Category Archives: Education

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

Enter to Win the 2015 Shapeways 3D Printing Campus Battle!

Attention US university students: enroll in the Shapeways Education Discount Program to enter to win the 2015 Campus Battle!

Entrants from the three winning schools will receive free shipping for their school projects for the rest of the academic year! Seeing is believing, so we’re making it easy to bring an idea to life. Print one of your designs in any material, and we’ll cover the cost up to $25. What are you waiting for?

All entrants who sign up before October 31, 2015 will get:

  • Your first 3D print free, up to $25
  • 20% off printing their own models through September 30, 2015 (and 15% off their own models after that!)

So tell your friends, frenemies, classmates and profs to signup and you could win free shipping for the rest of the year on your school projects!

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Visit shapeways.com/education for full contest details.

New Student Discount!

As we start planning for a new school year (at least in the northern hemisphere) I wanted to connect and tell you about changes to the Shapeways Education Program. I’ve spent the last year talking with you and marveling at the numerous ways you use our service in your education.

I am proud to announce that we will be increasing the Education Program discount to 20% off of your own prints in our basic White Strong and Flexible nylon. It is by far our most accessible material and now with a lower price for students it’s easier to test your ideas with us. Our goal with Shapeways EDU has always been to empower people to learn and by lowering the price of our most popular material for all students we’re reaffirming that mission. This new 20% discount has replaced our previous 10% discount as of August 13, 2015, and will be automatically applied when you order eligible 3D prints using your Shapeways account that is enrolled in Shapeways Education Program. While they cannot be combined with your 20% EDU* discount, we offer many other discounts to our broader community throughout the year: make sure that you’re signed up for our Promotions & Recommendations emails to hear about them.

Keep your eye out for more exciting ways to use our global 3D printing services in your studies and happy 3D-ing in the new school year!

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*The Education Program discount is capped at $200 in savings per person, per academic year. It applies to 3D prints of your own designs in White Strong & Flexible, and not White Strong & Flexible Polished or any other materials. It does not apply to products purchased in the Shapeways marketplace. For larger projects please reach out to education@shapeways.com with the subject line “Education Discount Inquiry”. We’re always working to improve the Education Program and, as such, its terms are subject to change at any time.

3D printing custom trachea stents

Shapeways offers the chance for designers of all kinds to turn their ideas into reality – be that in the world of tech accessories, fashion innovation, art and design, and in this case, the medical world.

A group of clinicians, architects and engineers teamed together to create 3D printed traechea stents unique to the patient. We spoke with Noah Garcia who is working with Harvard doctors and MIT material specialists to spearhead this new world for airway stents. Starting off with CT scans, the engineers initially started with Formlab printers, but the lack of biocompatible material lead them to Shapeways. While we do not offer 3D printed biocompatible material, our castable wax offering allows the team to create molds that can be used for casting the necessary biocompatible materials. It’s really amazing to see this process – from the files to prototypes to a final wax version, it’s truly amazing to see how innovative this team is. The team has even offered a bronze “pendant” for fun!

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How long have you (and/or members of your team) been in the medical field?
Most of our team has spent the majority of their academic and professional careers in the medical field, while other members of our team have had no medical experience at all. The process of creating custom stents required building a unique collaboration between clinicians, architects and engineers. Our clinical team knows a great deal about biology, physiology, and medical pathology, but little about 3D fabrication/computation, while our architects and engineers know a great deal about 3D fabrication, but little about biology. The crossbreeding of the medical and artistic professions is what has made this project possible. Our team includes George Cheng MD PhD, Erik Folch MD, Sebastian Ochoa MD, Mark Tibbitt PhD, Adam Wilson MS, Noah Garcia BArch, Robert Brik MS, Sidhu Gangadharan MD, and Adnan Majid MD. Dr. George Cheng is a clinician specializing in pulmonary medicine and has been leading this project.

