Category Archives: Community

Make That Monogram Gift: Mymo.is Personal Monograms In 3D

You don’t have to know how to 3D model to print something really cool and special as a gift. If you’re in the hunt for that special someone check out Mymo.is, the monogram gift creator for the 21st century. The creators of this app developed the site from scratch and even the font was designed to be 3D printed, possibly the first font of it’s kind!

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Available in silver or steel, in keychain, mini monogram necklace or statement necklace Mymo is a great way to commemorate a memorable event with simple, elegant design.

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So head to their app page and get started making a one-of-a-kind 3D printed gift today: MYMO.is

Designers and coders: interested in getting your easy creator app featured on our site? Connect with our API team to show us what you’ve made or e:mail Dan directly at dan@shapeways.com.

Step into the Shapeways voting booth

Next Monday marks the first debate between U.S. presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. For over a year (though it seems like much longer than that) the media has reported on poll after poll of the voting electorate to try and predict a winner in November 8th’s election.

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Here at Shapeways we do polling a bit differently. Designer Tomislav Veg has designed 3D printed busts of each of the candidates, allowing us to do a very unscientific poll of our community. Here’s how it works:

Visit the product page of your favorite candidate (you can click on your favorite candidate’s bust above to vote), add it to your favorites and order it in one of the available materials. At the end of the day on Tuesday we’ll tally up votes as follows:

  • 1 vote for every page view of a candidate’s product page
  • 3 votes for every person that favorites the product
  • 5 votes for every order of a candidate’s product

 

You have until the end of the day Tuesday October 27 to place your votes and we’ll announce the winner in the blog next week.

Happy Voting!
Vote for Hillary
Vote For Donald

Our Community of Jewelry Designers

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Over the past few years the community at Shapeways has grown in exquisite ways that have exceeded the limits of our imagination. Today, Shapeways has launched an updated look for our jewelry marketplace — a design that truly compliments and highlights the beauty of the products within it.

In honor of our redesign, we thought it was a perfect moment to reflect and acknowledge a few of the many jewelry designers who have continually contributed to the Shapeways community.

Lucas Goosens, LucasPlus Jewelry

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“LucasPlus designs all start with a motto I really believe in: “Think Positive”. The representation of the Plus symbol throughout the collection serves as a mental reminder to have positive thoughts and spread good vibes.” – Lucas Goosens

Lucas Goosens, a designer from NYC uses his jewelry as a means to propogate a message of positivity.

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Lucas got his start on Shapeways in 2014 when he set out to find a ring that reminded him of a resolution he had made in years past: to harness positivity in all forms. Alas, he was unable to find the perfect ring he had envisioned for himself —  so he turned to Shapeways, learned to 3D model, and printed first LucasPlus ring.

Geman Wu, Alminty3D 

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“I was always a big fan of geometry and mathematics in school. Whenever I looked at an object I like to simplify the shape and form to a “geometric abstraction” in my head.” – Geman Wu

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A trained building scientist and lighting designer, Geman Wu has always viewed the world in polygons. A quick look at her designs and it is easy to see that these fun, fresh and colorful designs are inspired by geometric harmony and mathematical proportion.

Luk Cox & Idoya Lahortiga, Somersault18:24

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“Our designs are all science-inspired. We both have a deep-rooted science interest and passion. Moreover, we are fortunate to witness cutting edge science every day and want to translate this fascinating world into everyday objects and accessories.” — Luk & Idoya, Somersault1824

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Two research scientists from Diest, Belgium set out to combine their two biggest passions: art & science. The duo works to create science-inspired jewelry that gives us a lens into the microscopic world that, without their minds paired with 3D printing, we otherwise would not be able to see… much less wear as jewelry.

Michael Mueller, Pookas

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“I think it is a good thing to act not too serious. I always try to add some fun and mystery to my work. There is a movie from the early 50s called “Harvey.” James Stewart plays the curious Elwood P. Dowd whose best mate is a mystery “Pooka,” an invisible 6-foot rabbit. Elwood is a very kind person who treats everyone equal and yes, he hangs out with an unseen rabbit all the time. To be open-minded is a good thing and if this means to see things that are hidden to others, so be it.” — Michael Mueller

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The day Michael Mueller read about Shapeways and 3D printing, he was hooked. An active member of our community since 2011, Michael has made almost anything you can imagine: whistles, belt buckles, rings and more — his creativity allows him to consistently create the perfect accessory you never knew you needed.

