People are often amazed at how lightweight and strong our 3D printed Nylon plastic can be with the correct geometry. It is an important part of the design process to test your 3D printed designs to breaking point. Prototyping a product before releasing it for sale to others in your Shapeways shop is essential to ensure that your design will stand up to the stresses of use, and not make your customers find out for you.
"People keep asking me, how strong is that printed chassis. My answer usualy was.."uuhhmm pretty strong I think"
People keep asking me, how strong is that printed chassis. My answer usualy was.."uuhhmm pretty strong I think"... Well since version 3 is being build right now, I have version 1 and 2 lying around doing nothing. Might as well break one to see how much force it takes. And now for the scientific part, torque is force times lever-arm distance...
In this case the distance from the applied torque to the scale (to measure the force) is about 20 cm (about 8 inch). The force measured at the time of the snap is about 2 Kg (2000 g or about 4.4 lbs). This means the torque applied at the time of the snap is probably more than it will ever be driving the chassis around on any trail....
Last week we announced the latest addition to our material offerings here at Shapeways, Gold Plated Brass!
On this episode of Shapeways Live, I interview Gabe, one of our materials geniuses here at HQ's in NYC. He shares his insights on the process and the perks of using this golden new member of the Shapeways material family.
Let us know what you're looking forward to making in this new material in the comments!
3D Printing metal is not easy, it usually takes serious heat and/or serious laser power to melt metal particles together to make a 3D form. A team at North Carolina State University have devised a method to 3D print liquid metal at room temperature using a thin oxide layer on the surface of the metal allows for the formation of mechanically stable structures strong enough to stand against gravity and the large surface tension of the liquid. The method is capable of printing wires, arrays of spheres, arches, and interconnects.
Check out the video of the printing in action that is worth watching for the soundtrack, let alone 3D printing liquid metal on a spider's head...
Also note that the video has been sped up 40-50x so it is not a blindingly fast process.
3D Printing is perfect for augmenting an existing product to improve its function and prolong its life. A perfect example is the 3D printed Sprout by Egant on Shapeways, that transforms the humble milk jug into an elegant watering can with some clever 3D printing magic.
The innovative design has two flow types and uses a captured ball valve so that the center can be used as a funnel yet the ball stops the water from pouring of the funnel aperture when you want to have a steady controlled flow. This is really smart use of the potential of interlocking and/or captured parts that is possible with Nylon 3D printing whilst upcycling an existing product to prolong its lifecycle.
Check out the video which sets a new benchmark on Shapeways for an instructional video.
Tired of fiddling around with meaningless apps on your iPhone whilst on the train, running your battery so low that you cannot instagram misspelled sign writing at your corner store? Forget the apps, now you can mindlessly fidget with the gears on the Infin8 Gear iPhone Case, to infinity, without draining your iPhone battery.
Check out the video of the phone (case) in action.
Mixing 3D printing, craftsmanship & honest design, Lance Atkins wants to bring useful, 3D printed goods into your home with the help of Shapeways and a Kickstarter project entitled Inherently Useful.
Over the past two years have seen an avalanche of Kickstarter projects launching 3D printers, 3D scanners along with the occasional project using 3D printing as a way to reward some of their backers but Inherently Useful may be the first to tie 3D printed products into every level of the project.
A range including a pen, vase, iPhone dock and lamps the range all uses Shapeways 3D printing to make fully functional objects for your daily use. The range has evolved out of products that Lance wanted for himself, and as is often the case on Shapeways, when you make something EXACTLY as you want it, often others have the same need and aesthetic so the product resonates with them in the very same way, it may even inspire them to make something for themselves.
"When I make something for myself, it's perfect, for me"
You can back Lance's Kickstarter project for as little as $1 but $29 will get you a 3D printed pen and over $350 will get you a couple of very cool 3D printed lamps, powered by Shapeways 3D printing:)
Shapeways is featured in a Print Shift, a 2D printed on demand book by Dezeen that focuses on the ever changing 3D printing landscape. You can get yours copy now, printed on demand, and delivered to your door by Blurb (sound familiar).
