Category Archives: Gadgets

Packing Light with Multifunction Gadgets

Summer vacation time is upon us and I bet you’re trying to narrow down what to bring with you on that much needed getaway. What a luxurious problem to have! Luckily we’ve found some space minimizing products for you to bring along so you can fit that 4th summer beach read book in your suitcase.

Ultimate Minimalistic Case with bottle opener

Ultimate Minimalistic Case with bottle opener
by Mstyle183
Comfortably holds foreign money, opens drinks and protects you phone and camera all in one.

Belt Clip with Bottle Opener

Belt Clip with Bottle Opener
by MichaelMueller
Having a new routine while traveling means having tools to keep from losing your stuff are super useful. Give this multifunction belt clip a whirl and stay organized while on the go.

Rucksack 'D' Clip

Rucksack ‘D’ Clip
by Lucyrplant
This rucksack D ring is the perfect space saver for strapping that last over sized souvenir to your already-over-stuffed pack.

Foosball iPhone 5 Case

Foosball Iphone 5 Case
by athomitron
A great to to keep track of your phone while having a pickup game with your seat mate in car or train.

We’ve got more ways to multitask and pack light:

Click For More Double Duty Travel Goods

4 Ways To Capture The Ultimate Road Trip

The weather’s great and you’ve officially started your annual summer vacation. But instead of bumming around your neighborhood for two weeks and “taking it easy”,  you’ve rented a car and decided to drive out to the opposite coast (whether it be the “BEST” cost or the “BEAST” coast). You’ve never driven cross country before and you want to make sure you capture every part of the adventure.  We’ve complied a few ways to make this possible.

Since you’ll be driving, you’ll want a way to mount your GoPro(s) so you get a great view of those stunning flatlands in Kansas.  This 360 GoPro Mount by go360hero can be mounted anywhere to capture that all-around you feel.

Go360 go3602

And if you’re running the also highly rated Xiaomi Yi as your action cam of choice, here’s a great solution to get your 360 fill by clusteruk

xiaomi

Maybe you’re looking to pull focus on your fancy DSLR. Wileydavis created a great way to pull focus with this adapter that fits right onto your Canon 50mm lens.

Nifty

There’s also the possibility that you have the ultimate aerial photography device: a drone. If you’re running a (slightly) older DJI Phantom, it’s easy to attach one of those six GoPro’s you’re running to the bottom of a quadcopter. Einaros’ simple vibration-damping mount will let you capture sweeping aerials.

GoProMt

And if you have a Phantom 3, Fusion Imaging has a great way to keep that high-def camera from getting damaged when landing on the jagged Rocky Mountains.

GImbal

 

Want even more? We’ve got more ways to document that cross country escapade linked below:

Click For More Road Trip Fun

Your Summer BBQ Checklist

We know, it can be hard to remember everything you need to kick off the summer with the perfect BBQ. Luckily the Shapeways Marketplace has some great day-to-night picks ready so that all you need to do is grab your Grillmaster and pals.

1: Bottle opener. There’s no better time to have a beer than at a summer barbecue. If you want to open beer bottles without breaking those pearly whites, (or  using other beer bottles) this is the way to go. By JoshShand

Beer

2:  Acoustic speakers. Nothing makes a good BBQ great like some freshly amplified summertime tunes. The Wave iPhone amplifier by Sonido uses Fibonacci’s golden ratio to push the bass, treble and everything in between out by replacing batteries with math.

Tunes

3: Delicious Hot Dog earrings. But really, what’s a BBQ without some good old fashioned randomized meat? Never leave your grill master wondering “Hot Dog or Hamburger” again. By Mayaland

hotdog

Get Your Grill On

Designer Spotlight: Leon Oudehand

This week we’re speaking with Leon Oudehand from the Netherlands, who did a great job developing a simple yet useful life hack!

Leon Oudehand

Tell us a little bit about yourself: Who are you? Where are you located?
Hi, I’m Leon and I’m a product and packaging developer from the Netherlands. I work as packaging designer for a big FMCG company, but alongside that I love to design and create products that make life just a little easier, both for myself and for others.

What’s the story behind your designs? What inspires you?
I guess this is one of those typical “I had a need and couldn’t find the right product so decided to do it myself” stories where a product originates from a pure personal need. When the explosion of wallet projects on Kickstarter started a couple of years ago, I too got a little addicted to the minimal wallet trend.

