Category Archives: Gadgets

Never Drop Your Phone Again

As clumsy as it makes us feel, most of us drop our phones. Every. Day. What if there were a way to avoid it? And what if that solution was also fun — and multifunctional? Meet Knuckies - Phone Stands, With a Twist. The 3D printed phone stands, fidget toys, and phone-grippers make perfect holiday gifts, whether you’re stuffing stockings or adding handy accessories to a big-ticket tech gift purchase. Check out all they can do in the video below:

Knuckies attach easily and securely to any device with a simple double-sided mounting sticker. With a range of designs, there’s also a Knuckie for everyone from cat lovers to minimalists. And, while Knuckies make excellent phone stands, they also fold flat — keeping your device low-profile.

Anchor by Phone Stands, With a Twist

Anchor by Knuckies – Phone Stands, With a Twist

Triple Ring by Knuckies – Phone Stands, With a Twist

Check out the full collection of Knuckies here. And for more ways to give your holiday giftees a Technical Advantage, don’t miss all of our gadget-lover gifts in the Holiday Gift Guide. Let us know in the comments how you keep a grip on your phone.

Fitbit + Fashion = Bytten

Cases for gadgets are usually purely a necessity. Sure, they can be gorgeous, but for the most part, they’re there to protect. But, what if a case could actually make your tech more useful? Startup bytten aims to do just that, creating stylish Fitbit covers that slide right on — taking the wearable from gym casual to sleekly stylish. This week, as we focus on holiday gifts that offer a Technical Advantage, we’re taking a closer look at a small business that wants to give your wearable technology a fashion upgrade.

True to bytten’s mission to “bring your fitness tracker’s style and personality to a whole new level,” the Lucas slide for Fitbit Flex takes inspiration from computer circuitry to create an intricate, cutting-edge look.

Lucas slide for Fitbit Flex by bytten

For the minimalists on your list, The James Slide for Fitbit Flex is like wearable modern architecture.

James slide for Fitbit Flex by bytten

The Rasa slide for Fitbit Flex allows you to make their tech a personal statement, with custom text options available at no extra charge.

bytten 3

Bytten’s Fitbit cases are available for multiple models of the popular fitness trackers. The designers also enjoy experimenting and creating pieces in response to feedback from the Shapeways community. The image below shows the symbol collection, which was inspired by requests from bytten’s customers.

The Symbol Collection by bytten

Check out bytten’s full collection in their Shapeways shop to make your fitness-tracking friends more stylish than ever. Plus, don’t miss our Technical Advantage collections for gift ideas that let you personalize, modify, and improve their favorite gadgets.

Make Their GoPro Go Further

The little action camera that can go almost anywhere has inspired a serious following, from newbie adventure-seekers to serious videographers. Some of the GoPro’s biggest fans are makers whose accessories help achieve professional-grade results. Like designer Dan Newman of My GoPro Kit, whose mods range from filter attachments to tools for capturing aerial 3D shots. As we shine a spotlight this week on holiday gifts that offer a Technical Advantage, discover a few tools that will help your favorite GoPro fans get truly pro results.

Capturing 3D shots using GoPro’s Dual Hero System can be a challenge for objects that are more than 10 feet away. The GoPro HERO 3+ 3D System allows for wider lens separation, ensuring crisp coverage of subjects between 10 and 50 feet away — perfect for wider-parallax shooting like aerial photography.

GoPro HERO 3+ 3D System: Wider Lens Separation by My GoPro Kit

GoPro HERO 3+ 3D System: Wider Lens Separation by My GoPro Kit

This base for a motion-control rig lets you capture dynamic time-lapse photography using a model train track. At the link above, Dan also shares full plans for the time-lapse rig system, so get making!

Train-lapse rig for GoPro by My GoPro Kit

The Sun hood and 37mm filter holder for GoPro not only helps you attach filters to your camera, it also ensures that you maintain resolution while using ND filters, even in bright sunlight. Add this to your toolkit for flawless full-sun coverage.

