How to Dye Your 3D Prints May 03 2013, 1 Comment
3D printing is currently a big buzz word in the design, arts and crafts, and technology worlds. We make all of our jewelry with 3D printing, and in the time we've been make 3D printed creations, we've learned a lot about ways to manipulate the material to change its color and appearance. 3D printing is also known as additive manufacturing and produces objects from CAD files by building up material layer by layer to create the final form. You can 3D print in a wide range of materials from squishy rubber to hard metals.
Have you created something with 3D printing? A lot of design students and hobbyists now have access to the technology thanks to 3D printing services like Shapeways and Ponoko. If you printed your object in polyamide, you can dye them at home to whatever color you want. Polyamide is a porous material that accepts color really well. Some companies offer dying of your prints for you, but that adds extra processing time and is only available in a small range of colors.
If you're tired of the boring white that many 3D prints come in, we will show you how to add color to your prints. This is a tutorial for dying nylon (or polyamide) 3d prints with fabric dye. This material is known by different names at different printing companies. Shapeways calls it White Strong and Flexible, Ponoko calls it Durable Plastic, Sculpteo White Plastic, and iMaterialise Polyamide. We'll use Rit brand dyes in our tutorial since it is easy to find in craft, fabric, and grocery stores. You can also dye your 3D prints with Jacquard brand acid dyes in a similar process, but that will require carefully measuring vinegar to change the acidity of the solution and constantly heating the solution.
This process is similar to dying fabric with, and we learned a lot about how dye 3D prints by reading this article on dyeing techniques by Rit.
Step 1: Gather Your Materials
The first thing that you will need to do is gather your materials. You'll need your nylon 3D prints, your desired color of fabric dye, a bowl to do the dyeing in, measuring spoons, and boiling water (not pictured). We also recommend having access to a microwave to reheat your solution while dying as need.
Decide which color you would like to dye your prints. Rit has a great guide to tell you which colors you can dye your prints with their dyes and other brands of dye will have similar guides. Nylon absorbs the dye really quickly, and we usually use slightly less dye than the guides recommend. For this batch of bike planters we will be dying them using Rit's Sunshine Orange. We're using 1.5 tsp of powdered dye to 1.5 cups of boiling water.
Remember that you are working with fabric dye that will stain clothes and shoes. So if you care about the clothes that you are wearing wear an apron or change into something that you don't love so much. Fabric dye can also stain your skin, so wear latex gloves if you don't want tinted hands. Rit dye will come off easily with scrubbing, so if you do get some on your skin, it can be easily removed.
Step 2: Soak Your Pieces
Before you begin the dying process, soak your prints for at least 30 minutes. We recommend doing this overnight if you have the time. Having your prints saturated will allow the dye to color the piece more evenly. This will also help remove any dust on the surface of your prints left over from the printing process. If there is residual powder on the surface of your prints, it will affect the color of piece. The powder will be dyed, and will come off easily when the piece is dry, leaving a white spot underneath.
This piece had some leftover powder stuck to it when it was dyed, and you can see the large white area left behind from removing the powder.
Step 3: Add Color
Carefully measure your required amount of dye and add your boiling water. Stir it really well so all of the powder is dissolved in solution.
Add your prints to the the solution and stir. Agitate the solution frequently to ensure that your prints are colored evenly. The longer that you leave your prints in the solution, the more saturated the color will be. These prints stayed in the dye for about 6 minutes to achieve the color. If you need to leave your prints in the solution longer, microwave it at 15-30 second increments to reheat the water to near boiling temperatures. We've noticed that some dyes require higher temperatures to stay in solution than others. In our experience pink and blue dyes require hotter temperatures and longer dying times to achieve their desired colors.
Step 4: Rinse
Rinsing your prints is very important. You can rinse it with cold water to remove the excess dye. We also like to let the pieces sit in boiling water for a few minutes for any excess dye to soak out. If you're going to be dying jewelry or anything that will be worn close to the skin, this is a very important step as excess dye could stain the skin or clothes.
