Wearable Planter in Make: 3D Printing January 23 2014
Exciting news! Make: 3D Printing, a recently published book from Make Media, features two articles that I wrote about using 3D printing to develop and create products.
The book is an overview of what is happening in the world of 3D printing today. Full of information about home 3D printing, techniques for polishing up prints, and an overview of 3D printed products on the market, it is a good introduction to the quickly moving and exciting ways people are using this technology.
My two articles to the book, "3D Printing Without a Printer" and "How to Dye Your 3D Prints" are about using commercial services to 3D print your products. "How to Dye Your 3D Prints" was previously published on this blog, and gives you instructions on how to dye models printed with nylon or polyamide through commercial 3D printing companies.
If you want to read the book and learn more about 3D printing, Make: 3D Printing is available online at MakerShed.
Our Favorite 3D Printed Finds for 3D Printing Day December 03 2013
This morning while looking at Twitter I came across a particularly intriguing find: today is 3D Printing Day*. Obviously it is not an official holiday, but today's 3D Printing Day is a celebration that I can completely get behind. We use 3D printing to create all of our products, so it goes without saying that I'm a big fan and proponent of this technology.
3D printing is an amazing technology. It's been around for a few decades, but is just now coming into its own as a viable means of manufacturing. It has huge potential to change small businesses and local industries as well as the way that we make and consume products. Did I mention the wow factor about it? There's nothing more amazing than seeing something materialize layer by layer in front of your eyes! I think the best way to show off the power of 3D Printing is by showing examples which are useful or bring a smile to your face.
In honor of 3D Printing Day, here are my favorite 3D Printed projects (one of which you can even make yourself!):
* For the curious, the logic behind this is the date is December 3rd, or D3, which is the inverse of 3D.
Images above via shapeways.com, crankbunny.com, and thingiverse.com.
Holiday Shipping Information November 28 2013
The holiday season is upon us, and we're very happy that it's here! If you're planning on ordering a gift for Christmas or another holiday, here are our guides to ensure delivery by December 24th:
For US customers, place your order by December 20th to ensure arrival by December 24th. If you're really a last minute type of person, orders can be placed through midnight on December 22nd for Christmas delivery with Express mail.
For international* orders, the last day to order to ensure arrival by Christmas via First Class Mail is December 2nd. Orders with expedited shipping can be placed through December 9.
If you have any questions about delivery by any other date, feel free to send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll help you out!
*Please note that we cannot guarantee any delivery dates to Germany, Brazil, or Italy due to typical customs delays in these countries.
How to Plant Cut Succulents November 27 2013
Succulents are really easy plants to care for. They're not only easy to keep alive with just a little bit of water and access to sunlight, but they are also simple to plant. Succulents can thrive indoors year-round and can live outdoors in most climates. The easiest way to grow and propagate these plants isn't through planting seeds, but by taking cuttings from established plants. Planting them yourself gives you better creative control over how your arrangement looks, and is an inexpensive introduction to gardening that you can do without access to a backyard or porch. If you've ever been curious about how to plant your own succulents, you're in luck because we're going to show you what to do!
What You'll Need:
- Succulent cuttings or leaves.
- A well-draining soil. For this tutorial I'm using 1 part potting soil mixed with 1 part sand, but you can also use special soil mixes made for succulents and desert plants.
- A planter or tray to plant in.
- Small river stones or rocks (optional).
What To Do:
Gather your succulents to plant.
We're going to be planting a variety of types of succulents from both cuttings and fallen leaves for this tutorial. Gather together what you would like to plant. You can either clip cuttings from an established plant or use fallen leaves. You can also find cuttings at most florists and online if you can't find them elsewhere.
Prepare your succulents for planting.
Preparing your succulents is the most important part of this process. You want to make sure that you have enough of the stem to plant beneath the soil to support the plant. Remove any extra leaves from the bottom of the stem. For larger cuttings, about an inch of bare stem is fine, and you can use less for smaller cuttings.
