Category Archives: Design

That Dorne Dagger on the Season Six Premiere of Game of Thrones? We 3D Printed That. [SPOILER AHEAD]

Image Credit: Macall B. Polay/HBO

Game of Thrones, Season 6 Episode 1 | Image Credit: Macall B. Polay / HBO

When Ellaria Sand whipped a dagger out of her bracelet on Sunday’s Game of Thrones season 6 premiere, we gasped, but not for the same reason you did. For months now we’ve been keeping a secret: the designers from Game of Thrones partnered with Shapeways to create items for the show and this–this!–was the dagger we had 3D printed for them.

We were thrilled to get plunged right into the heart of the seven kingdoms in collaborating with them on this hidden blade. You know, THIS one, the Dorne Dagger:

Image Credit: Tommy Dunne, Weapons Master / HBO

Ellaria’s Dagger | Image Credit: Tommy Dunne, Weapons Master / HBO

Like all the designs that make up the rich, detailed world of Game of Thrones, the dagger is intricate and gorgeously appointed, thanks to the work of Sean Forsyth (3D designer), Tommy Dunne (Weapons Master) and David O’ Brien (Bronze Art Foundry). They chose to have it 3D printed by Shapeways in high resolution Frosted Ultra Detail which is the perfect choice for such fine details–as you can see from this behind-the-scenes peek at what the dagger looked like straight off the printer.

Ellaria's Dagger, 3D Printed in Frosted Ultra Detail | Image Credit: Tommy Dunne, Weapons Master / HBO

Ellaria’s Dagger, 3D Printed in Frosted Ultra Detail | Image Credit: Tommy Dunne, Weapons Master / HBO

It was then shipped to Weapons Master Tommy Dunne, who did the meticulous work of finishing the dagger and bringing it fully to life.

Ellaria's dagger | Image Credit: Helen Sloan / HBO / www.makinggameofthrones.com

Ellaria’s dagger | Image Credit: Helen Sloan / HBO / www.makinggameofthrones.com

“I have always wanted to incorporate 3D Printing into armoury, and this was our first chance in actually doing so,” Tommy shared with us. “The outcome of the Dorne Dagger far exceeded my wildest dreams from our original drawing concept, so it was a great first experience in using this technology in our field. It was a delicate scene to shoot, but the producers of the show loved the dagger so we’re really happy with the results.”

We are too, and we can’t wait to see what the producers of this show bring us next!

Are you a fan of Game of Thrones? Then this list of Game of Thrones-inspired items is for you, complete with dragons, of course.

What would you want to make for the show? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

Three Ways Handmade Jewelry Designers can use 3D Printing

How does digital manufacturing fit into the craft of handmade jewelry? We get asked this question a lot, so we put together three key ways it can speed up your design and production process, save you money and free you up to have more design time (and space).

1. Stock up on popular models. The best part about being a designer is the design process; it’s the ideation, the sketching, and the execution of that new piece of jewelry, getting to bring it into the physical world. That experience is especially fruitful when your design is recognized and wanted by others. However, it can become time-consuming to recreate that same piece over and over again to meet your customers’ needs.

With 3D printing, this process can be made much easier. Now, it’s possible for designers to order the base design of their jewelry pieces, only needing to apply their fine-touch stone setting or polishing techniques in post production. This saves time, and ultimately allows for more space for a designer to explore their creativity and start imagining their next pieces.

2. It requires less studio space. We’ve all been there. You graduate college, or move to a new town, and all of a sudden lose access to the tools and studio space required to keep creating. Or as a new designer you can’t afford to rent space. With 3D printing all you need to get started designing is a computer, software, and (occasionally) an internet connection. Looking for the right software to get started with? We’ve got you covered.

3. Proof of concept for complex prototypes. We all have that one idea that requires ALL the things. Maybe it requires a number of jump rings, chains and highly ornamental pendants. But it’s just a concept, and you’re not totally sure if it would work in real life. Making it in finished materials would not only be expensive, but incredibly time consuming.

Using our innovative prototyping materials, such as strong and flexible plastic, you can create interlocking, chain-like pieces with intricate details and have it 3D printed at a fraction of the cost. This also lets you vett out your designs, understanding all the small tweaks and changes you’d like to make before taking the plunge and investing in the final materials for the piece.

