Category Archives: Community

Taking on the Alpe d’Huez, One of Cycling’s Toughest Climbs, to Help Cure Cancer

Alpe d’Huez. It’s a mountain well known to cyclists that’s made Tour de France riders, and broken them. Rising more than 6,000 feet over 8.6 miles of road with a gradient ranging from 8-13%, not to mention 21 hairpin turns, it’s defined as a Hors Categorie climb–“beyond categorization”–because it’s so hard the difficulty exceeds the normal 1-4 rating scale.

On June 2nd, Marjolein and her Shapeways sponsored team are going to ride and run it not once, not twice, but 20 times between the six of them over the course of one day as part of the Alpe D’HuZes, a fundraiser for the Dutch Cancer Society (KWF). The team’s goal: to raise 15.000 Euros. This is a very personal ride for Marjolein and her boyfriend Lucien as both of their mothers had cancer.

Alpe d'HuZes ride: Marjolean and her mom
Marjolein and her mom

“Christmas 2012, my mom got cancer,” Marjolein writes. “It was as if our world collapsed. Fear, anger, disbelief, uncertainty, and even sometimes laughter and happiness after some ‘good’ news, were the main emotions of the rollercoaster we as family were on. Now that she’s kicked cancer, the only thing left is the life lesson learned that you can take nothing for granted.

“Lucien’s mom was also confronted with cancer. The most positive and powerful woman I have ever met, she did not survive and passed away last summer. This made Lucien decide that there are many things we can’t do against cancer, simply because we’re not doctors and do not have the knowledge to cure it, but there are also many things we can do. One of them is raising money for research programs so doctors can gain more and new insights to fight this terrible disease.

“Lucien told his mom he was going to do the Alpe d’HuZes for her; I decided to join for her and my own mom. Then my mom and dad and our good friends Thijs and Imma joined our team. Now we train a lot and do loads of activities to collect money to support our goal. Shapeways is one of our major sponsors to reach the top for which we are very grateful.”

We are proud to support their efforts, and of course that support includes 3D printing. They’ll all have 3D printed water bottle holders for their bikes and rose gold plated ribbon pins to wear in honor of Marjolein’s and Lucien’s moms. Marjolein will also wear a GoPro to document her three rides up the mountain thanks to a 3D printed GoPro attachment. And yes, of course we’ll share the footage and the story of their inspiring fundraising ride come June.

Join us in supporting their efforts:

Look Awesome this Summer with 3D Printed Accessories

The April rain has finally subsided and the air of summer is moving in! Of course, the warm air brings with it the bliss of rooftop parties, amazing music, and tons of other events – all of which require a different look and outfit.

If you’re seeking for those perfect summer accessories, search no further. We’ve picked the best 3D printed products that will keep you looking cool even in the heat of the summer.

 





These are just a few of our favorite products – want to see more? Check out our list of Summer Must Haves!

 

How a Simple Mod Made an Entire Community Happy

Every few years automakers change up the entire design of an automobile. Frame, sheetmetal bodywork, engine, transmission and more to help give a vehicle a refresh and push buyers to want the newest model.

With the redesign of their Cooper line, Mini changed a lot about the third generation model. It was elongated, given a new engine and transmission, along with smaller details like this alien-like spaceship keyfob design.

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User jwhdevries wasn’t fond of this odd component and after a little research and seeing other Mini drivers fix the issue with Sugru moldable rubber or electrical tape, decided there was a better way to fix the issue at hand. The fob was unnecessarily large, and odd-shaped, and they found that the extra plastic was entirely unnecessary. With his 3D design knowledge, he designed this product in Strong & Flexible Polished plastic.

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After posting it on North America Motoring, a Mini- focused forum community with a massive positive response, it was reviewed on Motoring Fun, further pushing it up the ranks.

Through a bit of frustration, a lot of motivation and some serious creation, this product has been one of our top sellers in April; starting as a shared issue within a tight-knight community..

Have you created an amazing lifehack that helps fix a simple issue? We want to hear about it! Tell us about it in the comments below, and share it with us on social media by using #Shap3dByMe!

