DigiFabCon Explores how tools like 3DPrinting are changing the world!

  • February 24, 2019

For the 5th year, Fab Lab Hub is bringing together people from around the world who are using tools like lasers and 3D Printers to change their world.

From a mobile Humanitarian Fab Lab in refugee camps that uses laser cutting for building temporary housing to 3D Printing on the International Space Station, Digital Fabrication is changing almost every aspect of our lives. On March 30 and 31, 2017 at the Microsoft NERD Center in Cambridge, MA, visionaries at DigiFabCon will explore the opportunities and challenges found in bringing these CAD based technologies to new, exciting arenas. Whether for manufacturing workforce training, K – 12 education, rapid prototyping, re-designing standard products, improving surgical procedures, or fostering entrepreneurship, the tools of digital fabrication are impacting entire communities.

8062r2DigiFabCon will feature keynotes from Sherry Lassiter, DaleDirector of the Fab Foundation and Dale Dougherty, founder of Maker Media which includes MAKE: Magazine and Maker Faires. They will give an overview of the compelling digital fabrication stories from Fab Labs and makerspaces around the world. Dr. Neil Gershenfeld, Director of the MIT Center for Bits and Atoms, will discuss technical advances that are making digital fabrication tools accessible to “anyone who wants to make (almost) anything”.   This includes work in his lab on Machines that Make Machines, although Dr. Gershenfeld always says the impact of these tools is social, not technical!

The interactive program includes

  • a new national digital fabrication certification program for operators and technicians with a panel discussion with participants from Indian Hills Community College, the Community College of Baltimore Country, Century College and the Space Coast Fab Lab
  • David Ott explaining the International Committee for the Red Cross Humanitarian Lab project
  • Tomas Diez, from Fab Lab Barcelona, reporting on progress for self-sustainable Fab Cities
  • Andreas Bastian, of Autodesk, sharing design challenges in the Enable Community Foundation 3D Printed prosthetic hand project
  • A panel from Limitless Child International, Fab Lab Tulsa and Fab Lab San Diego on utilizing mobile fab labs to bring technology to rural and underserved areas.
  • a participatory exercise by TIES fellows examining biomimicry in design


The program includes a Fab Festival where participants can get hands-on demos in 3D Printing, laser cutting, CNC machining, CAD and much more. Preliminary exhibitors include ShopBot Tools, the Roxbury Innovation Center, 3D Print Life, Limitless Child International, and Fab Lab Hub. The Festival will also feature book signings by Dale Dougherty, founder of Maker Media, and Rachel Ignotofsky author of Women in Science. Generous sponsorship from Chevron, Microsoft, and ShopBot Tools keeps DigiFabCon registration to just $49.

This year, a pre-conference short course has been added. LEAN 101 is a hands-on workshop to introduce manufacturing managers, startup founders and entrepreneurs, and makers to methods for improving time to market, production cost and product quality through a simulated, hands-on making exercise.  Our instructors are LEAN gurus of the first rank.  Joe Rizzo, CEO of Lean is Green, previously ran factories for GE when the legendary Jack Welsh was CEO and Scott Gauvin, CEO of Macresco, focuses on creating high performing, humanistic workplaces.

For details and to register, please go to www.DigiFabCon.org.

3D-Printed Mickey Mouse Sculptures for #Mickey90

  • February 23, 2019

Let’s celebrate! Mickey Mouse is 10 years shy of being a century old — to mark his 90th, young Belgian artists reinterpreted the cartoon character’s iconic look using 3D-printed sculptures as canvases.

He may not look a day older than when he first graced the silver screen in the late 1920s, but the world’s most famous mouse has reached the dignified age of 90. To commemorate Mickey Mouse’s big birthday, The Walt Disney Company celebrated in style and all across the globe.

In Brussels, Belgium, street art versions of Mickey adorned the downtown district, and the iconic cartoon character quite literally came along for the ride, accompanying commuters thanks to several art projects with local public transportation. As a fresh spin on old-school coloring books, 3D-printed versions of Mickey were created by our parent company’s engineers, for which Stereolithography (SLA) was a natural choice.

Mickey gets a Makeover

Three +- 60 cm/1’12” 3D-printed statues of Mickey were produced, using an epoxy resin. This is a high quality but also budget friendly material option that yields nice, smooth results. For the Mickey Mouse statues, the quality of the surface was particularly important because the 3D-printed sculptures served as canvases for artists. To ensure that each artist could apply whatever technique tickled their fancy, the base had to be highly versatile. SLA technology can achieve this level of homogenous surface texture whilst also delivering rapid results. Once printed, two of the three sculptures were then painted by Belgian artists Oli-B and Louves, while the third was handed over to the public who were free to co-create on a collaborative Mickey. The painted 3D-printed sculptures were displayed in a pop-up venue in downtown Brussels where passersby could enjoy the reinterpretations of Mickey’s emblematic look.