Cavity Card

Typically, minimal wallets are great for cards and bills. However, few offer a “good” solution for carrying coins (or other small items). I tried going “cashless” or at least “coinless” for a while, but found that there’s still quite a few places that don’t accept cards, or don’t accept cards for small amounts. Time after time I ended up with loose coins in my pocket. After finding over 10 euros worth of coins in the washing machine, and another stash spread around the car, I decided I had to find a solution.

That’s when I came up with Cavity Card. A simple and light frame that can be mounted onto any card and creates just a little space for a few coins, a key or an SD card while keeping my wallet slim. At first, I just printed one for myself. But after a number of questions from friends and colleagues, I decided to open up a shop.

Wallets with cavity card

What brought you to 3D printing with Shapeways?
I learned about 3D printing as a tool for rapid prototyping in my job as a packaging designer. It’s been a great tool for very quickly getting something physical in your hands, which is great for very early stage tests and design evaluation.

Having studied in Eindhoven, Shapeways was the logical choice for me. A while ago I did a bit of a benchmark comparing it with a couple of other 3D printing services but found Shapeways still has the best balance between cost, range of materials and service.

How did you learn how to design in 3D?
I’m schooled as an industrial designer. So I learned 3D modeling at university. I’ve experimented with a couple of CAD solutions, but find SolidWorks to be the best fit for me.

How do you promote your work?
For a very niche product like Cavity Card, which is only relevant to people owning a minimal wallet, it’s difficult to reach the right people. I currently mainly use Instagram and Facebook to try to build a following. I’ve also been experimenting a bit with Facebook ads (although not too successfully yet).

Next to my Shapeways store, I also run an independent website where I sell Cavity Cards with self-adhesive strips and a backing card included packed in a nice minimal pack.


If you weren’t limited by current technologies, what would you want to make using 3D printing?
I’ve got plenty of ideas in my head that I’d like to work out and start making some day. I’ve got a couple of wallet concepts for which the limitations in size and accuracy currently limit me from producing it through 3D printing. I’d love to start printing more complex multipart products that offer more functionality. Multi-material parts (printed in one go) would also open up so many opportunities.

Who are your favorite designers or artists? Who in the Shapeways community has served as an inspiration to you?
In terms of design, I’m a fan of classic modernist designers like Mies van der Rohe or Eames. My favorite Shapeways designer is probably Remi van Oers, because of his very simple and minimal but super useful designs.

Anything else you’d like to share with us?
Just that it’s absolutely fantastic how simple and easy it is to go from a one-off print for personal use to selling them commercially. And a big thanks to you guys for providing the services!

How To Add Glam To Your FitBit Flex

Some say the FitBit Flex is the ultimate wearable fitness tracker. Its pricepoint, durability and battery life put it ahead of the pack, all while touting the now infamous FitBit monicker.

But sometimes you want to wear something a bit more upscale than a not-so-flashy rubber-and-plastic(ish) fitness tracker. Bytten makes that possible, completely transforming your FitBit without losing a step. They come in multiple colors, materials and styles; and some are even customizable! Whether you want something edgy… Elegant… Simple… Or completely custom… It’s all here. Check out Bytten’s shop, and tell us how you spice up your FitBit.

The Crazy Build-it-Yourself Watch Your Dad Will Love to Make

If your dad is anything like mine, he likes to work with his hands. This year, rather than getting him a run-of-the-mill store-bought product, I thought I’d order something cool he can put together himself.

Shop owner Danowall has designed this faceplate for the stylish wordwatch. The wordwatch is a DIY project where you can combine electrical components from Adufruit with Shapeways 3D printed materials to make this super creative accessory. The 3D printed metal faceplate is attached to a matrix of LED lights on a circuit board, then to the wristband. Instructions for assembling and programing the watch can be found here.

wordwatch

 

Danowall offers the faceplate as an STL file you can print or laser engrave, but I think you’ll agree that the cast metals available at Shapeways really bring out the best in the design. Not only is it the perfect watch for your dad to wear to that next big meeting, but people will be blown away when your dad tells them he built it himself.

 

How have you customized your watch? Show us with by leaving a comment below!

Transform Your FitBit Into A Statement Piece With…

You love your FitBit. It helps to quantify how far you’ve walked, how many stairs you’ve climbed, and if you’ve done just enough physical activity to warrant that extra serving of chicken on your burrito. But what you may not love about it is its look. It’s usually black, clunky and definitely doesn’t match every outfit when it’s on your wrist.

This metal “armor” helps to change that. It’s sleek, shiny and can actually take the form of a pretty pendant, which your Flex slips right into.

