around the high product mix, post production, and the speed at which products must be delivered on a large scale.

Our community is an exciting and diverse collection of designers and consumers who make and buy really cool products.  As a result the products we produce seldom resemble a traditional manufacturing mix.  Creating an efficient and steady manufacturing flow or movement of material requires capacity planning that examines product mix, build times, and available post production resources.  Of the three, the more challenging aspect is post production.  Post production includes break out of the product, sorting, polishing, dyeing, quality check, and distribution.  Bottle necks or constraints in the post production process can occur with machines, material, or people.  To mitigate the potential impact we constantly review these areas and implement process improvements or add more capacity.  We also cross train our team members so they can flex up and down the manufacturing line.

This is an exciting time to manufacture in the 3D printing industry.  Shapeways is rewriting the book on manufacturing with the ultra-high mix, print on demand environment where quality, price, and delivery are being redefined.  Our community is pushing us to improve and we listen to your feedback by continually improving our processes.  If you have any questions about our materials like the white strong and flexible nylon, full colored sand stone or frosted detail; processes like polishing, dyeing, sorting; or our equipment like our printers   – please don’t hesitate to ask.  I look forward to hearing from you and answering your questions.


 

Mission Print: Shapeways Partners with Future Engineers to 3D Print Tools Designed by Students for Astronauts in Space

“Your Challenge, Should You Choose to Accept, Is To Design A Space Tool”

spacexlaunch

Photo courtesy of SpaceX

This weekend, the first 3D printer launched into space.  This week, we’re proud to announce our partnership with Future Engineers, ASME and Made In Space on a series of NASA developed Space Challenges meant to empower innovative youth to design tools that can be printed and used in space.

Video courtesy of FutureEngineers.org

Together, we are about to make history. Today marks the beginning of manufacturing in space. Are you ready to take on the #MissionPrint Challenge? Here’s the launch video of SpaceX-4 that just successfully carried the Made In Space Zero-G 3D Printer to the ISS:

Video courtesy of SpaceX

Hearing mission control say “…and we have liftoff of SpaceX Falcon 9 Rocket and Dragon. CRS-4 is underway. A US commercial spacecraft launching from American soil delivers new technology and science to the International Space Station,” gives me and hopefully every other space lover chills. Knowing that that “new technology” is one that we all are fortunate enough to experiment with every day, the ability to additively manufacture on demand through 3D Printing, is inspiring. Remember, there is no overnight shipping to space; and it is physically impossible to traditionally manufacture parts in a space environment. We really are witnessing, and taking an active part in, making history.

ISS Prize

Screen Shots here and below courtesy of FutureEngineers.org

This is the first in a series of NASA developed 3D Space Challenges that Future Engineers and our other out-of-this-world partners are happy to share with the Shapeways community. Encourage every K-12 student you know interested in 3D Printing to check it out, and remember, ALL students (university, college, trade schools, and professors too) get 10% off ALL their prints at Shapeways ALL the time. What a great excuse to “ground print” and prototype your space tools with us.

Shapeways prints

Tools designed for this challenge are judged on the following well-rounded criteria:

  • 40 Points – Innovation and Creativity of the Solution
  • 20 Points – Ability to communicate the design through the Text Description and/or Finalist Interview
  • 20 Points – Quality of the 3D Modeled Geometry and compliance with the Design Guidelines
  • 20 Points - Usefulness of the design in a Space Environment

Astronaut Doug Wheelock explains further:

Video courtesy of FutureEngineers.org

Kids are powering innovative developments in 3D Printing across the unique web of our industry’s reach. They are opening shops on Shapeways, printing on desktop printers in their classrooms, and mod-ing their toys at home. There are dozen of touching stories of kids literally enabling the future of 3D printed prosthetics. And perhaps most profound of all, they can see what we can’t. Young minds aren’t limited by the bounds of conventional design and manufacturing constraints. Freed of this parameter, they are capable of leveraging the technology and materials available in unique new ways. Inspired by their potential, Future Engineers has an awesome lineup of prizes for the top contestants. The winner of the challenge will even have their tool printed in Zero-G’s on the ISS and get to watch live from Mission Control.  While the #MissionPrint Future Engineers contest is for K-12 students in the US only, we will be featuring innovative designs by makers of all ages on our blog between now and when winners are announced on January 30th, 2015.

