prototyping just got less 'prototypey'

Yes, I just made that word up. But I’m pretty excited. The awesome 3d printing dudes at Shapeways announced a couple of weeks ago that they’re now able to offer a more polished version of their nylon plastic material. Previously your model could sometimes arrive looking a little rough on the surface. When printing something as small as jewelery, this could really impact on the finished product’s quality and feel. With their post production polishing and smoothing service, the final result has been likened to injection molded plastic! I can see this material being a lot more useful (and pretty!) to me now.

example of white strong and flexible, polished
(photo use credited to Shapeways)

You can read more about the polishing service here on the Shapeways blog.

Sneaky samples

Ponoko started offering their materials as samples earlier this year, so I decided to order a few for potential use. I chose some natural hardboard, mocha coloured leather, Amber bamboo, and cardboard. Can you guess what I’ll be using each for? ;)

Produce does grow in the desert

We trundled down to a new farmers market today at the brand spanking new Tivoli Village. There were only a few stalls there selling fresh fruit and vegetables but it brings promise of better ones to come on future weekends. Surprisingly there are a lot of local grown sources of produce here; not everything gets shipped in from California. We even found a place not far from us which allows picking in their orchards so we think we might just check that out! Most of the stuff you buy here is from big chain supermarkets so we thought this market starting up near us was noteworthy :)

Birthday and Reflections

It’s been three weeks since we moved from Melbourne to Las Vegas. A lot has happened in those three short weeks! I’ve explored The Strip and its shopping/entertainment delights, moved into a beautiful three bedroom home, set up my study, driven on a daily basis (I’m getting better at driving ‘like a local’!) and made some lovely lovely friends.

A few things I’ve learnt so far about moving from Australia to Las Vegas:

  1. You need a car/motorbike. Each.
  2. Stay out of the right lane on the freeway, it constantly lands you in an exit only situation, eep!
  3. Bread here is very sweet. So is muesli (mostly granola). Wholefoods Market has a great range more familiar to the Aussie palate. Multigrain (not just on the crust) is like hens’ teeth to find!
  4. Good quality coffee/espresso is rare. The best I’ve found so far is Sambalatte, at Boca Park. Full of tattooed baristas, free wifi and cute library style seating area upstairs.
  5. If you call gas ‘petrol’ at the servo, they’ll giggle at you and start talking about Underbelly the series.
  6. Cheques! They are very common in America. What the hell.
  7. Living costs (apart from gas) are pretty low here. Clothes and shoes are very affordable compared to what I’m used to. I really had *no* idea (I haven’t traveled much). It’s pretty nice.
  8. Posting a parcel home at a USPS outlet = nightmare. Am organising labels and customs/duty forms online from now on. Will never complain about Auspost ever again!
  9. Las Vegas is very beautiful in its own way. You can see pretty neon lights and sprawling mountains all in one day.
  10. I honestly really love it here.

It was also my birthday this week. We went out for Japanese and some laughs downtown. There were plenty of both!

It could be truly awesome

With every new mainstream technology offering comes initial uncertainty, and
sometimes fear.
Public Knowledge (specifically Michael Weinberg) published a white paper November last year appropriately named ‘It Will Be Awesome if They Don’t Screw it Up’. It’s some thoughtful predictions for the future of 3D printing, going by lessons observed and learnt from past technology related political and moral situations.

Personally I really hope that potential stakeholders don’t get carried away trying to bend something to their advantage when it doesn’t belong exclusively to them, just because they feel threatened. Copyright/property laws are important and need to be updated (not that there’s a great track record for that), but I’d hate to think that innovation would be held back in this rapidly growing industry because of a lack of understanding of the technology.

You can read and download it here.

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Welcome! Owl Posse is an up and coming contemporary jewellery line. It features super cool digital manufacturing techniques such as 3D printing and laser cutting. You can shop the collection here!

Designed in Melbourne, Australia and Las Vegas, NV USA.

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