But there’s more way than one to fab up your Flex. This bracelet accessory keeps your tracker on your wrist, and is customizable to add your name, or more!

Now you’re all set to keep tracking yourself, while looking great. Want even more? Here’s more wearable tech that doesn’t look like… tech!

Responsibility Meets Design in New 3D Printed Wristwatch : An Interview with Frederic Pieck

As technology develops, so too do consumers’ tastes and desires. It used to be that consumers only needed something to look good to prove its value. Today, aesthetics are only part of the equation. The sources of materials, the manufacturing process and the environmental footprint are now all factors in the value of luxury products. We live in an age of intelligent products and a new generation of designers are leading the charge.

Frederic Pieck is one of them, a young industrial designer who creates sharp, thoughtful lifestyle designs using 3D printing. Driven by a sense of responsibility towards sustainable design, Pieck has adopted 3D printing due to its range of materials, customizability and on-demand manufacturing.

 

 

Studio Pieck’s newest concept, commissioned by the 88′er.club; the Monicker, is a fully customizable wristwatch built from modular 3D printed parts manufactured here at Shapeways. We interviewed Pieck to learn more about his design approach.

What got you into design? How did you start creating when you were younger?

It started really early. I think LEGO was the ideal basis for me to start creating stuff. After high school I went to college to study interior architecture. After the first year I realized that smaller objects got my attention more than the whole interior.

So first I started more 2D-based like laser cutting wood. After that I started to experiment with new materials and my first leather wallet collection was born. I called it “Burissa” which translates as money keeper. It was a collection made using only laser cutting and folding techniques; no other materials were added.

 

How did you find 3D printing and Shapeways?

After that adventure I wanted something different and more complicated. Because I was already a watch addict, I started thinking about creating a watch myself.

First problem: creating a watch with a small budget is really hard if you want to do some prototyping and start from scratch! A friend of mine told me about 3D printing and that’s the point where everything started. I managed to learn 3D software–I was highly motivated to finish the watch–and discovered Shapeways while searching the web. The perfect match!

I wanted a watch that was as clean as possible, minimal and slick! After the eighth prototype, the first Monicker was born: http://studiopieck.com/post/115659296890/prototype-monicker-watch-design-3d-printing

 

Describe your iterative process. How did you arrive at the current design?

I wanted more, more qualitatively, and to add some extra materials. The watch needed to be modular, and parts needed to be replaceable. For me it’s important that the customer can interact with it and create their own personal Monicker! This is where Shapeways is the perfect partner! We can launch this watch with a small budget because of the demand driven approach. Customers are free to use the colors and materials they want to make it unique and personal!

The examples you’ve shared do a wonderful job of using design to tell a story. How do you approach that?

For me, designing a new product always starts by telling a story. These day I think it’s the most important ingredient in launching a new product. You have to grab people’s attention not only by the design, but also about the story behind it; the purpose to create something new. Innovation is needed, but not only innovation–eco-friendly production and innovation.
This part is not always easy and this is an aspect of why I use shapeways. For me, open and transparent communication about how Monicker is made and who’s the manufacturer is really important. The product is clean and minimal and that needs a clean and fair production. So a blog post on the Shapeways website is a great start to tell the whole story! From design to production to the end user.

What is this insane new mecha-like gamepad contraption?

Gamers have long debated the superior performance of the keyboard/mouse found on a PC versus the more “casual” gamepad of consoles for competitive gaming purposes. The use of WASD keyboard configuration and a mouse has long been victor, and thus shaped the current focus of competitive First Person Shooters (FPS) and Multiplayer Online Battle Arenas (MOBAs) on the PC, while casual or arcade based games typically go to gamepads.

 

One Shapeways designer is working to close the technology gap. Looking like a futuristic contraption straight out of a Neill Blomkamp film like Elysium, the Immortal Mechanical Gamepad Paddles is a cool solution to turn a gamepad from casual to hardcore.

immortal-3D

What’s been holding back gamepads is that you can only use your thumbs for movement and your index finger for the rest of your buttons. The designer Solodus solves this by 3D printing mechanical triggers you can use to push the buttons on the tops of the controller. He explains via a forum thread:

“The main problem with first-party gamepads is the difficulty to perform two actions at the same time. For example, you can’t activate a bomb, and defend yourself at the same time. Your thumb is busy pressing the activation button, and you can’t aim. (You could use the claw technique, which is using your index finger to press the face buttons, but this is very uncomfortable for most, and could result in injuries).