How did you involve 3D printing in your practices? When did that begin?
Dr. Cheng first became interested in the possibilities of 3D printing after reading a 2013 article in the New England Journal of Medicine that detailed how researchers implanted a 3D printed tracheal splint into a pediatric patient with a collapsed airway. He believed that data from a CT scan of the chest could guide the production of airway stents or other airway prostheses. The research efforts were supported by Center for Integration of Medicine and Innovative Technology. The origin of the project was further documented in a Boston Globe article last year. Dr. Cheng recognized an opportunity to employ 3D printing technology as means to customize the trachea stents. Traditional stents are rudimentary extrusions, which do not fully represent the specific shape of a person’s airway. Airway obstruction from stenosis, malacia, or extrinsic compression can result in significant respiratory symptoms and decrease in patient’s quality of life. In recognizing that traditional stents may lead to significant complications, Dr.Cheng hypothesized ways to customize and optimize the forms. Traditional airway stents are made of silicone, metal, or hybrid materials, and are limited by their cost and complications. Common complications such as migration and granulation tissue formation may be related to inaccurate stent size and shape. Dr. Cheng and his team developed a workflow using CT scanners to extract 3D models of a patient’s trachea to guide the design of custom stent matched to the individual’s airway. The resulting 3D prints are anatomically accurate seamless surfaces, diagonal grids and circumscribed double ­helixes that follow the contours of a patient’s airway.

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From top left to bottom right, beginning with the CT scan model and ending with 3D prints. The CT scan is manipulated with Rhino and parametric modeling plug-ins. The inner surfaces of the trachea are isolated, a diagonal grid is mapped to the surface and the resulting diagrid is exported as a printable file.

Did you know how to 3D model prior to this project?
The engineers, architects and artists on our team are primarily experienced in digital computation for architectural and sculptural design. The clinicians, on the other hand, are experienced with producing 3D models from CT scanners. By bringing together these two worlds of art and science, we are able to achieve significant 3D modeling possibilities. There were scale and tolerance challenges to address when translating from digital models to 3D prints with certain materials, but we are continually making discoveries during the process. Our current challenge is to use the 3D printed forms to create molds and armatures that can support biocompatible materials. Shapeways’ castable wax material has us hopeful of achieving our goal. We’d hope to one day print in our biocompatible materials directly, but until then, we are limited by the available 3D printable materials. Our ideas are ahead of us in many ways, but we are excited to be learning and exploring the unknown.

Why tracheas? Will you experiment with more areas of the body?
The clinicians on our team specialize in pulmonary care and sub­specializes in the field of interventional pulmonology. One of the major disease entity they encounter is large central airway disease. Trachea stents can be deployed into and removed from an airway through minimal­ invasive procedures in a relatively short amount of time. As compared to a heart stent, which is much smaller and more dynamic, a tracheal stent has fewer variables with easier methods to control. Using the tracheal stent as a starting point, we are considering how our process might be applied to other areas of the body. For now, we are aiming to perfect the trachea stent and then explore how our methods can impact other parts of the body.

It’s fascinating to see and learn more about how 3D printing and the medical world are combining forces. Thank you for such a wonderful interview, Noah! Check out the pendant below, and let us know if you have a medical story to share with us in the comments below or by emailing community @ shapeways.com.

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Celebrating the National Week of Making!

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We at Shapeways are excited to join in the celebrations for the National Week of Making.  With so many makers in the Shapeways community, it would be impossible for us to simply let this week slip by.

We work hard so that Shapeways can be a home for makers from across the country and around the world. One of the most exciting things about being at the forefront of 3D printing is that we get to watch makers and making evolve in real time.  There are countless designers on Shapeways who first came to our community to make things for themselves and then quickly realized that other people liked what they were doing and decided to open a shop.  This ability to share and grow is key to the maker movement.