Print Shift is a magazine that explores the fast-changing world of 3D printing and analyses the way it is changing the worlds of architecture and design. The 60-page, advert-free publication explores advances in 3D printing across a range of topics including fashion, food, design, architecture and even weaponry and archaeology. Written by the Dezeen editorial team, Print Shift is the result of extensive research into a field of technology that is developing at exhilarating speed. We have spoken to architects, designers, scientists and researchers around the world, travelled across Europe and visited some of the leading studios and factories at the cutting edge of a technological revolution.
In the video by Seymourpowell TV, Dezeen editor-in-chief Marcus Fairs discusses the role of inexpensive 3D printing and 3D scanning in product design.
Our mission at Shapeways
has always been to enable anyone to make anything they want. First, we
built a system to allow Makers to design and purchase models for
themselves. Then we created Shapeways Shops to enable anyone to launch a
business and sell their products worldwide. Now, we want to make it
easier for Makers to gain access to the newest 3D printing materials on the market and test them with us. Think about it like one big, global 3D Printing R&D team.
excited to announce the launch of our first 'Maker Only' material: a
flexible, rubbery plastic called Elasto Plastic! The finish, color, and
properties are not yet ready for sale to a wider audience, but it's a perfect
material for any Maker out there who can work with a textured surface and
maybe a little extra powder arriving with their model.
The new, improved Elasto
Plastic is a great option for Makers as it is an incredibly durable
material with a lot of really interesting properties such as high impact
resistance, flexibility and compression (depending on the geometry), along with a high level of static friction because of the surface
texture. Though not strictly water-tight, it can hold liquids, but it does
not like high temperatures or fire. It is a valuable addition to our 3D Printing material options here on Shapeways that we are sure you will
find incredibly useful and fun.
Mecube is an easy (and addictive) app to 3D design and 3D print direct from your iOS device. The intuitive interface is a simple 'voxel modeler' where you add cubes together to make a 3D form like assembling single blocks of Lego together. You can use the same process to cut away or even 'skew' cubes for some slightly more complex variations. Each voxel can be assembled as a solid color or you can go back and paint each surface, by touching a surface multiple times you increase the saturation of the color, this allows for quite a large variation of colors from such a simple interface.
While Shapeways was at Maker Faire in Newcastle, U.K. our European Community Manager was interviewed about the latest 3D printing tools in Blender 2.6.7. Check out the video then take a look at Blender, the free open source 3D modeling application that just might be the perfect 3D modeling tool for your next Shapeways 3D printing project.
Sometimes we see some of our really popular products on Shapeways enter the world using other manufacturing processes. On some occasions, due to licensing reasons a product may no longer be available on Shapeways if it is being produced by another manufacturer, and sometimes it remains available simultaneously as a 3D print and a mass produced item when the designer retains all ownership of IP. We are always incredibly proud to help a designer take their product to market no matter which way they go, a little sad if they leave Shapeways, like sending a child off to college, but happy for the designer's success.
The latest product looking to go down the mass production path is a recent favorite on Shapeways, the MagSafe Adapter Key Ring by jbobrow now hitting Kickstarter as the Keybit. Jonathan's Kickstarter campaign pays tribute to the speed and ease of 3D printing and taking a product to market with Shapeways in his video and in his rewards which includes a Shapeways 3D printed version at reward levels over $30. Jonathan also offers a one on one google hangout to help a backer over $200 take their own product to market using 3D printing.
Check out the video and support Jonathan on Kickstarter.
3D Printing isn't just about photorealistic bulldogs, beautiful jewelry and iPhone cases, it is also a way to design, prototype and produce more complex products by integrating other components. Check out this working stepper motor constructed around a Shapeways 3D printed frame along with some nails, magnet wire, neodymium magnets and a digispark microcontroller.
If a simple motor can be constructed, what is the next step? (pun intended)