Category Archives: Community

Sketchup tips from Steven Gray: Part 3, expand functionality with plugins

Shapeways Shop owner Steven Gray of MyGadgetLife shares some advice for designing with the amazing free design tool Sketchup. This is Part 3 , click here for Part 1 and here for Part 2.

7. Get some Extensions (aka plugins), scripts that expand Sketchup’s functionality. I only use a couple generally, the first and most important of which (for 3D printing) is ‘Solid Inspector’. This tool checks for holes or stray lines or duplicate faces or interior faces or anything else that could potentially ‘break’ your 3D print. Shapeways systems are smart and also perform checks – and attempt to fix any faults, sometimes with indeterminate results – upon upload, but it’s better to have a model that’s ‘correct’ before upload.

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The other plugin I use regularly is ‘RoundCorner.’  At its simplest, this clever extension applies chamfering to edges, but can also fillet interior edges, round off edges and corners in models. Even the tiniest rounding (0.25mm or 250 in mygadgetlife units) helps remove sometimes harsh edges that manifest themselves in the finished prints. It’s not foolproof, so don’t get put off if it generates odd geometry on acute bends and corners – just Ctrl-Z and try another approach.

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For these plugins and more, head on over to SketchUcation.com (sign up required); it’s a great resource for anyone using Sketchup.

These are just a handful of techniques I use in my Sketchup workflow and I hope it helps you make even better things!

For more of Steven’s tutorials check out his Youtube channel!

Get in the MOOD and support this new Kickstarter campaign

Today, a new Kickstarter launched to raise money for revolutionary customizable sunglasses. Federico Vitiello quit his day job in November to re-invent something that already existed: A pair of sunglasses. MOOD is a pair of sunglasses with one frame and infinite design combinations. Inspired by the legos he loved playing with as a child, Vitiello created a kit that allows one to customize their sunglasses to fit their mood.

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Vitiello has set out to raise $50,000 on Kickstarter to produce the first batch of MOOD sunglasses. The glasses themselves are printed at Shapeways using our Strong and Flexible Plastic. With each pair, you get a set of MOOD bricks, comprised of letters, numbers and symbols, that are optimized to look great on the sunglasses and allow you let your imagination run wild.

As Vitiello says:

“Our say on our fashion products ends the moment we choose to buy them. We wear things that someone else designed for us. We don’t wake up every morning and design our t-shirt for the day, and we definitely don’t reimagine that shirt as our day progresses. Yet clothes and accessories are part of our personality. They are our form of expression. Before we open our mouths or shake hands, we’re already communicating through what we wear. What if we could move from being mannequins and choosers to become creators and designers? What if we could do that with the most important accessory, the one closest to our eyes?”

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Check out the Kickstarter here if you’re interested in donating!

 

Get $15 by completing the Keychain CustomMaker Challenge

Join the Keychain CustomMaker Challenge by Sunday September 13th at 12 PM EST and get $15

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Liberty Bell Ornament by WesJA


3D printing enables anyone to create amazing products – from jewelry and figurines to drone accessories and keychains. Now, with the release of CustomMaker, every product can be instantly personalized to every shopper.

Over the next few months, we’ll be putting out design challenges to our community to challenge you to use CustomMaker to make the best products for shoppers! Our first CustomMaker Challenge for phone cases was great, you can see the results and join the conversation here. For this challenge, design a keychain, upload it to Shapeways.com, enable CustomMaker to let your customers personalize it and share it with the community to get $15 in Shapeways Money. No purchase is necessary to participate and receive the credit – all you need to do is upload a keychain you designed and enable CustomMaker.

Shapeways will also choose our favorite models to be printed, professionally photographed and included in promotional material. By participating in the challenge you grant us permission to do so. Models be picked on the basis of creativity, manufacturing feasibility and presentation.

All Submission are due by Sunday September 13th at 12 PM EST. Shapeways Money will be processed the following week.

 


Share Submission

 

How to Join the Challenge

 

1

Design a keychain

  • Using your favorite 3D modeling software, design a keychain. Keychains do not need to be new, you can use keychains you’ve already designed. Feel free to design for whatever material you think is best.

