### Dissolvable Support Interface is Everything You Need

I'm totally in love with dissolvable supports for complex models, but... the dissolvable PVA material is (a) expensive, (b) increases my print times, and (c) takes a long time to dissolve. In this post we'll discuss a tip about how to make all three of those things better! In a nutshell, we'll be setting Cura so that only the interface between the model and the supports uses the dissolvable PLA... // Hacktastic

### Creating Celtic Knots with Fusion 360

Today we’ll do a step-by-step walkthrough tutorial on designing 3D Celtic knots from scratch with Fusion 360. Our technique will be to make a grid of dots, then connect the dots with splines, then shift those splines up or down at the crossing points. This gives us a thin curve that traces out the desired knot, and we’ll be able to sweep a circle around that curve to make a round 3D tube... // Shapeways Magazine

### Unreasonably large bounds on Reidemeister move sequences

On this episode of My Favorite Theorem, cohosts Evelyn J. Lamb and Kevin Knudson talk with Laura Taalman, a math professor at James Madison University, to raise a glass to a lavishly impractical theorem about knots: a 1998 theorem of Haas and Lagarias that gives unreasonably huge bounds on the length of trivializing sequences of Reidemeister moves... // My Favorite Theorem podcast

### Targeted Thickening with Meshmixer

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

### Multicolor 3D Printing, from Tinkercad to XYZ

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

### Three-Sided Cylinder Coins

Today we 3D printed some cylinder coins for students and classrooms to experiment with after watching Matt Parker's video "How thick is a three-sided coin?". These fat coins can land on their edges as well as their faces. Try out different thickness-to-diameter ratios and search for the fairest three-sided cylinder coin! Download free 3D-printable files or order cost-optimized prints from Shapeways... // Hacktastic

### Making Meaning

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

### Family Design Roundup

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

### Triple Check Knit

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

### Design Exploration with Vectary

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

### Vases in Fusion 360 Two Ways: Lofting and Sculpting

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

### Organic Snowflake Ornaments

This year we created six beautiful organic snowflake designs, procedurally generated with code in a way that mimics the way that actual snowflakes form as they fall to earth through changing temperature and atmospheric conditions, including random "wiggles" that introduce imperfections into the structure of the flake. The six flakes were created to represent Estonia, Finland, Canada, Russia, Iceland, and Switzerland... // Hacktastic

### Make One Billion Snowflakes With the Snowflake Machine

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

### Text Wrapping with Fusion 360 Sheet Metal Tools

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

### Turning One Snowflake Into Billions with OpenSCAD

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

### Leveraging Math and Materials to Make Bangles That Fit

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

### 3D printed fractals at JMU 3SPACE

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

### Everything You Always Wanted to Know About X, But Were Afraid to Ask (Part 2)

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

### Full Color Un-Manufacturable Part

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

### Here Come the Holidays

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