Of course, we’re going to keep working hard here at Shapeways to empower makers.  Whether it is a mod for your drone, a case for your pi, or the body of a self-balancing robot, Shapeways is a place where makers can come to iterate and create.  A big part of making is making solutions that are customized for your needs.  And nothing is better for custom solutions than 3D printing. Enjoy the week of making.  If you make something great, share it with us on twitter @Shapeways and @MWeinberg2D.

Don’t forget, if you are new to Shapeways, use the promo code FIRSTFREE and get free shipping in the US on your order until June 30th!
Start Making Today

New Shapeways classes on Skillshare

We’ve heard from our community that videos are one of the best ways to learn about 3D printing. From tutorials to our How I Made It series, they are a great visual to use when picking up tips and tricks to up your 3D printing game.

In the past we’ve worked with our friends over at Skillshare to create videos that show you the ins and outs of 3D modeling. Today we’re excited to announce the launch of another series of videos that anyone can use to learn about running a small business on Shapeways.

An Online Skillshare Class by Lauren Slowik, Shapeways Designer Evangelist for Education

Enroll For Free

Our marketplace is growing everyday (there are more than 23,000 shops!) and that means thousands of people have used their 3D design talent to start a small business. While we try to make things as easy as possible for our shop owners, there are still a few ways they can make sure their shop stands out from the crowd. From crafting a shop description to merchandising your products to rocking social media, these short, fun videos will give you all the tips and tricks to creating and running a shop on Shapeways.

As if that wasn’t good enough, Skillshare is offering our community the chance to sign up for a one-month Premium account for just $.99! Use code SHAPEWAYS when signing up.

Check them out and let us know what you think!

How To Make A 3D-Print Of Your Brain

A few weeks ago, I made a 3D model of my brain and sent it to Shapeways to get 3D printed. My little brain arrived a few days ago and I’m blown away by how good it turned out. I don’t want to be overly dramatic, but I think this is one of the coolest things I’ve ever done. The whole process was relatively straight forward once I figured out the best program to use. I wrote a step-by-step tutorial of what I did below in case you want to print your brain too.

And if you want a brain on your desk and you don’t care whose it is, you can order a 3D model of my brain here.

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INSPIRATION

I have a deep fascination of the human brain and I’ve wanted a 3D model of my brain for quite some time. I considered using a modeling software (like Blender) to create my own 3D brain model based on my MRI scans, but I quickly abandoned that idea when I imagined manually outlining the cortex one slice at a time.

A few months ago, one of my friends posted a link to a company that sells custom brain models that range from $165.00 (for half scale models) to $342.00 (for full scale models). I was tempted to order a model, but I finally decided that it was too expensive. I love brains, but not quite that much.

Then, a few weeks ago, I came across this blog post that included do-it-yourself instructions for creating a 3D model of your brain for 3D printing. The neuroscientist and cheapskate in me rejoiced. My computer was being serviced so I bookmarked the page and waited until I got my laptop back.

When I finally sat down to follow the tutorial, I found that it left out some crucial steps and required a lot of manual editing. I spent a few hours looking at other tutorials, downloading software packages, and trying to create a halfway decent 3D model, but none of the models I created had anywhere near the level of detail I wanted.

Finally, I found this tutorial which describes how to create a 3D model using Freesurfer. I had been wanting to learn how to use Freesurfer for awhile, so it was a win/win. The tutorial is pretty thorough, but it didn’t explain the installation of Freesurfer, which ended up being somewhat complicated. In case you’re like me and haven’t used Freesurfer before, I added detailed information about how to download and install Freesurfer below. If you already use Freesurfer, you are in luck! You are only a few steps away to creating your own 3D brain model (you can skip to the “Create the 3D brain model” section).

GET YOUR BRAIN SCANNED

    1. First, you need to get a T1 anatomical scan of your brain with MRI. I understand that that’s easier said than done, but there’s no way around it.
    2. Add all of your DICOM files from the T1 anatomical scan into one folder. My folder is named “t1_mprage_DICOM.”

