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3D printed Christmas decoration free with every order

Thanks to you we”re in a celebratory mood. We grew rapidly once again this month. To celebrate this with you we”re going to be giving away Christmas decorations with every order. Designer Nicolas de Jaegere made these lovely 3D printed Christmas decoration for you. The decorations come in 3 jolly variants: Snowflake, Reindeer and Santa that you can hang in your Christmas tree. The decorations are made in one piece and you can  jiggle yours to look on in amazement at the trapped Santa or Rudolph. One of the many new people? You can upload a design to see its price here.

This offer is valid from today until the 8th of December. The offer is valid until our previously 3D printed stocks of decorations last.  The decorations have a diameter of 8 Centimeter and are made with Selective Laser Sintering. We”re not selling these decorations they”re available only to our loyal community.

We hope you enjoy your little gift. Thank you so much for making it possible!

Will we 3D print entire cars?

Stratasys, the 3D printer manufacturer, has just announced that it will be the first to 3D print an entire car. This 3D printed automobile body will also actually go into production. Stratasys is making the car together with Kor Ecologic.

Kor Ecologic aims to make a fuel efficient, “electric / liquid-fuel hybrid reaches more than 200 mpg, highway and 100 mpg, city in U.S. gallons with either gasoline or ethanol (250 mpg highway /125 mpg city, Imperial gallons).” The car will be called the Urbee Hybrid. The Urbee competed in the 2010 X-Prize competition and will now made for real with Stratasys” FDM technology. The car will be 3D printed in ABS plastic.

This is a big step forward in Direct Digital Manufacturing. Hopefully the coming years will be peppered by more examples of people making short production runs of actual products using 3D printing. Because this sort of thing is exactly what we want to do too. You can read more on the Stratasys site here.

News via RedEyeTim

What is a 3D Printer Bounding Box?

One of the the biggest issues we have is to get people to think in 3D. Even though we operate in a 3D world thinking and designing in 3D is difficult for a lot of people. People can also quite easily visualize or feel a Kilo or a Liter but a cubic CM is much more difficult. People miscalculate volume all the time and have a hard time understanding the relative size of a lot of things. I have no idea why this is but I know it effects us sometimes also. In order to better help us visualize and understand the lamps that people can make with our design your own lamp tool, Franky actually made a physical bounding box. A bounding box is a rectangle that contains your entire 3D model. In 3D printing we use the term a lot to indicate how large a particular thing is or can be. Franky took some tape, cardboard and Styrofoam and made us a bounding box so we could imagine, feel and see the maximum size of our lamps in front of us. I thought it was a funny way of helping us to make decisions that

Contemporary Turkish design by Autoban

Walking through Instanbul a few weeks back I happened upon Autoban”s store. Autoban is a Turkish contemporary design label lead by Seyhan Özdemir and Sefer ÇaÄŸlar. I was instantly smitten by Autoban”s whimsy, by its clean lines and by the beauty of the things they design. Autoban were named “best young designers” by Wallpaper in 2004 and Best newcommer by Blueprint in 2005 and the studio has grown rapidly to employ 30 people. I asked Autoban some questions and hope that you enjoy the photos of their lovely work.

Why the name Autoban?

The name Autoban is formed by the German word ‘Autobahn” and the Turkish word ‘Otoban’.  Since we are on a constantly altering fast-paced road and since we were also targeting the foreign market, we have named our company “Autoban” instead of Otoban

Do you have a particular design philosophy?

The general philosophy of our brand is; whether it”s a product design, an interior project or an architectural project, we create stori

i.materialise a bicycle GPS holder

Wannes had a GPS in his car and also goes on a lot of bike trips so he used 3D printing to make a holder for his GPS system. His story in his own words is below.

I decided to make a functional object: a bicycle mounting for my GPS. I have a TomTom XL GPS in my car, but I also enjoy recreative cycling and I thought it would be great to have my car’s GPS mounted on my bicycle.

I started with a scan of my GPS. Once I’ve got an STL file I imported it into Blender to adjust the design. I used Blender because I”m most familiar with it for modelling, and I”ve been using it for years. First I created a ring that fits the scan, where the GPS can click on. The back side is open. With a nurb surface forms a horn shape to deflect sound to front. I was thinking that on a bike, where there is no window to deflect the sound, it would be difficult to understand the GPS voice. I created some arms and a stand for on the bicycle steer.