With this accessory, you will never have to take your thumbs off the joysticks, allowing you to perform more than one action at the same time, and comfortably.

Another added benefit of this accessory, is the reduced reaction time. Because, the distance from your fingers to the paddles is less than the distance of your thumbs to the buttons, it takes less time to press a button. This is great for First Person Shooter games, where reaction time is critical. “

Check out the video below to see the results for yourself. This looks like the perfect accessory to gain a little bit of an edge in Trials of Osiris and other highly competitive FPS’. You can check out Solodus’ shop and follow them here.


How a Simple Mod Made an Entire Community Happy

Every few years automakers change up the entire design of an automobile. Frame, sheetmetal bodywork, engine, transmission and more to help give a vehicle a refresh and push buyers to want the newest model.

With the redesign of their Cooper line, Mini changed a lot about the third generation model. It was elongated, given a new engine and transmission, along with smaller details like this alien-like spaceship keyfob design.

MINI-Cooper-S-D-F56-Details-Schluessel-Key

User jwhdevries wasn’t fond of this odd component and after a little research and seeing other Mini drivers fix the issue with Sugru moldable rubber or electrical tape, decided there was a better way to fix the issue at hand. The fob was unnecessarily large, and odd-shaped, and they found that the extra plastic was entirely unnecessary. With his 3D design knowledge, he designed this product in Strong & Flexible Polished plastic.

MiniFob

After posting it on North America Motoring, a Mini- focused forum community with a massive positive response, it was reviewed on Motoring Fun, further pushing it up the ranks.

Through a bit of frustration, a lot of motivation and some serious creation, this product has been one of our top sellers in April; starting as a shared issue within a tight-knight community..

Have you created an amazing lifehack that helps fix a simple issue? We want to hear about it! Tell us about it in the comments below, and share it with us on social media by using #Shap3dByMe!

Follow Seth on Shapeways here

Keep Your Lightning Cables Unfrayed With This Lifehack | Shapeways Reviews

Your iPhone’s low on battery, and you’re digging through your pack looking for a lightning cable to juice up your phone, but the only one you can find looks like this:  

frayed-lightning-cable

Yep, a completely frayed, non-working cable.

BUT! There’s a way to keep this from happening. This nifty little piece of plastic by TheKre8Group lets you quickly and easily wrap your cables to keep them tidy and safe from undesirable bending and fraying.

MVI_4617.00_00_24_18.Still001

Wrapping a cable is super simple.

MVI_4617.00_00_32_21.Still002

Insert the USB end into the larger slot.

MVI_4617.00_00_36_03.Still003

Wrap the cord around, starting in the beveled channel and wrapping upwards, making sure not to double-layer any part.

MVI_4617.00_00_45_04.Still004

Once you’ve wrapped the cord, insert the lightning end into the smaller hole to hold it secure.

MVI_4617.00_00_48_22.Still005

Now, you have a simple, affordable, compact solution to help prevent expensive cables from fraying and breaking.

Check out our video review here:

Do you have a neat way of keeping your cords organized? We’d love to hear it! Leave it in the comments below, and let us know what you want to see next. Follow TheKre8Group on Shapeways here , and be sure to check out their shop here.

Follow Seth on Shapeways here

A SuperHERO Case for Your GoPro HERO | Shapeways Reviews

You’re an action sports HERO, or at least you want to be. So, you went out and bought a GoPro to record those CRAZY things you planned to do. Skydiving, scuba diving into the depths of the ocean, and evading NYC taxicabs on your bicycle. But you really just use it to document your family vacations, finding you want better sound quality and don’t ALWAYS need that waterproof case.

GoProReview.00_00_52_20.Still001

This simple GoPro case by whitenoise_customs frees up your GoPro. By being completely non-restricting, this case allows amazing access to the microphone, and all the buttons, while still allowing you to attach the stock mounting base. Tether this onto the selfie-stick or gorillapod of your choice, and be ready to capture some footage to remember. (As long as you’re not going swimming!)

Getting this case on is super simple.

Take the GoPro out of its waterproof housing.

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Slip the GoPro into the frame case.

GoProReview.00_01_07_13.Still004

Screw the mounting base on, and there you go. A super simple case with a sunshade. Or without. The case comes in a few different variations, all with the same awesome fit, so pick the one that best fits your needs.

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Check out whitenoise_customs’ shop here to get your case, and check out our full video review of this great accessory.

We want to see your favorite 3D printed GoPro accessories. Tag us on social media with #Shap3dByMe, and send us your Shapeways GoPro lists! Let us know what you want to see next in the comments below, and never stop creating.

