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SPotlight

3D Printers have changed the fashion industry from the catwalk to the everyday

create

Get your groove on with LED headband headphones

review

Which 3D printers are hot and not

interview

A look into the ALT Summit SLC

diy projects

Make the holidays special with something handmade

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True art is characterized by an irresistible urge in the creative artist Albert Einstein

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5create 0 1 review 4 1 Interview 0 2 DIY Projects 4 2 Spotlight

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Bernadette Januska

Fro m the edi

Welcome to the first edition to Tread&Circuit! It is wonderful world that we live in where crafts and technology can come together in harmony. I grew up making my own crafts and was proud to show off my latest creations to my fellow classmates. I wanted to share that feeling with the rest of the makers and shakers of the world as well as those who are interested in stepping into new creative lands. For the very first edition, I thought it would be great to list holiday gifts and ideas to help get the cheer started. Making a gift has always been more heartfelt and important to me than any store bought present. Plus when you make a gift you never have to worry about someone showing up with the same present! Everyone creates a little differently. The Thread& Circuit issues will have a main project that may take up to a few days or a good amount of devoted time. As for the others projects found in the back, they are the more simple ideas and some even have patterns! Throughout the magazine there is up to date crafts and technology combinations. Learn about what is going on in the Trade Show world as well as what products are hot on the market. This year the 3D printers are in style, and becoming more and more prominent. Jot it down on your wishlist! I hope that these magazines will inspire awesome creations. Giving an idea is the best gift because it can help grow into something much more. This magazine is the idea I pass along. May the craft be with you and the technology strong. Happy Holidays, now start creating!

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From the Catwalk to the everyday.

Dan Howarth

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Even though 3D-printed haute couture garments have been gracing the catwalks, the real breakthroughs in printed clothing will come from more practical and subversive quarters. -Claire Barrett

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spotlight

3d Printing in Fashion


“It’s funny,” laughs fashion designer Iris van Herpen, “I was raised without television, we didn’t have a computer and I think we were the last people to get the internet.” Today, van Herpen is the poster girl for 3D printing in the fashion industry. She creates incredible designs that have had Björk and Lady Gaga’s stylists reaching for the phone. Van Herpen was intuitively drawn to 3D printing. “Previously, I’d have something in my head that was threedimensional, but first I’d have to translate it into a twodimensional format, such as a drawing, in order to present it,” she says. “That way of working feels really old-school. With 3D printing, it was the first time I could immediately translate the 3D image I had in my mind, first to a 3D computer model, and then into actual three dimensionality using the printer.” Computers also offered van Herpen a level of complexity that would be otherwise unachievable. Her inaugural 3D-printed range, Crystallization, was the first-ever catwalk collection to feature 3D printing. This collaboration with London-based architect Daniel Widrig was launched in 2010 and produced a series of dramatic, sculptural pieces that were closer to body armour than clothing (one of the collection’s pieces is featured on the cover of this magazine). Dita Von Tesse wears the first 3D printed dress

Widrig and van Herpen collaborated again in 2011 on the Escapism collection, which this time featured delicate, coral-like forms that were moderately more wearable than their previous work. But van Herpen’s latest collection, Voltage – shown in January this year – makes real headway towards wearability. The designer worked with Belgium-based 3D-printing company Materialise to develop an innovative new textile that is being billed as the first printable material that is flexible and durable enough to be worn – and to be put in the washing machine. Called TPU 92A-1, the material was used to print an outfit that van Herpen designed in collaboration with Austrian architect Julia Koerner. A black lacy number, the dress looks like a fine spider’s web woven over the body and appears at first sight as if it is made from delicate textile fibres rather than laser-sintered plastic. “I wanted people to think the dress was woven or handmade,” says van Herpen. “But if you look closely, you couldn’t have done this by hand. It would have been impossible and that’s why I used 3D printing.” This kind of collaboration between fashion designers and the materials industry will be essential in future, says Mark Miodownik, professor of materials and society at University College London. “Designers will become materials experts, and vice versa. No one has thought about that too deeply yet, but it’s important.” “It takes time,” says van Herpen. “You can’t design new materials for every season, but if