Follow Seth on Shapeways here

OneRing: The 3D Printed Ring for Parkinson’s Patients

Posted by in Community

Sometimes it takes a fresh perspective innovate a new solution, and the case of Utkarsh Tandon is no exception. Utkarsh Tandon, a high school sophomore from Cupertino, California, has chosen to innovate a 3D printed, wearable device that will improve the life of Parkinson’s patients all over the world.

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The project, called OneRing, was developed by Tandon after he spent a summer volunteering in a local Parkinson’s institute over his break.  At the age of 15, Tandon made it his mission to find a solution to the ever growing problem of monitoring the progression of Parkinson’s patients. Using 3D printing and micro-chip technology, he was able to create working prototypes of his concept at a nominal cost.

Parkinson’s is a degenerative disorder that diminishes the central nervous system, which mainly affects the motor system. The disease affects over 53 million people globally, and typically presents itself in older people, with most cases occurring after the age of 50. Symptoms are typically movement related and include shakiness, rigidity and slowness of movement.

How does the ring work? Since the main symptom of Parkinson’s is its effect on movement and motor function, Tandon realized that he could innovate a product that begins to understand and analyze the progression of Parkinson’s based on movement.

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The device he created is a wearable, 3D printed ring that connects to an iOS application. The ring collects data from a patient based on their movement, which is then algorithmically analyzed to identify movement patterns. Collectively, this data helps to classify the severity of the patient, sending updated reports to a physician. Ultimately this visibility of the collected data allows physicians to make more informed decisions when prescribing medications.

Tandon recently completed his a Kickstarter campaign, which exceeded its goals. His next steps are to send various ring sizes of the device, as well as iPods with the app, to Parkinson’s clinics around the US. Tandon will continue to develop the product, working on the technological aspects as well as the hardware design.

If you’re interested in contributing to this meaningful campaign, you can check it out here.

3D Printed Fashion, Can It Save the Planet? Sabina Saga’s Vision

Americans send 10.5 million tons of clothing to landfills each year.

If you have trouble wrapping your head around just how many articles of clothing that actually is – consider that if each article of clothing is an ounce, then that means there are 326,400,000,000 articles of clothing sitting in a landfill from 2015 alone. Sabina Saga, a Kazakhstan-born designer, has a solution for this and she believes it relies on 3D printing.

Sabina Saga’s 3D Printed Dress
Sabina Saga’s 3D Printed Dress

Sabina Saga moved to NYC in 2007, setting out to become a fashion designer. As she began her undergraduate studies at FIT, she launched her journey into the realm of 3D printed fashion. Little did she know that her time at FIT was setting the groundwork for a new vision of the future: what if 3D printed fashion is the path to a healthier planet, or even, a healthier person?

“In the modern world of fashion, the consumer is aware of current trends and styles,” Sabina says. “They want something fresh every week to keep up with trends. I am looking forward to the near future where it would be possible to throw an old 3D printed garment back into the printer and print a new look in a new color and shape as frequently as desirable, one layer at a time, using only the necessary amount of material required for each part with near zero waste in an energy efficient process.”

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Imagine that — a future where you can iterate your fashion choices based not only on how you yourself evolve, but the vision doesn’t stop there. Sabina also believes your choices can evolve in relation to your environment.

“3D printed fashion stands a chance of becoming essential in order to protect us from polluted external sources,” she says.

Fundamentally, fashion is about expressing yourself and communicating your individuality to the external world; but the external world has its dangers. Whether it’s polluted air, UV radiation, viruses and allergies, there are unavoidable forces in the modern world that effect and influence us. Perhaps, using the right technology, we can supplement our fashion choices by creating garments that not only express who we are, but protect who we are.

In order to actualize this future, Sabina has taken her work to UAL-Chelsea College of Arts in London, where she’s started her masters degree studying TED’s TEN, a program which assists designers in researching textiles and smart materials that have a reduced impact on the environment.

