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

Today, we’ll learn how to turn one simple snowflake design into multiple products in a variety of shapes, sizes, and materials. We’ll start with simple low-res 3D prints and prototypes on desktop FDM machines, and eventually level up to printing in Nylon and Plated Rhodium at Shapeways. The snowflake design we’ll be working with was created with parametric code in OpenSCAD... // Guest Post 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

Earlier this month, Geek & Sundry featured the new Shapeways tutorial video The Ultimaker Conversion Tutorial: Add Custom Heraldry to a Miniature. This week on Tutorial Tuesday, we’ll build on that and show you how to create, remix, and add features to tabletop models. One way to easily create a custom tabletop figure is with Hero Forge, an in-browser, character designing app... // Column at Shapeways

If you’ve got a desktop FDM 3D printer at home, then you can make your own same-day prints whenever you want to. But, unless you’re hiding a refrigerator-sized $300,000 SLS machine in your garage, there are going to be times when it’s worth sending your prints to a professional 3D printing service like Shapeways. So when to print with FDM and when to send out for SLS?... // Guest post at Shapeways

So, you have a 3D model, but it’s too thin to print reliably — or too thick to have the fine detail you want. How can you fix it? In this week’s Tutorial Tuesday, we’ll focus on that one specific modeling skill. There are a lot of tools you could use for thickening or thinning a model, but today we’ll explore Blender, which produces reliable results and a good mesh, even with challenging designs... // Column at Shapeways