Step 5: Dry
Step 6 (Optional): Seal
Nylon is a porous material that will readily absorb particles and dirt it is exposed to. We recommend sealing your prints with a polymer varnish (like liquitex) or clear acrylic paint to protect the color and your piece from getting dirty.
Step 7: Show it Off!
You just put all of this hard work into your 3D Printed object- show it off and tell everyone about it!
Farmhouse Conf 4: Future Stories Under an Avocado Tree May 01 2013, 0 Comments
This weekend I will be speaking at Farmhouse Conf in Los Angeles, CA. Farmhouse Conf is an annual event where they gather thinkers and doers to meet and speak under an avocado tree. There's no screens, so its just stories and no powerpoint presentations. The theme of Farmhouse Conf 4 is the Future, and I'll be speaking about 3D printing and what we will make in the future.
If you want to learn more about it or attend, check out the Farmhouse website.
Good + UPS Small Business Collaborative Recap April 25 2013, 0 Comments
We want to give a huge thank you to Good Magazine and UPS for hosting the Atlanta Small Business Collaborative at Westside Provisions last week. We got the opportunity to meet people from Good Magazine, Serenbe, and local businesses.
The event brought together many businesses from Atlanta and gave them the opportunity to meet each other, represent their businesses, and engage in discussion about building a business sustainably.
You can learn more about the event and the other businesses who participated at Good Magazine.
Wearable Planter + Finely Crafted Recap April 09 2013, 0 Comments
We want to give a big thanks to everyone who came out to our trunk show with Finely Crafted this weekend! We had a great time at Paris on Ponce, and it was great to see that people walked and biked to visit us on the Atlanta Beltline.
We had a craft table for people to plant their new jewels and showed off samples of some our newer items. We also had a selection of plants available from local store Terraria.
Thanks again to everyone who came by! Even though we're not there on a regular basis, If you're ever in Atlanta, you should stop by Paris on Ponce to buy some fun gifts from Finely Crafted and say "hello" to Marie Antoinette.
Big thanks to Loraine Kazenstein for some of the above photos!
Good + UPS Small Business Collaborative April 08 2013, 0 Comments
We're excited to announce that on April 19th, we'll be taking part in the Atlanta Small Business Collaborative sponsored by Good and UPS. The event will be at White Provisions in West Midtown, from 11 AM- 4PM. Come say hello and show your support for Atlanta small businesses!
Wearable Planter Trunk Show with Finely Crafted This Weekend April 03 2013, 1 Comment
This weekend, we're having a trunk show at Paris on Ponce hosted by local boutique Finely Crafted. There will also be air plants and mosses from Terraria for you to add life to your planter. If you're in Atlanta, we would love it if you stopped by the event! We'll have a small station for you to plant your new jewels, and there will be snacks provided by Bear Maker Bakery. RSVP and learn more about the event on Facebook.
Paris on Ponce is also accessible from the Atlanta Beltline Eastside Trail, and you can stop by if you're out on a stroll enjoying the beautiful spring weather.
Make Your Own Seed Bombs March 26 2013, 0 Comments
Seed bombs have become very popular recently. They're a fun way to try your hand at gardening without a lot of prep work. Making them is a fun activity that you can do to welcome in spring and is great to do with kids.
These seed balls are made with recycled and biodegradable paper and wildflower seeds. We receive a lot of kraft paper in shipments from our suppliers, and we needed a creative way to reuse it. The paper around them protects them from being eaten by birds and insects while the seeds germinate. Throw them in a space that you think needs some greenery, or in your own yard to start a small garden.
Step One: Gather Supplies and Tools
To make seed bombs, you'll need to first gather your supplies and tools for the job. You'll need:
Recycled Newspaper or kraft paper
blender or immersion blender
ice cube trays
A tray or plate for the seed balls to rest on while they dry
Seeds can be expensive if you buy them in small packets. If you're planning on making more than one batch of these, we recommend buying them online from a store like American Meadows.