The future through the eyes of Sabina Saga is a future worth looking forward to; and it is the minds of artists like hers that will push the limitations of 3D technology in a direction that will be beneficial to us all. We’re truly excited to see what she comes up with next.

CaX20PDWQAQDyvESabina Saga at London Fashion Week 2016

Since her senior thesis show at FIT, Sabina has exhibited her fashion items all over the world, including Inside 3D Printing New York, The Creative Arts Event in London, and 3D Printing conferences in Dusseldorf. Her next show will be at TechnologyHUB between June 7-9 in Milan, Italy.

 

Prioritize your Personal Self-Expression with 3D Printing

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‘Don’t be into trends. Don’t make fashion own you, but you decide what you are, what you want to express by the way you dress and the way you live.’ – Gianni Versace

Inherently, fashion is a form of self expression that has the ability to show the world who you are without having to say a word. In today’s world, we style ourselves (and our homes) with the clothing, jewelry and goods that are made readily available to us by different brands, be it large or small. Thus far, that’s worked just fine — but what about a world where you are your own brand? Where you decide what gets made, based on your own preference. Is it possible? Is it even realistic?

Overwhelmingly, yes. I envision a future where your personal and aesthetic expression are prioritized over that which is made in mass — and without a doubt believe that 3D printing is the avenue that will help us achieve this future. Why is your self expression important? Below are a few reasons.

It’s sustainable. In traditional retail, a brand will come up with designs that they believe will have consumer appeal, and then manufacture a certain number of those designs based on projections. All too often, those brands will over-manufacture a piece, only to have hundreds (or thousands) wind up sitting a warehouse — which is an effective waste of material, space and labor.

The beauty of creating your own products with 3D printing, is that the only market validation you’ll ever need is your own. Since products are produced as you order them, you have ease of mind that you’re getting exactly what you want, from an environmentally friendly source that you can trust.

It’s infinite freedom. With customization made more accessible, you no longer have to settle for the almost perfect item. Not everyone may want to design their own everything – sometimes, it’s about making custom modifications to the things that are almost what you’re looking for. Perhaps it’s a piece of wall art that would be so great for your room if only it were just a little bit smaller, or in a different color than is available.

The made-to-order nature of 3D printing means there’s infinite possibility to customize products in a way that is true to exactly what you want. Today, we already have powerful tools such as CustomMaker and ShapeJS that make it easy for anyone to make modifications to products they love.

It’s tools like these that begin to pave the way to the wave of the future, where we’ll see more software and hardware applications expanding to a point where you can customize literally any item you could possibly want.

It’s uniquely you. The most important piece of this is you. Today, you can take your passion and wear it close to your heart, literally. Whether you have a love for science, or a love for ravens – it’s all made possible with 3D printing.

We are lucky enough to be living in a world where we are finally liberated from the mass-produced constraints of our predecessors, and it has only just begun. The future will only give way for more opportunities for you to be you.

Designer Spotlight: Trish Rudolphsen & Nick Rudemiller

This week, we will be spotlighting New York City designers Trish Rudolphsen and Nick Rudemiller, the designers of shop BlessThisMessNYC. Read below to find out more about how they came to find Shapeways, and the inspiration behind their work.

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Tell us a little bit about yourself: Who are you? Where are you located?

We are Trish, a fashion designer and Nick, an industrial/UX designer both graduates from University of Cincinnati’s school of Design, Architecture, Art & Planning. We live in Manhattan and work out of a little nook in our apartment.

What’s the story behind your designs? What inspires you?

When we initially set out to print something with Shapeways I was interested in jewelry, but once I saw there was porcelain it changed everything! I never thought I would be able to make a porcelain product, especially without a kiln.

I like the clean lines and shapes designers tend to love, but I like to have a little more fun. I wanted to make products that are minimal and also have personality.

Most of my pieces started out as gifts for friends and family. For instance I made the Dinosaur Candleholder for my brother inspired by his favorite childhood book “Dinosaur Bob.”

What I like best about my designs is how they adapt to peoples homes. Sometimes they look like an estate sale find and sometimes they look like a high end designer purchase.

What brought you to 3D printing with Shapeways?

