For the second installment in our three-part DIY 3D Print gifting series, we are rewriting the 12 Days of Christmas song: "...Seven swans a-swimming, six geese a-laying, create your own gold-plated rings!"
Yes, Shapeways has an app for that: The Custom Ring Creator. Regardless of whether you’ve ever designed anything, you can make a unique ring in minutes.
With the holidays approaching, now’s a better time than ever to design your very own 3D Printed gifts. Never designed anything before? Not to worry. We’re here to help. This is the first of our three-part series on our easy-to-use apps that’ll have you creating in no time. No tricky modeling skills required!
We’ve all gotten dad a mug, bought a tea set for grandma, or perhaps a vase for a friend. But have you actually designed a gift for them? With the Sake Set Creator app you can do just that. Your creation will be 3D Printed in Ceramics, our only food-safe material. Did we mention you won’t even have to get your hands dirty?!
The tool enables you to select a base design, then adjust shape, smoothness, and twist intensity. You can design everything from cups and saucers to tumblers and vases. Then choose from 5 different colored glazes to personalize even further.
Learn how to prepare your models in Maya and then send them for 3D printing on Shapeways. Ryan shows how to hollow out models, define an object's thickness to reduce cost, and work with texture maps for full-color prints. He shows you how to export the model, upload it to Shapeways, and view the finished result. Once you have mastered the basics, Ryan invites you to test your skills in a series of challenge videos.
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.
This class has evolved greatly over the past year and a half. This is an extended version that is essentially two classes: Foundations of 3D Printing, and Introduction to 3D Modeling. The goal of the class is to give a complete primer on printing processes and software, then show how you can apply that knowledge to create your own designs and manufacture them at home or from a service bureau like Shapeways. You will also learn about selling items from your Shapeways shop, custom object co-creation, and the logistics of re-selling printed items through other venues like Etsy and Ebay.
UPDATE: It seems like our experiment worked for one day only, Happy April Fools Day.
While looking for a way to recycle our excess Nylon powder we found a way for anyone to 3D print at home with an iPhone and a magnifying glass.
At Shapeways we recycle most of the Nylon powder from our industrial 3D printing process but sometimes the powder does not meet the standard required for use in our 3D printers. We were looking at the testing process when we made a really exciting discovery, with a tightly focused beam of light you can solidify the Nylon powder into a solid.
We did some experiments and discovered a way that anyone can 3D print at home using an iPhone and a magnifying glass with our Nylon powder. Take a look at the simple video below and email firstname.lastname@example.org and we can send you (for the cost of shipping) some of our excess Nylon for you to try at home.
When a small part for Shapeways community member Mitagaki's Panasonic Bread maker broke he looked everywhere for a replacement part. The manufacturer no longer supported the model so what was a $5 replacement part became unobtainable and the $200 appliance was rendered worthless.
Rather than throwing the entire appliance away, Mitagaki 3D modeled a copy of the broken ceramic part and then 3D printed it in ceramics with Shapeways.
In the second episode of Shapeways Ask an Engineer, we demonstrate how slight modifications to your models can double their strength.
With the help of good old Diet Coke, we see how many cans we can stack on two different cube structures before they break. The first is a basic cube composed of squares, while the second is a little more complicated and composed of triangles. Our test reveals that the addition of a few more lines allows a structure to withstand two Diet Coke cans before snapping, while the basic cube snaps almost immediately after a can is placed on top of it. The difference in price between the two models is only fifteen cents -- definitely worth the extra money!
What would you like us to break next time? If you have any 3D printing questions you would like answered by our
3D printing engineer Matthew Hagan please email
If you want to learn how to get started designing for 3D printing we are running an introductory class in New York City on Thursday the 14th of February, 2013. The class is suitable for anyone, of any age who is interested in getting started 3D printing.
The Intro to Design for 3D Printing class will cover the basic principles behind design for 3D printing, the free tools available to get started and the materials and processes used to make your ideas real. Bring your Mac or PC laptop your charger, and an external mouse and create an account on Shapeways prior to the event and download free 3D modeling software 123D Design from Autodesk prior to the class so we can run through some of the basic tools, and maybe even design a little something.
Sign up via Skillshare and be sure to bring your laptop and mouse.