DOWNLOAD AND INSTALL FREESURFER
If you already have Freesurfer installed, skip to the next section. 

    1. Download Freesurfer here. I downloaded the freesurfer-Darwin-lion-stable-pub-v5.3.0.dmg file.
    2. If you don’t already have XQuartz installed, you’ll have to download and install it in order to use Freesurfer. Download the latest release here.
    3. Install Freesurfer by following the detailed instructions here. You should come to a screen that looks like this:

 

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In order to get everything set up correctly, you have to modify two files (the first time I tried to install Freesurfer I didn’t read this this page (oops), and I ran into trouble later on). Your computer may be set up differently, so these steps may not apply to you.

4. Create a .cshrc file in your root directory by typing the following commands into the terminal window:
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A new text file should pop up.  Copy the first two commands from the READ ME section of the install window, paste the text in the new text file, and save. Your file should look like this:
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5. Modify your .profile file by typing the following commands in the terminal window (I already have a .profile file that is named .bash_profile so I opened that file):
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Copy the second set of command lines from the install window and paste it at the bottom of the file that pops up. My file looks like this:
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6. Get an installation key by filling out the form here. You will receive an email containing information about your license. Copy the text in between the –CUT HERE– lines and paste them into a new TextEdit file. Convert the file into a plain text file by clicking Format –> Make plain text. Name the file ‘license.txt’ and save it in the Freesurfer folder.

CREATE THE 3D BRAIN MODEL

1. In your terminal window, type the following command to set up Freesurfer:

 

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2. We will use the function called recon-all to create the 3D brain model. Detailed information about the recon function is available here.
The function uses the following format:
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Replace the <DICOM file> part with the path to any one of your DICOM files (and not the folder that holds all the files). Replace <folder name> with the name you want to call the folder that will contain all of the output files. The folder will be added to the same directory that your DICOM folder is in. My function looked like this:
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Enter the command into terminal and press enter to start the analysis. The analysis takes a long time. The reconstruction took 8 hours on my computer, but others estimate that it can take between 10 and 20 hours. Make sure that you turn off your computer’s sleep mode so that it won’t go to sleep while the analysis running.
3. After the analysis is completed, all of the output files should be located in the folder you named. In the folder, you should have another folder called “surf” which contains the surface reconstructions. We need to transform these file formats into  a format that is used in 3D printing. To do so, navigate to the surf folder in the terminal and enter the following commands:
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3D PRINT YOUR MODEL

If you don’t have access to a 3D printer, you can get your brain 3D printed by a 3D printing service. I used Shapeways so I’ll show you how to order from them.

  1. Go to the Shapeways website.
2. Click “Design” in the top navigation menu. Then click the blue “upload” button underneath the Shapeways logo.

3. Sign in to your account or create a new one and click “UPLOAD” again. A box should appear that looks like this:

 

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4. Click “Select file” and load the “lh.pial.stl” file that you just made. The model units are in millimeters so keep that radio button checked. Click “UPLOAD.” The model should take a few minutes to upload. Once the model finishes uploading, you should see a screen like this:

 

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5. If you scroll down, you can see the prices for creating a 3D printed model in different materials. A full size brain replica costs about $250.00 per hemisphere. If you want to scale your brain down (and save a lot of money), click the “SCALE” button and change the SCALE % from 100 to 50. This will create a 3D printed replica of you brain that is 1/8 of the actual size.

6. At this point, you can decide what material you want to use to print your brain. I went with the strong & flexible material in polished white.