I first saw Shapeways on NotCot and was excited by the prospect of making my own jewelry. I did not know 3D modeling at the time, but luckily Nick did. Also as it turns out a group of my friends are Gotham Smith, so they encouraged us to give Shapeways a shot.

How did you learn how to design in 3D?

Nick learned 3D modeling while in school and uses programs like Alias and Solidworks. I am learning using the free programs available like 123D and Meshmixer. There are a lot of YouTube tutorials that help with the free programs.

How do you promote your work?

We have a website and Instagram, but for the most part I am like a walking QVC show. When I show people pictures of my products, they often buy them right from me.

Who are your favorite designers or artists? Who in the Shapeways community has served as an inspiration to you?

Definitely Gotham Smith. I love their work and it’s been nice to have friends in the 3D community. I have also been a fan of Nervous System, I feel like I see their stuff popping up everywhere now!

In the art world I love pop art. I like the idea of big, graphic, sleek images.

If you weren’t limited by current technologies, what would you want to make using 3D printing?

Other materials similar to porcelain that we don’t have access to like glass, concrete or terra cotta. We feel like those would work well with our designs.

For us, 3D printing has been so beneficial because we don’t have to have to rent expensive shop space or equipment to create. We don’t need to leave our apartment to make a finished product.

Want to learn more about Trish & Nick’s design practice? Tune into our Shapeways Live with them on Wednesday 4/13 at 2PM EST!

SxSW 2016: 3D Printing Tech, Puppies & BBQ

I have never yelped “BBQ” as much as I have these past few days. I spent last week at SXSW with colleagues Mansee Muzumdar, Dan Grigoras and Shapeways CEO Pete Weijmarshausen. Our mission? To spread the word about the future of 3D printing (and, yes, enjoy great music, free beer and puppies—thank you, Mophie!). Our main event was Pete and Shane Wall, CTO at HP, addressing “The Next Industrial Revolution: Hype or Reality?” on the future of additive printing. This is a discussion that’s come up quite a bit over the last few months, and we came to SXSW to debunk it.

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Peter Weijsmarhausen, Shapeways CEO & Shane Wall, CTO of HP at their SXSW Panel discussion

Pete and Shane discussed the future of 3D printing and the ground breaking innovations that are currently being worked on at HP.

Meanwhile, Dan, our Director of Supply Chain, rocked a 3D printing workshop with Stanford University…literally. The workshop kicked off with the pair blasting “Fergilicious” and tossing out 3D printed giveaways to the crowd. This proved to be epic enough to capture the attention of Good Morning America. Participants walked away with a new understanding of how to get started with 3D prototyping.

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Dan Grigorias and Marcus Duvoisin during their SXSW Workshop

I, on the other hand, ventured away from speaking about 3D printing and spoke about the benefits of embedding social consciousness into your brand. On my panel were three amazing women founders and community builders, Marisa de Belloy, Tahyira Cordner and Jonna Pira. We covered the prioritization of community and the necessity of building products that have positive global impact.

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Our panel discussion was in partnership with TechStyleNYC, an events company started by fashion socialite Janine Just. We exhibited with a number of other brands such as Cool Effect, Bar Works and Kali.

All of these brands have one thing in common: using technology to give way to making fashionable & sustainable ubiquitous with one another.

Naturally, I helped host a few of our own meetups around Austin and made new friends  while sharing cool 3D printed giveaways.

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Not to mentioned, I blinged myself out with the latest 3D Printed fashion from our designers LikeSyrup, LucasPlus and UniverseBecoming. I also 3D Printed a Flava-Flav style necklace to wear during the event, so that our community members could #SpotTheSpark and come find me to enjoy drinks and overall awesomeness.

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LikeSyrup’s Arrow Dream Catcher Necklace & Lucas Plus’s Solid Plus Pendant

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Community manager Kat Kinkead ready to hand out some 3D printed keychains

We also stopped by the DJI Drone Interactive Lounge, which allowed us the opportunity to fly a drone (in a netted area, of course) and wave our arms around to control a simulated drone flight on their holographic screen.

