Shapeways and New York Public Library Honor Graduates of the Make it, Print it, Sell it Program

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Make it, Print it, Sell it students toured the Shapeways factory in Long Island City with their instructor Ralph (on the left with back to camera). [Image: Shapeways]

Back in June, we reported that Shapeways EDU, the educational department of the 3D printing service bureau, was partnering with the New York Public Library’s TechConnect Program to provide 3D printing classes to library members. New York Public Library was able to essentially have a makerspace through the collaboration, without a huge investment in infrastructure. Lauren Slowik, Shapeways Education and Design Evangelist, and Laura Taalman, Strategic Research Consultant of Education at Ultimaker North America, worked together to create the curriculum for the course. The course was designed to not be tied to any particular software, but instead to teach students the fundamentals for creating 3D printed products.

I attended the exhibition and graduation ceremony for the students of the Make it, Print it, Sell it program and I was duly impressed by what these novice designers were able to accomplish is a very short span of time. The students created their first designs in Tinkercad and went on to learn Meshmixer and Fusion 360.Their initial prototypes were printed in PLA on Ultimaker and Makerbot printers, some of the designs were even prototyped in cardboard. The idea was to get out the first iteration as fast as possible. Shapeways printed the next stage of prototypes and final designs, which included porcelain vases and brass rings. Though the learning curve was steep, the students rose to the challenge and created some very interesting designs.

The exhibition at the Mid-Manhattan Library, which is just a stone’s throw from the library’s iconic Stephen A. Schwarzian Building in Bryant Park, featured the works of the program’s students. The reception was followed by a graduation ceremony and graduates were presented with certificates for the completion of the 10 week course.

Chriss Slevin, a graduate of the Make it, Print it, Sell it Program, who works in product development for textiles and teaches Textiles at LIM College, took the course to learn 3D modeling to create jewelry. She is looking forward to creating more jewelry designs and politically inspired art. Jessica Lane previously worked in fashion, but had never designed in CAD before taking the course. Like many of the other graduates, she plans to continue designing 3D printed products. The creators of the Make it, Print it, Sell it program are justifiably proud of their students’ creations.

“We are so thrilled to be able to demystify the 3D design and printing process for anyone who wants to learn,” says Slowick. “These are powerful tools and everyone has access to them through the power of networked communities like Shapeways and the New York Public Library.”

The graduation ceremony was followed by a presentation by featured Shapeways designer Kasia Wisniewski, who shared some insight on how she creates her Collected Edition products. Her delicate nature-inspired designs, while they appear to be cast from real flowers are actually 3D modeled. Wisniewski found that 3D scanning couldn’t fully capture the intricacies of real flowers and that exact reproductions of real petals would have been too fragile when 3D printed. While Wisniewski sells Collected Edition products through different different online sites, such as Etsy, she is able to offer her products in more materials through her Shapeways shop. She encouraged the Make it, Print it, Sell it graduates to keep experimenting.

Maybe some of these newly fledged 3D designers will also go on to become Shapeways featured designers; only time will tell. Below are the some of the designs by the Make it, Print it, Sell it program students:

[All images taken by Michael Parker for 3DPrint.com unless otherwise noted]

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