Category Archives: Product

LaMetric: Using 3D printed prototypes for product development and crowdfunding

3D printing has already had a huge impact on the future of how products are conceptualized, designed and developed. Smart Atoms, a group of tech visionaries, designers and engineers, has created LaMetric, a standalone, customizable, hackable smart ticker that tracks key life and business metrics and displays them in real-time. Before launching their Kickstarter campaign, Smart Atoms prototyped LaMetric using Shapeways. Smart Atoms CEO Nazar Bilous discussed the process of developing LaMetric and how 3D printing is a key component of product, and hardware, development.

LaMetric - track what's important to you

LaMetric – track what’s important to you

What inspired you to create LaMetric?

Most of our team used to work in a digital agency before forming Smart Atoms. Every day each of us was curious about the most important digital product numbers including app’s ranking, downloads, website stats. It took a lot of time getting them from different slow loading sites and we decided to solve it by having a simple device that saves our time, tracks the key numbers autonomously and shows them fresh for the whole team.

Nike+ Fuelband was a huge inspiration at LaMetric concept stage. Its amazing screen made the highest impact. We wanted to get the screen that looks like it is a part of the black casing when the device is switched off and clearly projects the screen across a large physical space with bright, sharp, square pixels. Most people that saw the 3D model doubted it’s even possible. Which motivated us even stronger to reach it.

How did using Shapeways help you develop the LaMetric prototype?

In the course of several prototype iterations, we moved from an ugly brick-like box to a rounded bar, after which most of the early adopters wanted to put LaMetric at home or office. We now understand Apple’s passion for rounded corners, this works well in the 3D world, too. Initially, we created the casing using an average domestic 3D printer, but the quality was not good enough for us to get profound feedback from beta testers, especially “look and feel”. We discovered the Shapeways service that quickly transformed our model into high quality device parts.

LaMetric parts prototype: homeprinter left, Shapeways right

LaMetric parts prototype: homeprinter left, Shapeways right

What need will the product fulfill?

In the age of information overload it’s important to have personal information radiators or status panel to be more productive. Main indicators like weather warnings, amount of new emails, amount of daily tasks and how much you’ve already solved, money balance, time to meeting and others give you immediate understanding of where you are and what to do next.
LaMetric eliminates the need to check multiple apps or news sites for the information you need. Instead, you receive everything at a glance, all in one place, in real-time.

If you have a family or small business it’s twice important to track shared indicators and boost group productivity via getting communal experience and discovering something together. It can be tracking important dates(events, deadlines, anniversaries), profit numbers, product rankings, social metrics, leads amount, sales figures, visitors amount, youtube subscribers, mentions and others. In this day and age of personalised devices and individuals with their heads buried in their smartphone screens, people crave these shared experiences, a sense of belonging, a sense of greater purpose that make them more motivated and productive.

In a digital world, why develop hardware?

By developing hardware you can discover new tangible interactions and experiences. The digital world doesn’t give this.

Final LaMetric prototype

Final LaMetric prototype

How does having a well developed prototype help when launching a crowdfunding campaign dedicated to hardware?

We added photos of all our prototypes to the Kickstarter campaign page to show people our understanding of quality and where we’ve spent a year of hard work before launch. It builds relationships with your backers. It’s very important in crowdfunding, and it’s all about transparency.

How do you think that 3D printing will help the future of hardware design, iteration and development?

3D printing helps quickly build iterative prototypes, test with your early adopters and get feedback on idea, form, size etc. It increases the speed of building hardware products and gives not expensive tool for everyone to create things. For us, prototypes built with Shapeways additionally allowed get feedback how LaMetric looks and feels. 3D printing will have a significant impact on IoT industry and bring a lot of new exciting devices in the near future.


 

What the Oculus Rift Acquisition by Facebook means for 3D Printing

The tech world collectively gasped and gossiped yesterday as Facebook announced its purchase of Oculus, a virtual reality headset originally launched on Kickstarter, for a cool $2 Billion Dollars. Safe to say that their 21 year old CEO and his team of are set for life, but what does this mean for the rest of us?


Our very own Brad Dickason rocking his Oculus Rift

In sum:
  1. Hardware is back
  2. People powered product > other stuff
  3. Communities are empowering the future of design meaning innovation is no longer dictated by big brand hegemons
  4. Shapeways, like Oculus, is at the epicenter of this next industrial revolution

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Bitcoin inspired 3D Prints

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You’ve probably been hearing a lot about Bitcoins in the news recently but the truth of the matter is that many of us don’t really know what Bitcoins are or what they do. Bitcoin is the first decentralized digital currency. They’re essentially coins that you can send over the internet as a form of digital currency. Bitcoins can be generated by anybody running a free application called a Bitcoin Miner. Bitcoins are transferred anonymously peer-to-peer and function without any type of central authority. Bitcoin is changing finance the same way Shapeways and 3D printing is changing manufacturing.
In the meantime, Bitcoins have a really cool and recognizable symbol. Have a look at a few Bitcoin inspired 3D prints. 

With this you can blow Bitcoin bubbles because it’s more fun to blow bubbles than money. 

Bitcoin Ring by goebat

Let everyone know you’re a Bitcoin user by wearing this cool ring.

Bitcoin Address Keeper by AyameDeude

This coin has the generally accepted BTC Sign, as well as a latin phrase that roughly translates to “Equality we can verify.”


 

Dinovember Feature: An Interview with 3D Printing Dinosaur Design Master David Krentz

Are you a fan of Dinosaurs? Or a recent #Dinovember bandwagoner? If you just answered yes, and should you like your Dinos in cinematic form, you’ve likely seen the work of David Krentz. Given his feature in our recent Bronze launch, the timely nature of viral heartwarming dinosaur stories, and in an effort to showcase some of the Shop Owners we’re so grateful for, I give you…

Interview with David Krentz: “I still pinch myself that someone pays me to make dinosaurs.”