Other designers and their celebrity clients are starting to experiment with 3D-printed outfits. In March, the burlesque performer Dita Von Teese modelled a floor-length 3D-printed gown by New York designer Michael Schmidt, who had collaborated on it with architect Francis Bitonti. Laser-sintered by Shapeways, the garment is constructed of 17 meshed pieces that flex to allow movement. The elements were hand-linked together, then polished, sprayed black and finished with 12,000 black Swarovski crystals. It wasn’t the first time manufacturer Shapeways appeared in the fashion press: in 2011 the company printed what was billed as the world’s first entirely 3D-printed, ready-to-wear garment. The N12 bikini, designed by Continuum Fashion, can be purchased through Shapeways’ website for $300. The bikini is made up of tiny inflexible parts that are laser-sintered in nylon and joined by nylon springs that allow it to flex. While the catwalk has been relatively slow to embrace 3D printing, designers of accessories such as shoes and jewellery have been quicker on the uptake. “They’re much closer to product design and architecture, both of which have a long history of using this technology,” says Philip Delamore, director of the Digital Fashion Studio at the London College of Fashion. “Footwear designers, in particular, get really excited about 3D printing because it means they can offer something truly unique. For example, they don’t have to buy an off-the-shelf heel.” Last year, three London College of Fashion MA students – Hoon Chung, Kerrie Luft and Ross Barber – produced 3D-printed shoes that were worn down the catwalk at their graduation show. “It was exciting,” says Delamore. “The interest was phenomenal.”

Nike Vapor Laser Talon 3D-printed football boot studs

designers in “ Footwear particular get excited about 3D printing

Van Herpen’s Voltage collection included a second 3D-printed outfit that involved a similarly novel fabric. In collaboration with architect and MIT professor Neri Oxman, she produced a skirt and cape covered in a texture resembling clusters of seashells that was printed using Stratasys’ Objet Connex multi-material printing technology. The garments consist of two entirely different materials, one hard and one soft, that were printed together to provide different performance characteristics. For the first time, van Herpen was able to specify flexibility within her garments. “We could say, ‘I want the arms really flexible, but then the middle not so flexible and the end really flexible again,’” she explains. With Oxman’s expertise, van Herpen could also control the colouring by including it within the digital file, rather than adding it at a later stage.

spotlight

you’re at least able to create something new every one or two years, then you have more control of your design process, as you’re actually giving direction to the material.”

-Philip Delamore Indeed van Herpen collaborated with Dutch shoe company United Nude to create 3D-printed shoes featuring a dramatic curved heel for her 2011 Capriole collection. Jewellery designer Silvia Weidenbach, a recent graduate of the Royal College of Art, originally trained in traditional silversmithing but discovered 3D printing during her MA degree. With limited computer skills, the key to her accessing this technology was her discovery of the “haptic arm”. The device is an articulated limb that allows the user to manipulate 3D files on screen as if they were physical objects. As the user manipulates a tool mounted on the end of the arm, the movement is captured and translated to the computer screen. This meant Weidenbach could push and pull the arm as though she was working with clay. “I could be really wild. There was no gravity and I directly got feedback,” she says. For Weidenbach, the additional attraction of 3D printing was that she could make one-off pieces. Thus it was a much quicker way of working. Her laser-sintered Fractal Invention collection went on to win the Jerwood Makers Open prize last year. Because the jewellery is made from flexible nylon, the gemstones cleverly click in rather than requiring any setting.

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Designer Ron Arad is also using this technology to produce accessories. Arad was among the first product designers to experiment with 3D printing when he created his Not Made By Hand, Not Made in China collection of jewellery, vessels and sculpted objects back in 2000, before it became a viable method of producing products. But last year, Arad launched a range of sunglasses for PQ Eyewear that are laser-sintered in one piece with flexible joints instead of hinges. The biggest developments have been in sportswear Charlie PorterThe ease with which 3D printing allows easy customisation of products means it could be ideal for the fashion industry, where every customer has a unique shape and differing tastes. Yet despite that synergy, the technology has several hurdles to overcome before it is widely utilised. The biggest is that the fashion industry is “not very computerised,” according to designer Janne Kyttanen of Freedom of Creation. Fashion designers focus on the material – they feel it, they look at how it drapes and how it moves with the motion of the body,” says Kyttanen. “But now we’re taking away this element of their work, so they need to change their thinking to ‘How is it going to come out of the machine? How is it going to function?’” Rather than embrace these issues, Kyttanen believes the industry has chosen to ignore them. Another big barrier is the limited palette of available materials. “3D printing wasn’t designed for designers – it was designed for engineers,” says London College of Fashion’s Delamore. “Primarily, it came from the car and aerospace industries, and the materials were developed for engineering applications. Designers are always inventive in terms of picking up new technologies and playing with them, but 3D printing uses materials that were meant for other purposes.” He adds: “You could say that until [a 3D-print manufacturer] thinks with a designer’s perspective about the materials we actually want to make things in, we’ll continue down our current path.” There are also generational issues at work. 3D technology allows greater freedom for young designers, who are able to produce runs of a few units rather than thousands, realising designs that, previously, would only ever have existed on paper. “Five years ago, most students arrived with no idea of what 3D printing was,” says Delamore. “Now they see it as another tool.” It’s enterprising, up-and-coming designers such as these that Charlie Porter, men’s fashion critic for the Financial Times, believes will kick-start a change within the industry.

This group has a different notion of what constitutes great fashion design. “Over the past few years, one of the biggest developments has been in the area of sportswear – in really unglamorous things like trainers, things that aren’t necessarily viewed as ‘fashion’,” says Porter. “Young designers in London are still making things by hand, but the thing they’re interested in is sportswear. They’re not into tailoring.” In March, sports brand Nike released the first commercial sportswear product to include 3D-printed elements. Its Vapor Laser Talon American football boots are fitted with a lasersintered footplate and studs. Using 3D-printing technology meant Nike was able to prototype the boot and make alterations in a much shorter timeframe than normal – it allows design updates to be made in days rather than months. The new boot is significantly lighter than previous examples and has made a significant dent in the “40 yard dash” time, the standard measure used by scouts to assess an athlete’s speed and ability.“3D printing will probably infiltrate fashion through streetwear rather than haute couture,” says Porter, “because [high-end] fashion isn’t looking for something to replace what’s there at the moment.” Shoppers may not be ready for printed clothes either, says Delamore. “Designers are creating iconic museum pieces, but it’s not yet a consumer-level technology,” he says. “We’re used to wearing natural materials, and even though we do wear nylon and polyester in our clothes, the type of drape and feel and quality that we’d expect from something that’s been 3D-printed is a long way off.” Delamore thinks developments in bioprinting – where living tissue like human skin and organs are 3D-printed – offer greater promise. “Really exciting things are happening around medical and biomaterials,” he enthuses. “Perhaps these advances will be picked up and brought into the fashion world. I’d imagine that if you get into printing protein and things like that, printing silks and those sorts of materials would be the next step.” Chris Sanderson, strategy and insight director at the Future Laboratory, thinks the potential for 3D printing is huge but believes it goes hand in hand with other 3D technologies like 3D weaving and 3D knitting – where fabric is woven or knitted in the round to create tubes of fabric, rather than as flat pieces. 3D technology will become relevant to the fashion industry when it realises that it “gives [them] an opportunity to work with the human body in a very, very different way, and one that most of them aren’t really used to,” Sanderson says. “Most of our clothing is still manufactured and produced in two dimensions. But fashion is about three dimensions. It gets interesting when something is made to fit the human body.”

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Printed stilettos can be made in 7 hours. Enough time before an event.


but fashion is 3D

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is still “ Clothing manufactured in 2D,

-Chris Sanderson


create

Rock Star

Headphones Syuzi Pakhchyan

The Rock Star Headphones require you to hack into an existing set of headphones and incorporate it into a new design. The Rock Star will also have two square LEDs sewn onto the exterior of the earwarmers. The LEDs have both an aesthetic function and a practical, safety function: making the wearer visible for jogging or biking at night. The circuit incorporates a soft switch made from conductive hook and loop, so the LEDs turn on only when the headphones are worn.

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Place the suede piece wrong side up. Grab one of the neoprene pieces. Pierce the leads of the LED through the neoprene in between the 2 conductive paths. The best way to determine which are the positive and negative leads is to refer to the datasheet or wire them temporarily using alligator clips. The conductive path on the neoprene should be facing up. Using needlenose pliers, bend the leads flush to the fabric. Repeat for the opposite side. Download the templates from Documents and print them out. Using a marking pen, trace Template A onto the interior of the suede. Repeat for the inner neoprene lining. Cut out the template.Then trace Template B onto the neoprene, and cut the template out. Set aside. This will be the battery pocket piece.

Trace the positive and negative conductive paths onto the interior of the suede. Place a bobbin of conductive thread in the sewing machine, and a spool of regular thread the same color as the suede in the spool pin.Machine-stitch both conductive paths along the traces, making sure that the conductive thread is at the bottom of the fabric. Leave about 5” of loose thread at the beginning of the path. Knot and cut the extra thread at the end of the path. The upper conductive path will be the positive path. The lower conductive path will be the negative path.

Replacing the conductive thread bobbin with ordinary thread, machine-stitch the loop pieces (soft side) of the hook and loop horizontally to the top and bottom right corners of the suede. The loop pieces should be sewn on the top of the suede. Thread a sewing needle with the loose conductive thread from the negative path. Sew through the loop piece several times, making a connection between the negative path and the bottom loop. Knot and cut the conductive thread. Repeat for the upper loop piece, sewing the positive path to the upper loop.Cut two 1”x4” pieces of neoprene. Place the bobbin of conductive thread back into the machine.

Using conductive thread, hand-sew the positive lead of the LED to the long conductive path on the neoprene. Using a separate piece of conductive thread, sew the negative lead of the LED to the short conductive path on the neoprene. Make sure that the conductive threads from the positive and negative LED leads never touch. Using conductive thread, hand-sew the long conductive path on the neoprene to the upper positive conductive path on the suede. Using a separate piece of conductive thread, sew the short conductive path on the neoprene to the lower negative conductive path on the suede. Repeat for the second LED. The positive lead of the LED should now be connected via the neoprene to the upper positive conductive path terminating at the positive loop piece and vice versa, with the negative lead connected via the neoprene to the lower negative conductive path terminating at the negative loop piece.

Machine-stitch a 4” conductive path lengthwise about 1/4 “ from the edge. Machine-stitch a 2” conductive path about  1/4” from the opposite edge. Repeat for the second piece of neoprene. Pierce the leads of an LED with the positive leads facing up through the front of the suede at your desired location.

NOTE: In this example, we have used high-flux LEDs. High-flux LEDs have 4 legs — 2 positive (anodes) and 2 negative (cathodes). You can substitute the high-flux LEDs with typical LEDs. If you are using typical LEDs, curl the negative LED lead (the shorter one) into a loop. Mark it with a black marker to help you distinguish the negative lead from the positive. Then curl the positive lead.

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create Take the cellphone battery, and solder a female snap to the positive lead and a male snap to the negative lead.

Place the neoprene right side up with the ear flap facing down. Using ordinary thread in the bobbin, machine-stitch the hook pieces (prickly side) of the hook and loop horizontally to the top and bottom right corner of the neoprene. Using conductive thread in the bobbin, sew a path about 1” to the left and 1” down (making an “L” shape) from the upper hook piece. Using conductive thread, end the path by sewing on a male snap. Fold the battery pocket piece along its hemlines. Machine-stitch the pocket piece next to the hook pieces, covering the conductive paths and snaps.

NOTE:

Some cellphone batteries have a third signal lead, typically coated in blue. If you can’t distinguish the positive and negative leads (typically positive is red and negative is black), use a multimeter.

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Place the neoprene right side up with the ear flap facing down. Using ordinary thread in the bobbin, machine-stitch the hook pieces (prickly side) of the hook and loop horizontally to the top and bottom right corner of the neoprene. Using conductive thread in the bobbin, sew a path about 1” to the left and 1” down (making an “L” shape) from the upper hook piece. Using conductive thread, end the path by sewing on a male snap. Fold the battery pocket piece along its hemlines. Machine-stitch the pocket piece next to the hook pieces, covering the conductive paths and snaps.

Place the neoprene right side up with the ear flap facing down. Using ordinary thread in the bobbin, machine-stitch the hook pieces (prickly side) of the hook and loop horizontally to the top and bottom right corner of the neoprene. Using conductive thread in the bobbin, sew a path about 1” to the left and 1” down (making an “L” shape) from the upper hook piece. Using conductive thread, end the path by sewing on a male snap. Fold the battery pocket piece along its hemlines. Machine-stitch the pocket piece next to the hook pieces, covering the conductive paths and snaps.

NOTE

The path must be connected to the hook piece. Begin the path inside the hook piece.

Personalize your headphones by embroidering custom designs. For those not particularly skilled in the craft of embroidery, you can’t go wrong with a simple five-point star. Using a tracing pen, trace a five-point star on top of the suede. Using embroidery thread, embroider the star. Repeat for the opposite side.

Using needlenose pliers, carefully deconstruct the headphones until you have the 2 speakers loose from their housing.


Rock On! A Take the earpiece covers and place the neoprene piece right side up. Using ordinary thread, hand-stitch one of the earpiece covers to the center of the curved ear flap. Repeat for the other side. Turn the neoprene over, placing it wrong side up. Using a utility knife, slice down the center of the back of the earpiece cover, being careful not to slice through the earpiece cover itself. Repeat for the second earpiece cover. Slip the headphone earpieces into each slot. Adjust the wires so that the audio plug is located near the hook and loop, and extending from the bottom of the neoprene. You can temporarily hold the wires in place with tape. Once you have positioned the wires appropriately, use ordinary thread to hand-stitch sections of the wire in place. Pin the neoprene lining to the upper suede piece. Machine-stitch the 2 pieces together, making sure to sew over (not through) the wires extending from the audio plug.