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We managed to check out a few panels, and were able to stop by and see Abbi and Ilana of Broad City as they spoke about the evolution of their show into what has become today, and how that impacted their lives. (You can check that out here, for more info :) )

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Overall, there was so much to take in while at SXSW, and a typical day had me averaging over 21,000 steps, yelping “BBQ” or “Breakfast Tacos” at least 8x a day…and at the end of it all, I felt like this:

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Sleepy Puppies at the Mophie House event

Til next year, SXSW!

Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day With These Lucky Finds

Posted by in Community, What's Hot

In honor of St. Patrick’s Day, we’re sharing some of our staff’s favorite festive and lucky green products (green beer not included). Be sure to follow your favorite designers and comment to let them know what you think of their designs!

You’ll be rolling in clover when you start the day off with this mug from Rebecca’s list:

If you’re looking to wear a little luck around your neck, check out Kat’s list for pendants like this:

Need to dress up a lighter? Seth’s list has just the thing for you:

For something a little more understated, go for this ring from Aimee’s list:

Have a fun list you’ve been working on? We want to see! Share your lists of favorite products with us on Twitter.

Announcing the 2015 Shapeways Transparency Report

Today we are happy to announce the Shapeways transparency report for 2015.  This report is designed to give everyone in the Shapeways community insight into how our systems governing intellectual property disputes and third party access to Shapeways user information work.

What is a transparency report, and why publish it? 

A transparency report is a public document that sheds light on how internal processes here at Shapeways work in practice.  While the entire Shapeways community is impacted by our policies covering things like copyright disputes and privacy, in most cases individual disputes over those issues happen behind closed doors.  This is a good thing in specific cases – community members should be able to resolve their differences outside of the spotlight.  However, it can also make it hard for people who are not directly involved in a dispute to understand how the process works, or how those processes are working in aggregate.

The transparency report helps to summarize how our processes work and to give the entire community a better understanding of the trends emerging from them.  It also helps the larger public and policymakers understand how systems grounded in law play out in reality.  As we note in the report, it is impossible to evaluate the laws that control how Shapeways operates without understanding how those laws impact Shapeways and the Shapeways community.

What’s in this report?

I encourage you to check out the report itself, but some high level points are worth mentioning.  The most striking is how trademark takedown requests are interacting with traditional copyright takedown requests.  Last fall we, along with a number of similarly situated companies, raised concerns to the White House about a trend in takedown requests.  We noticed that rightsholders were combining trademark claims with copyright claims.  A side effect of this combination – intended or not – is to remove the dispute from the notice and takedown process that provides protections for users accused of copyright infringement.

This report puts some numbers behind that concern.  Of the 761 copyright-related takedown requests we received in 2015, 582 (that’s 76%) also included trademark requests.  As a result, 76% of the copyright takedown requests were outside of the notice and counternotice process established by the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA).  That means that only about a quarter of the copyright takedown requests we get are actually covered by the DMCA process created by the U.S. Congress to govern such requests.

The report also contains some spaces without numbers.  The report contains sections for requests for user information by governments and by third parties with court orders.  Shapeways did not receive any such requests in 2015. However, we included these sections in the report so community members could be confident that the absence was because we did not receive them, not that we were avoiding talking about them.  Along those lines, we have also registered our warrant canary with CanaryWatch.org.

We hope that this report is helpful to our community. If you have any ideas of how to make it better, feel free to hit me up via email at mweinberg@shapeways.com or in the comments below.

 

image: flickr user ian mcwilliams

Creating the Dreamer Regalia Armor: Finishing the Armor!

Posted by in Community

This is our sixth post detailing how designer Melissa Ng created the Dreamer Regalia Armor. Read previous posts to learn more about this project , how she uses Blender for base modeling, her sketching techniques,  final modeling videos and a behind the scenes look into the armor being printed at our factory in NYC. 

After the armor was printed, it was time for Melissa to put her finishing touches before sending the final piece to Felicia Day. Because it was printed in our White Strong & Flexible Nylon Plastic, the armor was a great base for the extra detail. Melissa did all of these final details by hand, including painting, varnishing and sanding.