These are just a few ways to start thinking about using 3D printing within your handmade craft. But the ways of utilizing the tools of digital manufacturing are endless, and we can’t wait to see what you come up with next.

A 3D printed set that makes chess easy to learn

Posted by in Design, Holiday 2015

We’ve talked a lot about how 3D printing can make life a little easier and a little more fun. Whether you’ve designed a replacement part for a product you already own or are looking for a new piece for your favorite game, 3D printing can be your answer. Recently, an artist took things one step further and used 3D printing to create a classic game designed to be easy to learn.

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Photo: BoingBoing.net

Artist Nova Jiang has reimagined the way a chess set is designed and created a version that actually makes it easier to learn the game itself. Interviewed by Boing Boing, Jiang said that the design of the game pieces was done in a way so that the pieces themselves suggested their function in the game, and make it more intuitive. This is just part of her exhibit Orthogonal/Diagonal.

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Photo: BoingBoing.net

The shapes are done in a way that allow you to know exactly which way a specific pieces is able to move on the board thanks to the way it “splays outward.” Whether or not someone who has never played the game of chess before can learn by just looking at the pieces remains to be seen, but Jiang is sure that this design will “work well as guides in addition to the instructions.”

Be sure to read the full story to learn more about Jiang, this chess set and more ideas behind her exhibition.

Georgia Tech Design Entrepreneurs: “Design, Print, Profit”

This is a guest post by Georgia Tech student, Josh Dycus

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In the past if a designer wanted to turn an idea of their’s into an actual product to be sold and used on a consumer level, years of development, thousands of dollars, and excessive materials had to be used throughout the process. Now, with the powerful capabilities of 3D printing, a designer can go straight from an idea to an actual product ready for the consumer in the matter of months – with very little money out of their own pocket.

The Design, Print, Profit project begin with drawings on paper — possibly the shortest segment of the process — before moving quickly into 3D modeling. From the 3D models, multiple test prints in plastic (in numbers close to the 40′s) are produced to help develop form and fit. This process ensures that the final result is exactly as the designer had intended; and only takes a fraction of the time that traditional prototyping (making molds, forging by hand, etc.) would take. Once the final form has been decided upon, the file is sent off to Shapeways to be 3D printed and produced in metal; resulting in a beautifully finished product ready for market.

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Design, Print, Profit is showcasing a series of rings made my Georgia Tech students this Friday. Be sure to check it out if you are in the area!

Better With Shapeways video series kicks off with Will Haude of 3DBrooklyn

Here at Shapeways, we are inspired by the creativity and enthusiasm of our community and are passionate about enabling you to make anything you can imagine. This week, we’re launching a series of videos to celebrate our community and inspire others to bring their ideas to life with Shapeways.

Today, our spotlight is on Will Haude, creator of  3DBrooklyn. He says “3D printing empowers me to create whatever object I can think of, because that’s exactly what it does. Shapeways lets me print in a range of high quality materials that I cannot print with my printers. It’s great to have a manufacturer and marketplace on one site.” Watch his video below to see how he brought to life a 3D printed bike blinker with Shapeways and littleBits.

Want to win $100? Each day this week, we’ll be launching a new video featuring a designer and their 3D printed product. Share the video of the day on Facebook and tag it with #BetterwithShapeways, and you will be entered to win $100 in Shapeways credit! See below for details and make sure to come back, see all five videos, and enter the sweepstakes each day.


#BetterwithShapeways Sweepstakes Rules

1.     Eligibility. This contest is operated by Shapeways.  It is open to Shapeways users in the United States over 13 years of age at the time of entry who live in a jurisdiction that does not prohibit this contest.  Employees, officers, and directors of Shapeways and their immediate family are not eligible to enter.  Individuals may enter more than one entry into the competition but may not do so by way of automated means.  By entering this contest, you agree to be bound by these Rules.

2.     Prize. The winning entrant will receive $100 in Shapeways credit to make a purchase on Shapeways.com.

3.     Contest period. This contest is open on Monday, September 28 from 10:00am EDT to 11:59pm EDT.

4.     How to Enter.  Share the video or a link to the video on Facebook and tag it with #BetterwithShapeways.  You may also enter by sending a postcard with your name, phone number, and email address to:

Shapeways
Attn: Contest Department
419 Park Ave. South
Suite 900
New York, NY 10016
Postcards must be received by the end of the contest period in order to enter.