Stay warm while listening to music and look tech savy

Snap the battery into place, grab your MP3 player, and begin rockin out to your favorite tunes — nice and toasty!

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Why

3D 3D PrintersPrinters Review

Techmedia network


Top 10 3d printers

While you can purchase DIY kits and build your own device, our review only includes 3D printers that are pre-assembled. Our top three picks for the best home 3D printers are the Cubify CubeX, Cubify Cube and the LulzBot AO-101. We made our selections based on the criteria listed below and for more information check out ourarticles on 3D printers.

Many companies include premade designs of items that you can print when you purchase your printer, while other companies direct you to open source forums and websites where you can find models that members have shared. 3D printing technology takes a model from your computer and sends it to your home 3D printer that will create your item using plastic filament. Filament comes in spools of various colors and is fed into a heated extruder, which will move in several directions placing layer by layer on top of each other until your object is created. Take a look at this article for more information on how 3D printers work.

review

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D printers are becoming a new industrial revolution. While a 3D printer will not change the fact that you need new furniture, a pair of shoes, or parts for your car it will change the way you acquire these items. Instead of taking the time to go out shopping for these objects, you can now print them at home.

9.40 8.60 8.07 7.85 7.63 7.57 7.38 7.35 7.25 7.08 cubex Trio

cubify cube LulzBot Ao-101

Afinia H

Replicator 2

aw3d xl

aw3d v5

replicator 2x

Mbot cube

3d touch

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Cubex Trio

Printing Features

One of the things we love most about the CubeX is how big it is because it allows you to create bigger objects. The print area is 1,098 cubic inches, much bigger than any other we looked at. You can print objects 10.75 inches wide, 10.75 inches long and 9.5 inches tall. This means you can create a regulation-sized basketball inside this printer. If you upgrade to the multi-color printer, you can create objects that have three different colors, such a globe. Three separate color cartridges feed into three different printer heads to give you more creative options than you get from any other 3D printer. The CubeX prints at a thickness of 0.25mm and has three speeds to choose from: high definition (which prints the slowest), crisp definition and standard definition (which is fastest). At its maximum speed, the CubeX prints at a rate of 15mm per second, this translates into about 20 minutes to print a full-sized basketball. The CubeX is one of the fastest printers we looked at.

9.4

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Printer Design Included Components Connectivity

Printer Design


When it comes to 3D printer design, the CubeX gets everything right, especially if you think that bigger is better. Of all the 3D printers we looked at, this one is the biggest at 9,636 cubic inches. It also weighs almost 80 pounds. That means it’s not exactly portable, but it’s certainly among the most capable. The bigger size means you can print bigger objects. And it’s so heavy only because it houses complex machinery that turns your home office into a sophisticated design lab and production factory. The printer’s physical shape fits its name – a cube. The CubeX is framed with a hard plastic structure that is open on all four sides so you can watch it work from any angle. This means it’s not as safe around children as completely enclosed 3D printers are, but because of the cube frame, it’s more kid-friendly than most open-air printers are. The high-grade plastic provides insulation so the internal machinery doesn’t overheat while printing. The filament cartridges are also set inside the enclosure and feed up through the top of the printer into the nozzle. The printer uses both PLA and ABS plastics. One thing we love about 3D Systems is they offer more than one color for the printing material. You can purchase up to 18 different colors of filament from their site, two being glow in the dark colors. The only drawback is the cartridges cost $99 for each color, even if it’s white or black. This is more expensive than any cartridge you will find for any printer in our lineup. 3D Systems designs their printers to work with only their cartridges, so until they allow third parties to build cartridges designed for the CubeX, expect to pay this amount for a refill. The CubeX informs you if you have enough material to finish a project, which is a convenient feature.

Included Components

For the price of the CubeX, we were glad to see it included the printing software with it. The Cubify Invent software has all the necessary tools to help you upload any prints you have yourself or ones you have downloaded from the 3D Systems website. You can also use the software to run initial diagnostics on the printer, though you will find the touchscreen easier to navigate when setting up the CubeX. This setup calibrates the printer heads and levels the print platform. You will also find 10 digital mo dels included with the printing kit. You can scan your own designs into the software or go online and download thousands of different models. The printer also has a USB cable and power supply.

