Our mission at Shapeways
has always been to enable anyone to make anything they want. First, we
built a system to allow Makers to design and purchase models for
themselves. Then we created Shapeways Shops to enable anyone to launch a
business and sell their products worldwide. Now, we want to make it
easier for Makers to gain access to the newest 3D printing materials on the market and test them with us. Think about it like one big, global 3D Printing R&D team.
excited to announce the launch of our first 'Maker Only' material: a
flexible, rubbery plastic called Elasto Plastic! The finish, color, and
properties are not yet ready for sale to a wider audience, but it's a perfect
material for any Maker out there who can work with a textured surface and
maybe a little extra powder arriving with their model.
The new, improved Elasto
Plastic is a great option for Makers as it is an incredibly durable
material with a lot of really interesting properties such as high impact
resistance, flexibility and compression (depending on the geometry), along with a high level of static friction because of the surface
texture. Though not strictly water-tight, it can hold liquids, but it does
not like high temperatures or fire. It is a valuable addition to our 3D Printing material options here on Shapeways that we are sure you will
find incredibly useful and fun.
Fridays at 5 is our regular Google hangout where you get to ask Shapeways Engineers your questions about 3D Printing with Shapeways. Last week we talked about the upcoming launch of our new elasto material, how we 3D print our high detail acrylic and we set fire to a couple of Nylon and Full Color 3D prints to prove they are not suitable to put into a kiln.
Join us again this Friday to ask your questions or enter them in the comments of the blog so we can be sure to address them first. We are beginning to record these sessions so that we have an archive of answers to your 3D printing questions, thanks to Todd Blatt for the screen capture and 'interesting' questions.
Do you have questions about Shapeways 3D printing materials and processes? Want to know how to optimize your design to ensure it gets 3D printed first time? Do you need advice on what software might be best to best make your ideas for real. Join us for a Google Hangout with Shapeways 3D printing engineers this Friday at 5pm NYC time and we will answer as many of your 3D printing questions as possible.
If you have a specific question ready to go, please ask in the comment section of the blog and we will try to address those questions first.
Fridays at 5 in the Factory (NYC time) is a Google Hangout to give you an opportunity to ask the Shapeways 3D printing engineers your questions about Shapeways materials, processes and how to design for success. We had an impromptu hangout last Friday that included a brief introduction to some of the Shapeways team along with a shaky, noisy virtual tour of the factory.
We've had some great feedback to the Ask an Engineer videos, and while we assure you we ARE getting a microphone and will find a quieter space to film than the factory, Vladim Shapiro took the opportunity to scientifically test our coke can strength test.
The models we used in the Strength and Structure video are available for free download so he tried structural analysis on them using free simulation software. Scan&Solve is a Rhino plugin that can do structural analysis on any b-rep or meshed solid model directly without any preprocessing.
Here's his video, remember to watch with CAPTIONS ON to follow along.
Pretty neat right? You can try it yourself for free with an evaluation version by going to Scan&Solve. Thanks Vadim!
If you have any 3D printing questions you would like answered by our 3D printing engineer Matthew Hagan please email firstname.lastname@example.org
In the second episode of Shapeways Ask an Engineer, we demonstrate how slight modifications to your models can double their strength.
With the help of good old Diet Coke, we see how many cans we can stack on two different cube structures before they break. The first is a basic cube composed of squares, while the second is a little more complicated and composed of triangles. Our test reveals that the addition of a few more lines allows a structure to withstand two Diet Coke cans before snapping, while the basic cube snaps almost immediately after a can is placed on top of it. The difference in price between the two models is only fifteen cents -- definitely worth the extra money!
What would you like us to break next time? If you have any 3D printing questions you would like answered by our
3D printing engineer Matthew Hagan please email