Category Archives: 3D Printed

The Best of the New: RC Car Shops

Our RC community gets bigger every day. Soon, you’ll be able to find almost any replacement part on Shapeways. Check out two awesome new RC Car shops that are setting the standard — and providing parts you won’t find anywhere else:

MC3 — Mini-Car Club of Canada

The 1/28th scale Mini-z racers have been a popular class at Shapeways for a while, with many upgrade parts available in our marketplace. One of the latest shops to join is MC3, which is short for Mini-Car Club of Canada. These guys have developed their own Mini-z based open-wheel Formula racer with a 2017 style body and wings, and realistic double wishbone front suspension, bringing back Formula racing to the Micro RC world.

If you’re interested in the realistic-looking and functional 2017 spec spoiler, you can find it hereAll parts for this conversion kit are now available at Mini-car Club of Canada’s Shapeways shop.

RC Cars

RC Cars

RC cars

*Images courtesy of http://minicarclubofcanada.com/

 

Thundershot Pit Stop

Another brand-new shop is Thundershot Pit Stop. While RC car manufacturer Tamiya has been re-releasing many of their vintage models, Tamiya Thundershot fans have been left chasing hard-to-find and brittle 30-year-old original parts to repair their beloved cars. With no re-released parts available, Shapeways user Badaboom49 has designed spare parts for the Thundershot and Terra Scorcher, often with improved geometry and extra options. Now, anyone can repair and race their car again as if it were a brand-new release.

So if you’re looking for a replacement suspension arm, you’re in the right place!

RC Car shock mount Tamiya

Tamiya Thundershot Arms & Shock Mount Combo

RC car bumper Tamiya

Tamiya Thundershot One-Piece Rear Bumper

RC Cars Tamiya

A Thundershot model featuring many of the parts for sale in the shop

RC Car Tamiya C-knuckles

Tamiya Thundershot C-Knuckles, for use with Bearings

Find all the parts shown above on the Thundershot Pit Stop Shapeways shop.

And Our Top-Selling Product Is…

A lot of interesting products gain popularity in the Shapeways marketplace. Stress-busting Fidget Toys have been having a major moment since October (I wonder why?), while tech accessories like this GoPro Hero helmet mount or the Levitating Google Home Wall Mount usually hang out near the top of the best-seller list.

Top-selling products are not always the most beautiful or impressive-looking designs on Shapeways. A product that sees consistently strong sales usually solves a problem that you, or more often, the manufacturer of your favorite thing, didn’t plan for. Whether it’s a holder for a fan to cool a high-performance motherboard (designed by ASUS and compatible with its parts), or a part that fastens your Moverio BT-300 controller into a DJI drone mount, clever mods tend to stick in the top 10.

But, what’s the most popular product of them all?

Not so fast — first, let’s look at the runners-up, each of which represent handy hacks to products our community already loves:

Runners-Up:

#3

This top-selling Cannon Adaptor is compatible with the Titans Return Voyager Galvatron figurine

TR Galvatron Cannon Adaptor by Ariel’s Customs

 

#2

This Helmet NVG Mount for GoPro HEROs 2/3/4 slays on Shapeways — yet another clever mod.

Helmet NVG Mount for GoPro Cameras (HERO 2/3/4) by BrainExploder Creations

 

Finally, the one juggernaut that has consistently beat them all, despite tough competition from the runners-up:

#1

The Best-Seller

The Sony Smartwatch 3 Adaptor by HL

Why do people love this adaptor, designed to be compatible with the Sony Smartwatch 3, so much? Because it delivers something that almost everyone who comes to Shapeways is looking for: self-expression. A simple snap-on cover that re-skins the face of the watch in the color of your choice (while allowing you to attach any strap you’d like), the adaptor is a clever hack that takes a mass-produced product and makes it endlessly customizable. We think it sums up the ingenuity — and creative drive — of our community perfectly, despite its unassuming appearance.

Do you have an idea for improving a product you love? Why not make it real? Let us know in the comments what you’d tweak on your favorite toys and gadgets.

 

Sales data covers rankings over the past 13 months

Cover photo via VisualHunt

Designer Spotlight: Sonia Verdu

Shapeways designer Sonia Verdu hails from Madrid, Spain – and she embodies the creativity of the city she calls home. “I was born in a very creative and not too conventional-minded family,” Sonia told us, adding, “I think this helped me follow heart rather than my head.” Her Shapeways shop captures that spirit, with designs that run the gamut from an intricate star-shaped locket to a series of adorable phone stands to fully articulated doll and robot figurines. We talked with Sonia about how she got started, and what inspires her.