After creating the basic shapes in Blender, I i

3D prints & a Creme Brulee torch part 2

Immediately after posting our Creme Brulee torch video we knew we made a mistake. We wanted to show you that Ultem was a significant material because it was certified for use in commercial aircraft. We wanted to illustrate that by burning an Ultem part with a Creme Brulee torch. Several commenters and bloggers however saw the video and went, “whats the big deal here?” We realized that we probably spend a bit more time burning thermoplastics than other people. To adress the issue we went back and made another video for you. In this video you can see a direct comparison between a standard 3D printed ABS part and the Ultem part. You can see that although the Ultem part does indeed deform it does not give off significant fumes and it acts as a fire retardant. I hope that this video is clearer!

What if a 3D printed world were ugly?

Companies such as i.materialise want to democratize manufacturing and design. We want to let people design their own things so that the products that surround them feel, fit and look better for them. Every person is unique with their own quirks, personality and feelings about beauty. Every body part is unique and everyone uses products differently. The current manner of making millions of copies of things and then convincing millions of people to buy them is flawed. Most of the money is spent on branding, on trying to convince people to buy something rather than making that product better. This is due to the limitations of mass production and because it’s simply easier to convince someone to like an inferior product than to make the best product for them. 3D printing is changing this, people can now make the perfect thing for themselves. You can make your world look exactly as you would like it to. Everything you touch could be as you dream it to be. A new artisan age is dawning and ev

Customized 3D printed FrisMe

The FrisMe is the world’s first 3D printed flying disk. The FrisMe is completely customizable. You can design it exactly according to your specifications. This unique design item uses cutting edge production techniques to bring you design freedom. Choose a texture, add letters, add your own design, add custom elements to it, with the FrisMe anything is possible.

If you desire your own FrisMe, send an email to joris (at) and I will set up a phone appointment so we can discuss your FrisMe customization needs. A standard FrisMe would be $215. A customized FrisMe with your initials and your choice of texture would cost $230 including shipping. A FrisMe designed completely for you costs $310 and up. Extras such as silver, gold or chrome plating or custom hand painting are not included in this price. A Scan FrisMe which will be designed acording to a 3D scan of your hands costs $1300 (cost of visit to Leuven Belgium not included).

Video of us playing with the Fri

Longest running 3D printer in the world

Things that happened in 1990:  first McDonalds opens in Russia, Nelson Mandela is freed,  Hubble Space telescope is launched and West Germany wins the World Cup. And less notable, Materialise installs its first 3D printer. These images are of what I believe to be the longest running operational 3D printer in the world. This 3D Systems SLA 250 was installed here in Leuven in July of 1990 by our CEO Fried Vancraen.

It has been working diligently for Materialise since then. In the loving care of our maintenance team the machine has been working for 20 years, 3 months and 21 days. For 7418 consecutive days this stereolithography machine has been in service with us. And you know what amazes me most? It still works, we still use it to fulfill your orders. Its also not the only one from that era. We have several 3D Systems machines that still work that we obtained around the same time. There will be some older test machines out there and maybe some in a broom cupboard but I”m pre

3D Systems buys Bits from Bytes

3D Systems was built on Stereolithography technology. The technology was invented by 3D Systems CTO Chuck Hull in 1986. Right now 3D Systems still is the leading player on the Stereolithography field. But, 3D Systems did not just keep to Sterolithography but rather expanded into SLS (Selective Laser Sintering) machines also. Last year it was 3D Systems that bought the assets of the defunct Desktop Factory. I”m still unsure what 3D Systems wants to do with this technology but former Desktop Factory CEO Cathy Lewis is turning out to be quite an asset in making the company more accessible and well known.

3D Systems has spent the last year acquiring 3D printing service bureaus the world over from specialised ones that do investment casting such as Mqast to regular service bureaus. It is cobbling them together in order to develop a network with one web based 3D printing service called ProParts. With lower material costs than other service bureaus and nice deals on the machines I’