5.     Winner Selection.  Shapeways will select the winner from the pool of applicants on Tuesday, September 29.  There will be only one winner.  Shapeways will be prepared to award the prize to a runner-up in the event the winner cannot be contacted in a reasonable amount of time.  Shapeways will determine the winner by randomly drawing an applicant from the entire pool of applicants.

6.     Winner notification. The winner will be notified via email.  Upon contact, Shapeways may need to obtain confirmation of the winner’s eligibility.  If Shapeways cannot contact the winner through the contact information in their Shapeways account in a reasonable amount of time, a runner-up will receive the prize.  If a runner-up cannot be contacted, Shapeways will select a third place finisher to receive the prize.

7.     Taxes.  The winner will be solely responsible for paying all federal, state, and local taxes that may be due on winnings and, as a condition of receiving the prize, Shapeways may require the winner complete tax documentation.

8.     Liability and Jurisdiction.   All federal, state, and local laws and regulations apply; void where prohibited.  All disputes arising out of or connected with this Contest will be resolved exclusively by a court located in Manhattan, New York, USA.  Decisions by Shapeways regarding the interpretation of these rules are final.  By participating in this contest, you agree to release Shapeways and its agents from any and all liability, claims, or actions of any kind of injuries, damages, or losses to persons and property which may be sustained in connection with the receipt, ownership, possession, use, or misuse of any prize.  Shapeways reserves the right to amend these official rules and to permanently disqualify from this contest any person it believes has intentionally violated these official rules. Shapeways reserves the right to suspend or cancel this Contest in the event of hacking, security breach, or other tampering.  Any questions regarding this contest should be directed to community@shapeways.com.

Your Favorite 3D printed jewelry Inspired by Microscopic Organisms

Posted by in Community, Design

Community member Kimberly Falk is a scientist and self-taught 3D modeler based out of Germany. She is the designer behind the Shapeways shop Ontogenie, her shop consist of 3D-printed jewelry inspired by science and nature. What is distinctly unique about her designs is that she turns her fascination of filigree structures of microscopic organisms on land and in the sea into detailed a gorgeous 3D printed pieces of jewelry that you can wear.

Some of her pieces are amazing and her designs really take advantage of the materials that they are printed in. Take her Discalia Pendant for example, which is based on an Anthomedusae jellyfish, Discalia medusina.

You can see how well the details of her Spumellaria pendant came out printed in our polished bronze material.

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Her Cristelleria pendant which are a marine single-celled organism that lives inside a spiral-shaped, calciferous shell looks absolutely beautiful printed in polished silver.

Kimberly 3D models her designs in Blender and also takes custom request. She loves working with scientists, having been a research scientist herself for many years at the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology. Kimberly is not sure which microbes she’ll tackle next, or whether she might instead switch to something larger, like jellyfish, but there’s certainly enough weird creatures in nature for inspiration for many years to come. You can find Kimberly on Twitter @Ontogenie.

What is your favorite weird creature or microbe you’d like to see 3D printed? Let us know in a comment below!

3D Printed Cityscape Rings Lets You Wear Your Favorite City Around Your Finger

Posted by in Community, Design

Traveling and exploring the world is an experience that very few forget, especially when you’re adventuring through beautiful cities like Amsterdam, New York City, Berlin, or Paris. Jewelry designer Ola Shekhtman is a traveler who found a way to combine her passion for city landscapes, 3D printing, and Jewelry into these beautifully designed 3D printed cityscape ring collection.

Ola’s Cityscape rings are rings that feature several of that city’s famous landmarks. For example her Paris Cityscape ring features such landmarks as Tour d’ Eiffel, Sacre Coeur, Moulin Rouge, Arc De Triumph and many more.

Ola’s Cityscape ring collection also includes New York City, Berlin, and Amsterdam. They’re available for sale on her Shapeways shop Shekhtman Dreams and are printed in our cast metals from 14k Gold to brass. Ola 3D models her rings in Rhinoceros.