How did you learn to design in 3D?
I’ve always liked sculpting and painting, and although I did not see many career opportunities in the world of art, I decided to get a Bachelor of Arts at university and study Artistic Ceramics in an art school. I learned digital modeling in 3D mainly on my own. At university I learned only traditional techniques of painting and sculpting, as I considered it very important to have that base. Later, I worked as a designer, and since I was really interested in digital modeling, I started to watch tutorials on the internet and fell in love with Blender, a professional-grade, open source software. I’m still learning to model with this program and I think I still have a lot to learn. 

What brought you to 3D printing with Shapeways? Who in the Shapeways community has served as an inspiration to you?
A friend, Gianluca Owen, an expert in 3D printing, suggested it. I listened to him and started to share my designs here. I think this is a fantastic website where you can find a huge number of interesting designs, and it’s a great source of inspiration – besides having the possibility to test different materials to print my designs.

In terms of who has served as an inspiration, well, this question is very difficult to answer because there are many designs that inspire me. Some of the designers are Brian Chan, Nervous System, and Rustylab.

Your smartphone holders are adorable. How did you come to that idea?
My idea was to create several mobile holders in the shape of animals, that were cute and childish and at the same time very simple.

What inspired the two tiny robots in your shop?
The idea of designing these robots came up after designing toys for my children. I wanted to create cute robots and, like the above mobile holders, with a childish appearance and rounded corners.

Lantea the Jointed Doll is incredibly well-designed. Was it a challenge having to keep assembly in mind when designing for that model?
Yes, Lantea was a great challenge for me and, although it took me a long time for the complexity of the assembly, it was a lot of fun. Besides, in every new design of a jointed doll I learn new things, and that encourages me to do more and more.

If you weren’t limited by current technologies, what would you want to make using 3D printing?
Since I left university, I’ve had in mind the idea of making sculptures and combining them with water, and I believe 3D printing could be a great tool for this project. I would like to make it come true someday.

We hope Sonia does realize her dream of multimedia 3D printed sculptures. We’ll make sure to share them when she does. Do you have a project you’d like us to showcase? Leave a comment below!

Going to AdeptiCon this week? Come say Hi!

Shapeways may be an online platform, but we love to go out and meet our Community in person. For those of you who are into wargaming and scale miniatures, Shapeways will be in Schaumburg, Illinois (just outside Chicago) for AdeptiCon from March 23 to 26. AdeptiCon is an annual tabletop gaming convention with tournaments, workshops, and cosplay, all around popular games. If you’re lucky enough to attend, come check out 3D printed products by Pop Goes the Monkey, and create your own Hero Forge minis.

We’ve been busy crafting and getting ready all weekend. Check out the terrain and cosplay armor we made, below:

   

Can you guess what our cosplay is? Leave your guesses below, and keep up with our Instagram this weekend to find out!

It’s Spring! Here Are 5 Ways to Celebrate

Last week’s snow is still grey on the ground, but it’s official: Spring is here! Along with blooming trees and green grass, spring also brings the holiday that, for some reason, is all about eggs and rabbits — Easter. For many people, it’s a gift-giving holiday, for others, a religious observance; and for some, it’s just a way to celebrate the renewal of spring. Thankfully, our community is full of ideas for capturing the spirit of the season, however you celebrate. Find a selection of freshly-hatched accessories in this list by our head curator Aimee, or read on for five designs that will get you in the mood for egg-hunting and wildflower-gathering.

1. Bunny Jr. by Tricksee

Bunny Jr., an adorable reminder of the unofficial animal of the season, looks like he’s happy it’s spring, too.

2. Daisy Comb by Collected Edition

This Daisy Comb is just one of Collected Edition’s gorgeous, freshly-picked flower-inspired accessories.

3. Birds’ Nest Egg Cup by Studio Gijs

A nest for your soft-boiled eggs, complete with a tiny bird on it? ‘Tis the season.

4. Para Bud Vase by Layers

The Para Vase looks both familiar and totally fresh at the same time, just like spring.

5. Mosaic Egg #7 by KSims

This Mosaic Egg is printed with an icosahedrally symmetric pattern of 180 triangular shapes, repeated outside and inside the egg, but you don’t have to know what any of that means to find it beautiful.