Next, look at the bottom of your cutting. The plants should have a "callous" on them, meaning that the bottom of the plant has dried out. This forms a few days after cutting the succulent, so you should wait a few days before planting freshly cut succulents. You can speed up this process by leaving the cutting on a paper towel or paper bag for the end to dry faster.
The great thing about succulents is that you can plant their leaves, too, so save the leaves you removed from the stem. Check for rotten parts of your succulents. Any part of the plant that is black has rotted, and this can spread to other parts of the plant and will eventually kill it. The rotten portions can be removed simply by cutting it.
Mix your soil.
If you're not using a pre-mixed blend of soil for succulents, you'll need to prepare your soil so that it will drain well to allow your succulents to thrive. I mix one part potting soil with one part sand, which allows the soil to drain well. I also like to keep some small rocks on hand to place around the base of larger plants to help anchor them in the soil.
Pour your soil mixture into a pot or tray. I'm recycling a baking pan that I can no longer use for baking as a planting tray.
If you're planting more than one cutting, make sure to place them about 2-3" apart.
Make sure your plants get enough water. Succulents don't usually need a lot of water, but while they are establishing their roots, you'll need to water them every 2-4 days, depending on how dry the soil gets. Don't be surprised if you see the leaves start to look a little dried out at first, this is the plant using it's stored energy resources while it builds new roots. In about four weeks you'll start to see new growth. Once the plants have established their roots and begin to grow, switch to weekly watering or only when the soil is dry.
Admire and Show Off Your Work!
Great job! Show off your green thumb and your amazing handiwork to all your friends! Once these plants have established their roots and started growing in about 3-6 weeks, they'll be ready for repotting if you choose. Plant them in a small mason jar or colorful pot, and they make a great holiday gift for coworkers and friends!
Beer Bread: Science in the kitchen! November 18 2013
Last week while browsing through Pinterest and Instagram, I came across the completely new to me concept of beer bread. Long story short: you make bread with beer. Despite my love of baking and basic chemistry knowledge, I was fascinated that this is something that exists, and that it is easy to make. Surprisingly all of the ingredients were already in my refrigerator and I got started on trying this baking experiment.
I'm not entirely sure of the chemistry behind it, but my loose understanding of beer bread making is that when yeast (from the beer) meets up with the baking powder and the starches in the flour, the dough starts to rise and leaven. There's no kneading involved or having to wait for yeast to rise, so this is really easy to make, plus its fun to watch the dough start to bubble and foam when you pour in the beer!
How You Make It
What You'll Need:
3 Cups all purpose flour
1 Tablespoon Sugar
1 Tablespoon baking powder
1 Teaspoon Salt
12 fluid ounces (your typical glass bottle) of beer, I used Sweetwater Whiplash.
What To Do:
Set your oven to 375°. In a large mixing bowl, mix the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt and stir them together well. Slowly pour in the beer and mix it into the batter while being amazed by the science happening in front of your eyes! Pour the mixture into a greased 8"x4" baking pan and bake for 45-55 minutes. Poke with a toothpick to see if your bread is done. If the toothpick comes out clean, your bread is ready.
I baked this late at night, so I don't have any good pictures of the making process to share. The beer I used is a seasonal brew from Sweetwater, a Belgian IPA, but you can use any beer that you have available.
The bread came out delicious, and I can't wait to eat more of it and try other variations on the recipe. Next week I'm planning to try it with rosemary and other herbs from my rooftop garden. Hopefully I'll be able to post pictures of the making process next time!
Hat tip to the blog Farm Girl Fare for showing me what to do!
Streets Alive! A car free party in the street! October 11 2013
Art Bikes for Sopo Bicycle Cooperative October 10 2013
Friday night the bike we painted for Sopo's Art Bike Auction will be on display at the Big House in Atlanta. Sopo Bicycle Cooperative is an Atlanta organization that brings access to bicycles to all people. Sopo teaches classes about bicycle maintenance and repair, and also has a program to let anyone build their own bike for a low cost.
If you're interested in attending, RSVP on facebook. For more information about Sopo and the Art Bike auction, visit http://www.artbikes.sopobikes.org/.