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Here’s a Berlin Cityscape Ring Video

What is your favorite city and which cityscape ring should Ola design next? Let us know in a comment below and feel free to tweet at Ola at @Shekhtman.

Behind the Product: Andrea van Hintum Designs

In this feature of Behind the Product, we focus on the designs of Andrea van Hintum. Hintum was awarded the Shapeways Education Grant in Spring 2015 for her senior thesis collection at the Savannah College of Art and Design. This collection was unique in that Hintum incorporated hand sewn garments paired with her own 3D printed accessories. Since graduation, Hintum has moved to New York and worked with a number of designers on 3D printed textiles and accessories.

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Could you describe the story of your designs and what inspired them?
The ideas and inspiration for my thesis came through my late father’s profession as an electrical engineer. I have always been so inspired by his work, creativity, and the person that he was.  I moved forward and created a collection that would carry the representational meaning and aesthetic of both electrical and mechanical engineering. Structure, shapes, and materials for my designs were reflected from a variety of mechanical and electrical machinery. The textiles used within the collection are all industrial and conductive fabrics with contents of stainless steel and blends of nickel, sliver, and copper coatings. With the incredible techniques I had learned in my short three years at SCAD and the 2012 Computational Fashion Master Class held by Eyebeam, I could finally make my dream of 3D printing fashion a reality. With techniques and knowledge in 3D modeling and printing, I incorporated 3D printed nylon into my senior collection. I am the first designer in 36 years at SCAD to incorporate, design, and put 3D printing down the runway. It is an achievement I am so proud of because the amount of hours put into it was unbearable.

Please describe the process you used to create your final product.
I was inspired by machinery of all kinds. The shapes and structures are so innovative and bold and that inspired me to 3D model accessories with the same aesthetic. Machines with sharp structured blades were my absolute favorite. I began fabricating with paper to get an idea of what maybe could be a bladed corset or even a neck piece. That strong and structured shape just gave me endless ideas of what I could create for each look.

Once I had my idea down, I needed a body to 3D model from in order to get the right shapes and curves. I 3D scanned a dress form with 123D catch. I then imported the form into Meshmixer. This is where I would sculpt my sloppers to make sure the contours would reflect to the body. Once I had my ideal shape, I imported the surfaces into Rhino and began 3D modeling. I would 3D print half scale prototypes to make sure the design and thickness were meeting my standards. From there after several more hours, long nights, and computer screen scans, I submitted my work to Shapeways and the magic happened.

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The combination of engineering and fashion is intriguing. What was your experience bringing these two worlds together?
I really believe the aesthetics of fashion and engineering are quite similar. Material and function are very important in both subjects. An engineer has the responsibility to come up with how to make an object do its functions. A technical designer is handed a design and it is our job to figure out how to make it and bring it to life being both wearable and working. Engineering and fashion are both very important because we use these subjects every single day in our lives. It takes so much concentration, work, and determination to pursue these careers that both an engineer and designer have grown to live with eyes for details.

I really enjoyed using engineering as my muse for this collection. It made me look and think in different ways. Taking this inspiration really gave me the opportunity to try nontraditional textiles and incorporate 3D printing. I do see myself exploring more type of engineering aspects and I am sure they will continue to inspire me.

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How did you learn to design in 3D?
I’ve always loved to work with my hands and I knew that when I decided to make Sculpture my minor back at SCAD, it was going to benefit me in my fashion career. You see, the most successful way for me to come up with designs or to get inspired would always start by working in 3D. Once I knew what direction I wanted to take, I would translate the design to a more descriptive 2D work, then end up with a physical 3D object and/or design. The great thing is that that process works similar in sculpture. It was very exciting to know that I was going to get the chance to learn 3D modeling because of my minor. I was determined to learn 3D modeling and incorporate it into my first collection as a designer. I wanted to be that bold designer who would add something completely unique and different into their designs. However I really did not know a thing about Rhino or any 3D sculpting program. I had taken the beginner 3D modeling class and learned the basics of Rhino. At first Rhino intimidated me, but with practice I became way more comfortable and confident with the program. I got so use to modeling in Rhino that every little thing I saw, I would tell myself that I could easily 3D model it. It was a really cool feeling, because most fashion designers really don’t go through that.