Amazingly Accurate Off-Road RC Car Wheels

Shapeways designer Gafsa Design has a shop full of incredible jewelry, gadgets, and accessories, most of them miniature versions of familiar objects. But, he recently shared a project on our forums that brings him solidly into RC car territory: amazingly realistic off-road wheels, printed in black Strong & Flexible nylon plastic:

Gafsa Design’s off-road wheels

The wheels were commissioned by a customer of Gafsa, who also shared some exciting in-progress glimpses of the Land Rover Defender 110 under construction:

The wheels post-installation, inspiration in the background

The body of the Defender

Gafsa created the wheels in SolidWorks and Rhino. Thanks for sharing these incredibly realistic off-road wheels, Gafsa! We can’t wait to see the finished product.

Do you have a cool project to share? Post a comment below for a chance to be featured on the blog!

The Week in 3D Printing

This week in 3D printing, we discovered why green screens and St. Patrick’s Day don’t mix, enjoyed some magical dancing sculptures, got a tiny bit scared by some hyper-realistic robots, and watched some holograms try to get in on the 3D printing game.

No word on if it’ll let you rewind last night

Artist Toki’s stop motion sculpture is entirely 3D printed, and incredibly intricate. When light passes through it, an animated dancer appears, similar to a zoetrope. He says he’s trying to express the relationship between time and movement, and to “capture the beauty and nature of time itself.”

And they say robots won’t take over the world…

This skeleton may look like one of the 3D printed hosts in Westworld, but believe it or not, it’s even realer. Weta Workshop’s been creating hyper-realistic endoskeletons for use in movies and beyond, bringing tangibility to sci-fi.

Now read this section in a Dr. Evil voice

VentureBeat’s Dean Takahashi interviewed Xbox co-founder Seasmus Blackley’s about how he’s working on a way to enable instant 3D printing — with the use of augmented reality and something AR firm Daqri has dubbed as “software defined light.” Much like how lasers inside a 3D printer fuse plastic, Blackley is working to project holograms into tanks of monomer, solidifying the parts touched by the light.

We Cosplayed at PAX East

Last weekend, Community Manager Andrew Thomas and I were in Boston, Massachusetts for PAX East 2017, the festival that’s all about gaming. It was an amazing opportunity to check out the latest and greatest in video games, tabletop, and overall hot tech trends.

I went full cosplay

To give you an idea of the scene, there were tens of thousands of people in the Boston Convention Center, dozens of panels (ranging from how-to video game creation to tips on creating the best D&D campaigns), cosplayers galore – even the signage was in character:

PAX rules

Getting pixeled

We checked out a bunch of tabletop games and booths of designers who use Shapeways for prototyping. It was pretty incredible seeing how Shapeways enabled these designers to bring their tabletop games to life, letting them physically conceptualize the games before moving toward mass production. We spent some time in particular with the Dragoon and H.E.A.D. Hunters teams — stay tuned for interviews with both.

H.E.A.D Hunters

While Andrew and I are no strangers to cosplay (trust me, just click the link), this time, I wanted to wear something that really showed the magic of 3D printing. In my quest, my knight in shining armor was Lumecluster’s Melissa Ng, who let me borrow eight pieces of her Sovereign Armor. This was enough that I could mix and match the parts to create different looks, all easy to travel with. Thanks to Melissa I, got to cosplay like the best of them (and I did – check out my dance with the Yip Yip aliens).

muppet cosplay time with @ladybuglise #paxeast #pax #paxeast2017

A post shared by shapeways (@shapeways) on

On the subject of dressing to impress, Andrew and I ran into some cosplayers we’d met at 2016’s New York Comic Con. Among the friendly faces was Thomas DePetrillo of Extreme Costumes, wearing his Reinhardt cosplay from Blizzard’s Overwatch. We met Tom at Kotaku/iO9’s Cosplay Ball last year (where we scanned him). We learned some amazing things about the Reinhardt costume:

  • It measures 9’6” / 2.89m and weighs 85 pounds / 38.55 kgs.
  • It took three people working nine weeks to create it.
  • The original costume was seven feet tall, but it’s since been rebuilt four times.
  • The only parts that remain of the original are the top part of the skeleton, the upper half of the external chest, the hammer, and the feet.