“There is not one day I don’t work or at least think about 3D printing and what I can create next.”  - Michael Mueller

Kimberly Falk, Ontogenie

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Kimberly Falk, the genius designer behind Ontogenie is a scientist and self-taught 3D modeler based out of Germany.  Kimberly’s shop consists of incredibly intricate jewelry pieces inspired by science and nature. What is distinctly unique about her designs is that she turns her fascination of filigree structures of microscopic organisms on land and in the sea into detailed a 3D prints that fully take advantage of the materials they are printed in.

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If you want to see more designs from Kimberly, Lucas, Geman, Michael, Luk, Idoya and the many, many more designers within our community, head over to our newly designed Marketplace and browse the through the wonderment of imaginations-come-to-life.

To all of the jewelry designers in the Shapeways community: thank you for creating! We hope you enjoy our updated look and are excited to fulfill our commitment to the jewelry community by adding new features and collections in the coming months. Have some ideas and want to see your products featured? Head over to our forums and share with us your designs!

We look forward to highlighting the imagination within each and every one of you. Keep making and stay tuned!

Black High Definition Acrylate Now Open for Sale! + New Design Guidelines

Earlier this year, we launched Black High Definition Acrylate to our community. The material was such a success, we saw amazing scale model planes, miniature figurines and cool science fiction characters. Our makers were so enthusiastic that we had to rapidly expand capacity to meet demand.  Since then, we tested the material to the limits and learned how to make it better through feedback from the community. We are now ready to open B-HDA up for shop owners to make this material available to their customers.

 

Black High Definition Acrylate BHDA Shapeways Hereforge, Decapod, Max Grueter

Designers from From left to right: Hereforge, Decapod, Max Grueter

While we expand this material offering, we also wanted to share some changes to our design guidelines based on what we have learned is possible and what is more difficult to print consistently.  Updating the design guidelines was important in order to provide more reliable and higher quality prints to shop owner’s customers.

For B-HDA, the design guidelines are driven by the printing process.  B-HDA uses Direct Light Projection technology where light is projected through a liquid resin which solidifies each layer of a design on a build platform.  As the platform moves up, the next layer is cured by the projected light.  To secure your model to the build platform and support overhangs, intertwined toothpick-sized scaffolds are printed to reinforce your structure.  Since the support structures are the same as the material of the model, they are carefully removed by cutting and can make certain thin walls/wires or complex geometries more difficult to process.

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Test model for wires in Black High Definition Acrylate

We found that unsupported wires should be a minimum of 0.7 mm thick and supported wires should be a minimum of 0.8 mm thick for wires less than 35 mm in length.  This is determined by our ability to successfully break away support material and clean your model.  Wires that are too thin will break during post processing.  As wires get longer, they typically need to be thicker in order to maintain their strength.  We recommend making your wires 0.1 mm thicker for every additional 20 mm in length over 35 mm to ensure we can post process it without breakage.

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Test model for wall thickness

We added similar guidelines for wall thickness.  Walls under 5 mm in length should be a minimum of 0.5 mm thick.  For every additional 20 mm in length over 5 mm, we recommend making supported walls 0.2 mm thicker and unsupported walls 0.25 mm thicker.  The minimum wall thickness is determined by our ability to successfully remove support material without breaking your model and prevent the model from warping.

Finally for hollow models we added a requirement of at least 2 escape holes with a minimum diameter of 6 mm each per interior cavity. Escape holes are important for us to be able to clean the inside of the model and remove any uncured resin.

 

Black High Definition Acrylate Hereforge Shapeways

Designs by Heroforge

Black High Definition Acrylate has been a smash hit material for scale models and prototypes because of its high detail and smooth surface.  It looks great right out of the printer, but also takes well to painting and post-processing.  It’s flexible and durable.  We have seen some incredible products in our factories and can’t wait to see what shop owners are going to make available for sale.