Do you have a preferred modeling software?
I love Rhino. You can always learn something new whenever you 3D model something. So many techniques to learn, and the fact that you can design whatever you want is pretty awesome. I’m all about details. I have learned Grasshopper, but I would much rather spend the time on and hand-build the details with Rhino. It can be tedious, and it really works your eye for detail, but there is no greater feeling to know that you have created something that does not exist anywhere else.

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Who are some of your favorite designers and artists? Shapeways designers?
Iris van Herpen really was my attention starter to create such innovative and interesting designs. She never has a collection that is like the other in any other way. She is the type of designer to constantly show something new and give people something to talk about. Her works are walking pieces of art and the materials and concept behind them are always what makes me appreciate her designs even more. I admire many other designers for a variety of reasons. Maxime Simoens, Krikor Jabotian, Ralph Lauren, Addy van den Krommenacker – just to name a few.

I really admire Auguste Rodin and his attention to detail and emotion in his works of art. He tells stories and encourages his viewer to physically relate to his works of art. Vladimir Tatlin is another artist and designer I have really grown to appreciate. He is a painter and architect with an interesting background and story. I really admire his architecture and how he made such an influence in art and design.

Lauren Slowik has been pretty awesome. I met her at the Computational Fashion Master class last summer and she was just so cool to be around and learn from her. She has stayed in contact with me throughout this year and has advised me with terms of how I should print in Shapeways. I am really grateful that I got to meet Lauren….thanks so much again Lauren!!!

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What opportunities do you believe 3D printing brings to art and fashion?
3D modeling and printing can benefit anyone. Artists, designers, doctors, teachers, even kids can benefit by learning this skill. With 3D modeling you are ALWAYS learning new things such as: new ways of problem solving, creative thinking, and general knowledge overall. It gives a clear 360 view on anything. Not just physically but also functionally to. Fashion is going to continue to benefit from this because it is building up way more creative ideas and designs in the industry.  I am serious when I tell people that I really see 3D modeling and printing changing the world and I am excited to actually be a part of that.

Is 3D printing being used in the fashion industry?
I believe it is getting to a point that most designers today are considering incorporating 3D printing, especially now that you can even 3D print in gold, titanium, and other unique materials. The creativity is endless! However, I think the new up and coming designers are really taking action with fashion technology. As 3D printers become more affordable and accessible, I think every designer should have a 3D printer in the work room.

I was so proud to see Karl Lagerfield bring 3D printing down the runway in Chanel’s fashion show this summer. He understands the beauty and elegance in 3D printing fashion and it was all executed just right. As fashion week comes up, I can’t wait to see who is next to use 3D printing. The cool thing is that each designer who will 3D print is going to make it different from the other and that is the best part about this technology.

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What were some of the most important steps during the design process?
The Computational Fashion Master class was the best decision I made in this whole experience. I got to learn from designers and instructors in the industry of 3D design. I met so many people who made a mark in the 3D design world that became very inspiring to me. I learned the whole process of what it is like to really 3D print fashion. I got to interact with other artists, designers and leaders at Shapeways. I always recommend that workshop to those who want to start learning 3D fashion. At the end of the class each team presented a 3D printed garment in an exhibition during fashion week last fall. I was even more thrilled to find out that my teams design was later shown in Dutch Design week in October 2014!

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Were you met with any difficulties during the production process?
I honestly could write an entire book from my whole experience of senior collection. To design, pattern make, drape, and sew a collection by yourself is already the most overwhelming thing to do. Aside from constantly working in the sewing lab, I had to 3D model my pieces and accessories. It really took drive and passion for me to do everything. To 3D model such complex pieces is not easy and it requires extreme hours to get things done right. I would have all these amazing ideas but in the end it’s about figuring out how you are going to make it happen. It’s not fun to 3D model something so beautiful just to find out in the end you have an odd number of naked edges. Not fun at all! It happens of course, but again you learn as you go and begin to learn steps on how to rebuild surfaces and make a clear more definition of your solids.

Production for me was all about deadlines. Senior collection at SCAD is insanely tough with it only being a quarter system. I was so committed to my collection, because the inspiration and work put into my designs meant the world to me. It was the most challenging year of my life, but the experience was something I will cherish forever. That second I would put my 3D prints on my models I knew I was capable to be whoever I wanted to be and at that moment I knew I had accomplished way more than I ever thought I could. Till this day I can still remember that very moment I saw my gown walk with my 3D prints down the runway at SCAD. It is a memory that will never get old for me to replay again and again.

