Category Archives: Gadget Lab

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!

Kelecrea: Design and 3D Print Jewelry from Your Android

Create your own silver ring on your Android device and 3D Print it with Shapeways!

kelecrea is developed for the Android platform by Shapeways community member Lajos Kelemen that lets you add text as engraving or embossing to 3D models. Currently you can modify a choice of rings, pendants, nameplates, coins, brooches and hairpins.  You can already see some of the designs generated in his shop gallery.

Check out the video of the app in action then download it from the Android market.

It is applications like kelecrea, ShapeMe, Endless Forms, 3DTin and Tinkercad that will really bring 3D printing to the masses.  

Awesome work Lajos 

3D Print Yourself with Just Two Photos and ShapeMe by Archipelis

3D print a miniature version of yourself with just two photos and ShapeMe (developed by Archipelis).

Shapeways community member Archipelis has developed a really fun and mildly addictive app that lets you make a miniature version of yourself with NO 3D modeling skills needed. You simply download the ShapeMe app, take a front on and profile head shot of yourself, use the simple interface to map your head onto a range of bodies and you are ready to 3D print in our new full color… You can also add other elements such as hair, glasses and a base.

ShapeMe is currently only for Windows but soon to be released in the Apple app store so you can also use ShapeMe on your iPad, iPhone or iPod touch..  Being so easy to use it is a perfect way to get friends and family to start playing around with 3D printing.  What better gift for grandma than a miniature grandchild to put on the mantlepiece, or perhaps you could do a personalised wedding topper, with the bride and groom imortalised in full color.  Whatever you choose to do the ShapeMe is fun and easy. Take a look at the gallery of ShapMes so far.

Check out the tutorial page (download link is in the tutorial page), and the video below to get started.

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Like a Gramophone for Your iPad

Simple, 3D printed coolness…. The Mega Toot by cheewee2000

So your iPad is not quite loud enough, you want to stay wireless, don’t want to plug into external speakers and don’t want to wear your great grandfather’s old ear trumpet?  Then we have the solution for you, the Mega Toot turns you iPad into a digital gramophone with no additional batteries, no hand crank and 120% style….

Rock on.

3D Printed PC Case

An awesome industrial design project that uses 3D printing to construct a custom PC case from scratch.  Very ambitious and very impressive project by Pazu….

We see many projects on Shapeways where a 3D printed component is combined with a single other component to improve or extend the capability of a product.  We see a lot of protectors and stands for mobile gadgets, especially the iPhone and iPad.  We see occasional projects that combine multiple 3D printed materials together to make the most of there different material properties, but we rarely see them combined in one big project. Pazu aka ArkAngel has spent a couple of months designing, detailing and constructing a stunning custom PC case that utilizes 3D printing in an intelligent, efficient and aesthetic manner that is a great example of how to realize a relatively complex item.

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Nintendo Graduation Ring and Atari Miniature Disc Drive

Get your Geek on with Shapeways.

Designed as a custom graduation ring for a client in the game design field by Action N

A tiny working model of a retro computing icon offers a blend of nostalgia and sillyness by Rossum.

My first computer was an Atari 400. My first disk drive was the magnificent Atari 810. Overwhelmed by a recent wave of nostalgia from playing Zork for the first time in 30 years I have built a working model of an Atari 810 that uses 8Gig microSD cards instead of 5 1/4 inch floppies to emulate up to 8 drives. Maintaining the relative dimensions of drive to media, the model is somewhat smaller than the original.

3D printed by Shapeways then hand painted, this is by far the cutest external drive, ever.

What other retro devices could be 3D printed in miniature to act as housings for electronic devices with thousands of time the storage and processing capability of the original in some kind of size reduction = capacity multiplication equation?

3D Printed 3-axis Camera Gimbal for GoPro

Stabilizer For Remote Controlled Airplane for FPV and Aerial Video

So many cool things about this project I don’t know where to start.

This (if I understand fully) is a beautifully designed pan-tilt-roll gimbal for a GoPro HD camera to attach to a remote control airplane and stabilize the footage..  Ok, already very cool. SFX is using servos from Hobbyking (MKS470) or other places, and you can use a remote control with v-tail or elevon mixers to drive this as a 3-axis pan tilt unit. For the gyro stabilization you’ll need some 3-axis gyro and micro-controller to generate the servo signals.