If you have questions or comments about BHDA please join the discussion in our BHDA Shopper material thread here. Do you have a product you are offering for sale here? Share your photos and products in our feature this forum here.

Boston Festival of Indie Games : 3D printing boardgame Round Up

This weekend I attended the Boston Festival of Indie Games. Independent game designers exhibited a huge array of both tabletop and digital games. In the tabletop exhibition area I was lucky enough to meet designers who are using 3D printing with Shapeways to create gorgeous 3D printed game pieces.

Here are two of my favorites and what they had to say about their games and 3D Printing!

 

Jonathan Ritter-Roderick, Product Manager for Dragoon:

Where did the concept for Dragoon come from?

Dragoon was created and designed by developers and brothers Jake and Zach Given of Lay Waste Games. Seeking an alternate means to hash out their sibling rivalry, they found pummeling each other as dragons was even better than the real thing! Jonathan Ritter- Roderick, Director of Operations and Product Designer at Lay Waste Games, was brought on to find a unique way to make Dragoon a reality. His solution? Metal and fabric! While the game was being refined in early 2014, Nick Nazzaro was brought on board as the resident Art Director of Lay Waste Games. His imaginative illustrations and unique visual translation of the world of Dragoon has truly helped bring this game to life.

Dragoon by Lay Waste Games 3D printed boardgame Shapeways

Dragoon by Lay Waste Games

How did you create your (beautiful) game pieces?

It was a five step process with Shapeways smack in the middle!

Conceptualize

3D Model

3D Print (Shapeways!)

Cast

Finish

For Step One, our illustrator Nick conceptualized designs in both clay and Photoshop sketches. After multiple refinements with the team, we brought in 3D modeler Pat Fahy for Step Two. Modeling! His extreme talent allowed the sketches to be directly translated into 3D form. Step Three was having Shapeways print various models to help us properly determine ideal shape and size. After testing the pieces, we brought them to our caster in Rhode Island for Step Four. He dropped the Shapeways models directly into a rubber mold and vulcanizer. After many hours, the shapeways models were pulled out of the mold and the master metal pieces were cast. Metal was poured into the molds, pieces were cast by the thousands, and then passed off to the finisher. Step Five, the pieces were tumbled to remove sharp edges, the precious stuff (18k gold, silver, copper, and black nickel) was poured over the pieces, and briefly electrocuted, which adhered the metals.

Dragoon by Lay Waste Games 3D printed boardgame Shapeways

Dragoon by Lay Waste Games

How does 3D printing help indie game designers like Lay Waste Games move through iterations to a final product?

Indie game development can often be an extensive process. As such, anything that can make your job easier is a welcome addition. If you have metal pieces, like Dragoon, you end up increasing your timeline. With 3D printing, we are able to reduce our timeline, exploring various shapes and styles, and reduce expensive model making costs. With Dragoon, we had an idea, were able to print pieces through Shapeways, and have metal pieces in a matter of weeks!

Jonathan Ritter-Roderick, Product Manager for Dragoon Shapeways BostonFIG

Jonathan Ritter-Roderick, Product Manager for Dragoon

What would you like to see from Shapeways in the future?

If Shapeways was able to do low-cost, high-volume metal pieces in various styles, it would be a game changer for us. We are always talking about limited edition pieces and it would be amazing to do that through Shapeways. Or maybe we will just use current processes and make all of our pieces in solid gold!

You can find and order dragoon here: http://www.laywastegames.com

Jeff Johnston, creator of Moonquake at Pair of Jacks Games

Where did the concept for MoonQuake Escape come from?

I had completed a children’s game called Flashlights & Fireflies that had you playing flashlight freeze tag, but first you had to catch fireflies to power your special flashlight before your game of hiding and seeking (Gamewright publishes F&F).  Starting from that core, I “grew up” MQE for an older audience by setting it on this alien prison planet, adding a bluffing mechanism (an Energy Shield you could hide under…or not!) and I was curious how much fun it could be if the board was moving, bringing players together unexpectedly.  I began experimenting with these game concepts.

