If you already know something about photography or if you have a nice camera, then this post isn’t for you. Today’s tutorial is for people like me, who needed an easy way to make their phone photos a little bit better and don’t want to break the bank doing it. And as an excuse to photograph for detail, we'll check out some test prints from the new HP MultiJet Fusion 3D Printer... // Column at Shapeways

For an amateur 3D designer, how to wrap something around another thing is one of those questions that you know must have an answer but seems impossible to figure out. It comes up so often, in fact, that we’re going to devote this post to answering using Grasshopper. And we’re going to give you the code so you can wrap your own things around other things. // Column at Shapeways

Why create just one design when you can create infinitely many? Instead of designing a ring in just one size, you could use parametric design to control the ring size or the surface pattern, effectively creating many designs within one. Parameters also enable you to create algorithmic, generative designs with amazing complexity. This week we'll learn how to get started with Grasshopper... // Column at Shapeways

SketchUp is a natural software choice for bringing architecture to life in 3D. But did you know you can use it to make much more than buildings? If you’re looking for free, reliable software that is easy to start using and also has the teeth for more advanced projects, SketchUp might be the tool you seek. This week we’ll run down the best beginner and intermediate resources for SketchUp... // Column at Shapeways

The Perko Pair is a famous pair of knots that for a long time were thought to be different, but later were famously revealed to be the same by Kenneth Perko in 1973. We created a stylized morph between "Perko A" and "Perko B" by exporting a model from KnotPlot and then adding extrusions to each mesh face in TopMod, then printed the model with an Ultimaker 3 using dissolvable PVA supports... // Hacktastic

3D printing and digital fabrication efforts are happening at hundreds of institutions around the United States. The thing is, there’s often just one faculty or staff member leading the 3D effort, working alone. If you’re lucky, maybe you’re part of a small team. What happens when you put hundreds of those leaders in the same place? We found out at Construct3D at Duke University last weekend!... // Guest post at Shapeways

Math has the best bling. Structure, form, geometry, and symmetry are secret keys to beautiful 3D designs. For example, this stunning Rhombic star earring by Mathematical Creations was created with Wolfram’s powerful software Mathematica. Mathematica 11 added a suite of new 3D printing features including 3D mesh utilities, ready-made 3D printable models, and new tools for thickening models... // Column at Shapeways

Are you a beginner 3D designer, looking to take the next step after Tinkercad? The good news is, the next thing you’ll learn will make you capable of designing almost anything. The not-as-good news? Since Autodesk retired 123 Design (and Catch, and Make, and Sculpt, gasp!), you now have to take a slightly steeper step to get to the next level. Autodesk recommends taking that step to Fusion 360... // Column for Shapeways

It makes perfect sense that you can make your 3D prints cheaper by scaling them down to a smaller size. But, did you know that sometimes you can make your prints cheaper by making them… bigger?? There are three ways of measuring size that are important when printing with Strong & Flexible nylon plastic at Shapeways: Scale, Volume, and Space, and it's "Space" that makes the difference... // Column at Shapeways

Way back in our second Tutorial Tuesday we discussed tutorials for exporting multicolor digital models for 3D printing. But, that assumed you had a multicolor model in the first place. What if you want to add color to some plain old STL files? This week, we’ll walk you through a super simple way to paint color onto STL files with Meshmixer, using our "Perko Morph" model as an example... // Column at Shapeways

If you’re 3D printing models you've designed yourself, then you can pick exactly the right size and style you want. But if you’re selling 3D prints to the general public then you might want to provide multiple size and style options within one model. With "variants" you can combine multiple design files into one product listing so that you can offer multiple sizes or styles of your design... // Column at Shapeways

Do you want to make beautiful 3D-printable sculptures, jewelry, and lamps? It’s easier than you might think — if you know how to use TopMod. TopMod is a really unique tool to have in your 3D printing toolbox. It specializes in remeshing, wireframing, stellating, and modifying object meshes, and by combining those powerful functions you can quickly create stunning 3D-printable works of art... // Column at Shapeways

Cinema 4D is a powerful, professional modeling program that can be used for 3D animations, motion graphics, and 3D effects. It’s also fairly intuitive, and can be used to create and export models suitable for 3D printing. This post will help you figure out how to prepare C4D models for exporting to STL or VRML format for 3D printing, but for those new to C4D we'll start with some beginner tutorials... // Column at Shapeways

Some models are really, really difficult to print on an FDM printer, and “Fidget Cubes” are among the worst, with enclosed hinges and pieces that have to somehow print floating above other things. We’ll track the evolution of this fidgety design over the past five years, from an assembly model to print-in-place, multicolor variants, and finally a fully-functioning Yoshimoto cube... // Guest post at Shapeways

Where can you go when you need help with a model or mesh? The Shapeways Forums! They’re a great place to ask for advice, check out what people are working on, and help others with their questions. The community is super active, and many contributors are more than willing to lend a helping hand. This week, we’ll talk about our favorite forum groups for designers and modelers... // Column at Shapeways

If you want to make an organic-looking sculpted character head or body, and you want to do it for free, then you’ll want to know how to use Sculptris. Sculptris is a free beginner 3D digital sculpting program made available by Pixologic, the company that produces the professional-grade sculpting software ZBrush. It’s like pushing, pulling, and stretching a digital ball of clay... // Column at Shapeways

What design software should I use to create a 3D model? The answer: Everything you can. Each program has its own unique personality, and different programs are good at different parts of the design process. While creating one 3D model, you might utilize multiple programs, depending on what you need at various stages. Let's look at five designs that use multiple programs... // Column at Shapeways

Today, we’ll learn how to turn one 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. This design was created with code in OpenSCAD, and can procedurally generate over a billion unique snowflakes.. // Guest post at Shapeways

One of the most powerful things about 3D printing is the ability to create customized, one-of-a-kind objects. You could choose to make many different personalized jewelry pieces from one ring or pendant design by making modifications on a case-by-case basis in your own design software. Or, you can use Shapeways’ CustomMaker tool to add text, images, and personalization... // Column at Shapeways

This week we’ll discuss three methods for modifying 3D meshes with the free software MeshLab. When you export a 3D file to STL format, what you’re doing is creating a file that describes the surface of an object with a mesh of tiny triangles. We’ll focus on the top three issues that can arise with meshes: having too many triangles, badly oriented triangles, or badly intersecting triangles... // Column at Shapeways