Can we expect more 3D printed garments from you?
Oh yes! My senior thesis collection was only the beginning. I continue to design 3D printed fashion outside my day job. I love it so much and I am already planning what to 3D model in both garments and accessories. I have more ideas up my sleeve so just stay tuned!

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For more with Hintum:

If you are in the New York area, you can find her work and the work of other 3D modelers displayed at the eyebeam exhibition, Making Patterns. This exhibition is open until the 17th of September and is located at 117 Beekman Street, Manhattan, NY.
For more information: http://eyebeam.org/events/making-patterns.

To take a look inside the artist’s vision and process, you can follow her on Instagram @andreavanhintum or on her website at https://www.behance.net/AndreavanHintum.

In the near future, you will be able to purchase Hintum’s designs through Shapeways. Many of her designs will focus on handbags and other accessories.

Photographer/ Wes Graham
Photo Editor/ Jose Gallo

The Most Terrifyingly Awesome 3D Printed Kraken D20 Die You Will Ever See

Posted by in Community, Design

RPG fans and dice rollers brace yourselves for one of the most terrifying and coolest die we’ve come across. Designer Ian Dwyer of the Shapeways shop Nveonom8 Designs has created this terrifying mass of writhing tentacles and gaping beaks holds a dark secret: It’s a completely fair 20-sided die!

The die is almost three inches across (7.1cm), this eldritch monstrosity of a D20 is the perfect centerpiece for your gaming dice collection. May it guide you safely across treacherous seas, help you triumph over unspeakable horrors, and give you courage in the face of the kraken–or even Cthulhu himself!

The Dice is available stainless steel

Be careful of it’s pointy tentacles and avoid anywhere near your eyes!

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Here is a video of the Kraken D20 dice is action

What are your thoughts on the Kraken D20? Would you unleash this baby at your next RPG gathering? Let us know in a comment below.

A 3D Printed Topology Joke

Posted by in Community, Design

Mathematical artist and community member Henry Segerman has found a creative way to combine 3D printing and a topology joke. The joke goes about topologists is that they can’t tell the difference between a coffee mug and a doughnut. For those who are not familiar with topology, topology is the study of geometrical objects where you don’t care about lengths and you don’t care about angles, what matters is how the spatial relations relate to each other.

This series of 3D prints is a joint collaboration between Segerman and Keenan Crane. To a topologist, as the old joke goes, a coffee mug is the same thing as a donut since one can be deformed into the other.

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(Topology Joke printed in white strong & plastic)

Video of Henry Segerman explaining Topology Joke printed in our Porcelain Pilot Material.

You can see more of Henry Segerman’s sculptures and mathematical inspired 3D printed on his Shapeways shop.

 

3D Printed VR Headset Will Mesmerize Your Eyes

The emergence of technology such as virtual reality, drones, and gadgets have always prompted a new market opportunity for designers to design custom 3D printed accessories and modifications for them. We’re always on the lookout for the coolest and eye catching 3D prints and this impressive designed 3D printed VR headset by designer Masaharu Ono caught our attention.

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(VR Headset Bloom)

Masaharu was inspired to create this awesome headset through his love of nature. He modeled this headset in Rhinoceros and Grasshopper. The VR headset is 3D printed in nylon plastic and is available for sale on Mashaharu’s shop for $10,000.

Below are some iterative sketches behind his 3D printed VR Headset.

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This cool VR headset is one of the more ambitious 3D designs we’ve seen from our community recently. We’re big believers in pushing the limits of product design and testing the potential of making creations that were once thought of as impossible before the existence of 3D printing capabilities.

What is the most ambitious design you’ve worked on? Let us know in a comment below or tweet us on Twitter @Shapeways.

 

Five tactics to help you decide your next design idea

For some people finding new design ideas is as easy as looking at their surroundings and finding inspiration, for other’s it can be challenging finding that creative spark. An even more difficult challenge is designing a product that has the potential to sell and do well on the Shapeways marketplace. Here are some of the tactics that you can use to come up with new ideas for product designs.