2

Upload Your Design to Shapeways

  • Open up a Shapeways shop (if you don’t already have one). Upload your model* using the upload button. Put your model in the ‘Accessories’ and ‘Keychains’ categories and tag it as is relevant. Set your model to ‘public’ and ‘for sale’ in your Model Details page. Set the prices with your markup for the materials you want to offer in (we’d recommend the Strong and Flexible family) Models must be *.stl or *.obj

3

Activate CustomMaker to Personalize Your Design

  • In your model’s ‘Customization’ field, enable CustomMaker so shoppers can personalize your keychain with text and/or an image. Make sure that the text or image fits on the keychain correctly and that the shopper has instructions to understand the maximum number of characters they can use. Remember to set an adequate embossed or engraved depth for the materials that shoppers could purchase

4

Share Your Entry!

  • Share a link to your product in the keychain CustomMaker Challenge thread along with a photograph or render. Remember you can share as many products as you want, but only one credit will be given per shop. Then help choose which you think are the best entries.

Terms:

  • Credits are limited to one per person.

  • By participating in the CustomMaker Challenge you are granting Shapeways a perpetual, nonexclusive, sublicensable, royalty-free, and worldwide license to use your model, description, and photographs, as well as print and distribute prints of your model, for promotional purposes.

  • All submissions must be awesome

  • All submissions must be submitted by Sunday September 13th at 12 PM EST.

  • All submission must comply with the Shapeways Terms & Conditions and Content Policy.

Sketchup tips from Steven Gray: Part 2, viewing your model

Shapeways Shop owner Steven Gray of MyGadgetLife shares some advice for designing with the amazing free design tool Sketchup. This is Part 2, click here for Part 1.

6. Don’t be afraid to change the camera type often. While the Perspective View can be used most of the time, it’s often useful to see plan or elevation views of the model. Switch to Parallel Projection view, then choose one of the Standard Views from the menu, or click the corresponding view icon (Windows – with the ‘Views’ toolbar open) or press Cmd-1 to Cmd-6 (Mac) to switch between orthogonal views quickly.

Don’t be afraid to change the shading view often either. So switch away from ‘Shaded Textured’ to X-Ray or wireframe to see if there’s any pesky stray geometry inside your model. Use the Hidden Geometry option to reveal edges incorporated into curved faces (with this selected, individual facets of a curved face become selectable).

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Note that you can change camera or shading type during a tool operation – handy if you’re zoning in on an area of complex geometry while drawing.

This leads me to the last and most important tip about the camera. Remember the early 3D video games where the camera would suddenly and disturbingly clip your character or a piece of scenery and you’d see ‘inside’ the model? Well don’t be afraid to do that on purpose in Sketchup. If you zoom in on a part enough, the camera will clip the geometry and you’ll be looking at the ‘inside’ of the model – the part normally occupied by whatever material the object will be printed from. You can use this ‘feature’ to your advantage and seek out stray or unnecessary geometry that might affect your upload success. This camera clipping only works when the ‘Perspective View’ is selected. If you get lost, use Ctrl-Shift-E (Windows) or Cmd-[ (Mac) to show the whole model.

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It was suggested to me that the Section Plane tool does this too (and in a lot of ways, is easier to use!), but I guess I just prefer ‘walking’ through the model. Try both techniques and see what you prefer.

 

Your Favorite 3D printed jewelry Inspired by Microscopic Organisms

Community member Kimberly Falk is a scientist and self-taught 3D modeler based out of Germany. She is the designer behind the Shapeways shop Ontogenie, her shop consist of 3D-printed jewelry 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 gorgeous 3D printed pieces of jewelry that you can wear.

Some of her pieces are amazing and her designs really take advantage of the materials that they are printed in. Take her Discalia Pendant for example, which is based on an Anthomedusae jellyfish, Discalia medusina.

You can see how well the details of her Spumellaria pendant came out printed in our polished bronze material.

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Her Cristelleria pendant which are a marine single-celled organism that lives inside a spiral-shaped, calciferous shell looks absolutely beautiful printed in polished silver.

Kimberly 3D models her designs in Blender and also takes custom request. She loves working with scientists, having been a research scientist herself for many years at the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology. Kimberly is not sure which microbes she’ll tackle next, or whether she might instead switch to something larger, like jellyfish, but there’s certainly enough weird creatures in nature for inspiration for many years to come. You can find Kimberly on Twitter @Ontogenie.