Jeff Johnston, creator of Moonquake at Pair of Jacks Games Shapeways BostonFIG

Jeff Johnston, creator of Moonquake at Pair of Jacks Games

How did you create your game pieces?

Using some local makers activities, DangerAwesome and Technocopia (and my local library), I tried several different approaches using 3D printing and laser cutting to making a board that was easy to assemble, manipulate, and manufacture and yet still had a “look and feel” of a planet with a moon.  The moon component was actually born of necessity–I simply couldn’t remember who’s turn it was. So, instead of adding a simple turn token to pass between players, I decided I could make a moon that would “orbit” the board–a bent wire and ping pong ball. From there, replacing a die with the moon itself as a spinner was a no brainer.  These modest components were fine for play testing, but after a few minutes of training on AutoCAD’s 123D, I was soon combining simple shapes and using a 3D printer to model different approaches on something that could be manufactured.  This was critical–no publisher was going to look twice at MQE no matter how much fun if it couldn’t be made for a profit.

Once I saw the game itself was on a fun track, I found Michael Parla who is MQE’s Art Director. He brought a really fun art style to the game, helped it really “pop” on the game table, and completed our vision–to create a planet we could play a game on, not make a game board pretending to be a planet.  AdMagic’s Breaking Games saw the potential of what we created, excepted the challenge, and has done a wonderful job producing the game.

How does 3D printing help indie game designers like Pair of Jacks Games move through iterations to a final product?

Over an 18 month period, I spent of lot of time figuring out how to *not* make this board through iterations.  I’ll admit that designing by the process of elimination is extremely inefficient, but it helps you decide which areas to abandon and which to think about more. In the end, there are two plastic pieces integral to MQE, the moon and the post it spins on, but I experimented with many, many more.  Having free and intuitive tools like AutoCAD’s 123D and access to inexpensive 3D printing services can help an inventor create quickly without being afraid of making expensive mistakes.  Once I’d finalized the physical design, that’s where Shapeways came in to help me quickly make high quality prototypes for playtesting, impressing game publishers and making new fans.

MoonQuake Escape will be available later this year on-line and at discerning hobby game stores near you (MSRP $60).  Find out more at https://breakinggames.com/products/moonquake-escape.  You can find Jeff on FB at https://www.facebook.com/MoonQuakeEscape/ or on Twitter at https://twitter.com/MoonQuakeEscape.

 

Do you have a boardgame or tabletop game you’re designing with 3D printing? Let us know in the comments below and check out our prototyping meetups here.

Recapping Eindhoven Mini Maker Faire

Last weekend Maker Faire, the Greatest Show (and Tell) event we know, descended to Eindhoven for the third time. Over 100 makers showed off their work, ranging from robots that can play football to wooden guns for rubber bands. From 3D printed selfies to jewelry handmade from electric components and organizations working on building their own maker communities.

In the Facebook video broadcast below I take you on a quick flight through the event.

Our booth was hidden in mystery. While walking by you couldn’t see much, but behind a black curtain our 3D Scanning Engineers Brigitte and Astrid scanned many visitors. One by one people could enter and for the first time see themselves from a whole different angle on the computer.

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Also a true celebrity in the fasiontech industry gave her presence at the Eindhoven Mini Maker Faire: Anouk Wipprecht. You might recognize her from cool projects such as the Spider Dress, the Audi Dresses and the Unicorn Horn. The Unicorn Horns have been 3D Printed at our Eindhoven located factory, and were on exhibit last week at ARS in Linz, Austria.

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Anouk Wipprecht is being 3D scanned by Astrid.

Despite the warm weather we had a great time 3D scanning visitors and hosting the afterparty for the makers. In special I want to thank René Paré, Maud Bongers and Anne-Marijn Burgers for organizing such a fantastic event! Eindhoven Mini Maker Faire – see you next year!

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Designer Spotlight: Ellen Mueller #TinyTuesday

For this Tiny Tuesday, we’re highlighting Ellen Mueller because we’ve fallen in love with her tiny depictions of office life.