Follow whitenoise_customs here

Follow Seth here

Making a Case for The Apple Watch | Shapeways Reviews

You open a door in a hurry and simultaneously smash your wrist on the doorframe. Sure it hurts, but you also hear a slight crunch. You look down, and sure enough, your brand new Apple Watch’s screen is smashed to bits.

Which is where today’s review comes into play. We’re taking a look at two Apple Watch cases with slightly different form factors.

Now, you may be thinking, “why do I need a case for my watch? I wouldn’t put one on my Rolex, or Omega” But that’s where the Apple Watch separates itself from traditional watches whose screens “take a beating”. The iWatch will get damaged far before a nice traditional watch will. So cover up!

MVI_4378.00_00_26_19.Still001

The first case we’re checking out is Dungstar’s 14k rose gold plated cover. This attractive yet functional cover looks great, feels great and gives the device a cool, unique look.

Getting the cover on is simple and anchors it to the watch.

MVI_4378.00_01_00_07.Still002

Pull the bands off your watch Snap the cover right on top, aligning the buttons.

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Slide the bands back to lock into place.

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Taking a look at this case you can see it offers pretty solid coverage around the entire case, while leaving the screen somewhat exposed. This makes sure you’re never blocked while using the watch, allowing full-motion access to all of the screen, without eliminating the sleek and minimalistic form factor.

The second protector we’re looking at is a 18k gold plated cover by Mstyle183. Assembly is the exact same as with the previous case, using the bands to lock the cover in place.

MVI_4378.00_01_37_23.Still005

At first glance, the case looks almost the exact same too, but once you look closer, and start using the watch, you notice that it covers the screen quite a bit more. It helps to protect a bit more of the front of the watch, which makes it a little bulkier.

If you’re looking for a sleek, minimalistic case for your Apple Watch, Dungstar’s design is a great option. But if you want something that provides a bit more protection, definitely check out Mstyle183’s option. Check out our full video review here:

Do you have one of these cases? Let us know what you think about it. Leave your comments below, and let us know what you want to get out of these reviews.

Follow Dungstar on Shapeways here

Follow Mstyle183 on Shapeways here

Follow Seth on Shapeways here

Get Your Phone Off The Ground: Shapeways Review of ClipIt iPhone Dock

To show off some of the incredible products our community creates, we’re starting a brand new column; Shapeways Reviews.

So you travel a lot. Or maybe you attend lots of events, where there’s never anywhere to charge your phone except an outlet way up high, which means You’ve left your phone on the ground, next to an outlet charging, only to have it stepped on; or worse, figured “ah… this is fine, it’ll work” when leaving it swinging like a pendulum, where it inevitably falls or rockets off in a random direction.

One designer recognized that burden, and took to fixing it.

We checked out the ClipIt by Remi van Oers, an awesome little device that clips onto the stock Apple charging brick and lightning cable, holding up your phone as it’s plugged into a socket.

Assembly is simple:

Line up the hole on the ClipIt with the USB hole on the charging brick, and press fit it on.

Screen Shot 2016-03-09 at 2.42.02 PM

Screen Shot 2016-03-09 at 2.42.26 PMNext, plug in the lightning cable to the brick, securing the ClipIt.

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Route the lightning end into the small holder, and press fit in.

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Then just plug in, and slip your phone right on top. There’s a small extrusion to help hold the phone up while it’s charging.

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And there it is! Simple as that.

Want one of your own? Of course you do.  And be sure to follow Remi Van Oers on Shapeways for some more awesome products.

What do you think of the ClipIt? Leave us your comments below, and don’t forget to tag us @Shapeways with your products you want us to review, and show us what you’re making with #Shap3dByMe!

 

Mysterious Jedi used 3D printing to make his Star Wars TIE fighter toy into a Drone

A user on imgur who goes by Woodpiece (via Gizmodo) recently took his new Hasbro TIE fighter and, using some elbow grease and 3D printing, turned it into a remote controlled drone. The results are remarkable, from the gif you can almost hear the sound it would make as it tries futilely to defend a backyard Death Star trench.

mehfoezoglwsnh7hnz2w

 

Woodpiece disassembled his non-flying toy, removed its innards and replaced them with 3D printed motor mounts. Overall the process looks like it took some work but would be repeatable through his instructions found here.

R35XdGG 

Woodpiece isn’t the only one modifying and building cool drones, shopowners on Shapeways have been doing the same for years. Below are a few great examples of what you can do to customize your drone with Shapeways.