Tom DePetrillo’s Reinhardt cosplay

We met another member of Tom’s Extreme Costumes team, Nick (of Squiby Props fame), and he joined us for a Facebook Live, where he shared how he used 3D printing for his Ornstein from Dark Souls cosplay. He 3D printed his mask by himself, which took a whopping 200 hours.

Nick’s Ornstein cosplay

Andrew was also interviewed during a Facebook Live with GeekMom’s Karen Walsh, who was covering PAX East. She even shouted out Shapeways as one of her favorite things at the convention!

There were so many things to see and do, we could never have done it all, but we met some amazing cosplayers— many using 3D printing in ways that blew our minds. Let us know in the comments if you use 3D printing to bring your cosplay to life.

On the floor at PAX East — until next year, Boston!

 

Alienology’s Latest: Audiophile-Approved 3D Printed Speakers

Designer Igor Knezevic, AKA Alienology, has had quite a year. After helping create artist Anouk Wipprecht’s incredible Living Pods and being nominated for an Academy Award for his work on “Passengers,” Igor’s taking things in a new direction: cutting-edge audio.

Last week, Knezevic and sound engineer Edin Secibovic launched a Kickstarter for their innovative T3TRA loudspeakers. With frames in colorful Shapeways Strong & Flexible nylon and panels in laser-cut birch plywood, the speakers combine two of the most popular digital manufacturing techniques. The single-piece tetrahedral frame also offers a distinct audiophile advantage, dramatically reducing vibration (and the usual small-speaker tinniness). The result is a small-but-mighty portable speaker. I asked Igor about what led him down this new path in product design.

What inspired you to create the T3TRA speakers?

I thought, “Let’s try to use the simplest geometric forms,” which make great sense for hi-fi sound (no hard edges, no corners, so fewer resonances, etc.), and try to make all the pieces digitally, with a minimum of post-processing. The frame is 3D printed and the sides are natural plywood (birch), laser-cut to fit perfectly into the 3D printed frame. As a result, T3TRA speakers have great sound, especially in this size group.

The finished T3TRA, and in concept form

What advantages did the 3D printed element bring to the speakers?

The tetrahedral frame of the loudspeaker is 3D printed in SLS nylon, giving it great stability and excellent sound properties because of the shape (no parallel edges), rounded edges (better for sound diffusion) and perfect uniformity of nylon material. In short, it’s a “unibody” frame. This is quite hard to achieve with other manufacturing methods. Plus, it can have that really intense Shapeways dye color. The color really pops – like candy.

Available color options

What was the process of creating them like?

This sound system as a form/shape was designed by myself, but the real sound expertise was provided by my friend and co-creator Edin Secibovic, who is a sound engineer. As we tried out some ideas, we realized that by combining two digital manufacturing methods, we can achieve an affordable speaker design which can be produced on-demand and hand-assembled relatively quickly. As far as sound quality is concerned, it worked at first try! We were very pleasantly surprised. Even deep sounds were apparent, which can be a problem for small-form speakers. A few tweaks were needed to make the parts fit perfectly, but it was pretty painless.

The 3D printed frame and laser-cut side panels

Overall, what makes these speakers special?

It’s about having the minimum number of parts, which fit perfectly together since they are all fully digitally manufactured – making for excellent sound distribution. In sound, less is definitely more. It turns out SLS nylon is a very good material for sound applications since the material is perfectly uniform in all directions and sizes are always exact.

We also have another design in the works – this one fully 3D printed, and with a different form factor. Coming soon, so stay tuned!

In the meantime, check out the Kickstarter for the T3TRA speakers, and don’t miss the incredible pieces in Alienology’s Shapeways shop. Let us know in the comments: have you used 3D printed parts in gadgets you’d like us to feature? Leave a note below for a chance to be featured on the blog.

The Week in 3D Printing

Houses got built in a day, the hot-but-flawed new Nintendo console got crowdsourced fixes, neon plastic met medical science, and car companies got additive — all this week in 3D printing.

We’re gonna need bigger printers

This 3D printed house went viral this week — with good reason. Built in a day for only $10,000, it’s not only incredibly cute (who doesn’t love a tiny house these days?), but it was also built by an unbelievably cool, enormous Apis Cor printer that had to be moved with a crane. Plus, the house was built in a snowy lot during a Russian winter, which should qualify it to work on Mars, at least in theory.

