Tooling around - Shapeways

Hi all,

I have been playing with Shapeways lately and thought I might share!

If you’ve had Korean food, you may have noticed that they come in a cool bowl (Dduk bae gi – not the actual volcanic stone pot but served with similar food types it seems):

When I was looking to stock up on some sans-handle tea or coffee cups, I was surprised that there wasn’t a style of teacup that was essentially like this food bowl, only in cup form. I thought it could be neat so I wanted to try scaling down the details of the bowl to a cup.

I didn’t know about Shapeways printing in ceramic, but learned about it after browsing the site and the materials that they offer, and it is a good deal cheaper than the regular plastic. From Shapeways:

Ceramics is the first 3D printed food safe material available on Shapeways. The material is produced with fine ceramic powder, which is bound together with a binder, fired, and glaze with a lead-free, non-toxic finish. In addition to being food safe, the material is both recyclable and heat resistant.

The ridge detail from the original bowl designs turns out to be a nice resting spot for your lip when drinking, and as a natural area to grab under. If I made another, I might make it a little less squat – it already holds 12 oz. know and could be a little less substantial. I am happy with how the satin black ceramic turned out though, neat little pitting but pretty smooth.

Thanks for looking!

That’s pretty cool!

I’ve been pondering a shaving accessory that I think would be great in ceramic and this would be the perfect way to prototype it.

Very nice.
I found shapeways great in regards to printing ceramics. They printed a piece upside down (so the rough unfired texture was in the wrong place) and reprinted it right way up, no cost to me, really quickly.

If you want to, you can put on little ‘feet’ for the piece to be orientated while glazed, so more of that lip gets glaze on it.

super cool. Can they do white?

I just came back from Korea, so I am bothered that I already wish to go back and this does not help. This is really nice to me and an interesting use of scaling such a traditional design. I also wish to know the cost and weight of this piece. I am very interested in making some things utilizing shapeways services.

Thanks all :slight_smile:

@sanjy009: That is good to hear, they have been really easy to work with. I was curious and just saw your corn cob holders – nice material combo! How did you like the alumide vs the printed metal? I am not against the unglazed surface here but that is good to know for future objects. I wonder if you can purposefully make breakaway little feet to file off after printing if there is no good “bottom” surface.

@yo, GHoge: They can do white and some other colors, but only in gloss. I can definitely imagine some classic shaving brush, razor handles, soap dishes, and similar looking nice in the gloss white. Some more info at:

@mroh11: Glad you can see the connection! I would love to go myself some day. The dimensions and cost with this material are here. I’m not too sure of the weight, but it is about what a regular coffee mug is, maybe a little more. Interested to hear what you might design with it too!

Are the glazes used by Shapeways food-safe? Might try my luck at some espresso cups.

Says they are food safe, not sure what the spec is.

Probably, but I had a ceramicist try and help me file down and reglaze the upside-down part, and it didn’t really work, but that’s not a fault of the printing, it’s the glazing process, the piece needs to sit on something.

I think the glazing makes it food safe. Shapeways have a caveat that all their prints aren’t suitable for children etc.

Hi, All!
I’m the Community Outreach Coordinator at Shapeways - so glad you found up and don’t hesitate to let me know if you have any questions!
Really excited to see all the great products you are designing.
You can also find more about our materials and the specs here: Shapeways: Materials .

@Eleanor: Thanks for the post and sorry I missed responding earlier! Shapeways has been great to work with.

I made this pendant design for a gift, based on a chalice motif. It was small enough to print in silver for pretty reasonalbe. They have three silver options: one super polished, one untouched after printing, and one that is lightly polished. This one is the last option and it came out pretty smooth. The only issue is that I modeled the chain / lanyard hole pretty small, and it did not come out as a full through-hole. Funny how things always look huge in CAD. :wink: I still need to get a chain for it.

I could not resist trying it in their “polished gray stainless steel” option too. Curiously, the chain hole on this one is fine. The surface is definitely rougher with the print lines, but the edges are crisper than the silver one too, which gets a little bit of the water-worn rock effect. This is all probably because the thing is tiny (see the third image).

Evertime this thread pops up I get a ton of ideas that I want to try and print. (EDC tool this time)

Pendent looks nice, The rendering on your coroflot look much more crisp though. This has a more worn pebble look, which isn’t bad, just maybe not your design intent.

Thanks Sain, I definitely agree that the smoother look wasn’t what I was exactly aiming for – the “Monopoly piece” scale of things is probably the smallest feasible with this kind of printing, at least in metal. I can see some of the plastic options (like the “frosted ultra detail”) being a little tighter in the details.

An EDC tool would be a natural for this! There are not as many out there as I would have thought.

Might be a bit more labor intensive, but what about lost wax casting an ultra high detail part? Surely the molten metal would melt away the plastic.