What is your favorite weird creature or microbe you’d like to see 3D printed? Let us know in a comment below!

3D Printed Cityscape Rings Lets You Wear Your Favorite City Around Your Finger

Traveling and exploring the world is an experience that very few forget, especially when you’re adventuring through beautiful cities like Amsterdam, New York City, Berlin, or Paris. Jewelry designer Ola Shekhtman is a traveler who found a way to combine her passion for city landscapes, 3D printing, and Jewelry into these beautifully designed 3D printed cityscape ring collection.

Ola’s Cityscape rings are rings that feature several of that city’s famous landmarks. For example her Paris Cityscape ring features such landmarks as Tour d’ Eiffel, Sacre Coeur, Moulin Rouge, Arc De Triumph and many more.

Ola’s Cityscape ring collection also includes New York City, Berlin, and Amsterdam. They’re available for sale on her Shapeways shop Shekhtman Dreams and are printed in our cast metals from 14k Gold to brass. Ola 3D models her rings in Rhinoceros.

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Here’s a Berlin Cityscape Ring Video

What is your favorite city and which cityscape ring should Ola design next? Let us know in a comment below and feel free to tweet at Ola at @Shekhtman.

The Most Terrifyingly Awesome 3D Printed Kraken D20 Die You Will Ever See

RPG fans and dice rollers brace yourselves for one of the most terrifying and coolest die we’ve come across. Designer Ian Dwyer of the Shapeways shop Nveonom8 Designs has created this terrifying mass of writhing tentacles and gaping beaks holds a dark secret: It’s a completely fair 20-sided die!

The die is almost three inches across (7.1cm), this eldritch monstrosity of a D20 is the perfect centerpiece for your gaming dice collection. May it guide you safely across treacherous seas, help you triumph over unspeakable horrors, and give you courage in the face of the kraken–or even Cthulhu himself!

The Dice is available stainless steel

Be careful of it’s pointy tentacles and avoid anywhere near your eyes!

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Here is a video of the Kraken D20 dice is action

What are your thoughts on the Kraken D20? Would you unleash this baby at your next RPG gathering? Let us know in a comment below.

Incredible Artwork at SIGGRAPH by Shapeways Designer Brian Chan

The annual SIGGRAPH exhibition brings together the best minds in 3D graphics and design for a week of sharing acacemic papers, emerging technology and remarkable creative ideas. This year’s art exhibition, Hybrid Craft presented artists who merge high tech and traditional processes to create vibrant art objects that speak both to history and technology.

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Shapeways designer Brian Chan was included in the group show, presenting a collection of hand painted invertebrates. Fully articulated and highly detailed, these 3D printed creatures are created in the ’jizai okimono’ Japanese tradition of making lifelike sculptures of small animals.

While beautiful in their own right when freshly printed in White Strong and Flexible, Chan then carefully hand paints each model with water color paints. Chan notes the laser sintered nylon has similar qualities to fine textured water color paper and soaks up the paint well, allowing for multiple layers of pigment with delicate precision.

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The show also included examples of Chan’s foldable instruments, created from a variety of materials and using parts printed at Shapeways and CNC milled components. These fully working instruments are based on historically accurate designs, but are more than meets the eye because they can be deconstructed and turned into a box like a Transformer.

As the art exhibition was curated to investigate, Brian Chan’s work combines high tech (but accessible) technology and old fashion craft to achieve incredible results. As a dedicated tinkerer and teacher, Chan constantly pushes the boundaries of technology and creativity while paying tribute to traditional or forgotten crafts.

 

 

 

A 3D Printed Topology Joke

Mathematical artist and community member Henry Segerman has found a creative way to combine 3D printing and a topology joke. The joke goes about topologists is that they can’t tell the difference between a coffee mug and a doughnut. For those who are not familiar with topology, topology is the study of geometrical objects where you don’t care about lengths and you don’t care about angles, what matters is how the spatial relations relate to each other.

This series of 3D prints is a joint collaboration between Segerman and Keenan Crane. To a topologist, as the old joke goes, a coffee mug is the same thing as a donut since one can be deformed into the other.

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(Topology Joke printed in white strong & plastic)

Video of Henry Segerman explaining Topology Joke printed in our Porcelain Pilot Material.

