Other Companies like ShapeWays?

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Are there any other website that allow you to have your design printed for a price, similarly to what Shapeways does, or do they pretty much own that market?

Well you also have a 3Dhub or something if i recall correctly,

Its a market system where everyone with a printer can sign up, and other people without printer can give you a STL and some money, so you can print and ship it.

After that there are also more professional services

Just google 3D print service and you should hit a few ^^

Another newcomer to cloud printing was at the NY Maker Faire called Kraftwurx (

) for printing services in the cloud. They offered access to multiple types of 3D printers.

1237024_79_1663408001_n.jpg(13.2 KB, 7 views)

As pointed out there are several others, with shapeways being the largest. Also popping up are location based services that will connect you with local companies that have printers. As well as reverse auction sites where you have printers under bid each other for you job. Obviously there are numerous people with abs printers on these sites, but its not hard to find a printer with color sandstone or nylon (swf) near you.

^ Right. Not so much companies, as individuals though. Something like

I just got a print back from a guy here in LA, and all I can say is that it was horrendous. So bad, I even had to get a refund. Buyer beware- youll get quality that is all over the map.

I havent really checked it out yet, but seems to be something similar to Shapeways.

Sculpteo is really good. They are a little pricier than shapeways I believe but their turnaround time is a lot quicker and their products IMO are of higher quality.

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3D Printing Blooms in Biomedical

From prosthetics to cartilage and tissue engineering, 3D printing is helping address some of todays biomedical challenges.getmedia/9e38935a-285d-4689-aa91-94931dc42bee/3D-Printing-Blooms-in-Biomedical_Bioengineering_thumb.jpg.aspx?width=60&height=60&ext=.jpg

The NovoGen MMX Bioprinter prints fully human 3D tissue in a variety of formats. Image: Organovo

When American engineer Charles Hull invented the first 3D printer over 30 years ago to create concept models, would he have imagined that someday researchers will use 3D printing for constructing organ scaffolds that are way more complex?

Continued innovation has pushed3D printinginto new realms and has proved how far the technology has come since its invention. From dental products to prosthetics and tissue engineering, 3D printing is also helping address some of todays biomedical challenges.

Biomedical applications are ideally suited because they are built on this uniqueness of additive manufacturing, which is the ability to make optimized and customized parts that are very complex, saysHod Lipson, associate professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering and computing and information science at Cornell University and co-author of the bookFabricated: The New World of 3D Printing.

A recent study byMeticulous Researchindicates that the global medical 3D printing market is expected to reach $983.2 million by the year 2020, with major drivers being the widening application, government initiatives to promote research activities in 3D printing, and increased investments. So what will be the next stage of innovation?

One of Organovos tissue engineers oversees the construction of a vascular tissue construct. Image: Organovo

Bioprinting is an emerging technology for fabricating artificial tissue and organ constructs. Extensive research is being conducted in bioprinting and its potential as a future source for organ transplants. It is, however, much simpler to print in plastic than living cells.

Unlike traditional 3D printing of plastics and metal where after you finish printing you have your part, with bioprinting its just the beginning. Even after you finish printing there is a long road ahead. You have to incubate the part, simulate its environment its much more complicated, says Prof. Lipson.

Although organ printing is still in early stage of development, San Diego-based biotech firmOrganovohas been using bioprinting to create 3D printed tissues for preclinical drug discovery testing and will begin selling its 3D printed human liver models this year.

The human liver tissue that we just released could be used for toxicology testing, metabolic testing, and drug-drug interactions, says Michael Renard, executive vice president of commercial operations at Organovo. Besides being a functional tissue in shape and size, one of the characteristic is that the tissue lasts for a number of days and weeks. It affords the ability for drug scientists to do longer duration tests, he adds.

In addition to drug discovery testing, says Renard, We also have a group thats beginning to work with tissue designs that could be valuable in the clinic as a therapy to be delivered to patients for a specific unmet medical need. According to him, The goal is to continue to advance tissues of higher complexity and closer to the kind of tissues and organs that we see fully formed in people.

Ibrahim T. Ozbolat, assistant professor at the University of Iowas Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Department also has been using a 3D printer to print living structures with bio-ink (watch video). The goal is to eventually print a working organ that can be transplanted into a human.