Ellen is an internationally exhibited interdisciplinary artist who explores the everyday challenge of living with hyperactive news media and corporate management systems. She creates experiences that engage with social and political issues through imagery, performance, and installation.

While Ellen’s Shapeways shop reminds us a bit of Office Space (particularly this little stapler in red), a number of her designs are part of a cheeky, in-progress 3D print-on-demand sculptural street art project, she’s called Synergism. Each cluster of office-related objects is designed to fit into corner-shaped spaces– and Ellen is encouraging participants to print these subtle sculptures, and install them on office buildings they feel could spontaneously start leaking bureaucracy (DMVs, corporate headquarters, office parks, etc). Note: we’re not endorsing that anyone glue something to anything that doesn’t belong to you. Each design is 3D modeled in SketchUp and is defaulted to print in matte bronze steel. Ellen chose this particular material because of its connotations with other large-scale recognizable public sculptures, whether life-size portraits of politicians or members of military on horseback.

She currently works as an Assistant Professor of Art at West Virginia Wesleyan College, and while the school doesn’t have its own 3D printer, she uses Shapeways to give 3D printing access to her students. Side note: if you haven’t noticed, we’re all about students using our services!

We’re also particularly loving that while Ellen’s creating some incredible miniatures, she has some ideas for bigger, better tiny things if 3D printing limitations weren’t an issue, saying, “I would print tiny houses that are really well insulated. I think it would save a lot of energy.”

 

3D printing and Game Design Collide at GameSmash

Last week I had at the awesome opportunity to participate in the first GameSmash Tabletop Game Design and Fabrication Challenge at the Fat Cat Fab Lab in New York City. Hosted by MakerOS and Ultimaker, groups of designers were challenged to create a brand new board game from scratch. The games had to be based around the idea of “Bed-time stories”, be playable in a short amount of time and include 3D printing components.

 

Shapeways Ultimaker makerOS gather at Fat Cat Fab Lab

The Teams gather at Fat Cat Fab lab and prepare to playtest and judge the final games.

With only 48 hours to complete the games, teams of game designers raced against the clock to conceptualize, prototype, playtest and iterate on their designs. To meet the challenging deadline set, teams had access to all the tools and materials the fab lab provides. These include multiple 3D printers (provided by Ultimaker), a laser cutter, a wood shop and a table full of cards and paper.

 

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Close up of a Grimm Task by the Doomsday bunnies. Parts created on laser cutter and 3D printed

 

By working in small groups to quickly iterate a game concept, we could quickly move through prototypes to a final game product. Without the support of the group or the access to technology, this would be much more difficult. Getting together with a group of like-minded game designers gave us the ability to share feedback and test hypothesizes around game mechanics and figure out how to use digital manufacturing process to create unique game pieces.

 

Playtesting the Winners of the competition: Wraith of Heaven by team Lazerdog

Playtesting the Winners of the competition: Wraith of Heaven by team Lazerdog

 

With a hard deadline fast approaching, the massive advantage that 3D printing provides quickly became clear: Using 3D printing game designers could prototype very advanced mechanics quickly and with ease. “Greener Pastures” included a fully functional catapult. Landfall Saga had modular shapes to control the fall of ball bearings. These ideas simply couldn’t have been executed this quickly without 3D printing.

 

Bedtime Frenzy by Fractal Attack 3D printing with Ultimaker MakerOS Shapeways at Fat Cat Fab Lab

Playing the spinning Bedtime Frenzy by Fractal Attack

board game Shapeways Ultimaker MakerOS GameSmash marble rolling game of Landfall Saga by Zack Freeman

Check out this incredible marble rolling game of Landfall Saga by Zack Freeman

 

Finally, every group was given Shapeways credit to make a final version of their models to be playtested again at the 20 Sided Store in Brooklyn and displayed at the Ultimaker exhibit space at Maker Faire in early October. Through quick iteration in a group of creative game designers, each game can grow and potentially be shared via a Shapeways shop or Kickstarter project.

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Team Doomsday Bunnies shows of our game, soon to be in a store near you!

 

Welcome South Park to the Shapeways Community!

ATTENTION South Park super fans, technophiles and collectible geeks – South Park Studios have joined the Shapeways community and has opened their very own South Park Shop!  For the first time you will be able to purchase some of your favorite South Park characters – in physical form.

