Introducing Image Popper, a new way to easily 3D model and 3D print

Hello again! Today, I’m proud to announce two new developments in the way Shapeways enables your creativity: the remodeling of our creator page and a brand new creator to go with it!

First, our new creator page…Shapeways is constantly looking for new ways to help people who do not know how to 3D Model to design and create new things. We do this via our Creators and Co-Creation Platform. Over time, we have accumulated a lot of different creators and variations, and our Creator page has gotten a bit crowded. This week, we’ve cleaned it up a bit. Hopefully this will make it easier to use and understand.

Speaking of ways of helping you create, we are also happy to introduce our Image Popper! The concept is simple, upload a black and white JPG. Then tell us how big you want it, how much you want to raise it, etc. and watch your design upload directly to your shop.

Got feedback? Let me know on the forum.

What can you make with this?

How about a nameplate?

Or a plaque of your company’s logo?

Or a pendant? Earring?
(By the way, I already made some sales with this model, which I made by just uploading a jpg file)

Interested? Start creating!
Got feedback? Let me know on the forum.

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  1. Paul King

    Looks like a very cool addition!

    Hows about adding a greyscale feature for surface depth control (front & back could be mirroed)

  2. Artur Tchoukanov

    adding greyscale and a ‘blur’ tool will make possible for easy ‘puffy’ shapes.
    looks like a great start, looking forward to see the development.

    1. pete

      Artur, can you explain how blur could work in that sense?

    2. TurtlesAreCool


      What I think Artur proposes is probably something like the way “bump mapping” works in games. Bump maps allow me to give a point on the model the appearance of being raised or lowered from its actual position, without actually modifying the geometry. The bump map is a texture which I create in grayscale, then run through the nVidia converter filter, which makes a multicolored texture.

      Here’s the point: In the grayscale texture, the relative color is the main importance. When I want to make a “dent” (meaning the model appears to move inward at that point), I transition from a light color to a dark color. When I want to make a “bump” (meaning the model appears to move outward from that point), I transition from a dark color to a light color. Blurring makes the transition more gradual. See this article for more information on how this works and how it is done for games.

    3. nancyliang

      That’s definitely in line for version 2.. in fact, I think there’s a python script that needs a look-see in my inbox. :)

  3. Vincenzo Basile

    I am with Paul King!
    This Creator is very great but with a grayscale function to give a feature for surface depth control will be great!
    ( Sorry but I don’t speak very well English gh ^^” )

  4. Shapeways Blog

    Finally a video that includes Alan Alda, MIT, MakerBot and 3D printing!It is really exciting to see those outside of the direct business of 3D printing are starting to promote the potential of the democratization of manufacturing through 3D printing.  I

  5. janiscortese

    Is there something peculiar about this? I just uploaded a viola mute that is seriously less than 2.5 inches wide, and wanted to print it in steel … and was informed that it was $636! Did something go wrong, or is this Image Popper thing a rich person’s toy?

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