The results from the 2013 3D printing survey are in and thanks to you, Shapeways is still the most popular 3D Printing service. We're honored!
In the second year of the 3D Printing survey, conducted by Jarkko Moilanen & Tere Vadén of the P2P Foundation, we were once again voted as the most popular 3D printing service. We're so humbled by the support of the community, and always appreciate your feedback, which helps us improve on a daily basis.
For those interested in learning about the broader industry, the survey also looks at the demographics and uses of 3D printing, along with the type of desktop 3D printers. This year, RepRap usage seems to be skyrocketing.
This Friday we are taking a look at some of the amazing rings by Shapeways designers 3D printed in a range of metals. Speaking of metal, first up we have some very rock and roll looking rings by SG Designs.
Ronnie Parsons, co-founder of NYC based Mode Lab is running a 2 day, 3D Printing masterclass in their studio in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, September 12th and 16th 2013.
Learn about the fundamentals of 3D printing, the free tools available to get started, and the materials and processes used to bring your ideas out of the computer and into the world. This hands-on class will introduce participants to the world of 3D printing, the available software for model preparation, and the various types of machines and cloud-based services available today. The last hour of the course will be reserved for a hands-on demo using our Makerbot Replicator2 and Formlabs Form1 3D printers.
This class is ideal for designers of all backgrounds who are interested in learning more about 3D printing and how this disruptive technology is changing the future of design and manufacturing.
Ball joints work as snap-fit components and cannot be 3D printed together as the friction required to make the parts pose-able would result in the parts being fused together. When designing ball joints it is best to make them an 'exact fit' where the positive part (the ball) and the negative part (the socket) are the exact same circumference. You need to ensure the socket component is not entirely enclosed, more like a C shape to allow the part to expand slightly to snap it into place.
Shapeways laser sintered Nylon (WSF) is the best material for creating snap fit ball joints as the material is strong enough to withstand the stress of being snapped into place (our Acrylic might just snap). The Nylon also has a slightly granular surface that also help to make the parts to grip together. Also note that our polishing and dying process which has a smoother surface than the raw Nylon still grips together for a firm fit, you do not need to change the design to allow for change in surface finish or dimensional changes.
To see some really good examples of snap-fit ball joints designed for 3D printing, check out the ModiBot shop by Kid Mechano which has many really good examples of ball joints in action.
are hot right now, and we want in! That's why we talked toDavid Dewey, the
designer of the "Frame'ish" Go Pro frame, that allows you to send your GoPro
soaring through the air and capture some great footage. See what he has to say about the world of Quadcopters below!
A Quadcopter? So is that a 4 wheel
bike with a rotor blade sticking out of it?
no. That would be messy if you stood up.
quadcopter, while easy to get way over technical, is a radio controlled
aircraft that uses 4 propellers to fly which are powered by 4 motors (4=quad).
The direction and angle that a quadcopter flys in is generally dictated by how
much power goes to each motor/propeller.... simple.
Windows is the first operating system to integrate the option of 3D printing directly within the operating system to allow app developers to also integrate 3D print buttons directly into their apps. The video below is super dry and suitable for developers of applications more than 3D modelers, designers and makers, but it does lay a trail of where the future of 3D printing is headed, and that is integrated ubiquitously into daily life.
Now let's see what Apple does to integrate 3D printing into the OSX and iOS ecosystem to enable 3D printing from any and of their devices. 3D scan, model and 3D print integrated into iCloud connecting to your Shapeways account via Facebook that automatically puts a reminder in your iCal when your prints are scheduled to arrive then tracks your UPS shipment in realtime?
How will Google incorporate 3D printing into the Android, Glass, everything on the internet ecosystem. Perhaps an 'upload to Drive to 3D print with Shapeways option', or a '3D Scan Command' in Glass as proven by Todd Blatt but optimized into instant Shapeways upload and 3D print? It is a pity they let go of Google Warehouse.
The manufacturing landscape has changed massively in the past sixty years, evolving from hand crafted products to becoming one of the heavyweights of mass manufacturing nations churning out a large percentage of the products in the world today, from children's toys to high tech devices. Many of those high tech devices are manufactured by Foxconn using advanced technologies but according to Foxconn chief 3D printing is just a gimmick.
“3D printing is a gimmick,” Gou said. “If it really is that good, then I’ll write my surname ‘Gou’ backwards [from now on].”
Gou (or Oug as he will soon be known) goes on to state that the inability to 3D print multi materials and leather(?) is what he sees as a barrier to the mass adoption of 3D printing for manufacturing. While that may be the case for industrial 3D printers now, research is currently being undertaken to make both multi material, (and leather) 3D printing a reality in the near future. Foxconn have been using 3D printing for the past 30 years though it was not stated in what capacity.
At the same time The Asian Manufacturing Association in mainland China announced its plans in May to invest 200 million yuan in building 3D printing manufacturing centres across the country and the Dalian University has built the world's largest laser 3D printer while Panasonic are already using 3D printing as part of the process to manufacture consumer items such as their 3D TV (I know) and also plan to continue to use 3D printing in consumer products to shorten the manufacturing lead time while reducing the need stock of semi-finished products.
