Why would you want to thicken just part of a model? One reason is that sometimes a 3D model might get rejected from Shapeways during the pre-production process due to weak geometry or thin connections; this happened to us recently with a polyhedral Snub Cube design. In this post we’ll walk you through one way to thicken targeted areas of a 3D model using Meshmixer. // Column at Shapeways

Today's post is about something that is flat-out easy and in addition somehow actually works. Specifically, we have some good news: You can create color 3D designs in Tinkercad and import them directly into the XYZ da Vinci Color 3D printer for printing! I know, that sounds obvious, but in general color printing is hard and even getting the right kinds of files exported can be a tricky business... // Hacktastic

Okay, it’s 2018 and time to start all over again. But sometimes the process of getting started is… hard to get started. How do you even start planning out a project? Today on Tutorial Tuesday we’ll talk about new beginnings and some projects we’re starting this year, including the sometimes messy process of figuring out what to make and what it means to be meaningful... // Column at Shapeways

This Tutorial Tuesday we’ll highlight some of this year’s 3D design tutorials that even the youngest (or oldest!) of your loved ones can use to make custom and personalized 3D prints in just a few minutes. Choose one of the tutorial introductions below and get started creating in no time with Tinkercad, Hero Forge, Cura Lithopanes, the Snowflake Machine, Morphi, BlocksCAD, or 3D Slash... // Column at Shapeways

Today we'll take a break from digital 3D design and do some good old-fashioned analog knitting. Here's a pattern we've been working on recently. What is this crazy stitch, and where did it come from? We call it the Triple Check, and it's a stitch we made up for multicolor reversible scarves that we could knit during math talks and committee meetings. Maybe it's new, maybe it isn't; we aren't sure yet... // Hacktastic

Today’s 3D printing advice: Figure out what your design software is good at doing and THEN design something, not the other way around. If you start the design process with a rigid idea of what you want to make, then you’ll have to bang your head against the wall to try to get your software to do what you need it to. But if you have the luxury of being flexible about what you’re designing, then you can... // Column at Shapeways

Today we’ll review two simple but powerful ways to make a custom vase in Fusion 360, and also give you some tips on how to keep your printing costs down. It’s easier than you might think to make a unique custom vase design, even if you’re new to 3D modeling. One good place to start is with excellent video walkthrough Crazy Vases using the Loft Feature in Fusion 360... // Column at Shapeways

In this Tutorial Tuesday we’ll make personalized 3D printed snowflakes using the Snowflake Machine, a Customizer built on OpenSCAD code that can procedurally generate over one billion unique snowflakes based on random seeds and user-set design parameters. Don’t worry, it’s easier than that just sounded! Here's a step-by-step how-to guide so you can get your holiday snowflakes... // Column at Shapeways

Sometimes the easiest things can be so difficult. Wrapping text around a cylinder, which is exactly what you’d want to do when making a text-engraved ring, is one of those things! Depending on what design program you use, this simple task can seem impossible. Today we’ll focus on one surprisingly elegant text-wrapping technique for Fusion 360 devised by Vladimir at DesktopMakes... // Column at Shapeways

Bangle bracelets are great, but they’re so darn bangly. A circular bangle bracelet has to be pretty big to fit over your hand, which makes it very loose around your wrist once you get it on. If you think about it, when you use a bangle bracelets you’re wearing it 99% of the time, but pulling it over your hand only 1% of the time. How do you make a design that’s optimized for the 99% instead of the 1%?... // Column at Shapeways

Pioneer Professor Laura Taalman (a.k.a. mathgrrl) reviews a multi-week study of fractals by general education math students in the JMU 3D printing classroom: The James Madison University 3SPACE classroom kicked off the Fall 2017 with 10 new 3D printers and a new 3-credit general education course exploring fractals and four-dimensional representations of objects... // Guest post at Ultimaker Education

It’s math time! Or, at least, designer cheat-sheet time. This week we’ll be giving you the answers you need for deducing side lengths and angles of non-right triangles in your 3D designs. If you’re using professional design software, then you might be able to get all the measurements you need from the design software itself. But sometimes your software programs can’t rescue you... // Column at Shapeways

This print-in-place impossible screw has two interlocking pieces that twist freely but cannot come apart! A great example of an object that can be made with layer-by-layer 3D printing, but not with traditional manufacturing methods. The model is a remix of TheKre8Group's Un-Manufacturable Part, with increased clearance, elongated twisty part, and full color added to the interior twist... // Hacktastic

The holidays are coming, and it seems like the run-up to them starts sooner every year. But for Shapeways shop owners, the holiday season starts even earlier. How much earlier? We’ll break down the timeline and see when you should be ready for the starting gun. There are a lot of holidays in December, but of course, the big dog for shop owners is likely to be Christmas... // Column at Shapeways

We made these color cubes to test the new XYZ da Vinci Color 3D printer. The cubes were colored as they were printed, with each extrusion layer "painted" by CMYK ink cartridges inside the printer. Like most really great ideas, the idea of combining FFF with ink jet color is so elegant and obvious that we can't believe we didn't think of it earlier, but we're glad that XYZ did... // Hacktastic

Sometimes a design just begs to be printed in Porcelain. If want your model to be food-safe, act as a keepsake, or look great with a beautiful artistic glaze, then Porcelain is a good option to try. However, designing for 3D printing in Porcelain isn’t the same as designing for other materials. This week we’ll talk about ways to modify and optimize your designs for printing in Porcelain... // Column at Shapeways

If you want some 3D printed chocolate but don’t have a 3D chocolate printer, do the next best thing by making molds. Simple 3D printed shapes can be used as presses to create food-safe silicon candy molds. The only tricky bit is to keep air pockets out of the corners of the molds; we’ll solve that problem by creating our designs in Fusion 360 so we can fillet, or round, the edges of our designs... // Column at Shapeways

The 3D printing slicer Cura has a cool hidden feature: It turns out that you can upload an image and it will turn dark/light contrast into high/low elevation. You can use this feature to make a quick 3D-printable lithophane. Black and white images work the best, but you can get amazingly detailed photographic quality from lithophanes, so they don’t necessarily have to be simple... // Column at Shapeways

Want to make a simple design and turn it into a 3D printed product in just a few minutes? 3D Slash is an in-browser modeling tool that is intuitive, easy to use, and unusually fun to use. You can create designs by smashing blocks with a hammer, building up walls, or tracing an image. If you have a simple idea that you want to bring into reality very quickly, 3D Slash is a fun place to begin... // Column at Shapeways

Want to make a 3D-printable Dungeons & Dragons character without learning Blender, ZBrush, or Maya? Try Hero Forge, one of the Shapeways Creator Apps. Hero Forge allows you to build a D&D character miniature from scratch, using a very simple online customization interface. This week we’ll show you how easy it is to create and print your own mini D&D character from the ground up... // Column at Shapeways