Sun hood and 37mm filter holder for GoPro by My GoPro Kit

Sun hood and 37mm filter holder for GoPro by My GoPro Kit

Follow My GoPro Kit to keep up to speed on all of Dan’s innovations, and find dozens more ways to give everyone on your list a Technical Advantage this holiday season in our Holiday Gift Guide. What are some of your favorite high-performance GoPro accessories? Let us know in the comments below.

Better Their Tech With These 5 Gifts

Tech lovers like to stay on the cutting edge. But, traditional mass-produced devices have their limitations. The truly gadget-obsessed require unique accessories and modifications to take their tech to the next level. Thankfully, Shapeways offers hundreds of gifts that can personalize, modify, and improve almost any popular gadget. This week, as we focus on ways to give everyone a Technical Advantage, we’re taking a closer look at five clever add-on gifts for your tech-obsessed friends.

1. Anchor Their AirPods

EarPod attachments for active people by Amznfx

EarPod attachments for active people by Amznfx

When Apple announced those indispensable accessories for the iPhone 7, wireless AirPods, opinion was split on whether it’s possible to avoid losing the tiny devices. Shapeways designer Fernando Sosa decided to turn that issue on its head with his EarPod Attachments for Active People. Help your favorite Apple-lovers hold onto their AirPods with these handy accessories.

2. Make Their Fitbit Wearable Anywhere

Lucas slide for Fitbit Flex by bytten

Lucas slide for Fitbit Flex by bytten

Designer Bytten has some brilliant ideas on how to make the FitBit more useful. This piece, designed by Lucas Goossens, takes inspiration from computer circuitry to create a cover that takes your tracker from fitness tool to fashion statement.

3. Help Them Track Their Tracker

Wallet for Tile (Tracking Device) by Dearborn 3D Design

Wallet for Tile (Tracking Device) by Dearborn 3D Design

The Tile is an ingenious tracker for your most important items, but… how to keep track of the Tile itself (if you want to keep tabs on something other than keys)? This Tile-compatible wallet solves that problem, while providing an efficient, compact place for your money and cards.

4. Keep Their GoPro’s Vision Sharp

Lens Cover for GoPro by 3dprintingdog

Lens Cover for GoPro by 3dprintingdog

GoPro has given us a technology that can go anywhere — but its curved lens can lead to scratches that can ruin the view. This customizable GoPro-compatible lens cover will help your adventure-loving friends protect their cameras while leaving their mark.

5. Give Their Photography a Boost

Bounce Buddy - Bouncer for the internal flash! by Wile's Wonderbox

Bounce Buddy – Bouncer for the internal flash! by Wile’s Wonderbox

The Bounce Buddy diffuses the harsh light of a camera’s flash, creating a perfectly soft look for those times when only a flash will do. This allows shutterbugs to leave the external flash at home and still capture the moment.

For even more ways to help your giftees better their tech, check out the Technical Advantage collections in our Holiday Gift Guide. And, let us know in the comments how you would modify your favorite devices with 3D printing.

Designer Spotlight: Tatsuo Ishibashi – MizuLabo

This week, we’re focusing on holiday gifts that offer a Technical Advantage — making tech both better and easier to use. Sometimes, this means making tech more accessible for everyone. Designer Tatsuo Ishibashi’s Mizu Laboratory does just that, developing beautiful, useful assistive gadgets that can help ease our interactions with everyday technology.

"Shippo", Input Assist Device by mizulabo

“Shippo”, Input Assist Device by mizulabo

What inspired you to start creating assistive technology through 3D printing?
Muscle force of the elderly decreases over 50% from that of youth, and I also sometimes feel weakness of grip strength. There are many self-help devices on the market to assist our daily life. But, it is difficult to find a favorite device to use because design and usability are not thoroughly considered. Existing mass-production methods cannot be adopted to make specific structures that satisfy both design and usability for the assistive devices. A 3D printer can do it easily!

Eating Utensil Holder by mizulabo

Eating Utensil Holder by mizulabo

How do you identify the types of products that can be developed to make everyday items easier to use for the elderly (and others)?
It’s a general method that involves product, market, and patent research. Now we can take in a variety of information through networks, so I also often test products in a real market. And there are lots of needs in our daily life. I started from a relatively simple item, a cap and tab opener.

