How to Design and 3D Print Chainmail and Other Interlocking Parts


On recent visits to the 3D Printshow in London and Maker Faire New York, many people asked how we made our 3D printed chainmail samples. This structure looks complex, but is actually shockingly simple to make— and a great newbie design project!

This is also a good example of interlocking or “nested” parts, which are often used for 3D printed jewelry, mechanical structures, and some complex dolls/action figures. It can also be used to make cosplay and LARP costumes or props. Our Materials page has the latest information about which 3D printing materials can handle interlocking parts.

Follow this tutorial, lovingly put together by your Community Manager, to use free 3D design software to make 3D printed chainmail and other interlocking parts. Read on!

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Get Brass Faster than Ever: Faster Lead Times!

The header image for a post announcing lead times of i.materialise's brass material. It features a brass pendant and tyrannosaurus rex.

Brass fans rejoice! Our gold-plated brass now ships out of our 3D printing factory faster than anybody else’s! Our fastest brass lead time is down to only 13 business days.

The new 13 business day lead time is for “natural” brass only, but our “gold-plated” variety has also set a record: it ships out in only 15 business days. This is currently the fastest industry lead time in the industry for gold-plated brass material.

To see an estimated arrival date tailored to your project, start by uploading your design here for free. The free quote is instantly and automatically generated. Read on for details and the latest information on all metal lead times.

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6 Amazing 3D Printed Large Scale Construction Projects

i.materialise automotive 3D printing large parts

Additive manufacturing is often associated with small, high-value, low-volume items. Since the early 1980’s 3D Printing technology has continually challenged the boundaries of what is possible– and how large a 3D printed item can be.

Most 3D designs can be digitally re-sized and printed at a large size, but that is not the main intention of a large-scale 3D print. Groups of architects have set out to make history: they believe that 3D printing can transform the way buildings and monuments are made. They strive to 3D print houses, statues, cars, and furniture. For those of you looking to get started, Trimble Sketchup is a good free 3D design software suited for creating architecture models.

Here are 6 large-scale 3D print projects that are pushing the limits of 3D Printing Technology…

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3D Design & Delights: Animal Inspired 3D Prints


There’s nothing funnier than the human animal. – Walt Disney

 Animals play an important role in the joys of everyday life. During our recent forray to Maker Faire New York, we connected with Makers who shared their lives with a diverse group of animal friends, including cats, dogs, snakes, and parrots! Animals inspire us to care, to imagine new monsters, and to connect with a deeper part of our own human nature.

It’s no surprise that 3D designers look to the animal kingdom for inspiration. In the premiere iteration of 3D Design Delights, we take a look at five designs inspired by animals…

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3D Design Software Lifehacks: Basic 3D Printing Features Every Designer Should Know About

3D printing hacks! Basic tools that make designing and preparing a file for 3D printing easier than ever before. This article features tools and the free 3D design software that has those tools.

There are common software tools that make it easier to 3D print a design— and that all designers should know about. 3D Design software can be categorized according to how it works and is used: “sculpting,” “building,” “scanning,” etc. But a designer’s project needs might overlap, so there are commonly available tools that all designers can use and benefit from: wall thickening, subdivide (i.e. smoothing), symmetry, sculpt, and “boolean”/“hole making.”

These tools aren’t available in every 3D design software package, but just knowing that they exist saves time. Once you know what type of tool you need for a project, you can seek out the design software that has it— just as you would “seek” pizza at a pizza parlor, and sushi at a sushi bar.

Read on for how wall thickening, subdivide (i.e. smoothing), symmetry, sculpt, and “boolean”/“hole making” work— and for free software packages with those features.

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Three Finishing Options, Shorter Lead Time and Improved Detailing: Introducing New Bronze!

Intorducing New Bronze

Bronze is an affordable and strong metal that has been used by mankind since antiquity. But now ours has become ALL NEW. We’re excited to unveil our improved Bronze today, now with three finishing options! And the good news continues: our new Bronze production method – wax 3D Printing and lost-wax casting – makes it possible to 3D Print smaller details with higher accuracy, in a shorter turnaround time. What more could you ask for?
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2014 New York Maker Faire Wrap-up: Our Favorite Moments!

Wrap-Up Maker Faire New York

Maker Faire New York 2014 ended on Sunday, September 21, topping off one of the biggest 3D printing and design events of 2014. The i.materialise outreach team joined over 85,000 attendees to connect with makers from around New York and across the world!

Among them were the winners to our free ticket giveaway, who received VIP 3D print goodie bags! At least 500 people visited our Touchable 3D Printed Art exhibit, featuring 3D printed metal, ceramic, and plastic art. We were proud to connect with some of New York’s finest designers, engineers, programmers, and families— and to share our passion for 3D printing with you.

Read on for our Maker Faire New York 2014 summary and some of our favorite moments! For more photos, see our Facebook gallery here. For a list of official exhibitors for 2014, go here.

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Wearable Tech Just Got Smarter: Anouk Wipprecht’s Intel-Edison-powered, 3D-printed “Synapse Dress” Logs Your Mood

Anouk Intel Edison Synapse Dress 550 x 220

Changing your appearance with your mood is a topic that’s no longer reserved for New Age followers or sci-fi fans.

By embedding Intel’s super versatile, small-in-size-but-large-in-processing-capacity microcontroller called “Intel Edison”, Anouk Wipprecht created “Synapse”, a smart dress based on biosensors that takes user experience to the next level, as it acts on the wearer’s behalf! Read more…

i.materialise 3D Printing Roundup: Week of Sept 15

3D Printing Roundup header Image

Welcome to the i.materialise 3D Printing Roundup, where we highlight the stories most clicked, shared, and reweeted by our community! Every week, we share the top 5 posts.

Our community is passionate about 3D printing. This week’s top 3D Printing stories include a titanium bicycle, highlights from the London 3D Printshow, and much more!

Let’s dig in.

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Win a Customised iPhone 6 Case: Send us Your Selfie!

iPhone 6 Maker Selfie Campaign header image showing selfies at right and a hand holding our black polyamide bicycle cover at right

The iPhone 6 just launched— and we want to 3D print you a custom iPhone 6 case!

And not just any case: a limited edition 3D printed polyamide case with your name on it, in a color of your choice. Your case will be created and 3D printed entirely by our design team, one of whom recently released this free iPhone 6 case template fileEven if you don’t have an iPhone, this prize makes a great great gift, giveaway, or charity auction donation— the name on the case does not have to be your own!

Enter to win by sending us your selfie! We’re using them for our upcoming gallery project, “Maker Selfies” (#makerselfie), which aims to highlight the diversity within the global Maker Community.

Read on for rules and details.

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