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The collector-inspired character line is printed in full-color sandstone and the shop will feature year-round introductions of new and old characters. South Park creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker have hand signed a limited number of Stan, Kyle, Kenny and Cartman figurines which select fans, who purchase the full set, will have an opportunity to win in these first two weeks of the South Park shop opening here at Shapeways.  (contest rules below)

The South Park shop also includes fan favorites like Candidate Garrison, Terrance and Phillip, Tweek and many more.  Each month a new character will be added to the shop so make sure you follow the South Park shop so you are the first to know when new characters launch!

So what inspired South Park Studios to join the Shapeways community? To celebrate their 20th season of South Park of course!  Fans around the world have continued to connect with the virtual world of South Park for two decades and now digital manufacturing can bring South Park out of the screen and into our physical world in a unique and dynamic way episode after episode.

3D Printing can offer a wealth of benefits including real time customization for fans and direct interaction with the brand. The South Park shop on Shapeways is the inaugural partnership with Source 3, South Park Studios and White Clouds.

Kudos to Viacom and South Park Studios for embracing 3D technology by setting an example in the industry and forging a stronger relationships with their fans.

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Getting My Game on at Gen Con 2016

This weekend I went to Gen Con 2016 in Indianapolis. The largest convention for boardgames, tabletop wargaming, role playing games and all manner of cosplay and geek culture. People worldwide descended on the Indianapolis convention center for 4 days of gaming, exhibitions, films and revelry.

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Shapeways was introduced to the Gen Con community years ago when several of our makers started using 3D printing to make dice, game pieces and miniatures to bring their video games to life in the physical world.   Being on the exhibition floor was almost overwhelming to see the vast number of ways 3D Printing could be used to expand the gaming experience. Vendors, Game Designers and artists cover the floor showing off their newest games and prototypes.   My gamer self was in creative overload!   I will try to keep this short and share my top, top favorites…

Some of my favorite miniatures are from Wraith of Kings by Cool Mini’s or Not.

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Miniature painters were all over the floor showing of their techniques. For example I love this lighting effect of this glowing sword by James Wappel.

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Impressed by the quality of painted figures on the floor, I decided to try my own hand at it in the paint and take area, where we were generously given free figurines and a paintbrush by Gencon.

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I also attended to a workshop by David Dresch who gave some expert advice on how to create terrain for wargaming tables. Here’s my work in progress of adding grass and dirt below.

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Naturally Gencon is all about gaming, and I got the opportunity to play numerous great Role Playing games including Dungeons and Dragons. Here’s a scene from a short and fun campaign where we save christmas from being ruined by the minions of Cthulhu, featuring Dwarvenite Game Tiles terrain shown by Dwarven Forge.

Dwarvenite Game Tiles terrain Dwarven Forge shapeway

 

But of course, Gen Con is all about meeting cool and colorful new people. Whether they are in awesome cosplay costumes as your favorite video game characters, acting in a 6 hour LARP quest or just goofing around with some D20 dice, Gen Con was a blast to make new friends. The best part about Gen Con is the way it brings the gaming community together to play and be creative.

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What games do you play? Do you use 3D printing to make your game pieces? Are you making your own game? Let us know in the comments below!

Symbols + Science = Jewelry Styles for All

Looking to revamp your jewelry collection?  Symbols are one way to make a statement without going overboard.  They also lend as great conversation pieces for history buffs, trendsetters, and Biochem masters alike.  Our community across the globe has designing symbols down to an art and we’re showing you the creations you don’t want to miss. 

As the masterminds behind Shapeways shop somersault1824, Belgium designers Idoya and Luk make science look sleek. Their minimalist necklaces are perfect for channeling your inner lab geek and make for surprising, sweet gifts.

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Phi pendant from somersault1824

There is more than meets the eye with Phi! This letter is the basis for the Golden Ratio, a principle frequently found math and science which can be dated back to sacred architecture and art.  Another important fact to know: Products from somersault1824  support science education. For every pendant sold, the designers invest $5 of the profit in educational resources for scientists, students and teachers with the aim to make these resources available to everyone. Read more about the cause here.