When you buy the latest toy way too soon

The Nintendo Switch made waves last week for being, well, the latest Nintendo console to hit the market. But, as Gizmodo reported, it’s might not have been… ready — at least as far as the design is concerned. Enter the internet’s most resourceful 3D designers, who’ve been sharing 3D printed solutions for everything from a faulty kickstand to a missing d-pad and inadequate joysticks. Maybe Nintendo wanted people to hack together fixes? Or not?

Fighting cancer with PLA

TechCrunch brought us the story of candy-colored tumors, set in silicone, that are helping doctors practice tricky laparoscopic liver cancer surgeries before operating on real patients. Never before has practicing dangerous life-saving surgeries been so… cute.

Drive it off the print bed

OK, we’re not exactly there yet, but according to Forbes, the largest car manufacturers — including the literal inventor of the assembly line — are starting to incorporate 3D printing into production processes in a typically large-scale way. It might be a while before 3D printing moves beyond the prototyping stage for most cars, but super-high-end rides will likely see more and more 3D-printing-enabled customization. In the meantime, I’ll stick with custom 3D printed cars I can actually afford:

A whole stable of sweet (N scale) 3D printed rides… courtesy RAILNSCALE

RC Customization Series: The Story so Far

Two months ago, inspired by our amazing — and growing! — RC car community, I set out on a journey into the world of RC cars. Colleague Tijs Lochbaum and I took a Tamiya Hornet completely apart and gave it a whole new look. We’ll be ready for the big reveal soon, but in the meantime, we’re taking a look back to see how far we’ve come.

We started with a dream of taking a classic Tamiya Hornet and making it our own. During this whole process, Tijs Lochbaum, who is a well-known European RC drifting expert, was our guide. As it turns out, I had a lot to learn about how to make a custom RC Car. I always thought you could only buy a complete car in a toy store, so a whole new world opened up for me. For one thing, I never thought so much manual polishing was involved to make the parts look good. I could go on all day about what I didn’t know — but instead, let’s take a look at what we’ve done so far:

Lap 1 – Upgrading The Tamiya Hornet


In the 1st Lap of the RC Customization Series, we explain our plan and what we need to create a custom RC car classic, the Tamiya Hornet.

Lap 2 – RC Engineering


The 2nd Lap features an interview with designer Alberto Massarotto from AMPro Engineering. Alberto takes us through his design process to guarantee his parts fit on original RC car body and chassis.

Lap 3 – Finalizing the Parts


On Lap 3, we look at post-production methods. Polishing, dyeing, sanding and preparing for spray-painting — we covered it all.

We’ve come a long way already, and we just have a few finishing touches to add. In the meantime, here’s a teaser shot of our completed Tamiya Hornet:

Stay tuned for the full reveal!

The Week in 3D Printing

This week in 3D printing was all about kids, mystery-solving, and a magical spoon.

Color Us Impressed

Huffington Post wrote about how Act For Kids is using 3D printing to create monster-shaped crayons to help provide art therapy to children who have experienced child abuse or neglect. Because drawing can be extremely therapeutic, the idea is that these crayons will allow kids to “draw away their monsters,” said Christian McKechnie, Co-Founder of Act For Kids.

Image courtesy Act for Kids YouTube channel

Vroom, Vroom

NewAtlas covered how Rolls-Royce spent 400+ hours 3D printing a small missile that propels children at a blistering 10MPH through hospital corridors. No word if they actually use their blinkers to signal a lane change.

Jinkies!

Hong Kong police used two 3D printers to reenact crime scenes to help with police investigations. CNets Zoey Chong opens up the article with a fitting Scooby Doo reference, “And I would have gotten away with it too, if it weren’t for you meddling kids and your 3D printers.”

Finger Licking Good

PSFK gave us the skinny on a glass wand prototyped on a 3D printer that helps to enhance the sweet flavors in foods like yogurt, Nutella, and honey. May not work well for hot wings.

Meet Two Women Changing the Face of Cosplay

TheLaserGirls (Sarah C. Awad and Dhemerae Ford) are powerhouses of cosplay, 3D design, and general badassery. On their podcast and blog, they show in vivid detail how two creative people have turned their love of fantasy, sci-fi, and cosplay into incredible 3D printed costumes and accessories – while empowering others to do the same. Last week, I had a chance to take a deep dive into what drives TheLaserGirls.