3D Printed Statues Mickey Mouse    3D Printed Statues Mickey Mouse

Left: Oli-B’s colorful, pop take on Mickey and right: Louves’ monochromatic, graphic incarnation of the iconic mouse. Photos © Digizik 

Before the Mouse came the Mammoth

You may remember that a little while back, our parent company Materialise took on a mammoth of an undertaking — we created a 3D-printed replica of the skeleton of a long-extinct giant: the wooly mammoth. While we were able to apply the learnings gained from the Mammoth of Lier and many other large-scale as well as art projects when creating custom Mickey Mouse statues, the task wasn’t without its own set of challenges. For instance, there was an issue with low res areas and artefacts around the statue’s facial features and fine detail areas, such as the iconic ears. Furthermore, the print resolution at Materialise was higher than that of the STL Mickey model that had been provided, meaning that a certain amount of engineering work had to be done so as to optimize the model and arrive at a nice, crisp result.

3D Printed Statues Mickey Mouse   3D Printed Statues Mickey Mouse
Having a perfectly smooth surface to work on was key for this project. The combination of SLA technology, correct material choice, and the expert guidance of the Materialise design engineers made this possible. Photos © Digizik 

Ready to add new dimensions to your own art or design projects? Then simply upload the 3D file of your model to our online 3D printing platform, choose from 100+ materials and finishes, and order your 3D print!

Weekend Designer Reads: ‘The Design of Everyday Things’ by Don Norman

  • February 23, 2019

Industrial Design Sketching

When it comes to product design books, it’s not always easy to eliminate glamorized portfolios from those that get down to the real nitty-gritty of product design. And when it comes to those actually worth reading, Don Norman will never do you wrong.

As a strong (and very early) advocate for user-centered design, Norman is a pioneer in UX and UI design principles that exist in many of the products we use today.

In his book, The Design of Everyday Things, Norman dives deeper into not just why…but how smart design is changing the landscape all around us—and what you can do to give your designs a competitive edge. If you haven’t read this one yet, consider it essential for your bookshelf. If you’ve already read it, consider giving it another spin.

The Design of Everyday Things by Don Norman — $12.92

About Author Don Norman:

Don Norman is a voyeur, always watching, always on the lookout for some common-day occurrence that everyone else takes for granted but that when examined, yields insight into the human condition. (If you are rushing to catch a train, how do you know if you got to the station on time? Empty platform? You probably are too late. People milling about, looking at their watches, peering down the tracks? Probably OK. Who needs technology when people are so informative, even if as an accidental byproduct of their activities.


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Feature image via Airgora

The post Weekend Designer Reads: ‘The Design of Everyday Things’ by Don Norman appeared first on SolidSmack.

Forum: How to Start a Freelance Product Design Consultancy

  • February 23, 2019

Modern Lighter Design

After departing his prior company to determine his design consultancy, he spent the first month or two building his new and taking care of two pilot projects: a lighter render for an Insta-gram struggle to obtain better exposure because of his new, and a lamp design from Blender for a customer.

Magnus Skogsfjord is just one such brave designer setting on his own.

Designing services and products for clients in your is interesting. For you personally, there’s enough time pressure that comes from working for an organization or client; while you’ve got the freedom to use vague recommendations, being forced to start from scratch may be a challenge for the job. With design that is excellent freedom comes great risk so if you are employed as a freelance product designer without the skill to bounce thoughts off of a larger team.
Both endeavors were posted to some KeyShot forum article, where product designers offered their service and advice for the businessman.

Magnus Skogsfjord
Magnus Skogsfjord

Besides exchanging shop inquiries on the techniques Magnus used, there are also tidbits of helpful advice on setting a design business, most of these out of designer Bill Gould (KeyShot username:’Speedste).
It’s absolutely worth the time for anyone looking to really go in to product style, although there exists a piece to browse in the discussion post.
Gould gave Magnus some advice on charging clients suitably and setting on your own: qualifying customers, communication using them and being needed for the job accessible.

Magnus Skogsfjord

The post Forum: The Way to Begin a Freelance Product Design Consultancy appeared first on SolidSmack.

Read the whole (insightful!) Forum article over at KeyShot — then let us know in the comments what you think would be the most vital skills a programmer or engineer needs to have before setting off to their own path.

50 Laser Cut Engineering Projects To Build Businesses On

  • February 23, 2019

Use These Engineering Design Ideas To Inspire Your Next Build

There are a few ways to change the world.

For hardware engineers, you can tinker your way into building
the future, go full-on into starting a business to do it, or work in a startup
or innovative enterprise division that needs your hardware engineering

However you do it, one thing remains constant: You. You’re
the one with the dream. And you’re the one who will execute on it—including
pulling together a team and resources to get shit done.

The post 50 Laser Cut Engineering Projects To Build Businesses On appeared first on Ponoko.