Shred paper and let it soak in water for 5 minutes or more. This allows the fibers in the paper to absorb enough water to lengthen so it is easier to blend. Add the paper and water mixture to the blender and blend it into a pulp.
Add the seeds to the pulp mixture and stir. To make ours we use a blend of wildflower seeds, but you can use any type of seeds you like, like vegetable seeds or ivy. There's no exact measurement for the amount of seeds you need to use, but we use about 1/4 cup of seeds to 4 cups of the paper pulp mixture.
Strain the pulp through the tea towel. We put ours over a separate mixing bowl to reuse the water to create a second batch later in the day. Wring out the pulp mix in the tea towel to remove more water so the seeds don't germinate prematurely.
Place the paper and seed pulp into your molds. You can make your seed balls as small or as large as you like. Carefully remove from their molds and rest them on a tray or board to dry.
Let dry in a warm and sunny place. You want to make sure that your seed bombs dry quickly so that the seeds don't start to germinate while your seed bombs are still drying.
Spread! Throw your seed bombs in your garden, on your windowsill, or in an ugly lot that you think needs some color.
New Look and New Items for Spring March 14 2013, 0 Comments
We would like to share with you our new items for Spring and Summer 2013! We had a great holiday season, and in the small bits of free time that we had, we got to create some new products with new ways to carry plants to bring to you for this spring!
A lot of the feedback we heard from customers was that they wanted to see more lapel pins. We brought the form of one of our more popular necklaces to a lapel pin, and we're really thrilled with the way it turned out.
We've also been playing around with some more classical shapes than just the simple modern ones we usually create. The Amphora necklace is inspired by vases seen on a recent trip to the Metropolitan Museum in New York.
We're also bringing out new colors for this spring like purple and bolder blues than we've used in the past. We're adding to our line of bag planters, so now you have a way to carry some fresh picked flowers on your tote.
Also, if you've visited our site in the past few days, you've probably noticed some changes to the appearance. We've updated the look and feel of the site. We've made some cosmetic improvements and fixed a few kinks, and we've also made some usability changes that we hope will make your experience on the site better. We've added a new way for you to checkout directly on our site with our new credit card processor Braintree, so now you don't have to worry about trying to use PayPal.
Atlanta Shapeways 3D Printing Meetup Recap March 04 2013, 0 Comments
Last week we helped to host a 3D printing meetup with Shapeways at 5 Seasons Brewery. Atlanta has a pretty sizeable maker community, and this event was the first with Shapeways in the city. We got to meet new people and talk about new product ideas and engage our nerdy sides to talk about the future of manufacturing. Some participants brought examples of their 3D printed products, and we also got to play with some stuff that Shapeways sent us!
Thanks for the good time to everyone that came, and thanks to Shapeways for sending us the cool swag and t-shirts!
This week in photos March 02 2013, 0 Comments
The last week of February has been crazy! We're working on a new website, we got the first prototypes of our new rings in, we organized a 3D printing meetup, and we worked on putting together a few new things for this spring.
Since we didn't have a whole lot of time to write to tell you what we're up to, this is what this week looked like.
The weather in Atlanta has been really cold and dreary. When I was at the florist, they had Forsythia branches on sale. I've never bought flowers like this before, and I've been so hapy with the bright blooms they've had. I also feel like I'm getting away with something by smuggling a little reminder of spring indoors.
We received the first prototypes of our new rings from Shapeways that we're going to produce this spring. We have a few design changes to make, and expect to see these items in the shop soon.
We made a lot of seed bombs with recycled paper and wildflower seeds.
We organized a 3D printing meetup in Atlanta with Shapeways and they sent us a bunch of cool little things for the event.
And at last, we saw the first signs of spring coming up to get us through the last part of winter. This Magnolia tree was on the Atlanta Beltline, and is a recent planting from Trees Atlanta. The flowers were such a vibrant shade at sunset that I just had to snap their picture!
