Tag Archives: design

Staples Launches 3D Printing Challenge for Mcor 3D Printers with €1000 Prize

Last year, Staples entered the 3D printing market through a partnership with Ireland-based Mcor Technologies. Staples created a new service called Staples Easy 3D which would first launch in Europe, bringing 3D printing to retail.

Related: Watch a video about Staples Easy 3D

What’s different about Mcor‘s process is that it’s machines print on a stock of paper rather than extrude plastic. Each layer, therefore, is the resolution of a single piece of paper and can be any color.

Staples Mcor 3D Printer Map

To promote its new service, Staples has teamed up with 3D model marketplace CGTrader to host a competition looking for the best designs that can be 3D printed by Staples.

Link: Staples 3D printing challenge website.

“The models should be specially made for MCor Iris True Color 3D printer,” said CGTrader. “This amazing printer uses standard copy paper to print 3D models – it prints 3D object layer by layer on paper sheets. Colored ink is being deposited on both sides of the paper sheet in the printing process – forget about the single color, you can use more than 1 million of them in your design.”

Related: Mcor 3D Printing on Paper Creates Photo-Realistic Objects

Staples Mcor 3D Printing multicolor a

The competition is running now through October 21, 2013. The winner will get 1000 EUR, 12 months free Designer subscription on Staples MyEasy3D, valued at 900 EUR, and a CGTrader t-shirt.

“The best models will be made available for buyers in Staples MyEasy3D store,” added CGTrader. Maybe something like this photo-realistic orange.

Staples Mcor 3D Printer Orange

Competition entrants can check a model’s printability via Staples My Easy 3D by creating a free store. Uploading your models for printability review is required to participate.

You can find more information how to meet the requirements on CGTrader, or go to the competition website.

Make a Caffeine Necklace With Mixee Lab’s 3D Printed Molecule Jewelry

Mixee Labs Keeps on Redefining 3D Printed Jewelry with Molecules Series

Mixee Labs, the 3D printing startup that has brought to market their clever web creators for  jewelrycufflinks, dog bone tags, slim wallets, and figurines, has a new product line: molecules.

Mixee Molecules_CaffeineInCup

“I’m proud to announce our new molecular jewelry line, available starting today!” said Mixee Labs co-founder Nancy Yi Liang. “People can order from a list of our favorite molecule structures, or search for molecules of their choice (to 3D print) using online molecular databases. Get a fashionable take on the world’s favorite molecules–coffee, love, chocolate, and whichever molecule represents you!

These molecular accessories are 3D printed in a variety of materials. You can go colorful in matte, nylon plastic. You can tweak the thickness of the atoms and bonds to add a personal touch. Create minimal molecular structures or plump beady designs!

“Maybe steampunk your collection with 3D printed stainless steel, or go high-end with sterling silver and gold plated brass,” says Nancy Yi Liang.

These designs will start at $10 for nylon plastic, $60 for stainless steel, and $160 for sterling silver and gold-plated brass. Each design will take about 2-3 weeks to 3D print and ship.

Get started designing your own molecule jewelry at https://www.mixeelabs.com/creator/molecules.

You can choose from:

  • Caffeine
  • Serotonin (regulates mood and sleep)
  • Adrenaline
  • Vitamin C
  • Sucrose (table sugar)
  • Dopamine (happiness neurotransmitter)
  • Theobromine (chocolate! yumm..)
  • Testosterone
  • Estrogen
  • Aspirin
  • Ritalin
  • Nicotine
  • Xanax
  • Viagra
  • THC

Also check out the photos below to see how the final products look.


Exclusive: Rip, Mix, Burn Gets Physical with 3D Printing Startup Matter.io

“If 3D printing is ever going to cross over into consumer applications, there needs to be some radical new thinking about 3D design” — Dylan Reid, CEO of Matter.io

Cambridge, MA based Matter.io is looking for beta testers to try out their new 3D editing tool Matter Remix. Read below for our exclusive promotion code that will get you free registration.

Matter.io Remix Beta 3D Printing

The company, founded earlier this year by MIT and Cornell alums, aims to bring Instagram-like ease to 3D modeling and 3D printing. The team has ambitious plans to create a “modeling layer” on top of the the world’s 3D content but is starting with a standalone web application for “remixing” existing STLs.

“There seems to be a consensus that simple content creation is the biggest bottleneck to consumer 3D printing,” said Dylan Reid, co-founder and CEO of Matter.io. “But for all the talk, there’s surprisingly little innovation. Simple geometric modelers have been around since the inception of computer aided design and digital sculpting tools have been used by the entertainment industry for over a decade. We believe that if 3D printing is ever going to cross over into consumer applications, there needs to be some radical new thinking about 3D design.”