7. Click the “View 3D tools” link under the name of the material you want to use.

 

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8. Shapeways 3D tools will analyze your model and identify potential problems with printing. For one of my models, I had a wall that was too thin. To fix thin walls, click on the “Wall Thickness” menu item on the left of the page, then click the red button that says “FIX THIN WALLS.” Shapeways will automatically adjust your model for you.
9. Go back to the model editing page and add your desired model to your shopping cart. Now repeat these steps for your right hemisphere model. Check out when you’re ready and your little brain will be on its way! I got my brain in less than two weeks.
Here’s what my model looks like in Shapeways:
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And here are more images of my final 3D printed brain:
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Shapeways March European Road Trip

Posted by in Education

ShapewaysEDU is heading out on a European three week road trip! We’ll be starting with the 3D Print Show Madrid starting March 12th and heading to Barcelona then northward! See below for locations and dates and keep your eye out for events and meetups announcements as the month of March continues.

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Madrid, ES – 3D Print Show   3/12-3/13
Barcelona, ES  3/14-3/15
Paris, FR 3/17-3/18
Amsterdam, NL 3/19-3/20
Eindhoven, NL 3/23-3/24
Berlin, DE – 3D Print Show 3/26-3/28

If you have an event going on or are interested in attending  and will be in these places send an email to education@shapeways.com to let us know about it. Let’s grab a drink and talk shop.

ShapewaysEDU and California Universities Roundup

Posted by in Education

Shapeways EDU recently wrapped up a road trip visiting university students in California who are pursuing 3D printing and oh boy were we impressed! After talking with all these passionate students and professors and. At Shapeways our biggest concern is enabling others to realize incredible things with 3D printing. Part of enabling is providing access to these powerful tools and machines. University students have more access than they may realize so here are some ideas to help YOU get started 3D printing on your campus:

You can incorporate 3D printing into an existing club theme. At UC Berkeley the Tau Beta Pi Engineering Honors Society members are investigating the career opportunities related to 3D printing and design.

Greetings to you too, TBP Berkeley!

California College of Arts lab manager Zane Murray encourages students to seek out facilities on campus and get help from the knowledgable technicians working their. For the very interested student many of these labs offer campus jobs running these facilities, a great way to get hands on experience before you graduate.

Stanford University students use their Product Realization Lab to do everything from test an idea to develop a new beta product in their cross-disciplinary facility.

UCLA and the University of Southern California have joined forces by forming the 3D4E, or 3D For Everyone, club which is comprised of students across majors to using 3D printing in their competitions and club activities.

Student check out Shapeways material samples at the Stanford Product Realization Lab

Southern California Institute of Architecture and Art Center College of Design in LA have more facilities than you can shake a stick at but lab manager David Cowley at Art Center encourages the students to really use as many types of production processes before they graduate. You won’t always have access to such top notch stuff once you’re out in the real world!

Art Center connects the tools with the outcome

If you are a student, teacher or staff of a school make sure to register your Shapeways account for our 10% education discount. Also students should keep an eye out for our upcoming ShapewaysEDU grant deadline coming up on April 1st. You can apply for up to $1000 in printing credit to support your 3D printing project or research. As always, more details on shapeways.com/education

Two New Visualizations in Shapeways 3D tools: Bounding Box and Parts

Designing for 3D printing is more than just making a 3D model.  It’s understanding how big you want your figurine to stand on your desk, how thin your ring can be in plastic versus gold, and keeping track of all the details on intricate models while making sure all the parts are connected.  We launched Shapeways 3D tools in January to help bridge the gap between creating and designing a 3D model and actually  having it printed by giving you more confidence to know when your model is ready for the printers.

Today we are launching two new visualizations in 3D tools to help you further understand what your model will look like when it lands in your hands: a bounding box visualization and a part count visualization.

 Understanding Model Size: Material Specific Bounding Box Visualization

Understanding how big or small your model is physically and what materials you can print it in based on it’s size can be challenging when you are staring at your model on a screen and can easily zoom in and out.  This is especially true if you are designing for multiple materials – what’s the right size model that lets you print in all your favorites? Understanding how to change your model to make it the right size – is one part of the model too long? Do I just need to scale it slightly smaller? – can be tricky without being able to see the maximum and minimum size you can print in for a specific material.