This on demand manufacturing, reducing the need for inventory and giving the ability to quickly iterate and improve a product is a massive advantage that Mr. Gou/Oug will soon adopt, or see his competitors in China and the rest of the world pass him by. Multi-material 3D printing is a technical barrier that will be overcome, and perhaps surpassed with processes far more advanced such as self assembling materials that will make current mass manufacturing techniques look like Neolithic masonry.
One of our own, Vladimir Bulatov, spoke at at a Google Tech Talk last month about the reality of 3D printing and what he is doing at Shapeways to improve 3D modeling.Vladimir did a great job of explaining what 3D printing is and how Shapeways is uniquely enabling consumers to create custom 3D products. For more details, be sure to watch the video!
Our factory underwent a makeover last week when production
team member,Greg Dreisen, decided that the machines needed names.
Unsure how the idea first came to him, he explained that he
spontaneously decided that all the machines needed to be old ladies.
Mataerial by Petr Novikov, Saša Joki?, Joris Laarman Studio and IAAC is a 3D printing robot that instead of building an object layer by layer, draws forms from any surface out into thin air.
Working in the same manner as the "3D printing pen" except instead of your shaky hand trying to make a recognizable shape from an ooze of hot plastic cooled by a fan, this process uses two thermosetting polymers which set when combined by a precision robot actually 3D Printing in space. The team also state that CMYK colors can/could be combined in the same manner to create full color 3D printing using the same method. The same process could of course be used at a much smaller scale and theoretically multiple robots could 3D print different materials simultaneously onto any surface such as a conductive material and a non conductive material to create electrical pathways. This is definitely a technology to watch and hopefully their patent application is not so restrictive as to restrict its potential.
Mataerial is the result of the collaborative research between Petr Novikov, Saša Joki? from the Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia (IAAC) and Joris Laarman Studio. IAAC tutors representing Open Thesis Fabrication Program provided their advice and professional expertise. During the course of the research we developed a brand new digital fabrication method and a working prototype that can open a door to a number of practical applications. The method that we call Anti-gravity Object Modeling has a patent-pending status.
We introduced beautiful jewelry grade premium silver 3D printing to Shapeways in early March and we have seen so many amazing designs in the Shapeways marketplace that we would like to continue premium silver as a permanent material on Shapeways but we need your input.
The current trial is set to end this Tuesday the 14th of May so you only have a few days left to get your orders in and give us some feedback before we make any changes to the design rules and pricing structure.
If you already have your design 3D printed in premium silver please share the URL for your product page in the comments on the blog so the entire Shapeways team (and community) can take a look. Also let us know what you think of the premium silver 3D printing, how it compares to our other silver and what you would like to see next.
Mecube is an easy (and addictive) app to 3D design and 3D print direct from your iOS device. The intuitive interface is a simple 'voxel modeler' where you add cubes together to make a 3D form like assembling single blocks of Lego together. You can use the same process to cut away or even 'skew' cubes for some slightly more complex variations. Each voxel can be assembled as a solid color or you can go back and paint each surface, by touching a surface multiple times you increase the saturation of the color, this allows for quite a large variation of colors from such a simple interface.
Instagram has become a really fun way for us to share behind the photographs behind the scenes at Shapeways. It gives us an easy way to give you a peek at the people and the factory of 3D printers that make your designs real, along with the events we attend and a little 3D printing inspiration. Instagram also gives us an opportunity to see your 3D prints in the wild if you tag them with #shapeways or mention us @shapeways but now there is another way to help us to find your 3D prints for real.
Instagram has just rolled out a 'Photos of You' feature that enables you to tag a person in much the same way you can on Facebook, this means you can tag your Shapeways 3D prints on your photographs as another way for us to see the printed parts, especially if it is part of a complex product. We will in turn try and tag you and your products whenever we share them on our Shapeways Instagram, if you see one of your designs on our photos, be sure to let us know with a comment and we will tag you too.
This may be the first time basketball fans have had a way to celebrate their favorite game at breakfast thanks to 3D printing. The Nothing But EGG Holder by makerb1ocker holds your boiled egg and spoon so that you can slam dunk your breakfast. Perhaps you can even try for a 3 pointer and throw your egg straight from the pot and into the holder. Available in all of the Nylon color options on Shapeways this might even make the perfect mother's day gift for your basketball loving mother?
Sometimes we see some of our really popular products on Shapeways enter the world using other manufacturing processes. On some occasions, due to licensing reasons a product may no longer be available on Shapeways if it is being produced by another manufacturer, and sometimes it remains available simultaneously as a 3D print and a mass produced item when the designer retains all ownership of IP. We are always incredibly proud to help a designer take their product to market no matter which way they go, a little sad if they leave Shapeways, like sending a child off to college, but happy for the designer's success.
The latest product looking to go down the mass production path is a recent favorite on Shapeways, the MagSafe Adapter Key Ring by jbobrow now hitting Kickstarter as the Keybit. Jonathan's Kickstarter campaign pays tribute to the speed and ease of 3D printing and taking a product to market with Shapeways in his video and in his rewards which includes a Shapeways 3D printed version at reward levels over $30. Jonathan also offers a one on one google hangout to help a backer over $200 take their own product to market using 3D printing.
Check out the video and support Jonathan on Kickstarter.