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.
We were happy to have Joshua Harker visit us at the Shapeways HQ in New York City to finally meet after 3D printing SO MANY of his skulls. We took the opportunity to record our part of our conversation about how he used Shapeways 3d printing and Kickstarter to take his career into a new direction, how on demand 3D printing makes it possible for artists and designers to realize their ideas, and how platforms like Shapeways and Kickstarter make it possible to reach a massive audience with no financial investment or risk. In short, 3D printing and the 3rd industrial revolution as celebrated by his latest Kickstarter project, Anatomica di Revolutis.
The full interview runs for around 15 minutes and covers much of Joshua's amazing success over the past 12 months, check it out.
A Look at the Colors We Launched Earlier This Year.
Earlier this year we launched some new colors and improved the process for our existing colors to make your 3D prints smoother, with more reliable colors. We just wanted to share some images of the current colors across variable geometry, from curved to flat surface, angular sections, emboss and engraving. You can see that the color is quite consistent across the diverse range of geometries. The only significant difference being where the text is engraved or embossed, where small details look to hold slightly more color. We have also noticed that some thin, wiry parts can look slightly darker, with more saturated color than solid, flat surface.
Now that we have these colors locked down, what color Nylon would you like to see us introduce next? Let us know with CMYK or Pantone colors?
Do you really believe every snowflake is unique? Until we can really preserve and analyze every single snowflake that has ever fallen to earth how can we really know? Really, none of that matters when you can get 3D printed post modern snowflakes to hang from your tree thanks to Kimotion Arts.
We have seen our 3D printed ceramics used for quite a few applications that take advantage of the heat resistance and food safe properties, but this is the first smoking hot design to use those same properties for smoking tobacco. Pookas has also designed the Skull Tobacco Pipe with a Bronze Stainless Steel mouthpiece, a clever use of combined 3D printed materials.
Personalization is one of the most popular ways to make a gift special. Not coincidentally, it is one of the greatest things we can do with 3D printing! Luckily, it's easy too.
If you have a model that can be personalized, you can turn it into a co-creator. Good models that could be personalized include rings, tags, keychains, company logos, business card holders, and iPhone cases. The list is endless!
Making a model into a Co-Creator is easy. On your My Models page, under the description there is a link to make this model a Co-Creator
You will get this pop-up where you can specify what is able to be customized on your model whether it is adding text, adding an image or even changing the size. You also indicate how long it will take you to make these changes once someone has ordered your model.
Best Practice Examples.Kaetemi makes this customizable keychain that can have custom images.
This is the what the customer sees for kaetemi's model:
Another example is Ovidu Opresco's ring which is able to be customized with text and for ring size.
Sketchup is a great choice if you're new to 3D modeling: it's free, easy to learn and there are TONS of free tutorials available. Even so, you may need to know a few things before you can get your models 3D printed.
Yes, the free, awesome and easy 3D modeling app 123D has now been extended to 123D Design, available for OSX, PC, iPad AND Web App. That's four times as fantastic with interoperability between all four and the rest of the 123D suite making it easy for you to design for 3D printing with Shapeways.
With Autodesk 123D Design, anyone can have fun designing and making things. Whether it's a new design of your own, replacing a part of something you already have, or reimagining something so that it's just right for you, with 123D Design you can create a digital model of your idea and then directly 3D print or fabricate the things you want, just the way you want them. And the way you work with 123D Design is similar to how you work in other everyday software you're familiar with, so you can avoid frustrations and enjoy the process of making things.
I have had the opportunity to play with an early edition of the software and it is easy to learn and export to 3D print with Shapeways. This is a perfect tool for someone starting to design their own products as we will be sure to cover in our Design for 3D Printing 101 series.
Every Product Page on Shapeways has a Favorite button to the right so that you can let designers know just how awesome they are. The Wishlist Button helps you to keep track of the 3D Printed goodness you want to have and hold. Clicking either button will send love to the Feed, so everyone can see what 3D Printed products are popular at any one point in time. Let's take a look at the 10 most popular 3D printed designs for the past week in order of popularity from number 10 up to number 1.