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Neuron pendant from somersault1824

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DNA pendant from somersault1824

If you like this double helix, you may want to experiment with spirals from other Shapeways shops.  Just don’t get it twisted!  Instead, wear the Twisted Pendant by Jaacov Molcho, one of our featured designers in Sparks Across the Globe.

We also love the pendants Antonios Bliss of Athens, Greece created. His designs reflect a modern adaptation of symbols rooted in native New Mexico.

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Native America Zia Sun Symbol Jewelry Pendant from Symbolica.

Any idea what the four parts of this pendant might represent?  Here’s a hint: up to twenty different meanings can be found in total. Read more about the multifaceted design here and discover other fascinating symbols in Symbolica.

Be sure to check out other jewelry designers on Shapeways to find the symbol that suits you and explore all the beautiful options for everyday wear.

Designer Spotlight: Leon Oudehand

This week we’re speaking with Leon Oudehand from the Netherlands, who did a great job developing a simple yet useful life hack!

Leon Oudehand

Tell us a little bit about yourself: Who are you? Where are you located?
Hi, I’m Leon and I’m a product and packaging developer from the Netherlands. I work as packaging designer for a big FMCG company, but alongside that I love to design and create products that make life just a little easier, both for myself and for others.

What’s the story behind your designs? What inspires you?
I guess this is one of those typical “I had a need and couldn’t find the right product so decided to do it myself” stories where a product originates from a pure personal need. When the explosion of wallet projects on Kickstarter started a couple of years ago, I too got a little addicted to the minimal wallet trend.

Cavity Card

Typically, minimal wallets are great for cards and bills. However, few offer a “good” solution for carrying coins (or other small items). I tried going “cashless” or at least “coinless” for a while, but found that there’s still quite a few places that don’t accept cards, or don’t accept cards for small amounts. Time after time I ended up with loose coins in my pocket. After finding over 10 euros worth of coins in the washing machine, and another stash spread around the car, I decided I had to find a solution.

That’s when I came up with Cavity Card. A simple and light frame that can be mounted onto any card and creates just a little space for a few coins, a key or an SD card while keeping my wallet slim. At first, I just printed one for myself. But after a number of questions from friends and colleagues, I decided to open up a shop.

Wallets with cavity card

What brought you to 3D printing with Shapeways?
I learned about 3D printing as a tool for rapid prototyping in my job as a packaging designer. It’s been a great tool for very quickly getting something physical in your hands, which is great for very early stage tests and design evaluation.

Having studied in Eindhoven, Shapeways was the logical choice for me. A while ago I did a bit of a benchmark comparing it with a couple of other 3D printing services but found Shapeways still has the best balance between cost, range of materials and service.

How did you learn how to design in 3D?
I’m schooled as an industrial designer. So I learned 3D modeling at university. I’ve experimented with a couple of CAD solutions, but find SolidWorks to be the best fit for me.

How do you promote your work?
For a very niche product like Cavity Card, which is only relevant to people owning a minimal wallet, it’s difficult to reach the right people. I currently mainly use Instagram and Facebook to try to build a following. I’ve also been experimenting a bit with Facebook ads (although not too successfully yet).

Next to my Shapeways store, I also run an independent website where I sell Cavity Cards with self-adhesive strips and a backing card included packed in a nice minimal pack.


If you weren’t limited by current technologies, what would you want to make using 3D printing?
I’ve got plenty of ideas in my head that I’d like to work out and start making some day. I’ve got a couple of wallet concepts for which the limitations in size and accuracy currently limit me from producing it through 3D printing. I’d love to start printing more complex multipart products that offer more functionality. Multi-material parts (printed in one go) would also open up so many opportunities.

Who are your favorite designers or artists? Who in the Shapeways community has served as an inspiration to you?
In terms of design, I’m a fan of classic modernist designers like Mies van der Rohe or Eames. My favorite Shapeways designer is probably Remi van Oers, because of his very simple and minimal but super useful designs.

