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KraftWurx’s Patent Available

The legalities behind the KraftWurx 3D print service/software are now available for public viewing, courtesy of the US Government’s Patent and Trade office. Patent application number 20110313878, entitled “Made-to-order direct digital manufacturing enterprise” includes this abstract:   Methods and systems for designing and producing a three-dimensional object selection of a base three-dimensional object from a… Continue reading KraftWurx’s Patent Available

3D Printed Fractal Cube Originated in Second Life

In December 2007 Henry Segerman, a.k.a. Second Life avatar Seifert Surface, designed a “Hilbert Cube” using Second Life’s then simplistic 3D model creation tools and some tricky Python software. While this interesting object was for years used only within Second Life’s virtual world, there’s been a recent change: you can now 3D print this item… Continue reading 3D Printed Fractal Cube Originated in Second Life

MineToys!

If it’s in 3D, it will be printed. That is the theme we see everywhere now. The latest venture in the theme is MineToys, a service that can 3D print your MineCraft characters.    Like those who went before printing World of Warcraft, Mii or Second Life avatars, we now have a service that can… Continue reading MineToys!

The Wild West of 3D Models

Nick Bilton of the New York Times writes on the current “Wild West” state of legal affairs in the world of 3D printing. He compares the trading of digital 3D models with today’s sharing of music and video: “You think that was bad? Just wait until we can copy physical things.” We strongly agree with… Continue reading The Wild West of 3D Models

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3D Printed Circuit Boards?

Ponoko’s CEO David ten Have believes 3D printers will soon be able to print actual working circuit boards, in a recent chat with Wired. According to ten Have, “most of the assembly tools are completely automated anyway”.    The RepRap project’s design goal is to design a machine that can actually reproduce itself, but automated… Continue reading 3D Printed Circuit Boards?

The Hamburger Shoe

People always get excited about 3D printed food in spite of the fact there are precious few ways to do so. While we await the development of a consumer food printer, others continue to experiment. Shapeways reports on a great experiment in which their member Tristan Bethe 3D scanned his shoe, 3D printed a slightly… Continue reading The Hamburger Shoe

Parametric Clothing

A short while ago we wrote about Shapeways’ 3D printed Bikini, and we speculated on the complexity of software required to develop appropriately fitting 3D clothing. The subtlety of fashionable curves and comfort fit are extraordinarily difficult, as they would necessarily be unique to each and every person. Even slight variations could render a fashion… Continue reading Parametric Clothing

3D Printed Bikini: Breakthrough or Barrier?

We were very excited to read about Shapeways latest creation: a 3D printed Bikini that you can actually purchase and wear! Up to now, most 3D printed fashions were wild, crazy and effectively impractical for common use. Typically you’d see 3D printed fashions in a museum or modern art event, but never in a place… Continue reading 3D Printed Bikini: Breakthrough or Barrier?

The Top Ten Players In 3D Printing?

We’re reading a curious post on EconomyWatch in which they describe the incredible future of 3D printing. In their post, they list the “Top Ten Players in the 3D Printing Industry Today”. Here’s their list:   3D Systems (printers) Autodesk (CAD software) Desktop Factory (printer) Makerbot Industries (printers) Shapeways (service) Bespoke Innovations (artificial limbs) Sweet… Continue reading The Top Ten Players In 3D Printing?

3D Printing Companies Will Continue To Do Well

One might think that it’s not a good time to invest in 3D printing companies after their latest run up. However, according to a report by analysts at Piper Jaffray:     Based on conversations with industry sources and Q1 channel checks, we believe demand in the 3D printing market has improved and we believe… Continue reading 3D Printing Companies Will Continue To Do Well

No Screw Ups After 3D/DC!

For several years now we’ve written about the legal and ethical complications that might occur when 3D printing tech enters the consumer realm. There is no shortage of pathological situations that might arise, be they related to copyright, patents or other regulatory regimes – all of which were designed for prior eras that didn’t include… Continue reading No Screw Ups After 3D/DC!

Attend The thingmakers Conference – For Free!

London, May 4, 2011 is the date for the new thingmakers conference, where many of the creators of 3D printing technology will join with users in an “intense one day conference on the best of 3D printing and customized manufacturing”.    According to organizer Ivan Pope:    We’re trying to evangelize 3D printing and associated… Continue reading Attend The thingmakers Conference – For Free!

Who Needs 3D Printing Rules?

After reading Shapeways’ recent post discussing their new design rules for stainless steel prints, we thought we should weigh in. Shapeways has gone as far as developing a dedicated “Design Rule Repository. What’s in it? According to their post:    This is a subsection of the website dedicated to design rules. Going forward, the blog… Continue reading Who Needs 3D Printing Rules?