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Make Eggs fun with these 3D Prints

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Seriously who doesn’t love eggs? Lay them, eat them, or decorate them; Eggs are an essential part of our everyday lives. Chances are that you have eggs sitting around in your refrigerator. Until you’re ready to use them you might as well rest them on some of these awesome 3D printed egg sculptures and apparatuses. 

Eggbot by mygadgetlife 

A boring egg transforms into a robot with this ceramic food safe sculpture. 

Bird Nest Eggcup by Gijs

Hold your egg with this simple eggcup design made from flexible plastic material. 

Egg House by aton

You will love the design and detail of this apparatus and it makes a great case for eggs. 

Eierbecher by Froland

Eierbecher means egg cup in German. This one is wrapping the egg in a very sturdy Voroni structure.

Bird Nest Egg Holder by mkermol

This small and sturdy nest designed egg holder is a fancy way for holding the egg before consumption. 

Egg holders are pretty popular on Shapeways. If you’re a egg lover or enjoy spending time in the kitchen do yourself a favor and get one of these. Which came first the chicken or the egg? HUMPTY-DUMPTY #MindBlown 


 

Rocket Cups Launch into Stores

Last July, we saw Isohedral’s Rocket Espresso Cup go viral. We were excited about the espresso cups, and clearly we weren’t the only ones! The espresso cups also caught the attention of Fred, of Fred and Friends, and now, a year later, a mass produced version the cups will be hitting shelves worldwide. We are very happy that Shapeways was able to play a part in the process, and we asked Craig a few questions about his journey from idea to mass market product.

Check out the interview below!

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3D Print Sculptures of Your Flight Routes

Take your vacation memories to the next level with loci, a 3D Printed sculpture of your flights.

loci

With loci, users are able to highlight important flights to them, such as their
honeymoon or a memorable summer adventure, through a custom software.
The software also connects to Tripit or Foursquare data to help make the
tracking process a bit easier. 

loci

Each loci comes with a special card with a map featuring all the airports flown to in order to help the user visualize his or her travels. The card also displays a chosen title, total distance traveled, number of airports visited and the number of flights taken.

loci

The product is currently a prototype made by Netherlands based interaction and sound designer Andrew Spitz, who also co-created a soon-to-be-released iPhone app called Flying. A large part of the app is the ability to track one’s flights, so he hopes to eventually include loci directly in the app. 

loci

Check out the video below for more information!


 

3D Printed Product of the Day: Darwin’s Cladogram Tree

Whether you’re fascinated by evolution theories or not, check out this amazing replication of Charles Darwin’s first ever sketch of a tree of life by joabaldwin.

Darwin's 3D Printed Cladogram Tree

The detailed replication pays homage to Darwin’s original sketch found in his private notebook, “Notebook B on the transmutation of species,” 1837-1838.

Darwin's 3D Printed Cladogram Tree

The finches perched upon the end of each branch represent the
A, B, C and D marks on the original drawing. Each is slightly
different; the more apart the finches are from each other in the
evolutionary tree, the more distinct are the differences between
them.

Darwin's 3D Printed Cladogram Tree

From a side view, the shape of the printed tree mirrors Darwin’s sketch exactly.

Darwin's 3D Printed Cladogram Tree

This fantastic piece also comes in the form of a necklace.

Darwin's 3D Printed Cladogram Tree Necklace

As taken from Darwin’s notebook itself, “I think … Case must be that one
generation then should be as many living as now. To do this and to have
many species in same genus (as is) requires extinction. Thus between A
& B immense gap of relation. C & B the finest gradation, B &
D rather greater distinction. Thus genera would be formed.—bearing
relation.”


 

Do You Want To Be the Person to Bring New Materials to Shapeways? We Are Hiring

We are looking for a someone to help us to find and introduce new 3D printing materials and processes to Shapeways.

Lunch and learn in the NYC factory.

The Materials group at Shapeways is responsible for pushing the boundaries of what people can create. A great material can open up new product categories, drive huge growth for the company, and expand people’s minds as to what’s possible with 3D Printing.

As Product Manager focussing on 3D Printing materials you will work closely with Supply Chain
and internal Production to predict demand, launch new materials, improve
existing materials, and monitor the success of our materials portfolio.

If this sounds like the perfect role for you, take a look at the responsibilities and requirements

Come and join the Shapeways team.


 

Introducing Premium Silver 3D Printing to Shapeways

We have just raised the bar for Silver 3D printing at Shapeways with the introduction of Premium Silver.

Premium Silver is our 3D printed Sterling Silver taken to the next level with an incredibly smooth, glossy surface to give your designs a truly professional finish. We will be offering Premium Silver for a six week trial until Tuesday May the 14th, during which we will assess the pricing and design rules. If you love this new finish as much as we already do, we will keep it as a permanent material option on Shapeways.

3D Printed Premium Silver Detail

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Product of the Day: The Blazzler

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As exciting as it is to work in the future here at Shapeways, who doesn’t love reminiscing about the novelties of the past? Today, let’s forget about the world of iPods and remember stereos and compact disks.

Shapeways 3D printed stereo

Piece together your music collection with lorenzo_polo’s Blazzler. The 3D printed puzzle, shaped like a retro pocket stereo, perfectly blends the past with the future by providing an innovative holder for all those old CDs you still have lying around.
Shapeways 3D printed stereo
But don’t feel restricted – the puzzle can be used in a variety of different ways. Anyone down for a game of musical Jenga?

Check out this cute stop motion video to get a better idea of the creative possibilities.