By clicking on the bounding box tool in 3D tools, you can understand both how large or small your model is in relation to the bounding box for a specific material, and what part of your model is too big or small. Our visualization combines two elements: coloring parts of the model that are too big or too small red so you know which parts have issues, and visualizing the maximum and minimum bounding box oriented around your model as a transparent box.

When your model is within the size guidelines to be printed, you will see it inside the maximum bounding box.  So if you were thinking of making it a bit bigger or smaller, you can get a sense for how much you could change the size of your model.

size, bounding box, visualization, shapeways

If your model is too large, the part of the bounding box where the model is sticking outside the maximum bounding box will turn red to help you identify along which dimensions your model is too large.  If you have a multiple part model, only the parts of the model that exceed the bounding box size restrictions will turn red. Parts of your multiple part model that are OK in size will remain grey.

bounding box, size, too big, shapeways, visualization

If your model is too small, you will see it colored red inside a minimum bounding box.  By moving your model around, you can see which dimension(s) of your model are too small.

bounding box, size, too small, visualization, Shapeways

Identify Accidental Loose Shells: Part Count Visualization

Building detailed, complex models can result in incredible creations that are a marvel to hold and see.  Sometimes though, with so many details and parts, loose shells can accidentally be created.  Loose shells are pieces of your model that are separate and unconnected from the base part of the model. These can be intentional, but are often unintentional.

Our new part count visualization helps protect you from ordering a model you expect to come in one piece, but actually receive in many pieces because it uniquely colors each and every part. For example, in this model made of connected stars, all the stars were intended to connect to each other except two of them were slightly misaligned.  With the part count visualization, you can clearly see the accidental loose shells – the two unconnected stars – and fix your model appropriately.

part, multiple parts, part count, 3D tools, Shapeways

Go to 3D tools today from My Models or Model Edit and check out your models in the bounding box and part count tool to see how big or small your models are or if you have any accidental loose shells!

 

3D Tools: Learn to Use Your Model Feedback to Improve Your Design

In the first tour of Shapeways new 3D tools we talked about all of the automatic and instant checking done by our software when your model is first uploaded. This video will give you a quick tour of what information 3D tools can provide about your design file when it does not pass a manual check from one of our 3D engineers at our factories.

I Spent My Weekend Learning to 3D Model with ShapeJS, Here’s How It Went

Written by community member Daphne Laméris, and you can see her key sleeve here.

ShapeJS, ever heard of it? I did, but it took me a long time to actually look at it and try to understand it. The whole idea of using code to model a part looked really hard, and is not what I am familiar with. I can use SolidWorks to model, tried Blender twice and Rhino once. In the end, I always stuck to what I knew, SolidWorks. It became time to step out of my comfort zone and try something new.

The great thing about 3D printing is the option for mass customization. For a lot of designs, I already use the co-creator options. This way, I can offer rings in difference sizes and a key sleeve that can be adjusted in size and with text. But every order still takes time to make and that order cannot be produced until I make the model. Therefore, I looked into ShapeJS.

shapeJS key label

With ShapeJS you can use javascript to make models. Numbers and texts filled into  textboxes can be used as parameters in your code. For my key sleeve, this could be the diameter of the key and the key thickness. For a better explanation you can check out the Shapeways.com shapeJS introduction.

So I set the goal to make my key sleeve in ShapeJS. It is a simple shape that needs multiple values of the user as input. The first problem is that I had no experience whatsoever with javascript before I started. Luckily, there are some examples available as well as some text. I read all the text and look at all examples, not understanding most of it. But I changed some values in the examples and saw what it did. Especially the example with the picture is fun, it’s easy to just upload a photo and see what it does. The next step was sketching the key sleeve. How could I build my design from simple shapes with  the Booleans? The original key sleeve was made with SolidWorks. Using code is a different way of modelling. It still works with solids, but you can’t make a sketch as with SolidWorks (well, at least not that I’m aware of). So I wrote down what the code should do:

pseudocode for shapeJS

The picture above was a first rough sketch (made without the intention to show it to anyone else, this is often referred to as “pseudo code” where you write out in plain words what you want to code to do and in what order). I wanted a hollow cylinder by subtracting a small one from the big one. Next a part should be cut out – this is the opening for the key. So I need to make a box, give it a position connected to the key radius and subtract it from the hollow cylinder. The design also needs a hole for the key ring. The position is determined by user input as well as the size of the hole. Finally, the key has some text that needs to be on the front. With this, I had my recipe for what I wanted to make. And then I realized I did not know what my ingredients were. The examples showed how to make a box, but how to make a cylinder? I couldn’t really find a list with explanation of all shapes and functions that would be useful for modeling. I did find more examples, and from that I used the cylinder. I’m not going to describe every step I took to create my model. But I can tell you how it went globally: like creating Frankenstein’s monster. Copy here, paste there. Use a part of this example, use a part of that example. Adjusting things to see how it works. Deleting stuff if I didn’t know what it did. If the script stills runs, okay. If not, put it back. It’s not a sustainable approach for creating very complex shapes, but it is a great way to learn new stuff.

shapeJS

In the end, it worked! With the set input from the user (key diameter, key thickness, keyhole diameter, distance keyhole to top) a key sleeve is created. It took most of my Sunday afternoon and evening (and a bit of my Saturday). Next step is getting in the ShapeJS co-creator pilot so this could actually be used for sale. And then it’s time to learn and create more!

Learn New 3D Printing Skills in 2015

It’s a new year and we’ve jumped on the annual bandwagon and resolved to improve ourselves. What better way to do that than to improve how our talented designers use Shapeways? Earlier today we told you about the new Shapeways 3D Tools - our new suite of tools that will enable you to check your designs using the same guidelines our 3D Printing Engineers do. Here’s a quick video tour of the automatic checking tools.

We’ll be diving deeper into these new features for the rest of the month, talking about tips and tricks to get yourself inspired, up to speed and printing like never before.

In the meantime, we’re dying to know: What are you most excited about making this year?

Free UArtsy 3D Modeling Course for the Shapeways Community Plus a Discount!

wireframe dog

Wireframe Dog designed by CINEMO

The folks at UArtsy have created a free 3D modeling course called Learn Maya: Polygon Modeling with Michael Mckinley. All you have to do is follow the link and register. They’ve also got a great offer for the Shapeways community: 20% off of any course you choose. Simply register and enter the code SHP20OFF upon checkout. The staff at UArtsy recommends 3D Printing for Artists With Joseph Drust and Jewelry Sculpting In ZBrush Fundamentals With Tomas Wittelsbach, as two great starting courses for Shapeways designers.

UArtsy.com is a 3D modeling and sculpting course site started by Ryan Kinglien, the first product manager for ZBrush. The site offers a on-demand and live courses in several techniques.

Go ahead and learn a new 3D skill and make 2015 your year!

How To Make Amazing Videos For Your Shapeways Products

Posted by in DIY, Education, How To

Selling and telling the story behind your Shapeways 3D printed product can be difficult when the consumer cannot see or experience that product in their hands. One way to make the buying experience easier for customers is having high quality, creative, and short videos of your products. Videos can provide an accurate assessment of the product and should achieve the following: form, function, scale, and purpose. Your product video should be no longer than two minutes and should provide essentially a 360 overview and elevator pitch of what your product is, what it looks like, and what it is intended for.

I’ve curated a few examples of well made videos you can use a reference for creating your next product video.

 1) Strandbeest Video by Theo Jansen

2) Mortal Coil video by Ryan Kittleson

3) Ghost Spinning Top by Michiel Cornelissen

4) Sprout video by Egant

5) Microsoft Band Charging Stand by Idle Hands Development

Do you have a great product video you wish to share with us? Share them with us on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter!