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Brass PU coated has entered the building!

After gold plated brass, we’re happy to offer you the PU coated version! Check out how you can use the material in your designs.

Firstly, we introduced to you gold plated polished brass, but from today on, the natural PU coated version has entered the building! Asked by many people of the community we’re happy to offer you this material. Michael Mueller, designer: “The brass material looks great, really nice to use with jewelry. ”
Brass has by nature a yellow/reddish color. By choosing the PU coated option, your model will keep the original color and be protected against scratches and oxidation. Mueller made a brass PU coated version of his whistle and the result looks stunning:

Compared with gold plated polished brass (brass electroplated with a tiny layer of gold), your design will have a vintage look which you see a lot nowadays. If you compare the two finishes, you can clearly see the difference. More information can be found on the material page.

Designers use th

Raspberry Pi blows life into the Bioscope

The Raspberry Pi (RPi) is produced to learn people how to program. Check out how Simon de Bakker and Jon Stam used it for their Bioscope!

The RPi, a single board computer (read: a tiny computer) was developed by the University of Cambridge and is now used for many creative designs. By keeping the price low ($25-$35), the Raspberry Pi Foundation wants to make it accessible to everyone. And it seems to work; on the day of the launch in february the distributing website crashed and the  first RPi’s were sold out in just a few hours time. Since then the RPi  is a real science sensation. Although it’s designed for educational purposes everyone finds its way to this little digital wonder. Just type the name in Google and you will find people using it for digital signage, games or as a cheap home cinema.

Why is it interesting for 3D printing? Well, the Raspberry Pi doesn’t come with a case, so that makes it great to combine with a customized 3D printed case like Jon Stam and Simo

Tinkercad offers academic institutions free software

Tinkercad, the easy to use 3D design web app,  just launched a massive project. For a limited time, qualified academic institutions can use $50,000 worth of Tinkercad software.

What a great project to help democratizing 3D design throughout schools. The first 1,000 applicants can use Tinkercad for free instead of paying the yearly application fee of $75. This on-line application must be submitted by midnight PST on Friday, December 7th, 2012.

In order to apply for this plan, here’s what you’ll need to know:

  • This plan is open to ALL academic institutions, home schools, non-profits and other similar organizations whose mission is to further advance the study and teaching of 3D design and 3D printing to students
  • You must be able to provide accreditation or non-profit status verification
  • The plan applies to the 2012/2013 school year (summer 2013 included)
  • You must currently possess a 3D printer, have access to a 3D printer OR have the intent to purchase one in the 2012/201

3D printing meets Vintage

3D printing is starting a new industrial revolution. But does that mean we have to throw away all the rest? Not at all. Quentin de Coster, a Design student from Brussels, created a wonderful design by making a perfect blend between 3D printing and vintage.

Every year the Belgian non-profit organisation Petits Riens/Spullenhulp organizes a massive fashion and design show. Big Belgian names like Delvaux, (Edouard Vermeulen) Natan, Dirk Wynants, Elvis Pompilio and a bunch of young Belgian talents are challenged to design new creations out of recycled materials and clothes. After the show people can bid for two hours on the items while they are being displayed on big screens.

Quentin de Coster was one of the designers and started thinking how to reuse objects with new techniques. He used 3D printing to design special handle for an umbrella. de Coster: “I designed the umbrella Branch as an open invitation to share it with other people. When you’re walking in the rain with a friend

New app alert: Autodesk 123D Design

Update: Autodesk has discontinued this app. It is no longer available for download.

Is your head always stuck with great ideas, but you have no clue how to model? No problem! With the new free 123D Design app created by Autodesk, you don’t need to worry about learning complex 3D design concepts. Designing is now just one app away. It even works in your browser!

Design the things you imagine, and then make them real! With Autodesk 123D Design you can use natural design and editing tools to create a 3D model. Then 3D print your model by clicking the “choose i.materialise” button.

How it works

  • Get started with one of the basic shapes. In just a few clicks you can already be cruising along with your design.
  • Professional 3D modeling skills are not required. Using the creation and editing tools is straightforward and natural, so you can focus on what you’re designing, not how to design it.
  • 123D Design automatically creates the most natural connection between parts. When

Enjoy our reduced ceramics prices!