Here’s a snapshot of the contest deadlines, for full details check out FutureEngineers.org.

spacedates

Are you ready to accept the #MissionPrint Challenge, stop dreaming and start doing? Keep us posted on your progress in our Space Forum and be sure and tag your space tools #MissionPrint. The best way to ensure your products will be astronaut-ready is to prototype on the ground, and we can’t wait to help.

To infinity… and 3D Printing beyond Earth!

 

 


 

Join Shapeways at the Designers of Things Conference and Meetup in San Francisco

Come and talk 3D Printing, Design and Groundbreaking I.P. in San Francisco September 23rd to 24th 2014.

Screen Shot 2014-09-19 at 3.31.16 PM

The Designers of Things conference is focused on Wearable Tech, 3D Printing and the Internet of Things, yes all of the cool things together at last.  Natalia Kasnodebska and Duann Scott from Shapeways will be presenting on Tuesday, September 23 | 4:00pm-4:30pm FANS + OPEN IP = INTERNET OF REALLY COOL THINGS (yes, we are so excited we used caps), discussing SuperFanArt, the groundbreaking I.P. initiative between Hasbro and Shapeways that enables designers and artists to create and sell 3D printed products based on Hasbro owned I.P.

Also join us on Wednesday the 24th to the Designers of 3D Printed Things Meetup at a mystery location in San Francisco.  It will be awesome, we will have 3D printed objects, bring along your 3D prints so you can show off your design skills and ask questions of Shapeways 3D printing experts.


 

Maker The Movie: A Documentary on the Maker Movement

Maker” is a feature-length documentary on the Maker Movement and its impact on society, culture and economy in the U.S.

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The ‘Maker Movement’, sometimes called the ‘Third Industrial Revolution,’ subverts traditional manufacturing by building on innovative concepts such as open source, local manufacturing, crowd funding, and digital fabrication. Breaking the hobbyist movement stereotype, ‘Maker’ delves deep into this ecosystem of design and manufacturing in the Internet era. The film explores the ideas, tools, and personalities that are driving the Maker Movement – and returns with a timely snapshot of one of the transforming influences of the current age.

The documentary is a series of interviews with leading thinkers in the maker movement, their motivations and the future as they see it evolving.  You can request a screening for your local area, school, hacker space or find a screening that is already happening in your area.  Also screening from September 26th on Netflix is the Print the Legend movie, following the growth of Formlabs and Makerbot as they raced to bring 3D printers to peoples homes.

You can check out the trailer for the Maker Documentary now.


 

A Day of 3D Printing and Politics in Washington D.C.

On Wednesday September 17th 2014, politicians, lawyers and 3D printing experts will converge on Washington to discuss the intellectual property challenges facing the 3D printing ecosystem as it matures, and enters mainstream culture.

3D Printing Politics Shapeways

Speakers will include

  • Bill Foster Congressman, 11th Congressional District of Illinois,
  • Rep. Tim Ryan Chair of the Congressional Makers Caucus,
  • Vikrum Aiyer Deputy Chief of Staff, Office of the Under Secretary for IP, U.S. Department of Commerce
  • Andras Forgacs Co-Founder & CEO, Modern Meadow, Inc
  • Mark Hatch CEO & Co-Founder, TechShop
  • Michael Weinberg VP, Public Knowledge
  • and even Duann Scott Designer Evangelist, Shapeways

Topics will range from the Economic Impact of the Obama Leadership, to the intellectual property challenges & the changes to culture driven by bottom-up, peer-to-peer, democratized manufacturing.

If there is anything you personally think needs to be addressed, please comment on the blog and I will see if I can integrate it into the discussion at my panel, The Growing Global 3DP IP Market & How Much is at Stake.


 

Day of Action: Stop the Slow Lane

Earlier this summer, we wrote about Stopping the Slow Lane, a push back against the FCC’s intent 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. Now, we’re almost at the deadline. September 15th is the last day that the FCC will accept public comments before they make their ruling. Shapeways submitted a formal appeal to the FCC, where we outlined how we support an open internet so we can continue to provide a platform where entrepreneurs like our 19,000 shop owners can flourish.

Today is an internet-wide day of action for Net Neutrality. You may have noticed some of your favorite sites have the “please hold, loading” spinning wheel on their homepage – is this the future you want? Neither do we!

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Here’s what you can do:

1. Take two minutes to sign the Citizen Petition on Battle for the Net

2. Tweet it out:

I support real #NetNeutrality. Sign the citizen petition www.battleforthenet.com  #InternetSlowdown

Startups need real #NetNeutrality to protect the open Internet. Call your Senators today and let them know! www.engine.is/netneutrality #InternetSlowdown

3. Part of a startup? Call your senator and tell them to support real Net Neutrality

Want to learn more?