The Zoybar 3D Printed Guitar

It seems there is growing interest in 3D printed musical instruments. After the amazing 3D printed flute  we now see another 3D printed guitar: The Zoybar TOR. This funky item is composed of a small number of parts (three) printed by Shapeways.   Designed by Bård S D, this item is not available for sale… Continue reading The Zoybar 3D Printed Guitar

3D World Gets DMCA’d

This was totally inevitable. Earlier this week a new object posted to Thingiverse was widely discussed. It was a great object – apparently able to visually simulate an impossible object: The Penrose Triangle, except in reality. And the design succeeds, at least when viewed from the correct angle.    But then the fun started. Ulrich… Continue reading 3D World Gets DMCA’d

3DTin’s Buzz

We heard the huge chatter across the 3D world recently about 3DTin, an impressive web-based 3D modelling tool. What? 3D modelling in a browser? Yes. True.   There are tons of limitations, however. Essentially, 3DTin uses a simple building block approach, much like assembling a structure out of Lego blocks. In this way rudimentary models… Continue reading 3DTin’s Buzz

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3D Print a Kindle!

Not exactly, but it’s surprisingly close to printing a Kindle. Maker Stergios Stergiou has designed a combination case and magnifier that blows up an iPhone 4 screen to 6 inches in size – approximately the same size as an actual Kindle. This makes it much easier to read eBooks, for example.    The device, called… Continue reading 3D Print a Kindle!

3D Printing In The News

This week saw not one, but two big media splashes for 3D Printing: First, a New York Times article introduced the topic to their readers, and secondly (perhaps triggered by the NYT article) MakerBot chief Bre Prettis was interviewed live on CNN in front of (presumably) millions. There was also a brief mention in Scientific… Continue reading 3D Printing In The News

Amazing iPhone 3D Scanner

Shapeways has uncovered a really intriguing iOS app: Trimensional. This simple app uses a four-way flash to roughly capture the shape of a face or other object held motionless as far as 20cm away from the front-facing camera. Since the front camera is used by the app, it’s only available for iPhone 4’s and the… Continue reading Amazing iPhone 3D Scanner

Reality Mixed Up By MeshMixer

Once in a while we bump into a truly amazing product and today its MeshMixer. This software permits easy manipulation of 3D mesh objects – that is to say, cut/paste/resize/move about, etc. The creation of unreal models such as the fellow with the unusual nose above is almost trivial using MeshMixer. Here’s some highlights:  … Continue reading Reality Mixed Up By MeshMixer

Printing A Beautiful Figurine

There are quite a number of people who collect and design figurines, those small humanoid representations. Actually, this has been going on for a very long time, perhaps thousands of years now, but these days we’re likely in the Golden Age of figurines, historically speaking.    We read the adventure of how one figurine designer,… Continue reading Printing A Beautiful Figurine

Sculpteo Sails Across the Sea

The 3D Print Service market just got a bit more interesting. France-based Sculpteo, whom we reported on some time ago, announced they now ship to the USA, joining major players Shapeways, i.Materialise and Ponoko. Previously, they shipped only to Europe. Thus it’s time to check out Sculpteo in a bit more detail.    Sculpteo operates… Continue reading Sculpteo Sails Across the Sea

Has 3D Printing Hit The Knee Of The Curve?

We’re pondering a couple of recent developments in the low-end 3D printing space that may indicate a change of state in the low-end 3D printing world.   First, Shapeways received a massive investment from top-ranked venture capital firms: USD$5M from Union Square Ventures and Index Ventures. We wrote, and still believe that this means Union… Continue reading Has 3D Printing Hit The Knee Of The Curve?

Free 3D Repositories

Your personal 3D printer sits idle while you ponder what to print. Should you go back to Thingiverse and print out another coat hook? Perhaps some spare MakerBot parts? Maybe you should fire up SketchUp or Blender and create a new 3D model of your own design.    Nope, not tonight. You’re feeling lazy and… Continue reading Free 3D Repositories

The 100% Design Contest

There’s yet another 3D printing contest brewing (and haven’t there been a lot lately?) This one involves a team effort between Shapeways and Despoke as part of the 100% Design event in London (“The UK’s leading design & architecture event”). The prize:   Finalists in The 2010 Shapeways Despoke 100% Design Contest will get their… Continue reading The 100% Design Contest

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Which Desktop 3D Printer Do I Buy? Part Two