Wearable Planter in Print and On Exhibit January 29 2013, 0 Comments
This year, 2013, marks the 60th anniversary of the Industrial Design Program at Georgia Tech. What started as a program within the architecture curriculum, is now the School of Industrial Design. To celebrate 60 years of Industrial Design Education, the school is currently exhibiting a show of alumni work. The works in the exhibit span the course of these six decades, and demonstrate how product design, people, and technology have evolved in that time.
As an alumna of the program, work from the Wearable Planter collection was chosen to be on display and included in the booklet for the exhibit.
The exhibit runs from now until February 8 at the College of Architecture East Building. For more information, visit http://www.id.gatech.edu/.
We're 2! January 29 2013, 0 Comments
It's kind of a big week here! We're getting ready to put out all of our new items for spring, working on some new bike planters that we can make in house on our 3D printer, and as of this week, we've been in business for two years!
It's been an exciting run. Last year we got to travel for business, were featured on Fab.com, and grew our business. Here's to another great year!
Peculiar Observations January 17 2013, 0 Comments
Sometimes I make peculiar observations. Yesterday I took a trip to the Atlanta Botanical Garden to get a chance to step out of the office, and snap some photos to use with our new packaging. The garden was practically empty, because it's the middle of the week on a rainy January afternoon. When I stepped into the Fuqua Orchid Center, my camera lens fogged up, and I didn't realize it until I reviewed this picture of an orchid. I suppose most people would consider the shot ruined, but I like the effect it created.
They were also beginning to set up for a new exhibit while I was there, and it looks as if some of the tropical plants threw a crazy party last night!
Here's to the New Year January 14 2013, 0 Comments
Holiday Ordering Information October 25 2012, 0 CommentsEven though it's only October, a lot of people have started ordering online for holiday gifts. To make sure your items arrive on time, we've put together the following ordering deadlines so your order will arrive in time for your holiday celebrations. Starting in November, we'll be doing same day and next day shipping on all in stock orders placed through this store and our etsy shop. At checkout, you'll be able to select your preferred shipping speed for your order.
Two Weekends of Maker Faire September 27 2012, 0 Comments
We're really excited about the next two weekends! Why? Because we have two weekends in a row of getting to attend and exhibit at Maker Faires! Maker Faire is the celebration of invention, creativity, and resourcefulness, and there are almost always robots and lasers for attendees to play with.
The following weekend, on October 6, we'll be at Atlanta Mini Maker Faire. We'll be bringing our MakerBot and giving 3D printing demonstrations and possibly have a planting DIY activity.
A lot of our other friends and people we like to work with will be at these events, too. If you're going to World Maker Faire in New York, make sure to see LittleBits, Shapeways, and Belle Helmets. At Atlanta Mini Maker Faire, the Georgia Tech Invention Studio and GVU will also be there demonstrating their abilities of what they can do and student projects.
Prototyping with MakerBot September 12 2012, 0 Comments
In our studio, we have a MakerBot Thingomatic that is used to prototype new products. The objects that we create on it are not production quality, but they help us get an idea what a final product will look and feel like. We created a time-lapse video of the bot in motion to give you a better idea of what it does and how 3D printing works. The movie doesn't have any sound, and I wish that I could share with you the cute little electronic chirping noises the machine makes.
One of the neat things about 3D printing is that I was able to print an iPhone mount from Thingiverse to capture this process. We didn't end up using the iPhone footage because of video compression issues, but if you don't have access to a camera, using your phone is still a great way to create a timelapse video.
In the video our bot is making a small desktop planter that we would like to print in ceramics. We printed this prototype to see if this size planter would comfortably hold a larger air plant. While the machine we use to prototype with is far from perfect, it's a great low cost and quick way to get a feel for new objects.
If you have a MakerBot or access to a 3D printer, you can check out our Thingiverse page and download some of our files to print for yourself.