Screenshot 2017-02-14 17.14.49

I really admire you, and I’m sure many of your fans do as well, for showing that cosplay and fantasy/sci-fi can be welcoming, creatively inspiring spaces that women can help define. How do you see yourselves in terms overcoming traditional gender dynamics in those worlds?

The characters we portray and our undying love for them are just two parts of what we do with cosplay. Obviously, we choose to portray women that have shaped us through our lives, and to us represent strength in more nuanced and unique ways. One could say that the “Strong Female Character” is now a trope in itself that has become overly-simplified, and we want to open the box again and reintroduce diversity to that definition.

For Dhemerae, it is also about paying homage and thanking these characters for the impact that they had had on her, and for Sarah, it is also about giving them the attention and portrayal she wanted for them. Many of the characters Sarah loves, she feels were foundationally incredible, but were lessened by either a lack of exposure publicly or storylines that smothered them. Through cosplay, she hopes to give them a new platform to showcase their amazingness!

The other huge portion of this is our focus in making. What we want show is that making is meaningful – more accessible than one would think – and just [show] the joy of creating and building something: here’s a project, and this is how we made it, and it’s awesome, and it’s fun, and it’s challenging, and it betters you, and you can do it too, and here’s how. 3D printing has a wide and deep context that we have found turns many people away because they do not feel they are capable of unlocking it. We want to show and help people clear that wall; it is less about the final product (because if you love what you’re doing, you will look great!) and more about being creative and learning how to build something functional that makes you feel amazing and that gives back to your influences.

How did you get interested in cosplay? Did you each have a separate journey to where you are today, or did you draw inspiration from each other and get involved in creating costumes after you met?

S: I’ve always been interested in cosplay. I was a big anime fan as a tween/teen and I was also a performer, so cosplay was the ultimate marriage of the two. I did a few smaller cosplays with my siblings when I was younger, but never ended up pursuing it like I do now. I think fondly on those days, because when I started cosplaying again in my 20s, I remembered the sense of confidence I felt when I created it and wore it, and witnessed how I affected other people through it. It is a full circle moment for me.

I think working with Dhemerae has helped me unlock a completely different side of making within me that I would have never been able to access on my own, and that has hugely influenced and opened up my mind to what I’m capable of doing with cosplay.

Sarah in Queen Knight cosplay

Sarah in Queen Knight cosplay

D: I’ve always been interested but never had the confidence while I was younger to actually do it. Once I got involved with 3D printing, met Sarah, and began to hone my skills, I really proved to myself that I could in fact do it! This is sort of my time to revisit that interest and finally realize the characters that I always admired and loved.

Tell me about the moment you first used 3D modeling and 3D printing to trick out your costumes. What was your early process like?

D: The first thing I made was San’s mask from my favorite animated film, Princess Mononoke. I had this idea to use the ProJet 660 (sandstone printer) to create a lightweight hollow mask that mimicked the look and feel of a handmade mask. I also wanted to add my own artistic spin by creating some sinister looking cracks in the surface for a weathering effect. I had to print three iterations before I got the size right, and the mechanical component I spent hours designing to keep the mask on my head completely failed. It turns out the best solution was to simply epoxy an elastic band and wear it like a plastic Halloween mask. That process really taught me a lesson in over-engineering. The simpler solution was the most elegant one, and the costume turned out a lot better than expected. I also came up with a crazy idea to attach the ears to my piece of fur using screws inset into the powder prints, which worked beautifully. That was another lesson learned in experimenting with new fastening techniques using 3D printing. So, overall the process was frustrating, but probably the most rewarding to date.

Dhemerae in her San Mask

Dhemerae in her San Mask

S: For my first 3D printed cosplay, I decided to go all in and build body armor. I had never made anything like that ever, and I selected it for that very reason. With each project I choose, I try to give myself a new challenge to explore in order to always be learning and growing, and if I went into everything I learned and experienced during this process, it would be a book (Check out the Sarah’s Comic Con Chronicles on thelasergirlsstudio.com)!

A detail of Sarah's body armor

A detail of Sarah’s body armor

I can say generally speaking, my early process is always the same: I do a ton of sketching, 2D blueprint making, and calendaring in order to set the structure for my workflow. I am a wildly imaginative person which can very easily make me lose my focus, so I need that structure to balance me and make the way I work more effective.

What 3D printed accessories are you most proud of?

