Using an aerosol jet technology, Optomec are able to 3D print electronics onto complex 3D printed structures with conductive nano particles. The potential to add 3D printed conductive components to your designs will be a massive step forward in 3D printing when you can add another level of complexity to the products you design.
It will be interesting to see how 3D CAD software will approach this technology, because without the proliferation of software to design these electronic components, the adoption of the technology will be relatively limited. Similar to the ability to 3D print mulit-materials with the Objet Connex machines, it is the software and file handling that is still retarding the adoption of the process at Shapeways.
The demand for novel consumer and military electronic devices that pack more functionality into less space is driving the need for advanced manufacturing methods that tightly integrate electronic circuitry with physical packaging. 3D Printed UAV Wing The unique ability to print electronics directly onto 3D surfaces, for example on a cell phone case or an aircraft wing, makes Aerosol Jet an ideal solution for reducing device size and weight. Common electronic materials including conductor, dielectric, resistor, and semiconductor inks can be processed by the Aerosol Jet system to print conformal sensors, antennae, shielding and other active and passive components. Printing these electronic components directly on or inside the physical device eliminates the need for separate printed circuit boards, cabling and wiring thereby reducing weight and size while also simplifying the assembly process. Device performance can also be improved by eliminating protruding components such as antenna thereby reducing aerodynamic drag.
When you can 3D print electronics, what will you design? How much is the ability worth to you? Do you think this will be another game changer?
To help you make the most of the current discount on Stainless Steel we wanted to share some of the all time most popular products 3D printed in Stainless Steel. Of course if there is nothing that tickles your fancy you can also (quickly) design your own as long as you get your order in before the December 31st at 04:59 GMT. Enter code jv9dv at checkout where it says "Promo Code" (not "Apply Credit").
3D Printing is not always about the new, sometimes it is about repair the old, like a (very) personal favorite of mine, Repair Part for a Bugaboo.
If you are designing something new to be 3D printed in Stainless Steel, be sure to pay close attention to the design guidelines for stainless steel. A few of the most important things to keep in mind:
Your design must have a minimum thickness of 3mm.
The entire part must be bigger than 3x3x3mm and smaller than 750x381x381mm.
No interlocking or moving parts.
Be sure to follow these rules to avoid the disappointment of having your design rejected due to one of these issues as the discount will not be carried over to reprint or replacements of any rejected parts. The discount does apply to all stainless steel finishes including the Bronze and Gold finishes.
As 2012 comes to a close it is time to look forward to 2013 and what exciting new things we can do at Shapeways. One thing we really love is to experiment with 3D printing new materials and post processing. What would YOU like to see us introduce next year?
Should we look at new colors or new finishes, new metals or new ceramics, different plastics or something completely new like 3D printing wax? We have a few ideas and have been experimenting behind the scenes but would love to know what you would like to see next and why. We will read EVERY comment and investigate what is possible. So, what is it going to be???
Take a look at this really interesting video of an experiment to seal Shapeways 3D printed Nylon with super glue and acetone.
Shapeways community member and Twisty Puzzles Forum member Brandon Enright has shared a really interesting video on YouTube of his experiment to seal a Shapeways Nylon (WSF) 3D print with a mixture of Cyanoacrylate (Super Glue) diluted with Acetone. His experiments show that the mixture quickly penetrates and seals the surface of the nylon giving a glossy texture that is considerably more resistant to getting dirty when tested with tiny particles of copper powder. When compared to unfinished nylon parts there was a massive difference. This is a well documented experiment that is showing some very promising results and we are really looking forward to seeing more results. We also know that people are using floor polish to get a similar effect but you may need to be careful the formulation you use does not yellow over time.
What post processing experiments have you tried on your Shapeways 3D prints? We would love to see more videos of your results.
We're always trying to push the limits of what is possible with 3D printing here at Shapeways, introducing new materials and encouraging innovation. However, sometimes to grow, you have to let things go.
We've noticed that you haven't been as excited about glass over the last year, and we have a great opportunity to use these glass 3D printers for research and development. This means we will soon be bringing you new materials to replace glass!
Please note that December 6th will be the last day we will be offering 3D printing glass, so you have three weeks to place your orders.
What does this mean for you?
If you're a designer who has glass models available for sale, glass will be removed as a material option starting December 6th. You can, of course, still offer them in other materials. All you have to do is ensure those materials are enabled on your product page. We recommend testing these models in new materials before making them available for sale.