You can see more of Henry Segerman’s sculptures and mathematical inspired 3D printed on his Shapeways shop.

 

Formlabs & Shapeways Happy Hour Recap

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Last night Formlabs and Shapeways hosted a Meetup at the Formlabs headquarters and invited the attendees at the Fab11 Boston. Fab11 brings together Fablab owners from the world over for a weeklong Conference and Symposium.

I had a great time talking to Shapies, Formlab’s community and the folks running Fablabs over pizza and drinks. I got a chance to show off our new CustomMaker feature and answer some questions about how Shapeways shoppers can personalize their products.

One of the interesting points that was raised repeatedly in conversations was that these labs were looking for an opportunity to scale their operations. They have the knowledge and skills to develop a product but may not have the facilities required to take a prototype into manufacturing at the scale they need. In addition, as local community resources there are lots of folks who come to them for help in design projects, but their staff only has so much time to spend on education.

Both of these needs can be supported by Shapeways, and I was happily told that we’ve been a great help so far. For labs with a solid expertise and who have invested in a few desktop machines, Shapeways is the perfect solution to outsource large batches of prints without over extending the capacity of lab printers. Shapeways also has the necessary tutorials, education resources and design community or those who need help getting started or want to hire a designer.

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3D Printed VR Headset Will Mesmerize Your Eyes

The emergence of technology such as virtual reality, drones, and gadgets have always prompted a new market opportunity for designers to design custom 3D printed accessories and modifications for them. We’re always on the lookout for the coolest and eye catching 3D prints and this impressive designed 3D printed VR headset by designer Masaharu Ono caught our attention.

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(VR Headset Bloom)

Masaharu was inspired to create this awesome headset through his love of nature. He modeled this headset in Rhinoceros and Grasshopper. The VR headset is 3D printed in nylon plastic and is available for sale on Mashaharu’s shop for $10,000.

Below are some iterative sketches behind his 3D printed VR Headset.

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This cool VR headset is one of the more ambitious 3D designs we’ve seen from our community recently. We’re big believers in pushing the limits of product design and testing the potential of making creations that were once thought of as impossible before the existence of 3D printing capabilities.

What is the most ambitious design you’ve worked on? Let us know in a comment below or tweet us on Twitter @Shapeways.

 

Earn $5 : Phone Case Custommaker Challenge!

Join the Phone Case CustomMaker Challenge by Sunday August 16th at 12 PM EST

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3D printing enables anyone to create amazing products – from jewelry and figurines to drone accessories and smartphone cases. Now, with the release of CustomMaker, every product can be instantly personalized to every shopper.

Over the next few months, we’ll be putting out design challenges to our community to challenge you to use CustomMaker to make the best products for shoppers! We’re kicking it off this week with our Phone Case CustomMaker Challenge. Design a phone case, upload it to Shapeways.com, enable CustomMaker to let your customers personalize it and share it with the community to get $5 in Shapeways Money. No purchase is necessary to participate and receive the credit – all you need to do is upload a case you designed and enable CustomMaker.

Shapeways will also choose our favorite models to be printed, professionally photographed and included in promotional material. By participating in the challenge you grant us permission to do so.  Models be picked on the basis of creativity, manufacturing feasibility and presentation.

All Submission are due by Sunday August 16th at 12 PM EST. Shapeways Money will be processed the following week.

 

Share Submission

 

Rotary Phone Case for iPhone 5 / 5s by Joaquin Baldwin

Rotary Phone Case for iPhone 5 / 5s by Joaquin Baldwin

How to Join the Challenge


 

1

Design a phone case

  • Using your favorite 3D modeling software, design a case for a phone of your choice. Cases do not need to be new, you can use cases you’ve already designed.

2

Upload Your Design to Shapeways

  • Open up a Shapeways shop (if you don’t already have one). Upload your model* using the upload button. Put your model in the ‘cases category and tag it as is relevant. Set your model to ‘public’ and ‘for sale’ in your Model Details page. Set the prices with your markup for the materials you want to offer in (we’d recommend the Strong and Flexible family) Models must be *.stl or *.obj

3

Activate CustomMaker to Personalize Your Design

  • In your model’s ‘Customization’ field, enable CustomMaker so shoppers can personalize your phone case with text and/or an image. Make sure that the text or image fits on the case correctly and that the shopper has instructions to understand the maximum number of characters they can use.