Radical Thinking and Instagram Inspiration

This “radical thinking” is driving their design principles. Reid and his team observed that there are currently three major buckets of design software:

  • High end 3D modelers – expensive desktop software that is really complicated to use and have a steep learning curve, but provides highly precise 3D models; examples include Blender, Maya, and 3D Studio Max
  • Basic geometry kits – desktop or online tools that let a user play with polygons in a quick and easy fashion, but take some real effort to design anything with aesthetic value; examples include Tinkercad and Sketchup
  • 3D sculpting tools – software that lets you push and pull a digital ball of  clay in 3D which makes for interesting creative designs but it’s difficult to get millimeter precision; examples include Leopoly and Sculpteo

3D Modeling White Space

Content creation is hard because CAD is hard, Reid explained. What users really want is the Instagram experience: simple input that creates designs with high precision and aesthetic value.

“Our ultimate goal is to be able to match people’s inherent creativity and taste with tools that will let them materialize their ideas in physical form,” said Reid. “We’ve taken our greatest inspiration from 2D design tools and think there’s a lot of lessons to be learned from their evolution. At one point photo editing was something only a small group of people engaged in and now with Instagram and Aviary, it’s something nearly all of us have contact with.”

Matter Remix Screenshot

He continued, “What’s magical about photo filters, that is completely missing from the 3D world, is the ability to make meaningful transformations with the click of a button. As we look beyond where we are now, into the future of personal fabrication, we see a lot more 3D design working this way: reducing complex functionalities to the click of a button or the push of a slider bar.”

Exclusive Invitation to Designers and 3D Printing Enthusiasts

Starting today, Matter.io is opening up Matter Remix to a small number of users as part of a closed Beta.

Matter.io has given us an exclusive registration code: ON3DP. Use that code and the company promises that you will never pay for the online tool and your account stays active after they close down registration.

If you get involved, share your thoughts on Matter Remix with us in the comments or on Twitter with @On3DPrinting!



The Future of Retail is Personalization – Isaac Katz on 3D Printing

3D printing has the potential to revolutionize the retail industry – Isaac Katz, Electronic Art Boutique

Today’s retail world is one-size-fits-all, said Isaac Katz at the Inside 3D Printing show in San Jose, whereas tomorrow is all-for-one.

Isaac Katz is a pioneer in simulation-based design and in its application to create physical products via 3D printing technology. He presented at Inside 3D Printing San Jose about The Future of Retail. (Related: Isaac Katz also presented at Inside 3D Printing Chicago earlier this year)

In Mr. Katz’s store of the future, personalization makes the difference. Today’s retailers allow consumers to customize aspects like size and color, but tomorrow’s retailers can employ 3D scanning and 3D printing technologies to get the perfect fit and the shape and design the consumer prefers.

Clothing is a simple example of this. Instead of picking a dress off the rack, consumers at the store of the future will be able to look in a virtual mirror to try on and personalize a dress.

Isaac Katz Store of the Future

Below is a 3D printed dress worn by Dita Von Teese.

3D Printed Fashion Dita Von Teese


How long until we get to this Future of Retail?

The design technology is available today, said Katz, and 3D printing will likely get there in the coming years. 3D printed cloth has been developed but needs more time to be ready for retail.

Mr. Katz pointed to 3-Sweep, an amazing technology we covered last week, as an example of a design technology that could be incorporated into the retail process. (Related: Take a Photo, Get a 3D Model – This Could Change 3D Printing Design)


Take a Photo, Get a 3D Model – This Could Change 3D Printing Design

3-Sweep Is Simply Amazing

Rarely, if ever, do you see an academic video get over 1 million views on YouTube. Well, the research team behind 3-Sweep may have created technology that could push 3D printing forward in a major way.

With a few mouse clicks and keyboard strokes, the software lets a user to create a 3D model from a single photo. 

The team from Israel’s IDC Herzliya, comprised of Tao Chen, Zhe Zhu, Ariel Shamir, Shi-Min Hu, and Daniel Cohen-Or, first plans to present their new technology at SIGGRAPH Asia 2013.

3-sweep 3D model

Meanwhile, MakerBot is selling hardware for $1,400 to digitally scan real-world objects and other companies are raising money on Kickstarter to sell 3D scanner devices for under $1,000.

Below is a video with extensive demonstrations of how the 3-Sweep tech works.


We reached out to some of the 3D printing community. Nancy Yi Liang, co-founder of Mixee Labs, said “Wow. I’ve seen a lot of papers that deal with photo to 3d modeling, especially at SIGGRAPH, but this is one of the few presentations where I thought ‘I can use the interface’ AND ‘this could produce models I’d want!’ I hope they publish the paper and maybe even release some of the code behind the awesome.”

In the video above, when an object is extracted, the background is automatically rebuilt using the patch match algorithm.

Playing this forward, could this technology accelerate the vision of 3D printing in the real world?

Leave your comments below, or on Facebook or Twitter.