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)
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?
We are seeing more and more requests in the Shapeways forums joining the rising number of requests we receive at Shapeways HQ from people looking for 3D modelers to help them 3D print their ideas. Sometimes they have an idea, sometimes they have a napkin sketch, sometimes they have a SketchUp model in the wrong scale that needs a lot of love, sometime they just need advice.
If you have 3D modeling skills and you would like to help others realize their ideas with 3D printing, take a look at the 3D modeler needed forum and maybe you can work out a deal that benefits you both. You can also showcase your skills in the 3D modeler for hire section of the Shapeways forums, being sure to include links to your Shapeways products and any other portfolio you may have on sites like Coroflot or Behance Network.
We are also getting more and more requests from fashion designers, artists, advertising agencies, animators, prop makers, jewelers and regular human beings that need to find someone to help them 3D model their concepts ready for 3D printing.
If you are interested in us passing on your details, please post your username and a link to your Shapeways shop in the comments of this blog post.
We will keep an eye on the post and keep you in mind when the next request comes in.
Earlier this year the designers of the OP-1, Teenage Engineering released the 3D files for accessories for the synthesizer when they could not find an affordable distribution channel for their international community. This was the first time we have seen a manufacturer releasing 3D printable files so that their users could 3D print their accessories, either with a desktop 3D printer or via a 3D printing service such as Shapeways. Now we see Pretty Graffiti may be the first user to carry on the momentum of adding value to the synthesizer, without Teenage Engineering investing in design time or manufacturing.
I am sure this is the very first ripple of a tidal wave of 3D printed products we will see on Shapeways that add value to an existing product with little or no investment by the original manufacturer. When manufacturers do get on board and start making 3D printed parts available we will see the same speed of innovation and product diversity as we already see happening within the Shapeways community.
Who do you think will be the first manufacturers to really take the opportunity and run with it? How can we help them to understand it is in their best interest to start releasing accessories to be 3D printed on demand?
2012 has been a massive year for 3D printing and the Shapeways community. We have seen many of your products go viral and get a lot of love from the internet. Following are the 10 most favorited 3D printed products of 2012. This does not mean they are the most sold or viewed items, simply the products that have been given the most love from the Shapeways community, either by being favorited, or added to a wishlist. What was your favorite 3D printed product of 2012? Did it make the list?
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.