Shapeways 3D Printing & the Culture of Creativity September 10 2012, 0 Comments
A few months ago I was asked to take part in an upcoming video series for 3D printing startup Shapeways to showcase the broad base of talents found amongst their users. Above is the first video of the series to get you excited about the possibilities available with this emerging manufacturing technology. At 0:35, there's a cameo of our planters, and soon you'll see me talking more about my work in another video. The videos were shot by the talented Stephen Malik, and it was great to spend a day hanging out with the people at Shapeway. You can learn more about their video profiles on the Shapeways blog.
New Items for the End of Summer August 03 2012, 1 Comment
Summer for the northern hemisphere is ending. Well, not really, but all of the back to school sales that have started popping up are trying to make you think so. School might be starting soon, but summer and warm weather are still going to be here for a while.
We have some new items in the store to help you enjoy the rest of the summer in style and with some cool plants by your side.
We have new planters that can attach to your tote bag or purse that work great with air plants and succulents, as well as some new smaller bike planters. If you're still in school, maybe you can incorporate some greenery while carrying your books around campus? It would look pretty cool on a backpack, too.
This necklace, our genie bottle vase, can be worn with small little flowers you've found, or can be worn without them by itself. Maybe you could roll a secret little note up inside it if you're giving it to someone as a gift.
We're also working on some new ideas that aren't more planters, but are still related to gardening that y'all will still find interesting. Above is a little teaser of one of the new things you can expect. Follow us on twitter as @wearplants and on instagram as wearableplanter for fun updates as we make new things and develop new ideas.
Bringing the Field Trip to You: A Trip to the Atlanta Botanical Garden August 01 2012, 0 Comments
The Atlanta Botanical Garden is one of my favorite places to spend time in the city. Last week we had a free afternoon and took advantage of some cooler than usual weather to go check it out and get some inspiration. Since it's Wednesday, and you're most likely trapped at a desk dreaming of the weekend, I figured it might be a good time to bring a little adventure to you.
We saw this cute little cucumber in the Edible Garden, where they grow foods that are suited to the climate and season. They have recipes on the website, too, of what you can make with the plants that you find there.
The Edible Garden also boasts a large wall of vertically grown herbs. You'll have to visit to find out more about how they grow plants on that wall, but the technology is pretty neat and actually really simple.
We were pretty fascinated by the water lilies, and won't admit to how much time we spent there taking pictures and watching the frogs. This little guy was hanging out making some noises and sitting very still. We thought he was fake until we saw the skin under his mouth jiggle.
The indoor greenhouses and orchid rooms were on last stop on our afternoon trip. I love the way they hang and layer plants in there, and this was also the first time I'd noticed their cool way of displaying tillandsia from the rafters.
Hope you enjoyed this little desktop trip, and try to check out the Atlanta Botanical Garden next time you get a free moment.
Let's Talk About Shipping July 25 2012, 0 Comments
Something that I've begun to notice over the past few years is that there is a lot of inefficiency and waste involved in shipping. It seems like everyone I've talked to has had that shipping experience where a tiny object ordered from a big online retailer arrives packed in a much larger box than necessary, full of bubble wrap and plastic shipping products. Thankfully most online retailers are getting better about this. We've learned a lot from items shipped to us, as well as from the 2000+ products we've shipped out over the past year and a half. As long as we've been in business, we've been committed to keeping our shipping footprint as small as possible.
This week as I was buying shipping supplies, I decided to do a little bit of research into the shipping supplies that I use, and I'm really happy to report that they're actually more sustainable than I thought. Almost all of our items are shipped by USPS Priority mail, with the exception of some international orders. USPS will provide boxes to customers, so I decided to dig up a little information on these boxes that I've been using.
Originally, I picked this box because it is small, and provides just the right amount of space and padding for our Wearable Planters without being too large. After some research, I found out that their boxes are Cradle to Cradle (C2C) certified. This means they use responsible methods in the manufacturing of their boxes, and that these boxes can be 100% recycled as well. Since the size is standardized, the postal service can easily stack these boxes in their trucks to maximize efficiency with each shipment, cutting down on the amount of fuel used.