"Higaki", Cap & Tab Opener by mizulabo

“Higaki”, Cap & Tab Opener by mizulabo

While these are assistive devices, they’re also incredibly beautifully designed, so that they’re basically utilitarian art. Tell me more about the design process and how you picked patterns for each item.
It’s a result of trial and error. First I simplify a function of a device. Next, I make a simplified prototype by using a desktop 3D printer. I then evaluate the function and durability. Afterward, I design it based on the simplified prototype. I usually repeat that process until a satisfactory result is obtained.

Finger Input Device by mizulabo

Finger Input Device by mizulabo

Check out Tatsuo’s Shapeways shop here. His gadgets are snazzy little gizmos that are more like life-hacks, suggesting that 3D printing is changing the assistive device game  creating tools that are more useful, affordable, and beautiful than before.

Trending: Fidget Toys

As someone with way too much energy — I’m a constant pen-clicker, toe-tapper, doodler (and more) — I was excited to see some products trending on the Shapeways marketplace that are perfect little fidget toys. This array of ingenious designs allows you to use skateboard bearings and interlocking elements to create and print your own compact gizmos for noiseless fidgeting.

These types of toys are definitely becoming more popular, with Buzzfeed even offering a roundup of jewelry and products that can help you calm down (which included Oddity’s Finger Hula Hoop on Shapeways). One standout gadget is the Cog Tri Spinner Fidget Spinner, which turns standard skateboard bearings into hours of fidgeting fun.

Below are a few more products that we think deserve shout-outs for being awesome fidget toys:

This working propeller ring is not only a fun little jewelry piece, it also exemplifies what’s possible with our recently launched interlocking metals capability. Pick one up and take it for a spin.

While similar to the spinner above, The Swirl has a minimalist design that’s worth checking out.

 

This Twisting Links Fidget series is designed to be a discreet but effective fidget toy with tactile sensation and endless movement.

4 Gadget Gift Making Trends For Holiday 2016!!

With the holidays quickly approaching, we’re excited to be positioning Shapeways as the go-to for unique, customizable gifts– and our designers are crucial to growing that marketplace. We’ve identified some of the hottest tech hobbyist trends of this year to inspire our makers to stretch their imaginations and consider creating accessories for each, making them on-demand stocking stuffers.

Raspberry Pi: With this little computer giving you a lot of power to program and create, what better companion for it than 3D printed accessories? We’d suggest our designers tap into Shapeways customizable product feature to create Raspberry Pi cases or stands– because while it’s what’s on the inside that matters, it doesn’t hurt to have a neat exterior for your favorite gadget.Apple III Raspberry Pi Case 3d printed

Raspberry Pi Apple III case by RetroConnector

iPhone 7: With Apple’s latest release being on (most) people’s wishlists and being significantly different than previous models, it’s a great opportunity to tap into creative cases and accessories.The Vibe iPhone Case - 40033196:7.67 3d printed

The Vibe iPhone Case by Cacai

GoPro Hero 5 (Black and Session): GoPro’s latest cameras come in two sizes, meaning double the accessory options! Because both work on voice-command, there should be some fun potential for newly designed cases and accessories. We also hear that while the Hero 4 Black is waterproof, it won’t float so some aquatic accessories could be useful.Boonie Hat Mount for GoPro Cameras (Slim Case) 3d printed

Boonie Hat Mount for GoPro Cameras by BrainExploder Creations

Apple Watch Series 2: The new Apple Watch model is about the same size and shape as its predecessor but slightly thicker. We’ve been seeing some great watch docks and charging stations, and there’s limitless room for variations.Apple Watch Metal Bumper 42mm 3d printed

 

Apple Watch Metal Bumper by Amznfx

Remember, one of the most important parts of leveraging the products you create is showing vs. telling shoppers what your product does. Quality photos tell a thousand (or more) words and super nifty videos are even better.

Shop More Gadget and Tech Trends Here!

7 3D Printed Gadgets to Take Your Meal to the Next Level

In this era of trading hamburgers for *ramen* burgers and breakfast sandwiches for *donut* sandwiches, it’s time to make our food accessories just as trendy and futuristic as our hybrid foods. Introducing… 3D printed food gadgets.