4

Share Your Entry!

  • Share a link to your product in the Phone Case CustomMaker Challenge thread along with a photograph or render. Remember you can share as many products as you want, but only one credit will be given per shop.

Terms:

  • Credits are limited to one per person.

  • By participating in the CustomMaker Challenge you are granting Shapeways a perpetual, nonexclusive, sublicensable, royalty-free, and worldwide license to use your model, description, and photographs, as well as print and distribute prints of your model, for promotional purposes.

  • All submissions must be awesome

  • All submissions must be submitted by Sunday August 16th at 12 PM EST.

  • All submission must comply with the Shapeways Terms & Conditions and Content Policy.

August Event Frenzy

While working hard on big projects such as the launch of our CustomMaker, opening up our Porcelain Pilot for the public and announcing our collaboration with V-MODA, we have been working hard on the background with planning our upcoming events for the fall of this year.

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August is about to begin, we hope to meet you in person during one of the following events:

August 6 - Formlabs & Shapeways Beer&Pizza Happy Hour as part of FAB11 - Boston, MA, USA
August 11 – 13 - SIGGRAPH (booth #1129) – Los Angeles, CA, USA
August 19 – 22 - IDSA - Seattle, WA, USA
August 29 – 30 - Eindhoven Mini Maker Faire - Eindhoven, The Netherlands

We will be hosting Meetups during these events as well, be sure to keep an eye on our Meetup page where all the details will be announced soon! Also don’t forget to tune in to Shapeways Live, every Tuesday at 5pm CET to catch all the ins and outs of what’s next!

See you in August!

C0DE DENS1TY

Ashley Zelinskie’s world where things made of code are made of things are made with code….

C0DE DENS1TY is a collaborative, multi-media show presented by Lightbox, a gallery Space in New York City from July 23- 26. The show highlights work by Shapeways community member Ashley Zelinskie. Zelinskie creates sculpture which are made of numbers drawn from the code of the design file itself. Her work explores the process by which the objects are transformed from numerical data into physical objects through digital fabrication. The code that defines and creates the object becomes part of its physical manifestation…

…its a pretty mind-blowing concept.

The show itself is an immersive experience bringing viewers into the brackish waters of technology and art. Sparse, geometric objects ranging from monumental to palm sized are displayed throughout the space while nearly every inch of wall is used for a projected video that loops geometric imagery as it builds to a frantic pace and glitches out into nothingness. On the second story loft area a small 3d printer farm reproduces out miniatures of the work.

Faces made of 3D printed plastic are part of the show’s vocabulary as well. An interactive piece has several white masks displayed with light projected onto them. Visitors are encouraged to touch the masks, doing so causes the projection to animate boxes emitting out as if from underneath them.

On of the most interesting pieces is also the most personal. A 3D printed portrait of Zelinskie created with 3D scanning, the surface is constructed from a portion of her own DNA.

Zelinskie’s futurist universe invites the viewer to both question how the objects are made and what the implicates are of a world where data and matter can become interchangeable. Far from a dry series of formulas simplified beyond human comprehension, the vision of the Singularity posited by C0de Dens1ty is like stepping into a thunderstorm of information.

 

Photos: by Ashley Zelinskie.

Developing 3D Printed Assistive Tools For The Elderly

As we age and get older, especially for the elderly, ordinary actions become extraordinarily difficult such as writing, typing, or opening bottle caps. Japanese Designer Tatsuo Ishibashi was aware of these issues and has created 3D printed products aimed for assisting the elderly and people with a loss in muscular functioning.

Tatsuo’s Shapeways shop mizulabo specializes in “assistive technology”, simple and functional designs that lead to lightweight, low cost, and easy handling of functional activities. He models his designs in 123 Design by Autodesk and prints them through Shapeways. Below are some examples of his tools.

The writing assist tool is a tool for helping people write with a ballpoint pen.

Higaki” is the tool to remove caps and tabs from a plastic bottle and a can easily.

The Finger Input device is a for device for making tapping PC keyboard, remote controller, etc easier.

Tatsuo’s designs show that 3D printing can be used to make very attractive tools for assisting people and functional tools can be aesthetically pleasing and useful. What are some attractive 3D printed tools you’ve designed or come across? Let us know in a comment below.