If you want to buy glass products, make sure you do so before December 6th to ensure delivery by the holidays.
Lastly, given that we will be using these machines for research, let us know what materials you would most like to see next!
We are very excited to share that we have improved our dying processes and quality and are launching new colors in our Strong & Flexible family!
Starting today, you will be able to order 3D prints in our dyed & polished red and purple, as well as two new colors: Royal Blue and Hot Pink. The new dyes are a potent mixture of pigment and dye which saturates both the surface and the interior of the nylon plastic. The results are vibrant and consistent, and means that the colors will last longer and appear brighter.
Most excitingly, all Colored Strong & Flexible plastics will now be polished first. By polishing and then dying, 3D prints look and feel like final products and the quality rivals what you can find in a store. We have gotten great feedback on the quality, consistency, and aesthetic and hope you like them!
This is the first of many more colors we will be introducing. We chose to add blue and pink based on your feedback and we can't wait to see what you design for these colors.
New Colors: Properties and Design Guidelines
The design rules are slightly different as the models have to withstand polishing first. The bounding box for polished colors is slightly smaller at 150x150x150mm and the minimum for unsupported wires is 0.9mm.
For more details, please see the Product Detail page here and refer to the design rules for polished products. Remember, you can still order White and Black Strong and Flexible in unpolished.
To celebrate this new addition and help you prepare your shop for the holiday season, all colored Strong & Flexible plastics will be 10% off until October 31st.
Thereafter, the prices will be:
White Strong Flexible - $1.50 startup, $1.40 per cc - no change
Black Strong Flexible - no price change
White Strong Flexible Polished - $2.00 startup, $1.50 per cc
Colored Strong Flexible - $2.25 startup, $1.50 per cc
What this means is, excluding black, everything over 2cc will now be cheaper. That's right, not only are we introducing new polished colors, we're making them cheaper too!
Your Shapeways Shop: What does this mean for you?
Shop Owners, as of today, you will have the ability to add these colors as a new material option with enough time to get some samples before the holiday season kicks off.
If you currently have colored products in your shop, these will be added automatically enabled, though we will not automatically enable blue and pink. That's up to your discretion.
If you do not have colored products in your shop, you will have the opportunity to add these material options starting today, October 17th.
So try them out! Print your models in these vibrant new colors and get ready to be amazed at the vibrancy and finish! Let us know what you think! What colors would you like to see next?
We first launched our Material Sample Kit over two years ago and much has changed since then. We have more metals, more colors, more finishes with MUCH more to come. To make room for all of these new materials we are introducing a whole new range of 3D Printing Material Sample Kits to Shapeways.
The Basic Kit for $29.99 will replace the current kit and contain:
White Strong Flexible (nylon)
Full Color Sandstone
Black Detail (Acrylic)
Frosted Ultra Detail (Acrylic)
You will also receive $25 3D Printing Coupon to get you started with the new materials.
The Colors & Finishes Kit priced at $19.99 is for you to get your hands on the latest colors and finishes (hence the name) including:
White Detail (Acrylic)
Polished White Strong Flexible (Nylon)
Black Strong Flexible (Nylon)
Along with our range of colored strong flexible (Nylon) including:
The Metals Kit for $79.99 includes a range of our metal finishes including:
Polished Bronze Stainless Steel
Polished Gold Plated Stainless Steel
For each material in each pack you will also receive a material detail card with specifications, limitations and recommendations. This, along with the samples will help you to design for each specific material.
As we roll out with new materials and colors over the coming months we will include them to the relevant sample pack and you will be able to order each sample individually to add them to your sample kit.
We introduced Polished White Strong & Flexible Nylon 3D Printing back in May 2011 and have seen your prints coming out looking much more smooth and professional feeling. Those making twisty puzzles now assemble their designs without the need for sanding prior to assembly and those painting their 3D Prints can do so with less preparation time and effort.
One downside is the size of 3D Print that can currently be polished is limited to 150x150x150mm so not all Nylon 3D Prints can be post-processed in this way. To polish your 3D Prints we place them in a giant vibratory tumbler with an abrasive medium that smooths the surface. The tumbling process can be a little rough on really fine 3D Printed wires so the minimum thickness for these kind of features in your design must be at least 0.9mm, over 1mm is preferred.