1) Google Trends

Designing products around what’s trending online is a great way to make a design that is fresh and relevant in people’s minds. One way to find what’s trending is by using Google Trends. With Google Trends you can filter out what’s trending by many category options by demographic and subject matter (science, sports, animals, etc). This is based on top stories and search terms people are searching for. You can even do a search on Google Trends for specific keywords and see how strong they come up in Google search. Here is an example of a search I did to see how popular the Tardigrade was. Here you can see how popular the keyword was and the demographic that are searching for it.

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2) Instagram Hashtags / Explore

Instagram recently launched a new updated discovery tab which allows users to easily discover trending hashtags and photos based on the type of photos you post and like. This is a great feature to see a curated stream of photos based on the photos you’ve already liked and give you a visual inspiration for your next product design idea.

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Searching various terms on Instagram shows you how relevant and popular a subject can be.

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3) Collaborations

Collaborations amongst other designers and artist have been a growing trend in the Shapeways community. A fantastic way to bring a new product to the marketplace is to get together with a designer or artist whose designs inspire you. If they’re on Shapeways you can send them a private message, you can tweet at them on Twitter, or send them a direct message of a mock up 3D model to that artist on Instagram letting them know you’re an admirer of their work and if they’d be interested in collaborating with you on bringing that design to market on Shapeways. Here is an example of a collaboration done between Gabriel Prero and Bathsheba.

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4) Ask your existing audience / Do a Q&A

Do you have an existing audience or following? Ask you audience on social media. Make a post on Twitter or Facebook asking your followers what’d they like to see you design next and listen to their feedback. You can also experiment with Reddit’s r/IAmA, here is an example of one done by Kostika Spaho and Christopher Carter.

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5) Modify An Existing Product

Take a look at your existing products and see if you can modify it or manipulated it into a whole new product all together. For example here is a 3D printed Grumpy Cat and  a Santa themed grumpy cat created by designer Manuel Poehlau.

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Designer Corretta Singer of the Shapeways shop CS1 turned her mech heart pendant into a mech heart ring.

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Give these tactics a try and you just might come up with your next hit product. What does your creative design process look like? Let us know in a comment below!

3D printed case turns your micro drone into a wasp

Posted by in Design, DIY, Drones, Inspiration

Drone parts and drone accessories are a popular design category on Shapeways. Customizing drones has become a fun hobby for 3D printing enthusiast, especially with SLS and Shapeways 3D printing, designers are able to design for accurate and sophisticated  upgraded parts and accessories.

German designer Kai Bracher, of the Shapeways shop Cabrada has taken his love of drones to the next level by designing this eye catching 3D printable case for the drone for the Micro Drone. This 3D printed clip on case for the microdrone 2.0 and 3.0 from Extreme flyers turns your done into a wasp.

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Wasp case designed in Zbrush

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Micro Drone in flight with the 3D printed Wasp Shell add on

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The Wasp Drone case currently sells for $31.50 USD on Kai’s Shapeways Shop and is available in various colors in our Strong and Flexible nylon material.

There is also a video shows the mounting of the wasp to the Micro Drone

Have you modded out your drone with 3D printed parts or accessories? Let us know in a comment below or share your photos with us on Twitter and Instagram by tagging @Shapeways.

Ora Cufflinks: A story of design and collaboration

One of the great things about being a part of the Shapeways community (in our humble opinion) is the amount of talented designers you are able to connect with. We love seeing community members connecting on our forums, Twitter, Facebook and more. Sometimes those small connections lead to even more, as shown through this beautiful collaboration between two shop owners. Gabriel Prero and Bathsheba put their two talent forces together to create some amazing cufflinks. What we love the most about this product is that it really showcases each designer individually.

We asked them both a few questions about how this all got started. Read on to learn how the idea came about and their (great!) tips on working with other designers.

How did the idea for this collaboration come about?

G: Strangely enough, it came about through the Shapeways Crew. I was doing a Crew presentation for the School of Design at the University of Illinois Chicago, and was sent a sample pack of various Shapeways models. One of those was the ever-iconic Ora by Bathsheba. I’d seen it before online, but never in person, and I was taken aback by just how striking it is in person. Pictures really can’t do it justice. And it’s just a pleasure to hold and play with. So I figured I’d send Bathsheba a note letting her know how much I loved the piece. She replied that she had gotten many requests for cufflink versions, and asked if I’d be interested in the collaboration. Needless to say, I jumped at the opportunity.