Editor: This is a guest post courtesy of well-known 3D Printing blogger Joris Peels. Most recently Joris was the Community Manager for Shapeways, but these days he’s blogging at VoxelFab. This is part two of a two-part post. You may read part one here.      The Dimension uPrint Plus (a.k.a. HP Designjet)   Don’t get… Continue reading Which Desktop 3D Printer Do I Buy? Part Two

Which Desktop 3D Printer Do I Buy? Part One

Editor: We are totally tickled to present our very first guest post – and we’re greatly honoured to have it written by well-known 3D Printing blogger Joris Peels. Most recently Joris was the Shapeways Community Manager, and now he’s blogging at Voxelfab. Over the past few years Joris has written extensively on 3D printing helping… Continue reading Which Desktop 3D Printer Do I Buy? Part One

The Inevitable Obj Store

After re-reading Bradshaw, Bowyer and Haufe’s paper “The Intellectual Property Implications of Low-Cost 3D Printing”, we’ve been considering where this personal manufacturing space is heading. In the paper, the tangled intellectual property rights scenarios they described involved personal manufacturing of some sort. It occurred to us that at the end of the day, most manufactured… Continue reading The Inevitable Obj Store

3D Memories?

We’ve written before about the sentimental value of 3D printed objects. Consider the notion of capturing 3D data from a pregnant woman’s ultrasound scan of her unborn child – and then reproducing the child in 3D even before it’s born! These and many other similar activities are quite possible these days with 3D print tech. … Continue reading 3D Memories?

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3D Printing Aids Biohacking

These days people are fiddling with anything that can be made digital, and one of the more interesting digitizations recently is biology! DNA, those tiny molecular strands that define us all, are increasingly being investigated by, well, hackers. BBC News reports on this phenomenon, which has grown recently aided by technological developments.    The idea… Continue reading 3D Printing Aids Biohacking

Digging Through eBay for 3D

Following up on our earlier article in which we sought out used 3D printers on eBay, we noticed that printers are not the only relevant 3D item you can find on eBay.     We’ve located several instances of individuals selling print services via eBay, but we’d use them only if their price was less than… Continue reading Digging Through eBay for 3D

WYSIWYG 3D Printing

Shapeways has taken a step to ease the design process by using Blender to render images of 3D models. This addition to their service permits users to have a reasonably close peek at what their printed object might look like after emerging from Shapeways fleet of 3D printers. The problem up till now has been… Continue reading WYSIWYG 3D Printing

Alumide Examples

Joris of Shapeways posted a video showing off several sample 3D prints using Shapeway’s new Alumide material. The semi-metallic material, while less strong than other build materials offered, seems to convey quite a different character to the printed objects. They no longer look and feel like “plain old plastic”.    The video includes several truly… Continue reading Alumide Examples

Two Metallic Announcements

In recent days two announcements regarding 3D metal printing have emerged: Shapeways announced a new material and Materialise released new software optimized for metal additive manufacturing. Firsrt, Materialise released the “Magics Metal SG” software package that should make life a little bit easier for 3D designers: Magics Metal SG provides metal AM professionals with a… Continue reading Two Metallic Announcements

Fixing Model Problems

One of the issues facing 3D modellers is the ability to create models perfectly suitable for 3D printing. A correct visual appearance does not mean it will print correctly, because the design might be ambiguous, have non-printable shapes or be “leaky” (non-watertight). Shapeways writes: I’ve found that it’s often difficult to retrofit your existing models… Continue reading Fixing Model Problems

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The Sculpteo 3D Printing Service

A new European 3D print service has emerged: Sculpteo. This friendly service appears to compete with Shapeways, as it offers not only a straightforward method of uploading your designs, but also has a “community gallery” from which you may choose pre-made designs.    Once your design is set:   You choose the material, the monochrome… Continue reading The Sculpteo 3D Printing Service

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3D Printed Art

There’s always a stream of magnificent artwork emerging from 3D printers. Here’s a round up of some interesting pieces we’ve seen recently: A 3D printed ring in stainless steel by noformdesign        Ancient Critters by smallstuffstudio          Human skull demonstrating multicolour capability by ZCorp           Valentine… Continue reading 3D Printed Art

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Dental Scanning

We’ve all been to the dentist (you have gone, haven’t you?) and from time to time we need to get replacement teeth or portions thereof. The dentist makes you bite into rubber or plastic moulds to capture the 3D shape of the required parts and then sends it off for custom manufacturing. But Is there… Continue reading Dental Scanning