As the field of 3D printing grows, we're starting to see more and more cases of copyright infringement, creative sharing, collaboration, and general discussion happening around what is "allowed", what is possible, and what is protected.
If you are like me, with impeccable (cough) taste and want to share your refined aesthetic and eye for the coolest designs, be sure to add them to your favorites. We will start using your favorites to curate the homepage on Shapeways and we will also feature your selection on the Shapeways blog. You can include your own designs in your favorites but if yours are chosen, we will only feature one of your items along side other designs that you love.
To add an item to your favorites is easy, simply hit the heart to the side of an item on it's product page.
If you think you have an awesome selection already in your favorites, comment on the blog with you Shapeways user name. If you do not have any favorites yet, why not browse through the Shapeways site, favorite a few that you like and enter your user name here too. We could be featuring your favorites next...
Take a look at this really interesting video of an experiment to seal Shapeways 3D printed Nylon with super glue and acetone.
Shapeways community member and Twisty Puzzles Forum member Brandon Enright has shared a really interesting video on YouTube of his experiment to seal a Shapeways Nylon (WSF) 3D print with a mixture of Cyanoacrylate (Super Glue) diluted with Acetone. His experiments show that the mixture quickly penetrates and seals the surface of the nylon giving a glossy texture that is considerably more resistant to getting dirty when tested with tiny particles of copper powder. When compared to unfinished nylon parts there was a massive difference. This is a well documented experiment that is showing some very promising results and we are really looking forward to seeing more results. We also know that people are using floor polish to get a similar effect but you may need to be careful the formulation you use does not yellow over time.
What post processing experiments have you tried on your Shapeways 3D prints? We would love to see more videos of your results.
Your shop is ready, your products look great, so now it's time to promote yourself! We love the incredible designs that you create on Shapeways and we do what we can to promote you via our blog, the Holiday Gift Guide and our weekly newsletter. To get the most success for your products you can't just rely on broadcasting, you need to go where your audience is.
The first step is to tell your friends, using your own social networks like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google + and your own blog or website if you have one. The next step is to go beyond your social networks, and spread the word to blogs and magazines, people who have a bigger reach than just you.
With your tags and description you already know who might be the best person to buy your product, so it's time to think about where they lurk. Which blogs do they read? Which blogs cover products similar to yours? For example, if you made something related to gaming or memes, reddit is a great place to feature it. Made something arty and gorgeous? Tumblr's your best bet. Does your product have moving parts? Making a video helps to bring it to life. Posting it on YouTube exposes it to a whole new community of viewers, and you can link your video back to your shop, and embed it directly into your product page.
Here are two great excerpts of ideas from our community members, read their full posts for more details.
Think about which blogs would be interested in your product, and send them a short email tailored to their audience. Save them some time by writing it in the way they would write an article, make it short and to the point and include clear images. Try to make your text interesting, tell a story with it and explain what you created and why its cool.
I wanted prototypes of the models printed, pictures for galleries ready, videos, various other networking and popular sites covered and a website all ready for the first day of my designs going 'public' to the world.
Have any tips to share? Post them in the comments, and let us know what you do to make your holiday season fruitful!
Merchandising is all about designing for the occasion. You already have products, you simply need to tweak them to appeal to holiday shoppers.
People usually shop with one of three things in mind: type of gift, price, and recipient. Knowing this, you can make it easier for them to find your products by tagging your products according to potential recipient, theme and occasion. Tagging is the fastest way to help you hit different categories.
Read Tip #3 on discovery for more about tagging your products. Tags relating to themes and occasions can be as broad as holiday, christmas, Valentine's, mother's day, fathers day, birthday, even just the simple tag of gift will help you get found in search. Tags relating to recipients can be broad too: men, women, parents, children, hostess gift, secret santa, teacher, stocking stuffer.
You can also use the description and photos to highlight gift ideas.Gunter Art and Design shows how his jewelry is perfect for a girl by using his own girlfriend in his photos.
Lastly, don't underestimate the power of seasonal gifts! Ornaments, hostess gifts and decorations for the home are all popular choices. This great snowflake generator from Kimotion Arts is a perfect example of an inexpensive ornament that makes a great gift. A lego snowflake? Perfect for the man, child or techie in your life!
Do you have any tips or tricks to share? Share them in the comments!