Plenty of things I know nothing about but get excited when I see a video of the unit in action like this.

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An Awesome Month of March at Shapeways

What a month March was for the Shapeways community.

We started the month with an invite to join us at Makerfaire UK in Newcastle, which turned out to be a great success with Ralph and Bart joined by community members Euphy and Stop4Stuff who had an awesome time talking until their throats were hoarse about 3D printed coolness.

We launched the ICFF contest to give you the opportunity to have your 3D printed designs on show in NYC, already the contest is hotting up with some great entries, make sure you get yours in soon.

Shapeways updated it’s dyed strong and flexible range to include Dark Grey and Indigo to Winter Red and Night Black.

We made it possible for you to log in to Shapeways with Facebook and Twitter making it easier for new users to sign up and purchase your designs, Like your items and tweet the love.

The Stainless Steel Design Rules were given a tweak to ensure that there is greater consistency and reliability with the stainless steel process.

SILVER made a long awaited comeback after months of being sorely missed with a better pricing model for you, tell us what you think and show us your stuff…

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3D Scanning Begins to go Mobile!

At the moment Trimensional (a mobile device 3D Scanner) is only available on the iPhone 4 and iPod touch 4th Gen. The main reason it’s only currently on these two devices is because the way it works is that while the screen of the mobile device faces you it flashes some fancy lights at you while you stare unmoving at the front-facing camera in a dark room (try not to creep everyone out who lives with you, unless you want to).

I saw this 3D scanning application mentioned initially on my feed from the Smithsonian 3D Digitization page that I “like” on Facebook. It was only 99 cents, so I figured it wasn’t a big monetary risk to try it out. It was pretty entertaining if not with wonderful accuracy (above is a less than flattering low-res 3D scan of me). But hey, it just came out and the creator himself said he’s going to pimp it out a lot more as time goes by. I’m sure most of you reading this blog want to know how these 3D scans apply to 3D printing. There are export features in the works, go to the end of this blog for more info on my email exchange with the creator of this app.
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Large Scale DIY 3D Printer

With a maximum build area of 403.00 x 403.00 x 322.70 mm [15.86 x 15.86 x 12.70 inches] this may be one of the bigger DIY 3D Printers (but not as big as this one) currently out in the domestic wild. The above image is My Machine by Jim at Grass Roots Engineering cradling a Fab@Home Model 2.0.

So…It all began in late 2008/early 2009 when I really wanted to build a 3D printer. There were not as many choices in DIY 3D printer designs then as there are nowadays. I could not find a machine design that I really liked that was capable of printing with ABS plastic. So I set off to design my own and ended up designing something like this:

kinect augmented reality multi touching

Ok, this makes the Wii hacks look old school.

Check out dustin o’connor’s Vimeo for more!!

More 3D Printed Gifts Than Can Fit On Santa’s Sleigh

The rush to get all of the packages out in time for the holidays is now over with Monday’s shipment of 396 packages going to destinations all over the globe. Perhaps one of them is yours?


A big thanks to all the production teams who worked so hard to get all of the packages out in time…

And a massive thank you to everyone who is giving a 3D printed gift this year….

The CardCase for IPhone 4

Love this design, now I wish I had not featured the Minimalist first, but I know that this was in prototyping before the post. I wish there was one for the iPhone 3G so I can stop walking around with my creditcard held onto my phone with a rubberband like some sort of hightech hobo..

The CardCase for the IPhone 4 does what other card carrying IPhone cases can do and then some!

The sleek snap-on case not only protects your IPhone, but also replaces your wallet. The CardCase can comfortably hold 2 credit or ID cards and the integrated card slot on the side allows you to use any available card as an instant stand!

Available in White, Black, Green, Red or Silver Alumide.

Multitasking with Multiple Devices Made Easy(er)

So you are on the train to work and you want to check your email while browsing through RSS feeds but the app switching is too slow and if you try and you lose where you are exactly in each thread so you break out 2 devices at once.  So you prop one device precariously on your lap whilst the other you hold in your left hand while you gingerly reach for your coffee.  This is bound to end in tears, until now.

John Tokash has come up with a clever solution to make multitasking on multiple devices that little bit easier with the help of some 3D printed neatness..

A series of clips that lock devices together, genius! And of course made possible by 3D printing with Shapeways.

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