Connectivity

The CubeX home 3D printer is Wi-Fi ready. Using the touchscreen, you can navigate your way through the menu to have it recognize your home wireless network. Once you have entered your password, the printer will remember it, even if you link to another wireless account at other times. You can use the wireless connection to transfer your 3D images from your computer to the printer. There is also a USB cable and port for wired printing

One thing we love about 3D Systems is they offer more than one color for the printing material. You can purchase up to 18 different colors of filament from their site, two being glow in the dark colors. The only drawback is the cartridges cost $99 for each color, even if it’s white or black. This is more expensive than any cartridge you will find for any printer in our lineup. 3D Systems designs their printers to work with only their cartridges, so until they allow third parties to build cartridges designed for the CubeX, expect to pay this amount for a refill. The CubeX informs you if you have enough material to finish a project, which is a convenient feature.

review

Printer Design

Summary

The CubeX Trio is the frontrunner in a group of top-notch consumer-oriented 3D printers. The CubeX combines a touchscreen interface, a monstrous print area and the ability to print three separate colors at once. You pay premium prices for extra filament cartridges, but the investment is a no-brainer when you consider the large, colorful creations you can make with this phenomenal 3D printer.

Help & Support

Cube experts are available 16 hours a day through their toll-free number. There is also an email if you can’t reach someone via phone. The CubeX has a 90-day warranty, which we would like to see increased. However, since some printers do not offer any type of warranty, the 90-days is a plus even if short. The 3D Systems website has a blog that they update on a weekly basis. This blog is filled with tons of helpful information on their printers and 3D printer technology

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Cubify Cube

Printing Features Quality is a major deciding factor when selecting a 3D printer. The Cube allows you to print in three settings for higher quality or increased speed, much like the quality settings on common inkjet printers. We found that if the print doesn’t work properly or the filament doesn’t feed correctly, you can abort the project and save yourself from a wasted print. During quality testing, the printer printed the same object exactly the same four out of five times. On only one of the print trials, the first few layers shifted, the printer corrected and the rest of the object was flawless.

8.6

With the Cubify Cube, you do have to buy the manufacturer’s $49 cartridges, as this printer is not built for one-sizefits-all cartridges compatible with other 3D printers. However, you do have many different color options in both PLA and ABS, including glow-in-the-dark colors, black, blue, red, pink, silver and more. Discounts are available if you buy more than three, and a great recycling program also provides discounts and eco-friendly options for used plastic.

7.5 9.4 8.1 10 9.4 Print Features

Printer Design Included Components Connectivity

Printer Design


The Cubify Cube is a great home 3D printer because of its lightweight design and small structure. At 13 inches tall and 10 inches wide, this 3D Printer will fit conveniently in any garage, office, craft room or shop. Its small size is a spacesaving benefit, but it also means you can’t print large objects. The maximum print you can build is 5.5 by 5.5 by 5.5 inches. The Cube comes in any of five fun colors: silver, pink, green, blue or white. There is no housing enclosure to protect you from the print head or hot elements on the printer itself, but the plate is cool to the touch and not heated like on other 3D printers. Nevertheless, it would be wise to keep children away while the Cube is printing, and refrain from touching the model or the printer until finished to prevent injury. The touchscreen menu, found on only a few of the best 3D printers, is a wonderful asset on the Cube. Easy instructions walk you through setting up the Wi-Fi, installing new filament cartridges, and checking settings and the status of prints. How much time left on prints is displayed right on the screen. You can even check how much filament remains in the cartridge.

Included Components

Everything you need to get started is preassembled and in the box ready to go. A starter cartridge of filament, USB cable, power cord, flash drive with a manual and 25 free designs, printing plate, glue, maintenance tools and the printer itself. All you need to do is plug in the power supply, apply glue to the printing plate, place the plate on the magnetic arm, insert the filament cartridge and press the on-button to start printing. Setting up this printer is really very easy and simple instructions are right there on the touchscreen should you need any reminders.

From the Cubify website, you can download the software which allows you to modify, create and print 3D models. The 25 included models are mostly small toys, jewelry and cups; there are many more free and priced models available from the Cubify website. You can also branch out to other 3D model sites, download designs and print them with the Cube. To make sure a design is compatible with the Cube, open the file in the software and save it in the Cubify format.

Connectivity

Connecting the Cube to your computer is simple. Once you download the free software, you can plug the included USB cable into your computer to print. Or, use the included flash drive to download files from your computer, then plug it into the printer itself. This 3D printer is also Wi-Fi capable, so you can wirelessly print your creations. We found that in order to print via the Wi-Fi, we had to connect to a unique Wi-Fi signal from the printer itself and could not connect to our office network at the same time. So if you have multiple networks at home or extensive firewalls, printing from the flash drive might be the best solution to free up your computer during print times.