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Full Color 3D Printing

Yes, that’s right – Shapeways now offers full color 3D printing. They’ve scored a ZCorp 650 3D printer, which provides the color capability. The “Full Color Sandstone” material is able to handle color texture maps.    It’s obviously more work to prepare color models. You must create a texture map in your 3D modelling software… Continue reading Full Color 3D Printing

3D Printing Trends in 2009

  While polishing off the last of the holiday eggnog, we’ve opened the Fabbaloo filing cabinet and dusted off our posts and reflected on what’s transpired over these past twelve months.   Much has happened this year, but we observe some overall trends. Some continue from earlier, but a few are new:   Maker culture… Continue reading 3D Printing Trends in 2009

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Virtual Becomes Real – Again

Shapeways provides an excellent post describing how to print a 3D version of your favorite Spore character. Spore? (It’s a 3D massively multiplayer online game in which you can design your own “creature”) What could be better than holding your virtual creation in your own hands? While this is a great service to Spore players,… Continue reading Virtual Becomes Real – Again

Prepping for 3D Printing

Shapeways published an excellent article describing several tips for preparing your Blender file for 3D printing, specifically for using the Shapeways printing service. The article explains how to fix non-manifold vertices, handling overlapping objects and output scaling, and are good tips even if you aren’t using Shapeways. Via Shapeways

The Metal Process – Revealed!

We found a great video from Shapeways that takes you through the entire process of producing a metal object. From initial printing in stainless steel powder (with organic binder), through curing and bronze infusion that leads to the final item, you’ll see it all. Missing: the finishing stage. Get out the brushes and start polishing!… Continue reading The Metal Process – Revealed!

Ooo! Smooth!

Shapeways has added a new material: White Glaze, or as we like to call it: Smooth! Evidently the white coats in Shapeways’ secret lab toiled for weeks trying various concoctions until they came up with White Glaze, which exhibits terrific reflective characteristics as you can see in the image above. By the way, White Glaze… Continue reading Ooo! Smooth!

Puzzling BitTorrent and 3D Printing

  There’s a fascinating interview of Bram Cohen on the Shapeways Blog. That name sounds familiar? It should, because he’s the inventor of BitTorrent, that famous or infamous highly efficient network transfer protocol that swept the world and changed how big media companies operator forever. But what’s this got to do with 3D printing? Turns… Continue reading Puzzling BitTorrent and 3D Printing

Busted!

  In amongst last week’s torrent of posts from Shapeways, there was one describing a cool HP Lovecraft bust printed on their 3D print service. You can buy one yourself for USD$17 or USD$33 for the 12 or 15cm versions, respectively. However, this got us thinking again. Shapeways (and other 3D print services) often try… Continue reading Busted!

Hands-On Design. For Real!

  Josh at SolidSmack posts on a just-discovered video of a truly amazing development: using touch-screen multi-touch gestures to design a 3D model! The software is from SpaceClaim Corp, makers of SpaceClaim Style, Engineer and Viewer. If you look closely in the HD version of the YouTube video, you’ll see they are demonstrating with SpaceClaim… Continue reading Hands-On Design. For Real!

Light Fixture Design

  What do you get when you combine barnacles, a ZCorp 450 3D printer and garlic? A really cool light fixture, of course! Designer Zach Kron created this curtain panel after extracting the fundamental design elements from the biological items and aggregating them into the above light fixture. Zach’s experimentation leads him to this tip:… Continue reading Light Fixture Design

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3D Parts On Demand

  Shapeways has announced a great new feature for their 3D printing service that should benefit designers. It’s a 3D parts model database. The database currently has approximately thirty items in it, including a variety of nuts, sprockets, gears, bearings, coils and other fundamental parts. We suspect these components would be useful in many designs.… Continue reading 3D Parts On Demand

Stamp Your Website!

  Recently we described Shapeways’ new rubber stamp service, where images are transformed by software and 3D printing into a custom rubber stamp. But now we find a truly innovative use of rubber stamps that brings that pre-20th century technology into the 21st. It all has to do with something called “QR Codes”. They are… Continue reading Stamp Your Website!

3D Rubber Stamps

  In retrospect, this is totally obvious, but Shapeways now provides a way to produce your own rubber stamp from uploaded images. Here’s how it works, as shown above: Start with a desirable image Convert it to black and white Reduce the image’s colors to black or white – with as little gray as possible… Continue reading 3D Rubber Stamps

How Small Are Your Fingers?

  Ours are not exactly small, and therefore we’ll probably not be able to handle what’s being called “the world’s smallest cube puzzle”. It’s available at ShapeWays right now. It’s a classic 3D puzzle with tetris-like 3D shapes. The only catch is that they are really tiny, with the maximum dimension being only 7.5mm! Fortunately,… Continue reading How Small Are Your Fingers?