Photo by Scott Lowden.
New items in bold new colors, directly from shapeways October 08 2013
We're excited to bring to you new bold colors for fall and winter this year. We're adding coral red, bright pink, and violet to our repertoire of colors. We also have new bike planters that clip onto your handlebars for you to have more ways to accessorize your ride. Since these products are shipped to you directly from our 3D printing company, we're able to offer them at a better price so you can carry more plants with you on adventures!
International customers, you can orders these items directly from our Shapeways shop.
Visiting Chicago's Lincoln Park Conservatory September 23 2013
Last month I got the chance to travel to Chicago. I always associated the city with cold and snow, and I never imagined that the city could be so beautiful in the summer. Since the weather was so beautiful during my stay, a little bit of adventuring was in order to see what the city had to offer. The Lincoln Park Conservatory was a short walk away from my hotel, so a visit there was definitely in my travel plans.
Botanical Gardens are one of my favorite things to visit in any city. It's fun to step into a different climate and see flora you wouldn't normally see. Even though the weather outside was beautiful, it's still fun to step inside the greenhouses and explore something new.
The Chicago Conservatory isn't very large, but they have enough of a selection to imagine you've travelled to a tropical destination. Also, since the Conservatory is a public park, its free to visit which makes the trip that much better.
Visiting Chicago's 3D Printer Experience September 19 2013
Summer so far according to my iPhone pictures July 24 2013
If you've been wondering why we've been slow on updates this summer, it's because I was in a really bad bike accident in June and broke my hand. It's still really difficult to type, so giving you a visual update is much easier. Follow us on instagram and twitter to see what we're up to and making.
Summer is the perfect time for plants to be in bloom, and for you to incorporate them into your wardrobe. To celebrate summer, we're offering free shipping on US orders over $50 from now through Labor Day (September 2)! We know that international shipping can get expensive, too, so we're also offering $10 shipping on all orders over $50 (USD) to all destinations outside the US.
Free shipping automatically applies at checkout when you spend more than $50 and applies to our standard shipping by USPS first class mail, on all domestic orders over $50. Faster shipping options are still available.
We also have good news for our international customers. All orders that ship after July 28 to the following countries will include tracking information:
- Great Britain and Northern Ireland
- New Zealand
If you live in one of the above countries and place an order between now and the 28th, let us know if you would like us to ship your order a few days later so you can take advantage of the new international tracking.
Okay, that's enough about shipping. Go outside and enjoy the good weather!
Bike Planters on Thingiverse June 18 2013
Our original Bike Planter, initially designed for the Sopo Bicycle Cooperative (a non-profit, community-based bicycle repair shop in Atlanta, GA) Art Bike Show, is now available on Thingiverse! You can now 3D-print your very own Bike Planter on your Makerbot or RepRap. While such a large print would be too costly to offer for sale, this design is perfect for at-home printing. Simply add 3mm elastic cord and attach directly to your bike for an awesome way to take your greens wherever you go!
If you want to print your own bike planter, you can find the files on Thingiverse.
Bike Style: Hand-painted Helmets by Danielle Baskin June 12 2013
Recently our friend Danielle Baskin of Belle Helmets painted a helmet just for us! I'm really looking forward to summer rides along the Atlanta Beltline wearing it!
Danielle hand-paints every helmet in her New York City studio. Danielle founded her business after graduating from NYU, and she paints helmets for other sports as well. Her helmets would be as at home at a skate park as riding your 3-speed through town. Her helmets are not only stylish, but safe as well- the paint does not afect the durability or other safety features of your helmet.
If you're in the market for a new helmet, be it for cycling or other activities, you should check out Belle Helmets. You can find her products at Houndstooth Road in Atlanta and at other stores throughout the country. You can read our interview with Danielle on her blog.
New Bike Planters for Summer June 11 2013
It's the beginning of summer, and we're rolling out some new items to make your enjoyment of the warm weather even better!
How to Dye Your 3D Prints May 03 2013
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!
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
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
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
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!
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
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
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
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!
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