Killing time and feeling creative? Hoping to spice up your home decor or find a unique, last-minute gift? With your iPad and a free downloadable app from MakerBot, you can now skip the shopping and instead design and 3D print your own vase. With the new Vase Maker tool from MakerBot® PrintShop™ version 1.0.5, you can spruce up your home or create and print chic, custom-designed gifts . Get the app free from the iTunes App Store and let your inner artist flourish. These vases can be printed at home using the MakerBot Replicator® 3D Printer, which currently retails for around $2,899.

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The app couldn’t be more user friendly. Its iPad interface allows you to select from four base patterns for your vase. You can choose a texture or pattern as well as a style or function — bud vase, chalice, plant holder or bowl — and then customize your design with the quick swipe of a finger.

According to MakerBot’s CEO, Jenny Lawton, the app uses intuitive tools that make it easy for even the most inexperienced 3D designer. Vase Maker follows in the 3D-printing footsteps of MakerBot’s earlier versions of its PrintShop app, including Type Maker, Ring Maker, and Bracelet maker, all of which remain available in version 1.0.5.

While the app is designed specifically to be used with a MakerBot Replicator Desktop 3D Printer, which can print vases up to 5 ½ inches in height, a MakerBot Replicator Z1 3D Printer will let you not only increase but fully triple the scale of your home designs — up to 17 ½ inches! Even those budding designers with the more modest MakerBot Replicator Mini Compact 3D Printer can use the app and print a vase as it automatically adjusts size depending upon the printer selected.

All three of the aforementioned printers are part of the larger family of what Brooklyn, New York-based MakerBot calls its “3D Ecosystem.” The MakerBot 3D Ecosystem includes not only 3D printers and the MakerBot Digitizer Deskstop 3D Scanner, but also MakerBot apps and software, including MakerBot Mobile and MakerBot PrintShop, MakerBot Digitizer. Their goal is to push innovation, constantly developing new products but also ensuring that existing products and interface with the new and cutting edge.

MakerBot is excited about its new Vase Maker app and wants to encourage users to share their unique creations via Twitter and Instagram. When doing so, they note, users should include the hashtag #makerbotvasemaker. With Vase Maker, it seems creative possibilities are limited only to the extent of the user’s imagination.

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While vases printed via Vase Maker are not themselves guaranteed for safe uses including food, water, dishwasher, or microwave, a user can ensure (in the app’s sculpting mode) that the top diameter of the vase will allow a glass container to hold real flowers and water. MakerBot’s Digital Store also offers Spring Blossoms that can be 3D printed. 3D printed flowers in a 3D printed vase!  Have you used this free app? Let’s hear your thoughts and feedback in the MakerBot Vase Maker forum thread on 3DPB.com.

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