In a recent interview for Dezeen, architect, industrial designer and artist, Ron Arad stated that 3D Printing is abused by designers, in much the same way as musicians used synthesizers in the past.
"Synthesisers were abused completely and so is this technology we're talking about" Ron Arad
Now while this statement may have have an element of truth, it is worth exploring the comparison in the context of Ron's position in the design world, and what this concept opens up.
First, let's compare the 3D printer and the synthesizer.
The first analogue synthesizers made it possible for one instrument to make a massive range of sounds. Professional musicians used these expensive synthesizers to emulate existing instruments in a recording studio and on stage, to broaden their palette of available sounds, whilst only needing to know how to play the keyboard, not strings, woodwind, brass, etc. At the same time some more experimental musicians started to experiment with the synthesizers to make sounds that were otherwise impossible, tweaking resonant filters and using effects to make sounds that were unique to the synthesizer.
The first 3D Printers (or rapid prototyping machines) made it possible to make a massive range of shapes. Engineers and designers used these expensive 3D printers to emulate products quickly in their studios and workshops, to test parts before manufacturing. For many years this remained the case, the 3D prints were expensive and only used to emulate other materials and processes.
Ball joints work as snap-fit components and cannot be 3D printed together as the friction required to make the parts pose-able would result in the parts being fused together. When designing ball joints it is best to make them an 'exact fit' where the positive part (the ball) and the negative part (the socket) are the exact same circumference. You need to ensure the socket component is not entirely enclosed, more like a C shape to allow the part to expand slightly to snap it into place.
Shapeways laser sintered Nylon (WSF) is the best material for creating snap fit ball joints as the material is strong enough to withstand the stress of being snapped into place (our Acrylic might just snap). The Nylon also has a slightly granular surface that also help to make the parts to grip together. Also note that our polishing and dying process which has a smoother surface than the raw Nylon still grips together for a firm fit, you do not need to change the design to allow for change in surface finish or dimensional changes.
To see some really good examples of snap-fit ball joints designed for 3D printing, check out the ModiBot shop by Kid Mechano which has many really good examples of ball joints in action.
Most of the architectural models we 3D print at Shapeways never make it into the Shapeways shops as they are private 3D prints for architects and their clients. Not only do we print scale model buildings but often other items such as furniture, cars, people and animals that bring life and a sense of scale to the maquettes.
Here are a few architecture maquettes, models and miniatures that are available to purchase in the Shapeways shops. If you have a architectural 3D print, whether it be your student work, a historic building or client work that you can share, be sure to make it available in your Shapeways shop, it may be just the thing someone is looking for to add to their own 3D printed landscape.
Those who are unfortunate enough to fracture a limb but
fortunate enough to do so after the advent of the 3d Printing technology can
rejoice. Jake Evill, an Architecture and Design school at Victoria University
of Wellington alum and Shapeways user, devised an ingenious alternative to the
classic plaster of paris cast, one day effectively making the smelly,
cumbersome monolithic a thing of the past.
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:)
Several weeks ago Tinkercad killed the popular 3D modeling app, closing new users and announcing a slow death for existing users from the free to the pro accounts. Today's news that Autodesk is saving Tinkercad is even sweeter as it has unlocked all of the pro features so you now have unlimited designs as well as access to the 'superscripts' that take the relatively simple 'drag and drop' assembly of geometry to a greater level of 3d modeling complexity.
The Autodesk team are also planning to continue to develop the 3D modeling app further with more import and export options and it may even find it's way into the already impressive 123D range of apps that are perfect to design for 3D printing with Shapeways.
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.
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.
Check out this amazing video of a Gear Ring 3D printed in Sterling Silver by Shapeways. The design was 3D modeled in Autodesk 3D Studio Max uploaded to Shapeways to be 3D printed in Sterling Silver in multiple parts then blackened with 'liquid smoke' and assembled in place to make the mechanism work.
You cannot currently 3D print moving parts in metals such as Stainless Steel and Sterling Silver but you can make articulated mechanisms in both Acrylic and Nylon. Take a look at each of the material pages for specifications but you can usually heave moving parts in Acrylic (depending on the geometry) with a 0.4mm gap between parts and in Nylon (depending on the geometry) you can have moving parts with a 0.6mm gap. Any parts that are closer or touching will be fused together into a solid form.
When a small part for Shapeways community member Mitagaki's Panasonic Bread maker broke he looked everywhere for a replacement part. The manufacturer no longer supported the model so what was a $5 replacement part became unobtainable and the $200 appliance was rendered worthless.
Rather than throwing the entire appliance away, Mitagaki 3D modeled a copy of the broken ceramic part and then 3D printed it in ceramics with Shapeways.
This beginners class is an intro to 3D modeling with Autodesk 123D Design and 3D Printing with Shapeways.
We will work step by step through some of the basic tools used to 3D model, how to construct basic forms using sketches, solid modelling, and basic patterns. We will then upload our designs to Shapeways to get a taste of how to export your 3D model to 3D print.
You do not need to have any experience with 3D printing or 3D modeling to participate in this class. Bring your Mac or PC laptop your charger, and an external mouse and create an account on Shapeways prior to the event and download 123D Design we will be using in the class.. If you are interested in a broader overview of the materials, processes and some 3D printed case studies, take a look at the intro to design for 3D printing.
Thu, Mar 28th, 2013 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm EDT at Shapeways HQ in NYC
Usually when we think of iPhone apps we think of applications within the iPhone but this application makes it easy for anyone without 3D modeling skills to create a customized stand in just a few mouse clicks.
What makes this app really interesting is that it uses 3D printing to make functional, not decorative items. Most of the apps so far plugging into the Shapeways 3D Printing API on the Create page are making sculptural, cosmetic products or jewelry while there is a huge potential in making 3D Printing apps that connect things to things.
If you want to 3D print a custom product but do not know how to 3D model the iOS Stand Creator App is a great way to get started, if you are a designer and/or developer interested in getting into the 3D printing app market this is a great example of how to make a customizable, functional product. Take a look at some of the stands made so far that are now ready to 3D print.
This weeks Designer Spotlight focues on Wayne Losey, who is striving to get us to play again, by making modular, interactive toys.
Tell us a little bit about yourself: Who are you? Where are you located?
I make playthings! My background is in toy and character design, visual storytelling, and play systems. I've worked on action figures for 20 years. I'm based in Providence, Rhode Island and am a member of the vibrant local maker, startup and entrepreneur communities. Providence is a great place to bring unconventional ideas to life.
As we see more and more fashion designers like Kimberly Ovitz embrace 3D printing as a way to take their designs direct to market we need to discuss what directions are most suitable to be explored in 3D printing fashion. Jewelry is an easy win when we can 3D print items in materials such as Stainless Steel and Sterling Silver but we are also seeing more and more textile like geometries being 3D printed in Nylon to create digital fabrics.
Eyebeam in New York City is hosting a panel discussion on Fashion Innovations in 3D Printing on the 27th of February to explore the intersection between fashion and 3D printing highlighting collaborations between fashion designers, technologists and manufacturers such as Shapeways.
As part of the Computational Fashion program series, Eyebeam presents an exciting event featuring designers and producers using cutting edge 3D printing techniques to push the boundaries of fashion. From the runway to the DIY hackerspace, 3D printing and rapid prototyping have become an increasingly popular and accessible way to produce objects that are both highly complex and easily replicable.
Joris Debo, Creative Director (.MGX by Materialise)