Summary

Ease of use is one of the best aspects of the Cubify Cube. Anyone can set up and print without any technical knowledge. Connecting this 3D printer to your computer is easy and convenient for everyday projects or special endeavors. It may be small, but don’t underestimate the vast number of models and objects you can print to delight friends and family.

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Printer Design

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Help & Support

This 3D system is backed by a 90-day warranty should any problems arise with your printer. Cubify is easy to reach via email or phone if you have any questions. For the best support, check out the blog, FAQs or the tutorial page. We found helpful video tutorials for setting up, using the printer and troubleshooting tips to keep this 3D printer in great shape.

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t l A My T I M SUM 3 1 0 2 C L S W: THE PANELS REVIE


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Bailey McCarthy

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ast week I attended Alt Summit, “the premier business conference for pioneering bloggers and rookie bloggers alike”. For any bloggers reading this: I am going to give you a real honest rundown of what it was, what I learned, and some things you might want to consider if you plan to attend one in the future. For any non-bloggers reading this: I’m sorry. So what is Alt? Essentially three days of panels led by the biggest and best in the industry, and networking. Because Alt caters to bloggers in creative industries there was a lot of pretty, party, and entertaining fluff surrounding the panels that were meant to provide real, useful information on how to elevate and improve ones blog. The panels this year included a Track A for beginning bloggers, Track B for advanced bloggers and Track C for everyone.I attended panels in all three tracks and picked up a few tips and insights that I think will help improve things around this little internet space Peppermint Bliss occupies. Here are a few such items:

The importance of a Media Kit: Whether you are trying to take on advertising, get a book deal, use your blog as an item on your resume, or parlay your blog into your own businesswhatever your end game is- you need to be able to make a case for whatever it is you are accomplishing on your blog. That case should be made in the form of statistics o n your traffic and reader engagement. Traffic statistics should reflect how many people are reading your blog daily/monthly, as well as information on who those readers are and where they are coming from that might be important to the individual or company reading it. These statistics can be collected through Alexa, installed sitemeters, surveys and Google analytics, and should be presented in a way that highlights your achievements. Reader engagement can compensate for less impressive traffic stats by showing the power behind those numbers. You can have 10,000 readers a day, but if those readers aren’t commenting, following the links you present, or otherwise supportive and invested in your blogthat doesn’t mean much. However if you have 100 readers that comment passionately, read the things you write and buy the things you buy- that has a significant value. Any information you can get to demonstrate reader engagement- click through stats on your links, survey results showing their interest in your opinion, comment community- gives a context that should prove your blog value.

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interview

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Keeping an editorial calendar. This was a particularly helpful concept for me. When I first started blogging I did a pretty good job of this. I would think of what I wanted to post at least a few days in advance, and tried to have a schedule where I posted on different subjects on different days. As things got going I felt too constrained by that format and found it more productive to write as the spirit moved me. Now, however, I find I am frequently scrambling at the last moment to get something up. Sometimes that means posting something inadequate, and sometimes that means posting about something good inadequately. Overall it means that there isn’t any organization to the content I am trying to bring, which I am sure as a reader is a bit unsatisfying with some weeks being all meaty design posts, others total Biscuit-blitz, and others just a bunch of random junk. While you don’t have to be as rigid as “Moodboard Monday, Tastey Tuesday, Wedding Wednesday etc.” it can be helpful to identify themes in your posts and make sure you address each topic evenly throughout the month. It is no longer enough for blogs to just repost and regurgitate. We are expected to and should be creating original content- whether that is a well-written critique or a craft DIY- you need to give yourself the time to develop your work.

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How to earn money from your blog. Jenny Komenda was refreshingly frank in talking the real talk about how to make money from your blog. She talked about how banner ads are out and the new ways of integrated creative content and sponsored posts. She gave actual numbers to start from when negotiating CPC vs. CPM rates with advertisers. We got advice on how to begin incorporating advertising into your blog without selling out and losing your audience. It was extremely candid, straightforward and helpful and made me rethink my stance on earning money from Peppermint Bliss- which I will discuss more tomorrow.

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In a blog shop panel I learned some stuff I probably should have already known about when in the week and month to market, tips on promoting your store through social media etc. Other than that…Everything I gained from the conference either came from having the freedom to chill and let my mind wander and think seriously about Peppermint Bliss and Biscuit- and from conversations I had with the other ladies in attendance. Which I know only happened because of the conference- but I have to say I was a little disappointed in the panels. I didn’t attend every panel, but I felt like a lot of the ones I did attend were at best frustratingly vague and at worst solely self-serving. And I get it. It is a tricky thing to ask anyone who has worked hard to gain expertise or advantage to just give it away for free. There is a responsibility people have to protect their trade secrets and their business and to not hand out information they have struggled for years to gain. BUT- They weren’t giving it away for free. They were being provided a platform to promote their business, to be verified as a success story. Speakers were exposed to a new audience, given a free ticket to attend, and a sort of VIP status at the conferenceafter every panel there was a line of people waiting to talk to the panelists and give them their business cards. And the exchange is that the rest of us who paid to attend and hear them speak needed to learn something. And not something about how fun it was to work with Anthropologie- but something we can actually use.