D_Shape Tech Prints Buildings

  Joris Peels at the Shapeways Blog posts a rather interesting interview with Enrico Dini, who intends on constructing building-sized objects with 3D printing technology. We’ve seen building printers before, but this approach could be more interesting – because it’s actually happening! The image above shows an alien egg-shaped sculpture within a roundabout. Yes, those… Continue reading D_Shape Tech Prints Buildings

Two Routes to Low Cost

  Fluid Forms poses an interesting question: how to obtain an inexpensive 3D printer. They correctly point out the two possible courses of action for obtaining inexpensive 3D printing solutions: Commercial units, such as the Desktop Factory and MCOR printers. Open Source hardware solutions such as RepRap, Fab@Home and the recently announced MakerBot The problem,… Continue reading Two Routes to Low Cost

Make No Mistakes

One of the wonderful aspects of online services is the communities that form around them. These communities can not only share ideas, but sometimes they create very useful tools and add-ons that make the original service even better. That’s just what happened when Shapeway user Virtox created a special script for 3DS Max that computes… Continue reading Make No Mistakes

The Photoshaper

  Shapeways continues to innovate, and this time it’s The Photoshaper. What is it? It’s a cross between 3D and 2D mediums in which you submit a standard 2D photograph and Shapeway’s unique software will interpret the colors and shading to produce a semi-3D model of the photograph. The object can then be illuminated from… Continue reading The Photoshaper

More Metal – This Time Saving Lives!

Both ProMetal and Sintef have been working on metal printing processes, quite different from traditional plastics and powders of other 3D print processses. One of the barriers to more common use of 3D printing (aside from cost and print time) is the robustness of the printed objects. If only they could be printed in something… Continue reading More Metal – This Time Saving Lives!

MAKE Makes a Character

Shapeways provides a wonderful and simple way to create many types of objects. Their software does have restrictions, but don’t fret – you can always use your own 3D design software to produce, well, what ever you desire. And that’s precisely what John Park did at MAKE magazine. Using MAYA 3D software and a cute… Continue reading MAKE Makes a Character

Automake Makes

What do they make? Objects you design, or at least “co-design”. It’s a very interesting concept, somewhat reminiscent of the approaches used by Shapeways, Ponoko and other consumer-oriented 3D print services. Here’s the issue: printers can produce objects from 3D models, but where do the models come from? It turns out that you need quite… Continue reading Automake Makes

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Two Hours to Stargate!

Madox has done the impossible – building a real Stargate in less than two hours! Heh, it’s not a *real* Stargate, but it is a true 3D object you can hold in your hand. And the iris does open and close, mostly. What’s this all about? Engineer Madox observed the recent 66% off materials cost… Continue reading Two Hours to Stargate!

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A Jeweler’s First Time

MadeByDan reports on his first experience using 3D print technology. Ironically, it was not jewelry that came out of the printer, but instead o a simple platter. We expect that he’ll soon be printing jewelry models too. He used Shapeways, a popular 3D print service. Here’s the part we found most interesting: I thought it… Continue reading A Jeweler’s First Time

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3D Printing from Amazon?

That’s the proposition by Tony Hirst in his blog, OUseful.Info. Tony examines the digital assets of Amazon and their growing electronic distribution mechanisms. And then the eureka moment: So here’s where it struck me: Amazon is increasingly capable of turning digital bits into physical stuff. This is good for warehousing, of course – the inventory… Continue reading 3D Printing from Amazon?

So You Aren’t A 3D Modeler?

This is indeed an issue for the emerging 3D print services: people want to make things, but few are experienced 3D modelers capable of designing anything, let alone something terrific. Some companies have gone about solving this problem by having a wide selection of different professionally designed items, such as Ponoko or more recently Shapeways.… Continue reading So You Aren’t A 3D Modeler?

Z-Corp Spreads

Z-Corp, makers of the very popular Z-Corp 3D printers used by many 3D print services, recently announced they have struck a deal with EDST, the “largest PLM and 3D Visual Simulation solutions provider in India”. Evidently EDST works with some 650 clients across India in a variety of industry segments. What does this mean? We… Continue reading Z-Corp Spreads

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More 3D Printing Videos

  We’ve uncovered some interesting 3D printing videos that demonstrate RepRap, Fab@Home and the Shapeways 3D print service, all on a single web page, thanks to The Scientific Indian   Via The Scientific Indian

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