Anything else you’d like to share with us?
Just that it’s absolutely fantastic how simple and easy it is to go from a one-off print for personal use to selling them commercially. And a big thanks to you guys for providing the services!

Community Loyalty

Posted by in Community

This past Thursday my work here at Shapeways had a profound change on my understanding of Community Loyalty.  I embarked on a search to learn more about the DNA of my company Shapeways from long time community members Bathsheba and Nervous System’s Jessica and Jessie.

Why have they been loyal to Shapeways for so many years?

What I learned?  Community loyalty is not their loyalty to Shapeways that is motivating.  It is their loyalty and drive to break new frontiers in creativity, science and math with beautiful art empowered by 3D Printing at Shapeways.

Community Loyalty is MY loyalty to Bathsheba, Jessica and Jessie.  To all our community members’ creativity, inventions, art, life hacks.    Shapeways community is teaming with tremendous individuals that depend on us at Shapeways to continue bringing them the newest materials, better quality prints, easier user experiences and a marketplace to show off all their amazing ideas for the general public to consume.

Meeting Bathsheba for lunch I was immensely energized to learn how this mathematical genius had discovered 3D Printing as a perfect medium for objects of art never possible before now.    She has focused on steel as her medium of choice and created incredibly intricate physical representation of some of the most complicated mathematical concepts that are exquisite to hold, wear and gaze into.   Here is a link to her shop on Shapeways, http://www.shapeways.com/shops/bathsheba

Lunch with Bathsheba in Boston!

Lunch with Bathsheba in Boston!

New artwork from Bathsheba in antique brass and pewter.

New artwork from Bathsheba in antique brass and pewter.

Jessica and Jessie at Nervous System have built an amazing micro brand of jewelry and fashion statements to wear and decorate you home through integrating math, science and technology into stunning designs worn by thousands of consumers and documented in fine art museums around the world.  You can visit their Shapeways shop here: http://www.shapeways.com/shops/nervous

Visit to Nervous System studio in Boston.

Visit to Nervous System studio in Boston.

They all have a personal connection with Pete, our CEO.  They know they can call him directly any time if they need his help.   The same goes for my two colleagues that joined me in Boston, Lauren heading up Design Evangelism and Education and Kat, our Fashion and Jewelry Community Manager.

Community Loyalty is our commitment to one another.   There is no third person company here at Shapeways.  Just our commitment to one another to keep pushing the frontier for creativity and technology to expand forever.

Thank you Bathsheba.  Thank you Jessica and Jessie.   You have my commitment and loyalty to you our community.

 

Me with Lauren and Kat.   What a great team!

Me with Lauren and Kat. What a great team!

Hacking Your Home With 3D Printing

Why should your house look the same as the one next door? Home is where the heart is, right? And creativity comes from the heart. So a home that breathes your creativity is what makes it your home.

With 3D Printing, it becomes easier than ever to hack existing items you have in your house to create a dynamic space, a place that changes, grows and is really you. Last week we got an email from Evan Gant, who has his own shop on Shapeways called Olivebird and created a range of products that show how easy it becomes to manipulate your own environment.

Take these brilliant small components called “Links” that you can attach to your wall and create a whole new dimension for using building blocks. While it provides a fun way for your kid to decorate the wall their bedrooms (obviously preferred above using crayons on the wall), you can also create fun looking and yet functional storage spaces with these Links.

What never fails to liven up your home is.. Life! With this clever Bell Vase hack you can reuse the jars from your favorite food by simply adding a 3D printed lid to transform them into vases. Designer izign believes in sustainable design, so I’m curious to see what other life extending hacks he comes up with.

With summer drawing near, I can imagine you’re ready to start using your ceiling fan any time soon. But don’t you just hate the moment pulling on the wrong cord and having the light go on in stead? Noé and Pedro Ruiz (design duo Pixil 3D) decided they needed a simple solution, which resulted in the Typography Fan Pull Handles.

Last example I want to give really turned the world of Home Deco upside down. This Radiolaria Vertebralia Planter is a cool design by Joaquin Baldwin that shows plants from a whole new dimension in your home.

Need even more cool ideas to hack your house with 3D Printing? Browse this list of products and get inspired!