D: I am most proud of my Buster Sword from the Lightning As cosplay. For me it was a feat of engineering to be able to 3D model and print a sword that could be assembled in that way, at that scale; I was also proud of the magnet mechanism I designed to join the pieces!

Dhemerae with her Buster Sword

Dhemerae with her Buster Sword

S: Definitely my Fenrir pieces from this year’s Lightning As cosplay; the pauldron, the earrings, and the bag embellishment. I made all of those pieces from one model, which to me shows the usefulness and versatility of 3D printing. Also, the buttons that I printed for my pants – simple but so effective!

Sarah with her Fenrir pieces

Sarah with her Fenrir pieces

What advice would you give to cosplayers who might not be using 3D printing now, but are interested in exploring new ways to bring their visions to life?

When we took a 3D modeling class in college, our professor had us start by choosing a specific object we wanted to make, and we always recommend that others start in this way as well. Choosing an object you love and want to make will not only keep you motivated to finish through the more frustrating parts of learning, but will also make it easier to choose a software package to begin with, and a context under which to work. We also recommend when choosing your first project, to either select one large object or several smaller objects in order to not overwhelm yourself out of the gate!

In terms of where to find learning resources, we actually have a whole blog post on that we recommend you check out- also, Shapeways’ forums are fantastic!

Intro to 3D Modeling:

pt1: http://bit.ly/2kqXwtv

pt2: http://bit.ly/2lsFfMH

I’m curious about your relationship with your fans. Do you work actively to grow your fanbase? How do your fans inspire or inform your work?

From people just getting started in 3D printing to those with experience, the reason why we started thelasergirlsstudio.com was because we wanted to provide a resource and a perspective on the process that can hopefully inspire our followers to get involved in the community, or try new ventures in their process. We Have always genuinely loved to share our work and knowledge, and in a world where people hold onto their content for dear life, we strive to focus on sharing in hopes that others can learn from us, and start their own journeys into 3D.

We do our best to provide helpful feedback to those who contact us via any of our social media channels, and hope to build a positive community filled with productivity, experimentation, creativity, and joy.

Any big projects on the horizon that you’re excited about?

We recently announced that we’re going to I-Con in March in cosplay. Sarah is going as Re-L from the anime Ergo Proxy, and Dhemerae is going as Ripley from the first Alien film. We picked these characters specifically because they’ll have only one major prop print. We’re also considering attending other cons in the fall.


Other than cosplay, we’re working on a bunch of new and exciting content for the blog, which should include some good tutorials and maybe a few vlogs. We may have a couple of teaching opportunities on the, and we are hoping to potentially release a collection of pieces in the Summer/Fall of this year.

Luckily, you can actually buy a selection of TheLaserGirls’ accessories in their Shapeways Shop. And for more learnings, incredible photos, and insights, check out their blog, Instagram, and podcast.

 

This Dog-Sized 3D Printed Robot Might Haunt Your Dreams

When Shapeways first teamed up with Instructables on their Design Now: 3D Printing contest in November, we couldn’t have dreamt of the level of ingenuity and innovation that would result. Not only would Grand Prize winner Brett Turnage rock the RC world with his 3D printed RC motorcycles, First Prize winner Scott Hatfield, alias Toglefritz, would shake things up in a different way.

Toglefritz’s 3D Printed Quadroped is one of the most fully realized DIY bots we’ve seen to use 3D printed parts. A Playstation 2 controller, hobby servos, and Arduino-compatible microcontrollers under the hood bring the dog-sized robot to life. And when we say life, we’re not exaggerating:

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Check out all the winners (and download their designs) at Instructables, and share your latest projects with us in the comments.

The Ultimate Football-Lover’s 3D Wishlist

Of course, when we think “football,” the next thought is “3D printing,” right? Ok, maybe that’s not exactly true. But 3D printing and football have a lot in common: they’re both heavily dependent on a grid, and they both create awesome communities that bring people together! See what we did there?

But seriously folks, the Big Game is almost here! And, for the jewelers, engineers, designers, and makers in Shapeways’ community, this is a big moment. Check out some of the awesome designs that football fans in our community have created, and add a comment if your favorite football-related product isn’t featured:

Jackie’s Football Ring

football ring

Football Field Phone Case

football phone cover

Football Laces Koozie

coozie football

Football Webcam Security Cover

webcam football

BONUS: Show your team pride!

Georgia State Earrings

mass earrings

Massachusetts State Earrings

Massearrings