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Check out the final video of this series to see how she brings everything together:

It’s been incredible to watch Melissa go through the journey of making this special project. From her initial idea to bringing Felicia Day on board to seeing the final piece, the Dreamer Regalia Armor is a great reminder of the capabilities of 3D design and printing.

We know there are more makers out there with dream projects in mind, and we hope seeing the story of how Melissa brought her dream project to life inspires you to get started on yours!

Creating the Dreamer Regalia Armor: 3D Printing with Shapeways

Posted by in Community

This is our fifth post detailing how designer Melissa Ng created the Dreamer Regalia Armor. Read previous posts to learn more about this project , how she uses Blender for base modeling, her sketching techniques and final modeling videos

After hours upon hours of sketching, modeling and the like the armor was finally ready to be printed. After uploading the various parts of the armor to Shapeways, it was time for the printers to do the work. The armor was printed in our White Strong & Flexible Nylon Plastic material which lent itself well to the post-processing Melissa did to finish the dress.

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Melissa came to our factory in Long Island City and was able to see the final printed piece as soon as it was ready. Check out the video below and listen as our Community Manager, Andrew Thomas, explains how the 3D printing process works and all the steps it takes to get from a 3D design to something you can hold in your hand:

Creating the Dreamer Regalia Armor: Modeling and Final Details

Posted by in Community

This is our fourth post detailing how designer Melissa Ng created the Dreamer Regalia Armor. Read previous posts to learn more about this project , how she uses Blender for base modeling and her sketching techniques

Thanks to CoKreeate,  Melissa was eventually able to work off of a scan of Felicia Day so she could feel confident that the measurements would be perfect. CoKreeate is an LA-based 3D scanning and 3D printing company that helps people bring their ideas and imagination to life, and used the Artec Eva scanner and Artec Studio 10 software to create a highly detailed 3D scan.

Using that scan (and still using Blender), she worked in sections to model the full piece.

In her blog on Lumecluster, Melissa dives deeper into why she began 3D modeling and how she taught herself this skill. You can read more about how she learned to 3D model  on her blog, as well as an interview we did with her a while back. This project is the perfect example of how you don’t need an extensive background in 3D design to make something amazing. Practice, persistence and passion can get you far. Through trial and error, Melissa taught herself the skills she needed to create the Dreamer Regalia Armor.

Check out the videos below to see how she works in Blender to create the intricate details of the armor:

Chest Piece Detail

Head Piece

Skirt

Final Details

Creating the Dreamer Regalia Armor: Sketching the Armor Pattern

Posted by in Community

This is our third post detailing how designer Melissa Ng created the Dreamer Regalia Armor. Read previous posts to learn more about this project and how she uses Blender for base modeling

After getting a base model down, it was time to take a step back from the computer and go back to some good old-fashioned hand sketching. Even for highly technical, geometric shapes there is something to be said about creating a design on paper. Melissa spent 25 hours in total doodling and sketching the armor and armor pattern before adding it to the base model.

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In this video you’ll see a part of her sketching process and will hear her talk about the things she kept in mind while designing – including how (and why) she used foxes as a source of inspiration:

Photo of sketches courtesy of Melissa Ng.

Creating the Dreamer Regalia Armor: Base Modeling with Blender

Posted by in Community

This is our second post detailing how designer Melissa Ng created the Dreamer Regalia Armor. Read the first post to learn more about this project and how she connected with actress Felicia Day. 

When inspiration strikes, it can be hard to know where to begin. Different designers have different starting points, and for Melissa it started with some sketching and base modeling.

Because she had an idea in mind, starting with the base model worked best for her even before she had Felicia’s measurements. For her, the concept of topology is really important and using the 3D modeling software of her choice (Blender), Melissa began by creating the basic shape of the armor first.

Watch the video below to hear more about how she got this project started, and to get a glimpse of the tools and software she prefers:

For a more in-depth look, check out Melissa’s blog for more on the original inspiration behind the piece on Lumecluster.