Good news: from today on, the price for ceramics will be $0.18/cm²!

Choose any color you want without being worried about the prize. This is the color range we currently offer:

  • Glossy White
  • Glossy Black
  • Satin Black
  • Lemon Yellow
  • Pistachio Green
  • Sky blue
  • Ocean Turquoise
  • True blue
  • Peach Orange


Ceramics is the first food safe material we’re offering at the moment. So go wild with your designs. It’s a great material for table ware, candle holders, tiles, vases and art pieces, but don’t hesitate to think out of the box. The models are made from alumina silica ceramic powder and sealed with porcelain and silicia. The colored glaze we apply after printing is a lead-free, non-toxic gloss.
For more detailed information about the basic properties, check out our design guide.

We’re so excited to see all the new designs our community members (and everyone else of course) will create by using this material. Enjoy!

Tired of boring birth cards? Use 3D printing!

Roman Plaghki, a product developer at Materialise, had one hell of an idea to surprise his sister with the most original birthcards ever: a card with the face of her baby in 3D.

What do you do when your pregnant sister asks you to design a birthcard for her future baby? Roman Plaghki wanted to use all his skills so started thinking about combining 3D printing with regular printing. “After some hard thinking work I finally came up with an idea. I asked my sister to send me an ultrasound where you could see the face of the baby when it was 5 to 6 months old. I uploaded the design up in Mimics and after some designing I finally got the face right to send it to the printer.”


He printed 5 faces in polyamide to use it as a mold for his birth cards. “I put the faces under a thin sheet of polystyrene in the (kitchen) oven and used the technique of vacuum forming to create the 3D design.  After hours of work I finally got 120 faces for the birth cards.”

We must say: it looks gr

Guest blog Deepak Mehta: (123D)Catch it if you can!

Update: Autodesk has discontinued this app. It is no longer available for download.

Recently Autodesk released 123D Catch for the iPhone. But how useful is the app  from a 3D printing perspective? Deepak Mehta, a technology evangelist for 3D printing, takes it to the test and tells about his experiences.

Let me start with a short introduction of the functionality of 123D Catch for the iPhone. This is basically a front-end interface to the cloud service by Autodesk, which is also used by the Windows and the iPad version. The idea is that, through a combination of a good camera and the data from the location and gyro sensors in the iPhone, you can easily locate the angle at which the photo of the object was taken. Based on this information the cloud service will stitch the images together and render a 3D model.

 For good results you need to take care of several things:

1) Homogenous lighting: don’t turn on more lights during the shoot and avoid shadows darkening the shot… The

The revolution begins here: 3D Printshow in London

What a great weekend we had in London! The 3D Printshow was overwhelming and crowded at times, but very interesting because of the people you meet and the stories you hear.

Was it the result of the hype around 3D printing? Or did the revolution really start past weekend? It’s hard to tell. But we can say we never saw more people attending a 3D printing event than this one. Not only designers and software companies appeared; also families, students, hobbyists and people who were just generally interested in this ‘new’ industry were very enthusiastic visitors.


What surprised me the most were the inventive designs people are now able to create. The (fashion) show on friday night gave some hints of what people could expect during the weekend, but when you could take a closer look in the galleries afterwards it abolutely blew me away. There were amazing pieces  showcased of  Niccolo Casas , Matthew Plummer- Fernandez, INNER | LEAF , Iris van Herpen, Michiel Cornelissen, Frans

3D4D Challenge: discover the finalists!

Who will win 100.000 dollar for their 3D printed social project?  Only five days to go til we can give you an answer to this question, but we didn’t want to wait to present you the 8 finalists!

All the finalists will get 1000 dollar and expert mentors to develop their projects, but ofcourse their can only be one winner: What project will win the big prize, namely 100.000 dollar? The jury got entries from all over the world and picked out 8 finalists. To give you a better view on the competition, we present you the projects.

This finalist has got an easy to manufacture and assemble robotic greenhouse in mind. The project would enable local communities to produce vegetables and fruit very easy, even in the hardest conditions.


Ed and Cornell’s project involves the development of Solar lamps created from used plastic Coke bottles using 3D printed ‘bottle caps’ and attachments for the charger, batte