Bringing together people and ideas under one roof


Thread and needle work displayed at the ALT convention. A message we can all abide by

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f the incentives provided by Alt itself were not enough to make it worth it for panelists to give up more useful information- then that is something that needs to be addressed between the Alt organization and the talent they are trying to attract. But I paid for my ticket to learn some stuff, and that didn’t realllllyyyy happen as much as I thought it should. Also, there is a difference between giving it away so a less motivated, less creative people can copy you, and nurturing the talent that could contribute something that will elevate the whole industry. And I know that is a tall order. Overall I am really pleased I went. The keynotes were fantastic. The meals and parties and facilities were great. Everything ran incredibly smoothly & efficiently. The framework and organization were really impressive. It seems like Alt has nailed the framework, now it might be time to refocus on the content. The medium is great- we need more message. So that was my review of the panels- tomorrow I will share some thoughts on the networking, the famous Alt business card exchange, and pictures from the trip. Have any of you been to Salt Lake City? Do any of you live there?? What is UP with the air quality? I think I have the black lung. What a crazy bummer for such a beautiful place.

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Sharpie Mug

5 Personalize Your Gift Bree Barkely

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Get a ceramic mug. Now, this may sound simple but from my trials and errors I have noticed that the more expensive the mug, the better the glaze on it will be. A better glaze is not good. You want the glaze to be able to meld with the markers in order to make it permanent so usually dollar mugs work the best. I have had the most success with Mainstays mugs at Walmart and the cheap dollar store mugs. This is where most people go wrong. Get a cheap mug! Your mug has to be clean. I don’t mean that it has to be washed, but there can be no oil residue left on it. This is really important. If there is any oil between the marker and the mug, the marker will not become permanent. The best/easiest way to clean the oil off your mug is to use rubbing alcohol.

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Once it is clean, you need to be very careful touching the mug while drawing on it. Use gloves if you must.

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If you plan on writing words on your mug, use painters tape to make a guide line. It is very difficult to write straight on a curvy surface.If you plan to draw an image, I recommend that you practice on a scrap sheet of paper first.

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Not all Sharpies stay the same color once baked! Many colors tend to fade. For instance I discovered that red, fades to a pale yellow. However, a BIC permanent marker red stays the same color after baking. If you can, fire a test run on a small plate. I will be adding a test plate to my blog for those who are interested. It should be up soon.

Did you mess up? Did the marker run a bit? Use a Q-tip dipped in rubbing alcohol to clear the mistakes. Be careful not to let the alcohol run onto the other designs.

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Is it all done? I recommend waiting 24 hours for the marker to fully dry. Some people have had better luck after doing this.

Place your mug in the oven first. Then turn it to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. You a re probably wondering why I am not saying 350 degrees like everyone else. Well, I had no luck at such a low temperature. The problem is the glaze is not hot enough to bond with the marker. Once I turned the oven up, there was a noticeable difference in the longevity of the design. The mug needs to be in the oven before you turn it on so that it slowly heats with the oven. This will prevent cracking.

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You can start the timer for 30 minutes once you have your mug in. If your oven takes a long time to heat, start the timer at 30 minutes once it has reached 425 degrees.


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Once the timer goes off, you can shut the oven off. DO NOT REMOVE YOUR MUG. If you remove your mug immediately after, there is a chance that it might crack.

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DIY PROJECTS

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I recommend checking in on your mug every once in a while. You want to be sure that the mug, if white, does not brown in the heat. I have never had it happen but I have read about it.

When the oven has cooled completely you can remove your mug. Test it by running a wet rag over it. Did the image stay? If not, it may need to go in for round two. If it did stay, awesome! The next test is the dishwasher. If it passes the dishwasher, congrats on your DIY Sharpie mug!

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A handmade gift goes a long way. What will you draw?

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Quick Ideas

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Count Down

Shake it up

Get in the spirit for the holidays and countdown in style

Make your own snowglobe with custom figures and glitter. Fun for all ages

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Capture beauty

T Who needs fancy lenses when you can craft up your very own! Get unique lighting effect in the spirit.

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Thread & Circuit