For the past few months we have been using Instagram to share images of the Shapeways team as we build out our factory in New York, play with new 3D printing processes, show off your designs at events around the world and give a glimpse behind the scenes at Shapeways.
If you are already using Instagram follow us @shapeways for a visual feed of our 3D printed world. When you post images of your 3D prints on Instagram be sure to mention us @shapeways or hashtag #shapeways so we can see your 3D prints in the wild. It is always inspiring for us to see your designs in context, especially if you are experimenting with any post processing of your 3D prints.
3D printing pioneer Joshua Harker gives a presentation at TEDx Bringhampton University of how his career moved from artist to sculptor to engineer and back to artist again via 3D modeling to 3D print. Joshua's Crania Anatomica Filigre has become one of the most recognizable '3D printed products' thanks to his hugely successful Kickstarter campaign that relaunched his career as an artist.
The fully articulated gown based on the Fibonacci sequence was designed by Michael Schmidt and 3D modeled by architect Francis Bitonti to be 3D printed in Nylon by Shapeways. The gown was assembled from 17 pieces, dyed black, lacquered and adorned with over 13,000 Swarovski crystals to create a sensual flowing form.
Using a 3D Printed Hang Glider Bracket and The X Bracket Universal Smartphone Holder Tom Rust shot a HD video of a flight over Fort Funston, San Francisco CA. With a view of the North Pacific coastline including Daly City, Northern Peninsula, San Francisco out to Point Reyes and as far east as Mount Diablo, Sutro Tower and Golden Gate Bridge as well as peaks of downtown San Fransisco.
While shoe manufacturers have been using 3D printing to prototype shoes for years, this is the first shoe by a major manufacturer that plans to use 3D printing for the final product. The Nike Vapor Laser Talon is 3D printed using selective laser sintering to produce an ultra lightweight football shoe weighing only 159 grams (5.6oz) including cleats. Nike designed the cleats specifically to help athletes quickly accelerate from standstill.
As mentioned in the previous post where we looked at the cost of injection molding vs 3D printing, the value of the 3D printed part is in the complexity, not just the material cost. Nike are using this 'free' complexity to design the football cleats for maximum performance without being constrained by issues of manufacturability.
“Nike’s new 3D printed plate is contoured to allow football athletes to maintain their drive position longer and more efficiently, helping them accelerate faster through the critical first 10 yards of the 40... Translated to the game of football, mastering the Zero Step can mean the difference between a defensive lineman sacking the quarterback or getting blocked... SLS technology has revolutionized the way we design cleat plates – even beyond football – and gives Nike the ability to create solutions that were not possible within the constraints of traditional manufacturing processes”
Shane Kohatsu, Director of Nike Footwear Innovation.
There are so many sporting applications where a complex, customized product can be 3D printed in Nylon which is incredibly lightweight yet strong enough to withstand great stress if designed properly. What other sports do you know of that are ready for 3D printed components?
Using an aerosol jet technology, Optomec are able to 3D print electronics onto complex 3D printed structures with conductive nano particles. The potential to add 3D printed conductive components to your designs will be a massive step forward in 3D printing when you can add another level of complexity to the products you design.
It will be interesting to see how 3D CAD software will approach this technology, because without the proliferation of software to design these electronic components, the adoption of the technology will be relatively limited. Similar to the ability to 3D print mulit-materials with the Objet Connex machines, it is the software and file handling that is still retarding the adoption of the process at Shapeways.
The demand for novel consumer and military electronic devices that pack more functionality into less space is driving the need for advanced manufacturing methods that tightly integrate electronic circuitry with physical packaging. 3D Printed UAV Wing The unique ability to print electronics directly onto 3D surfaces, for example on a cell phone case or an aircraft wing, makes Aerosol Jet an ideal solution for reducing device size and weight. Common electronic materials including conductor, dielectric, resistor, and semiconductor inks can be processed by the Aerosol Jet system to print conformal sensors, antennae, shielding and other active and passive components. Printing these electronic components directly on or inside the physical device eliminates the need for separate printed circuit boards, cabling and wiring thereby reducing weight and size while also simplifying the assembly process. Device performance can also be improved by eliminating protruding components such as antenna thereby reducing aerodynamic drag.
When you can 3D print electronics, what will you design? How much is the ability worth to you? Do you think this will be another game changer?
When the President of the United States mentions a technology such as 3D printing in the State of the Union address, you know his staff have undertaken substantial research from every possible angle, that his aides have spoken to engineers, economists and experts in manufacturing to understand the revolutionary potential. When Obama mentions a "network of additive manufacturing hubs," he is at the same time validating the Shapeways business model that consists of a network of manufacturing hubs, in both the USA and Europe, a network that brings manufacturing closer to the people that buy the products. Creating products and jobs locally.