B: Well, it started when Gabriel wrote to me that he had got one of my “Ora” pieces and liked it.  People have asked me for cufflinks of my designs before, but since I don’t really wear French cuffs it would be work for me to figure out what makes a good cufflink, and I’d always left those queries on the suggestions pile.  So when I saw Gabriel’s shop, which is a very nice presentation by someone who clearly knows his links, I though why not ask?

Why did you choose to do something with the Ora design?

G: The initial idea to make it a cufflink really belongs to Bathsheba. I was more in the right place at the right time:) Though I do think it lends itself very well to this scale. To shrink any sculpture down risks losing some detail, or having a print fail. The Ora scaled beautifully, and printed successfully right off the bat.

B: Most importantly it was Gabriel’s choice — since he did the work of adapting the design and photographing the product, definitely it should be something he likes.  On the practical side, not many of my designs can be printed in steel small enough for this application, so that narrows down the choices.

How long did the process take?

G: From initial email until the listing went live, about 6 weeks. Though the actual design work went pretty quickly. Most of the time were just back and forth emails and waiting for the Shapeways box to arrive.

B: From the beginning of April to late May, so quick as these things go.

What was the best part about working with another designer?

G: Often when I do custom work for customers, they’re unfamiliar with the CAD or 3D printing process. Collaborating with someone as experienced as Bathsheba, it was nice to speak the same language, and share experience.

B: He’s awfully good!

Any future collaborations coming up?

G: We’ve talked about “cufflink-izing” some of her other creations, so we’ll see!

B: We might do some more links if this one goes well.  Meanwhile I’m always open to suggestions!  I’m a fan of licensing deals; they’ve generally been pleasant and productive, so I try to answer any reasonable email.

Any tips on how designers can best work together?

G: I think the best tip I can offer is to just start the conversation! One of the things that keep surprising me about the Shapeways community is that the members are so open for exchanging ideas and giving meaningful feedback. Don’t be shy approaching someone you admire whom you’d consider to be in a “league above”.

B: I think it’s important to have a good contract.  The assets in play here were on Gabriel’s side, expertise in designing cufflinks and a platform to sell them; and on my side the design itself, and experience with licensing transactions.

The first three of these things are sort of obvious, but I’d like to unpack the last one.  I have a nondisclosure agreement which allows me to share the design file with less risk — you pretty much have to do this to evaluate the possibility, and without an NDA the risk is all on the designer’s side.  Having that handy gets rid of a major source of worry and distrust.

Thanks to both of you for your time and insight! Make sure to check out both their shops for even more amazing design.

 

Learn 3D CAD the easy way with this Kickstarter: 20+ Hours of Meshmixer online training by HoneyPoint3D

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We’re always looking for new ways to educate people about 3D printing and CAD modeling. From the basics of how it’s done to how anyone can create amazing designs themselves, we want to educate as many as possible on how to get started in the 3D printing process. Whether it’s through tutorials, online videos, free apps, etc., we know there are a lot of channels through which people can learn.

We’ve been telling you a lot about various Kickstarter campaigns happening right now that Shapeways has some involvement with. In the spirit of education, today we want to tell you about a new campaign from HoneyPoint3D that is offering to help more people learn 3D CAD modeling through their online courses.

HoneyPoint3D is a company that aims to innovate in the 3D printing market by offering easy-to-follow online classes at a variety of skill levels. They have already taught 5,000 students and are writing MAKE magazine’s next “Getting Started on 3D Printing” book, releasing January 2016. All in an effort to help people with their 3D models from concept to finished product.

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Their Kickstarter is raising money for a full online course that will teach beginners how to create and advanced modelers how to enhance and fix 3D CAD files. HoneyPoint3D has partnered with our friends over at Autodesk to teach the course using their free 3D Sculpting software, Meshmixer. Taking the course will save designers time and money. If the Kickstarter reaches its goal of $8,118, the course will be launched starting at just $20 (compared to $149)!

Make sure to check out this campaign for more information, and stay tuned for more educational content from us!