Another neat thing I noticed about these boxes is that they're also cut to reduce the amount of waste. In the picture above, you can see how they fit together to minimize the cutoff waste paper.
Not all orders fit into these small boxes, and we were happy to learn from our supplier Uline, that the corrugated cardboard boxes we use are made from mostly recycled content, and are also 100% recyclable. They're also really strong and will survive multiple trips through the mail, so you can reuse them as well.
Finally, we use some pretty neat packing peanuts. Traditional packing peanuts that have been around since the 1960s are made using polystyrene. Polystyrene is a plastic that, although recyclable, is not biodegradable, so it could just end up in a landfill if not continually reused. Most of you know this type of plastic as styrofoam, of which the plastic cups littering highways are made.
We started using 100% biodegradable packing peanuts made out of cornstarch earlier this year, so you can either reuse them when sending a gift to a friend, throw them in your compost or yard, or just disintegrate them in water with no harm to the environment.
We even included this silly .gif of our packing peanuts dissolving in water.
Even though shipping will probably never be 100% sustainable, we're constantly trying our best to ship things as sustainably as possible. Getting your item to you safely is a priority for us, and we want to make sure that we consider the environment as much as we can in this process. If you have any questions, please let us know in the comments or through email.
A Little Something We're Part of.... July 18 2012, 0 Comments
Early this week I flew to New York City to hang out with the Shapeways crew to be in a film that's part of something new they're working on.
I won't give you many details yet, but expect to see a Bike Planter's View of New York.
Summer Visual Update July 13 2012, 0 Comments
We've been pretty busy these first few weeks of (official) summer. Around the studio, we've been working on new packaging and taking breaks to check out construction and movie sets. We have new items we're working on, and we took a trip to New York to check out the Bicycle Film Festival with Belle Helmets and get some inspiration in the cute little town of Hudson. We thought we'd give you a visual update and tease you about new projects we have ahead of us.
How to Plant Guide, Part 2: Air Plants June 21 2012, 0 Comments
Bromeliads, better known as tillandsia, are one of the easiest plants to care for. These plants are found naturally in warm tropical places, but also do well indoors elsewhere. They can be easily found at most nurseries and online. We like to use air plants in our planters not only because they are so easy to care for, but because they look really cool, too.
Today we bring you the second of many installments in our How to Plant Series, and show you how to plant one of our favorite plants, the exotic and always interesting air plant. Since we have a few planters that call for using air plants, we thought showing you a visual guide is the best way to explain what to do once you get your planter. These instructions also apply to attaching tillandsia onto other objects, too, so you can follow these instructions to attach them to (almost) anything. Please note that we refer to using a hot glue gun in this tutorial, so pay attention while you're using this tool, and supervise any children who want to try this craft.
To start out, you’ll need a planter, an air plant, and a hot glue gun (or another adhesive like epoxy or E6000). For this tutorial we used this planter, which is designed to be used with air plants. These are the easiest plants to use in our planters, and these instructions will be really short and straightforward.
Start by plugging in your hot glue gun, and wait until it gets hot enough for the glue to be ready to use. While you wait for your glue to heat, play around with how your plant fits best in the planter if you haven't already.
You’ll add a drop of glue into the planter where you want your plant, and then position your plant inside where you want it. You’ll have to act quickly on this step before the glue sets, so have your plant nearby. After this, you’re all set!
You might be worrying about the effect of the hot glue on the plant, but it won’t hurt the plant. Other glues work well, too if you have access to them, like E6000 or other epoxies, but don’t use super glue.
Caring for your airplant once you’ve mounted it is very simply. A small spray of water a few times a week will be enough to keep it healthy, and make sure it gets indirect sunlight when you’re not wearing it.
And that’s it! Now you’re ready to wear an airplant!
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