We do not currently offer smooth color 3D Printing but it is something we may offer in the near future. The current dying process does not react well to polishing but if we were to introduce polished colors we may need to limit the size from the current 230x180x130mm to 150x150x150mm. The result is there may be a few models that cannot be printed in color, but all color models would be nice and smooth, less stepping, less rough edges.
Let us know what you think? would you like ALL of your 3D prints to one day arrive at your doorstep silky smooth, is there any other post processing you would like to see? Let us know your thoughts...
It is a perfect use of Objet's multiple material 3D Printing to make light travel through complex paths and using the clear for multitouch interfaces. Check out at the 3 minute mark where they seem to pause the 3D Printer, insert the electronics and continue to 3D print to embed the product... very cool. If you would like to read more you can download their paper on the subject.
Printed Optics is a new approach to creating custom optical elements for interactive devices using 3D printing. Printed Optics
enable sensing, display, and illumination elements to be directly
embedded in the body of an interactive device. Using these elements,
unique display surfaces, novel illumination techniques, custom optical
sensors, and robust embedded components can be digitally fabricated for
rapid, high fidelity, customized interactive devices.
is part of our long term vision for the production of interactive
devices that are 3D printed in their entirety. Future devices will be
fabricated on demand with user-specific form and functionality. Printed Optics explores the possibilities for this vision afforded by today's 3D Printing technology.
Ron Swanson doesn't often use 3D printing technology. But when he does, you can bet that he would want to do it in wood, not some fancy plastic or ceramic. Fortunately for Ron, LAYWOO-D3 is a new FDM filament for RepRap printers that is made of 40% recycled wood material, with the rest made up of polymer binders. More like plywood than a nice hardwood.
The material smells and looks like wood, albeit more of a plywood than a nice hardwood. Once an item is printed out, you can sand, paint, saw, and do just about anything else you would do to the real thing. Imagine printing out your own set of Lincoln Logs or a wooden iPhone case for your outdoors-loving father.
Invented by German Thingiverse member Kaipa, the filament can even simulate tree rings. Heating it to 190 C gives the material a light color, while increasing the temperature to 230 C makes it darker, giving the appearance of rings. The filament is non-warping, can be printed with rough or smooth surfaces, and limited quantities are currently only available in 3mm, although 1.7mm is planned.
Recycling wood and using a renewable resource for 3D printing is admirable on it's own, not to mention the undeniable aesthetic appeal of wood. LAYOO-D3 is an exciting addition to the growing number of materials that can be printed, looking forward to seeing what designers can do with it.
If you want to check it out and get rustic with your printing, you can order some here (supplies appear to be limited), or find some on eBay.
Ikea is using 3D Renders as it is faster and cheaper than photographing an object in different settings, it also means they can prepare the catalogue artwork before the product is in production. Ikea as a brand is reliable enough that we understand the basic quality of product we will receive if we purchase from the catalogue.
Kickstarter is moving away from 3D renders so backers can better understand the quality of the product they will receive. The projects on Kickstarter are not (often) from a reliable brand, so people are taking a risk that they can actually deliver the product they promise, to an acceptable quality, in a timely manner.
Shapeways renders your 3D model as soon as you upload it so you can preview your design before you 3D Print it for yourself. We recommend that you do 3D Print and photograph any product you would like to sell so that your customers can see exactly what they will get. Like Ikea, uploading photorealistic renders is often faster and cheaper than taking photographs but like Kickstarter potential buyers of your designs are relying on these images to determine the look, feel and scale of the design as proof that your design will work. This is the reason we only promote products that have photographs, not renders to ensure that your customers have a better understanding of what they will receive.
We would love to get your thoughts, are there any scenarios where you think a render is suitable?
DUS, a Dutch architecture firm, unveiled their KamerMaker ("RoomBuilder"). It is the first mobile 3D printer with the capacity to print inhabitable pavilions. The technology is based on the Ultimaker printer (essentially RepRap) but can print as large as 2.2 x 2.2 x 3.5 meters. It is housed in a giant chrome box that looks as if aliens had plopped down & begun building homes for themselves. Although arguably not quite large enough yet to build a pavilion in a single go, it could certainly fabricate the pieces for onsite assembly. The idea is to implement a more local & adaptable design approach, reuse available materials, & offer mobile construction of emergency & temporary shelter.