Check out this great Mashable video explaining the proposed changes, and help keep the internet the open and innovative playground it should be.


 

HOW TO: Create a Rubber Prototype Using a 3D Printed Mold in 14 Easy Steps

Will Harris at Design That Matters has posted a fun tutorial on HOW TO: Create a Rubber Prototype Using a 3D Printed Mold that is a step by step process that is easy to follow and looks like the kind of fun that will have you pouring liquid rubber into 3D printed molds for months.

how to 3D print a rubber mold

You can flex your industrial design skills in software such as Solidworks or Inventor which both have great tools to help you boolean and split a mold from your designed part.  Will also includes practical design tips such as including registration pins and escape vents into your mold to ensure bubbles do not form and you can add extra material to your 3D printed mold if required.  (or you can mix colors and/or materials if you want to get a little more experimental).

The best materials for 3D printed molds are usually polished Nylon or Acrylic if you want to do smaller, higher detail molds from your 3D prints.  Some people also spray the molds with silicone as a mold release to ensure you do not end up simply gluing your mold together with the filler material.

Why stop at rubber, you can use your 3D printed molds for many materials, soap, crayons, wax, ice, jello, or even, mature cheddar cheese.

NOTE: 3D Printed materials may not be food safe, mature cheddar cheese molded from 3D prints are for decorative use only.

 

3D Print iPhone 6 and Apple Watch Accessories

Update: Apple has released the design files for the iPhone 6/iPhone 6 Plus! Page 16 and 17 of this pdf have everything you need to know to design a case for these awesome new phones. Be sure and enter our contest and be one of the first iPhone 6 cases ever 3D Printed!

Original Post: Did you watch the Apple announcement? Are you excited about the new iPhone 6/6plus? Are you counting the seconds until you can get your hands on the Apple Watch?

AppleWatchRender

UPDATE 9/11: Some amazing Shapeways Community Members put together a <beta> 3D CAD file of the Apple Watch! It’s based on the specs Apple announced, and while not Apple official, should serve as a great starting point for all interested in designing Apple Watch accessories. You can download the .stl of the Apple Watch design files here. Special thanks to Michael Christensen for sharing this in our Apple forum!
iPhone6
I’ve been counting the minutes for months now and seeing Phil show off the iPhone 6/iPhone 6 Plus and seeing Super Evil Megacorp’s gaming experience made me drool millions of pixels in anticipation of their September 19th launch into the world. The new iPhone camera has Focus Pixels, which means you’re essentially carrying a DSLR in your pocket. Just imagine, our 3D scans will be sharper than ever!
iphone camera
Shapeways has always been one of the first to market with accessories when new consumer electronics come out. Our communities ability to responsively create designs and leverage our short lead times is unparalleled by any other accessories company in the world. The cases that you’ll see in the Apple store were modeled months ago and have been in production all summer. Alongside the new phones, Apple announced a new line of silicone and leather cases, but I think we know our Nylon looks the coolest when it comes to pimping your iDevices. We are eager to see what cases, stands and accessories you make for this new line of apple products and will handsomely reward those who do it best (details to come when the design files are announced by Apple later in September).
iphones

Design files

Shapeways has a long history of being one of the first to market with iAccessories. We were keeping the iPhone classy back in early 2012 with this 4/4s MacPro Case:macpro case

We gave you the design files the moment they were available for the exciting new iPhone 5, hosting a contest around it. The Sweater Case by ArtizanWork that won is still a favorite of ours to show off at events and through our crew kits!
sweater case
We also brought you the iPad Mini files that same October. All in all, we power over 2600 products that fall in the iPhone category. Let’s round out our Apple Fan Boy and Girl offerings and incorporate all these awesome new products.

Now you can start brainstorming the iPhone 6 and iWatch cases you want to design in our Apple and iGadgets thread in the forum. Hit the sketchbook or the sketchup and get creative! The bigger form factor gives you more design real estate than ever before. We will update this post and announce a contest as soon as Apple releases the Design Files.

On a fun historical and sentimental note, this Apple Fan Girl can’t help but ask, 30 years after Steve Jobs announced the Macintosh (the anniversary is today) do you think Apple is still as innovative as they were under Steve?
timeandsteve