A 3D printedear,heart valve, andkidneyare other organs researchers are currently working on but its hard to match the complexities of real-life human organs. The next stage of innovation in bioprinting, says Lipson, will be in multiple heterogeneous tissue to get closer to printing an actual organ. There are a couple of ideas that have been demonstrated related to vascularity that are promising. The question is how big of a tissue can you keep alive using these approaches and thats yet to be demonstrated, he adds.

In 2006, Prof. Lipson and his colleagues at Cornells Creative Machines Lab printed a meniscus, the C-shaped piece of human cartilage that cushions the knee and other joints and researchers around the globe are now using 3D printing technology to print livingcartilagefor patients with knee injuries.

More recently, a biomedical engineer and trachea specialist from the University of Michigan were able to create a 3D printedsplintthat saved a babys life who was born with a rare breathing disorder and researchers at the Feinstein Institute for Medical Research also successfully engineered a 3D printed cartilage to repair tissue damage in thetrachea.

Although further research is required before 3D printed cartilage is actually used in patients with bone injuries, the technology holds immense promise for orthopedic surgery.

Children in Sudan fitted with 3D printed prosthetic arms as part of Project Daniel. Image: Not Impossible, LLC

Prosthetics was one of the first biomedical areas to be revolutionized by 3D printing and continues to grow as the technology becomes moredemocratized, making replacing limbs easier and cheaper.

Not long ago, featured theRoboHand, a device fabricated on a 3D printer, developed by a South African carpenter Richard Van As and Ivan Owen from Bellevue, WA. Now with easily accessible open source designs, people are 3D printing custom prosthetics for children, adults, and even dogs likeDerby, who was recently seen at the 2015 White House Science Fair.

The impact of 3D printed prosthetics on the developing world is immeasurable, says Elliot Kotek, co-founder of the non-profit organizationNot Impossible, LLC, which uses 3D printing for building low-costprostheticsfor populations with no access to an alternative.

3D printed options are providing tools for those whove previously lacked access to workable, affordable, timely solutions, says Kotek, adding that The 3D printed mechanical hands and arms are not, of course, anywhere near the standards of bionics being offered in higher socio-economic environs, but in places where lives are on the line, daily, having rapid prototyping options is a game changer.

Learn more about the latest technologies in 3D printing at ASMEs AM3D 2015 inIndiaandBoston.

Unlike traditional 3D printing of plastics and metal where after you finish printing you have your part, with bioprinting its just the beginning.

Prof. Hod Lipson, Cornell University

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Health and Safety

With the widespread adoption of 3D printing in the last few years, there has been more focus on the potential hazards of this technology. We believe that operating a 3D printer is safe, provided that certain protections are in place.

Stephens B. et al. (2013). Ultrafine particle emissions from desktop 3D printers. Atmospheric Environment, 79, 334-339.

(2014). The hazards of 3D printing. 3D Composites, n.p.

The Library has undertaken a number of measures to mitigate any health and safety risks to users of the 3D printing.

Purchased 3D printers models known for their safety and reliability.

Placed an MSDS (Materials Safety and Data Sheet) beside the 3D printer so that users are aware of the potential hazards of working with PLA (polylactic acid).

Chosen to use PLA (polylactic acid) filament over ABS (

) filament. Since it is plant-based, PLA is less toxic than the petroleum-based ABS, and emits a less pungent smell. It is also semi-biodegradable, which made it a more ecological choice.

Located both 3D printers in an open, well-ventilated area so that fumes can disperse easily.

2000 Simcoe Street NorthOshawa, Ontario L1H 7K4Canada

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10 websites to find free models for 3D printing

3D printers are the hottest topic in the marketplace as more consumers warm up to and adopt the idea of 3D printing. Its going mainstream, and The Micro is a kick starter project for a 3D printer project for your consumers. But it doesnt mean once you have 3D printer you can start right away. Instead you will require several materials and most importantly the blue print to printout your products. Now if you are confused with this 3D modeling then relax! There are several websites that offer you free 3D models to print on their printers free of charge. Here I am introducing you to 10 such websites where you can find free models for 3D printing.

3DVIAis a company that presents you with several 3D modeling and publishing tools. These tools are aimed for both consumers and professionals. The website also presents a Content Warehouse where the community hosts and shares their content.

Cubeherois a website that let users to host and organize their 3D printed projects in order to aid further collaboration on their work that includes discussion and contribution both. And if you are not finding what you are searching for then you can simply make a request for it from the community and youll be helped anyway.

GrabCADis a website that is aimed to help engineers develop products faster. It offers several tools that help them collaborate with their files.

Instructablesis a website based on community where users can share their DIY projects that includes things made using a 3D printer. Also there are the how-tos and instructions on how to build their creations.

My Mini Factoryis a website with 3D model repository managed by iMakr, an online store that sells 3D printers and accessories. It also operates the largest 3D printing store in Central London.

YouMagineis an also a community based website run by a 3D printer company. This one is run by the open source 3D printer company Ultimaker. Though this website just started on 2013, it is filled with many interesting things to print.

Pinshape, which is similar in style with Pinterest, is a 3D model marketplace that still in beta. As in Pinterest, it also has the ability to repin favorites. You can either purchase the model from the designer or download the files to print it yourself, if they offer it.

Repablesis nothing more than just a very simple site that aims to be a repository of 3D printed model files. It is a bare bone website that allows users to upload their files to share, and download files they want to use.

3dibilityis a search engine that will crawl the Web in search of 3D prints, looking through many 3D modeling sites for files compatible with 3D printers.

Yeggiis another search engine that will search major 3D printing websites for files that are compatible with 3D printers.

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3D Printing Project

I curate a Flipboard magazine on 3D printing news:

I use this blog to post my own 3D printing activity. But for the past few months Ive focused on writing up my experiences for publication and presentation in academic settings. My Flipboard magazine, Virtual and Real: Digital 3D, is regularly updated with news and 3D printing items of interest from around the Web.

My friend and colleague, Ken Luterbach, a fellow instructional technology faculty member at East Carolina University, took me up on my offer to facilitate fabricating an object of his own design. Just as I am experimenting with the 3D printer, Ken is experimenting with a Raspberry Pi (see  for more information about that). Ken took on the challenge of designing a case for the Raspberry Pi.

Ken used SketchUp to render his design. It was Ken who explained to me how to export .stl files from SketchUp It takes a little finessing to the basic SketchUp download, but overall its easy to do. Ken designed the case as two pieces (top and bottom) that fit together using small rods that are part of the top component inserted into small holes designed into the bottom component.

Heres Ken observing his first print, the bottom of his Raspberry Pi case.

We were both pleased to see how well the Raspberry Pi unit fit into the bottom portion of Kens print.

Heres Ken with both the bottom and top of the case he designed. The rod-and-hole part of the design did not work this time. The printer could not print either the holes or the rods accurately enough for them to fit together as intended (they were pretty small we learned a great deal about the printers capabilities through trying this).

Heres the finished product in action. The top and bottom are not secured to each other, but they do protect the Raspberry Pi unit. Were calling this Experiment 1 and, as time permits, Ken plans to try design revisions to see if we can print an improved case.

The top and the bottom of the case each took around 2.5 hours to print.

It took hours of poking with metal rod

I kid you not; I think  I invested about 6 hours of my time just poking the print head with the little metal tool that comes with the Cube 2.  Heres why: I experienced a filament flow fail which means the print medium was not flowing through the print head; in attempting to print something the printer went through the motions, but no plastic was deposited on the print plate. I did some looking around online and found this,  which was actually pretty helpful. The first attempts didnt work, though. I wound up contacting our local Cubify sales rep, who did is his best to provide direction (primarily, pointing me back to the URL I listed above). He added that the tool is basically a straightened paper clip which gave me an idea I found a clip thinner than the tool and used it to begin the poking process; a combination of the straightened clip and the original tool managed to solve the problem.

Heres proof Im up and running again (because I dont want the administrative powers-that-be at the university to have a cow worrying about the printers health):

I followed the directions Cubify offered and did a small print test (a ring Ive printed before).  Words do not adequately express how relieved I was to see the printer working again. I have to add, though, that experimenting with cutting edge tools almost always leads to at least some blood loss (he said with a wry smile) I consider it my job to mess around withe the hardware enough to discover what problems others might encounter. I now know what to recommend to teachers who run into a similar filament flow fail problem.

Ive been experimenting with creating in Google SketchUp and exporting stl files front there. My first test, a treasure chest with the words East Carolina University embossed on it, was a bit a of bust. The top of the chest got kind of wonky in the print process. I tried a second test of the same file after running it through Photoshop and reducing its size by 20% and got much better results. Im not sure which was more helpful, the size reduction or the Photoshop support (or whether it was just a bad print the first time for other reasons).

I edit a Flipboard magazine,Virtual and Real: Digital 3-D,which is regularly updated with news from around the web on the subject of 3-D printing. It can be viewed in any browser ( or through the Flipboard app for mobile devices.

Dr. Green is a Professor at California State University, Fullerton (and a long-time colleague and friend).  He provides a great series of interviews and resources of interest to the Educational Technology community:

I took the photograph, below, yesterday at the Staples in Greenville, NC. Apparently one may now purchase a 3D printer (exactly like the one with which Ive been experimenting) at ones local office supply store. This freaked me out a little: I think its wonderful that the technology is proliferating this way and at the same time I felt a little saddened that my printing activities are not quite as unique and special (at least locally). Im reminded of my experience with personal computers in the 1980s: it was great to see their popularity rise, but at the same time it felt a bit strange to be explaining how to use them to just about everyone I knew. Theres an interesting emotional shift as a technology one has become intimately familiar with transitions from exotic to mundane. More importantly, I think this shift emphasizes the need for those of us in education to prepare students to make best use of volumetric imaging and printing technologies; soon theyll be as commonplace as word-processing tools.

On Wednesday, November 6, I had the privilege and pleasure of making a presentation about 3D printing to ECUs Math Education Club. I must admit I was surprised by size and enthusiasm of the crowd I figured there might be a dozen or so folks attending; instead there were around 50 people (one professor brought her class; a number of other faculty members attended as well).

I set up the printer so that it was printing a small dragon half an hour before the presentation started (this was intriguing for folks who arrived early and allowed me to get a start on explaining how the printer works; the folks who arrived early could then explain many things to others as they arrived). After a description of 3D printing in general (during which I passed around sample printed objects) and a Q&A session, we printed a ring as I continued to answer questions. The hours time we had seemed to fly. The crowd was engaging and very gracious; I hope everyone there enjoyed themselves as much as I did.

Last Thursday I had the opportunity to serve as a guest lecturer for a technology-in-education class at East Carolina University. The course is designed for pre-service teachers: the folks I worked with were a group of 26 undergraduates, all of whom are preparing to become teachers.

I brought the 3D Printer over from another building on campus (taking it on the road is a bit nerve wracking).  I arrived about 40 minutes early to set up the printer and start a print run. Originally I was going to print a rocket ship, but the print failed twice (all I got were little rocket ship feet one foot kept slipping out of place causing the print to fail). I wound up printing my treasure chest design, which worked well. I had the printer next to me, printing, while students settled into their seats. All students also had one of the lab iPads with 123D Design loaded onto it. The session was about 30 minutes long: we discussed how 3D printing works, what its benefits may be for K-12 classrooms (in particular with discussed the recent findings associated with academic achievement and spatial reasoning skills), and we explored creating volumetric objects using 123D Design.

It was an illuminating experience for me. I was intrigued by the number of questions related to 3D printing of human organs and food. Students seemed particularly curious about the potential to use 3D printers in creating body parts and meals. We also talked a fair amount about 3D printed firearms (I offset that discussion by making reference to the Buttercup the ducks 3D printed prosthetic foot I encouraged everyone to look at the full spectrum of beneficial and challenging applications of the technology).

It was great fun sharing 3D printing with a class. Everyone seemed interested and the discussions were lively. Im looking forward to doing a similar presentation for the math educators club on campus in a couple of weeks.

For those whove been following the Print Tests, this is the second ring I printed using s web app for ring-design. I invited a colleague (a professor in the College of Education) to create a ring of her own after she admired the one I made in an earlier print test. My colleague would have to described as a super user in terms of computing competence, so all I had to do was point her toward the app and she was able to generate a printable file in a brief amount of time. She commented that she was surprised at how easy it was to use the web app; she was originally concerned the process would take a long time just learning how to operate the software. The result was a nice-looking signet ring with the letters ECU placed diagonally on the signet.

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Top Websites to Download Free 3D Printing Models

A 3D printer and number of 3D printing models can turn your ideas into real-life products. 3D printing technology is emerging rapidly and many designers and engineers are seeing the new technology as a revolution that can reform how future industries will look like.

The cost of 3D printers andprinting materialsare agreed to be part of the problems that face taking this technology while entering into commercial production. However, many affordable 3D printers have been presented in the last few years by different manufacturers. Additionally,Kickstarter 3D printersand scanners have been presented by young inventors to solve the cost and material problems.

Meanwhile, many users who seek to use 3D printing technology to visualize their ideas do not have previous software modeling experience or basic modeling skills.3D scannerscan overcome this problem, but it is still expensive for many users.

While it is always recommended to learn the tools that help you model your own products, there are many websites which provide free 3d printing models that you can easily download, customize and send to your 3D printer. These websites provide STL models, which are recognized by all 3D printers. Some, 3D printers can read other formats such as OBJ and 3DS.

The list below includes top websites that you can visit to download free 3D printing models. Some of these websites are focusing on the engineering-related models and others are general purpose models that any designer can use.

Thingiverseis part of the MakerBot website and it is one of the oldest websites that provides 3D printing models that can be downloaded in STL format. The website depends on a very large community who upload STL models that are 3D printing-friendly.

Youmagineis run by the open-source 3D printer Ultimaker. Although it is new, it has number of useful 3D printing models and content. It does not have the number of users comparing with Thingiverse.

Cubifyis one of the well-known 3D printers and it is marked by its affordable price. This community includes STL models based on different categories such as kids, fashion.etc.

Myminifactoryis another 3D models inventory that is managed by iMakr, an online store to sell 3D printers and accessories. The advantage of using Myminifactory is that all the models are tested for quality and edit supports for the customization for models.

GrabCADis a community of many designers and engineers whom share their 3D models. Registration is required to download the files.

123Dis an Autodesk application that creates 3D models. The website provides a large number of STL models that can be used with any 3D printers.

Cube Herois a simple 3D community platform. While it does not have a great number of models yet it supports modeling request, where the users can ask for specific model to be made.

Bld3ris another platform that provide free 3D printing models. The difference in this website, is that it provides a rating system, which identifies the best models. This system can help as quality control as one can identify the high quality models.

Shapewaysis one of the pioneer companies in the industry of online 3D printing. Users upload their models and the company 3D prints them and sends back to the users address. Furthermore, it includes a STL models community where you can download free models for 3D printing.

Cults 3Dis a French social network for designers where they can follow each other and build a community that is based on sharing 3D printing models. The website is in the English language and the 3D models are categorized based on their type.

Pinshapeis a Pinterest company and allows users to share 3D models in different formats including STL files. It works in a similar way to the main Pinterest website.

Repablesis a very simple website for free 3D models. It only allows users to upload 3D models so other visitors can download it. The website focuses on engineering-related models.

ShapeDois another 3D models platform where you can find models for your 3D printer. The platform is not that much advanced compared with the other websites, but it can be helpful to search for different models

Fabriblesis another website that focus on engineering-related models. Its advantage is that it includes 3D models for RepRap 3D printers such as Delta printers. So, it can be used to find accessories and repair parts for the 3D printer.

Fabsteris a unique 3D printing models platform because it focuses on artistic and jewelry 3D models. Unlike the other platforms, this website includes a large number of jewelry 3D models that can be download and customized for 3D printing.

Yeggiis a platform for users to upload and download 3D printing models in addition to search for a large variety of available models.

The above websites can help users to find the 3D printing models that meet with their needs and print them using their desktop printers. Most of the models are designed for plastic filamentFDM 3D printers. So, it is compatible with many of the affordable 3D printers.

Having a list of these website broaden the chances to find STL models. Furthermore, the users can download the models and customize them in any 3D printing software.

This post is created by the 3D Printing Pin team. We would like to hear your comments and ideas. Feel free to share it with us in the comments form below.

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