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.
Instagram has become a really fun way for us to share behind the photographs behind the scenes at Shapeways. It gives us an easy way to give you a peek at the people and the factory of 3D printers that make your designs real, along with the events we attend and a little 3D printing inspiration. Instagram also gives us an opportunity to see your 3D prints in the wild if you tag them with #shapeways or mention us @shapeways but now there is another way to help us to find your 3D prints for real.
Instagram has just rolled out a 'Photos of You' feature that enables you to tag a person in much the same way you can on Facebook, this means you can tag your Shapeways 3D prints on your photographs as another way for us to see the printed parts, especially if it is part of a complex product. We will in turn try and tag you and your products whenever we share them on our Shapeways Instagram, if you see one of your designs on our photos, be sure to let us know with a comment and we will tag you too.
Sometimes we see some of our really popular products on Shapeways enter the world using other manufacturing processes. On some occasions, due to licensing reasons a product may no longer be available on Shapeways if it is being produced by another manufacturer, and sometimes it remains available simultaneously as a 3D print and a mass produced item when the designer retains all ownership of IP. We are always incredibly proud to help a designer take their product to market no matter which way they go, a little sad if they leave Shapeways, like sending a child off to college, but happy for the designer's success.
The latest product looking to go down the mass production path is a recent favorite on Shapeways, the MagSafe Adapter Key Ring by jbobrow now hitting Kickstarter as the Keybit. Jonathan's Kickstarter campaign pays tribute to the speed and ease of 3D printing and taking a product to market with Shapeways in his video and in his rewards which includes a Shapeways 3D printed version at reward levels over $30. Jonathan also offers a one on one google hangout to help a backer over $200 take their own product to market using 3D printing.
Check out the video and support Jonathan on Kickstarter.
Today we have launched the first stage of the Shapeways Educational Program with an awesome 10% discount on 3D printing for all students and educators with a Shapeways account registered with an .edu email address.
This is our first step at helping students and educators have better access to high quality 3D printing through Shapeways. We will be rolling out more features as part of the Shapeways Education Program so that everyone from elementary to post graduate students can use 3D printing to help them learn, understand and communicate their ideas whether they be technical, artistic or conceptual.
3D Printing isn't just about photorealistic bulldogs, beautiful jewelry and iPhone cases, it is also a way to design, prototype and produce more complex products by integrating other components. Check out this working stepper motor constructed around a Shapeways 3D printed frame along with some nails, magnet wire, neodymium magnets and a digispark microcontroller.
If a simple motor can be constructed, what is the next step? (pun intended)
Meet David Basulto, an iPad enthusiast who just realeased the iOgrapher, a 3D printed accessory that transforms your iPad mini into a filmmaking piece of equipment.
The idea for the iOgrapher came about after Basulto realized the lack of products available to help carry out different video projects on the iPad mini. There was no easy way to attach the iPad to a tripod, to use different lenses, or to add additional lighting and audio equipment.
So, he created an accessory that addresses all of these needs. The iOgrapher has a 37mm lens mount to attach wide angle, macro, and
fisheye lenses, handles on both sides for steady camera shots, and cold shoes to mount external microphones
and lighting on top. It can also be attached to a tripod.
After sketching the iOgrapher model on his iPad mini, Basulto and a mechanical engineer perfected it before sending the design to Shapeways for printing. He plans to create the product for all iOs devices in the future.
Making great use of the super light yet strong 3D printed Nylon on Shapeways they have constructed cages that can safely carry a smartphone up into the sky to record with either video or photos. There are already a whole range of 3D printed GoPro camera mounts on Shapeways for a wide range of uses but this is one of the first mounts we have seen designed to take the smart phone to the skies. Each of the kits are available in hobbiestoomany's Shapeways shop with simple instructions in the video below how to assemble the cage and send your phone into the sky in a playful mash-up of Benjamin Franklin's kite experiments and a modern surveillance drone.
Check out the video of the test, amazing images and how to assemble then the second video whale watching with a kite...
UPDATE: It seems like our experiment worked for one day only, Happy April Fools Day.
While looking for a way to recycle our excess Nylon powder we found a way for anyone to 3D print at home with an iPhone and a magnifying glass.
At Shapeways we recycle most of the Nylon powder from our industrial 3D printing process but sometimes the powder does not meet the standard required for use in our 3D printers. We were looking at the testing process when we made a really exciting discovery, with a tightly focused beam of light you can solidify the Nylon powder into a solid.
We did some experiments and discovered a way that anyone can 3D print at home using an iPhone and a magnifying glass with our Nylon powder. Take a look at the simple video below and email firstname.lastname@example.org and we can send you (for the cost of shipping) some of our excess Nylon for you to try at home.
Check out this amazing video of a Gear Ring 3D printed in Sterling Silver by Shapeways. The design was 3D modeled in Autodesk 3D Studio Max uploaded to Shapeways to be 3D printed in Sterling Silver in multiple parts then blackened with 'liquid smoke' and assembled in place to make the mechanism work.
You cannot currently 3D print moving parts in metals such as Stainless Steel and Sterling Silver but you can make articulated mechanisms in both Acrylic and Nylon. Take a look at each of the material pages for specifications but you can usually heave moving parts in Acrylic (depending on the geometry) with a 0.4mm gap between parts and in Nylon (depending on the geometry) you can have moving parts with a 0.6mm gap. Any parts that are closer or touching will be fused together into a solid form.
When a small part for Shapeways community member Mitagaki's Panasonic Bread maker broke he looked everywhere for a replacement part. The manufacturer no longer supported the model so what was a $5 replacement part became unobtainable and the $200 appliance was rendered worthless.
Rather than throwing the entire appliance away, Mitagaki 3D modeled a copy of the broken ceramic part and then 3D printed it in ceramics with Shapeways.
We have quite a great collection of 3D printed puzzle uploads from our community, with one of the latest being the intriguing Centrifugal Puzzle Box by Maundy.
The puzzle box can store any object up to 39x39x13mm. Though it seems pretty straightforward, the method of opening the box requires some unique decoding.
Maundy has also created a special embed code with a clue on how to solve the puzzle for those who are having some difficulty. The clue can be purchased separately and requires a smart device to scan the QR code.
Or, for those who want to skip the challenge, check out the video below to see how to solve the puzzle. Warning: Spoiler alert!
How do you plan to stump the community with your next 3D printed creation?
Imagine your Easter Egg as an object floating in the Real World. Your iPhone becomes a Movable Window that allows you to see and paint all sides of your Egg from every possible point of view. STAND UP, hold up your iPhone, and spin around your Egg (seriously!) to see and paint all different sides! Done painting the front of the Egg? TURN ALL THE WAY AROUND the Egg while holding up your iPhone, and you can paint the back! Need to paint the top? Make your iPhone flat, look down at the Egg below you, and you can. Don't forget to paint the bottom! Turn your iPhone up, so you're facing the ceiling, and you can paint under the Egg! When you've finished creating your Egg, you have the option of ordering a "3D printed" figurine of your creation from inside the app! They make great keepsakes or can be hidden in Easter Egg hunts!
With Easter fast approaching on March 31st 2013 you will need to get your orders in VERY soon to ensure you get your 3D printed easter egg in time for Easter. Download the app now from the App Store and start decorating now.