When Obama says 3D printing will revolutionize manufacturing, he is not only speaking of the technologies we have at hand today, the technologies that allow Shapeways users to create their designs in Nylon or Stainless Steel to sell to people around the world, but also he is speaking of the technologies that will soon evolve. When you will be able to 3D print plastic and steel composites in a single 3D print, when you will be able to 3D print electronics into your products, when you will be able to make things that are beyond the realm of the imagination right now.
Think back to five years ago, when the ability to 3D print your ideas was extremely expensive and the option to buy and sell 3D printed products simply did not exist. Now for us at Shapeways it is the new normal. Obama and his advisors obviously think that 3D printed products will soon be the new normal for the rest of the world, really soon.
We have seen hundreds of interesting 3D printed accessories for the iPhone from cases and clips to mounts and amplifiers. Lab02 have designed a really sweet rande of lightclips for the iPhone.
The Lightclip was designed specifically for 3D printing
in White Strong and Flexible (Nylon). This material is very strong (obviously),
affordable and an excellent light diffuser. The Lightclip
emits a beautiful ambient light, which is evenly distributed and very
easy on the eyes. Use it as a nightlight, at a camping trip or when in
need of a superhero!
This is an extremely helpful paper for those creating works that lie between sculptural and functional works and copyright does not cover functional objects but can in some cases cover aesthetic aspects of the functional objects. What we like to call, 'the grey area'. With this distinction the paper also clarifies a really important point which has been confusing for many people, a Creative Commons license cannot be used to legally protect a functional object. We have seen many people share their functional 3D files with a Creative Commons license in a number of places online, although this is not legally binding, it does offer a social construct that should be respected, a way to communicate the way in which you would like to share, and a possible framework for the future.
Take the time to read the paper, it is an incredibly useful resource for all of us navigating through unchartered waters.
The paper is shared under a Creative Commons license, of course... Great work by Michael Weinberg and his team.
Jessica of Nervous System has been busy experimenting with full color 3D printing. It's a bold new move for the design duo, who usually design in nylon and metals. Each print is 4 to 6 inches, the meshes are generated by Processing and 3D-printed by Shapeways. She must have been inspired by her coral-filled fish tank because these gorgeous "Colony" prints remind me of diving in the Caribbean. More eye candy on her Flickr set!
Jrey's wife is from the Bahamas so he designed a sea shell ring and set of earrings to remind her of home and had them 3D printed in Sterling Silver by Shapeways. The jewelry looks beautiful and she absolutely loved them. Now this is the only jewelry of it's kind in the entire world, made especially for one woman designed for her alone by her husband. This is the kind of gift that will be passed on for generations, with the grandmother telling the granddaughter the story of it's creation, and the depth of meaning that far exceeds any item bought off of the shelf.
Another family 3D printing project to hit Shapeways is the Controller Pendant by stop4stuff. Not only is it a story of a father and son, working together on a creative project, but also a story entrepreneurial spirit. If the design sells, the boy get's his pocket money without doing any additional work, but most importantly, the boy get's his pocket money without it coming out of his father's pocket.... Win, win.
Some time last year (2012) my 13 year old son, Nath, was trying to think up ways to make a bit of extra pocket money. Knowing Nath's artistic flair, I suggested a design of something he could have 3D printed. Nath drew up the design on paper, I did the 3D model work and between us we came up with the style of the pendant based on an Xbox games console controller.
Ordered on the 15th December, the pendant arrived on the 2nd January, in plenty of time for his birthday next week.
This is Nath's first design and any markups from this model all go to Nath.
So, if you want an awesome pendant for yourself or your gamer friend, go for the Controller Pendant and support teenage entrepreneurship. Happy Birthday Nath...
Shapeways community member and design for 3D printing specialist Cunicode has just launched Crayon Creatures, a simple way to take your child's drawing to 3D print thanks to Shapeways 3D printing, because sticking your child's drawing to the fridge is so 2011.
With Crayon Creatures all you need to do is scan or photograph your child's drawing and upload it to be converted into a 3D form, 3D printed and sent to your door. Each drawing is 3d modeled based exactly on the drawing, not wrapped around a default form so every 3D printed figure is as unique as your child's drawing.
Back in May 2012, we featured designer PsychoBob's incredible project to create Atlas from Portal 2. He detailed the steps on his blog, and now, he has completed the project with a 3D printed base and circuitry to bring Atlas to life!
Read all about it on his blog and check out this video detailing the process