You can even take some inspiration from these 3D printed objects from Shapeways and design your own essential foodie items (or be lazy and buy the ones we’ve picked out for you).

1. Chopstick Holder

Photo courtesy of shapeways.com

Do you love sushi but are incapable of using chopsticks, but also don’t want to be culturally dense and use a fork? Say hello to 3D printed chopstick holders.

This ingenious invention will turn the most infuriated sushi lover into an expert chopstick artist instantly.

2. Finger Saver

Photo courtesy of shapeways.com

There’s nothing more terrifying than almost chopping off a finger while cutting kale for the salad you’ve convinced yourself you like. Avoid all of that vegetable tension with a 3D printed finger protector.

Now you don’t have to worry about cutting your finger while you distractedly chop kale as you think about nachos again!

3. Egg Holder

Photo courtesy of shapeways.com

Have you ever made yourself a trendy brunch, complete with soft-boiled eggs, only to realize you don’t have a trendy egg holder to keep your egg at optimal elevation? Never eat a tilted soft-boiled egg again with this 3D printed octopus egg holder.

Bonus: If you’re on a diet, check out this nest egg holder. You’ll lose your appetite thinking about how your breakfast was once a baby chicken instantly. Calories saved!

4. “Little Dipper” Cookie Dunking Bowl

Photo courtesy of shapeways.com

True loss is dropping the warm chocolate chip cookie you just slaved over into the abyss of a full glass of milk. You know you will never see that cookie again. You know if you do, it’s going to be a disgusting, milk-saturated mess.

Luckily, a Shapeways community designed a brilliant solution for the world’s greatest problem: the “Little Dipper,” a 3D printed cookie dunking mug. The best part is you can still drink the milk after.

5. Pizza Chair

Photo courtesy of shapeways.com

The tables that come on delivery pizzas serve no point– that is, until you add this 3D printed pizza chair obviously. This dining set is perfect for your tiny imaginary friend to recline in while you eat your pizza.

Bonus: Check out this miniature 3D printed stool that can be easily adapted for pizza seating as well, unless your tiny imaginary friend has back issues. That would be insensitive of you to not provide him with back support then.

6. Toast Retriever

Photo courtesy of shapeways.com

Standing toasters were not designed for people with fingers. Unfortunately, most people have fingers. With these 3D printed toast retrievers, you can now grab your toast out of the thinnest of toast slots without fearing for the life of your fingers.

These toast retrievers can also pick up the little burnt pieces that inevitably fall off your toast in the retrieval process. In fact, they can even grab pop-tarts and other objects that are not toast itself, but are frequently enjoyed toasted. So much functionality!

7. Statue of Liberty Ice Cream Cone

Photo courtesy of shapeways.com

Enjoy a patriotic cone of your favorite flavor as you cheer on America with this 3D printed Statue of Liberty ice cream cone (child not included).

F1 Racing Miniatures And Memorabilia That’ll Get Your Wheels Spinning

It’s no secret that some massive changes have occurred in the Formula 1 Racing scene. Between constantly changing regulations, and John Malone’s Liberty Media – F1 deal closing last week in an $8B deal, F1 is set to become much more mainstream.
With the cars (and industry) racing around at 240MPH, you’re probably looking for ways to rep your favorite road racing sport.

Mini3DDrivers’s Mini Scuderia #7 car (and accompanying Mini Kimi Raikkonen driver) are just one of the whimsically accurate tiny cars offered in this F1- dedicated shop.

 Maybe you’re looking for an F1 inspired track to throw on your desk or wall.  3D Racetracks features a number of topographically accurate racetracks, including an officially licensed Nurburgring.

Want to celebrate the Ferrari 312T driven to victory by Niki Lauda and Clay Regazzoni? This 1:100 scale by Giles’s Designs can be used as a keychain or pendant. There’s also a number of other F1 inspired memorabilia in his shop, such as these miniatures.

Looking for more automotive & F1 inspired accessories? Check out my list here, and follow me on Shapeways to see what I’m looking at!

 

Click For More High Octane Cars

Packing Light with Multifunction Gadgets

Posted by in 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!