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Cool online resources for small creative businesses - Input Junkie
July 5th, 2011
10:11 am

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Cool online resources for small creative businesses
I've been fascinated by 3D printing-- using a computer to build something something material. Generally, it's by building up rather than by cutting down, but either makes me happy.

After a while, I'd accumulated a some links about 3D printing and 2D resources as well and some other oddities, and I realized a theme was building up.

I want to do a website about this, but the website hasn't happened yet, and I wanted to get the word out and possibly accumulate a few more links.

Shapeways does printing in a variety of plastics, sterling silver, ceramic, bronze-infused stainless steel, and "sandstone". The prices range from 19 cents per cubic centimeter of material used to $2 per cubic centimeter. The site has shops for selling things made with their processes,

There are weird dice, dinosaur sculptures, steampunk this and that, and Bathsheba Grossman's sculptures affordably available in nylon.

Inventables offers weird materials in small lots plus ideas for what they are or could be used for. They've got conductive adhesive, soft gel magnets, flexible moldable LEDs, and a washer that squirts orange dye when it's been tightened to a specified load.

I thought they offered shops to their customers, but either I hallucinated it or they decided to stop.

Spoonflower has custom printing on fabric-- various cottons, cotton-linen, and silk. Swatches start at $5, yards start at $18, and there's a one yard minimum. Spoonflower has shops and design tools.

POD Reviews-- reviews print on demand sites. It isn't up to date, but at least it gives you a list of places to check out.

Kevin Kelly's Cool Tools-- detailed review and discussion of good tools of all sorts. This is the descendent of The Whole Earth Review.

Zazzle and Spreadshirt do printing-- Spreadshirt specializes in shirts, Zazzle offers a wider range, including custom stamps and mugs. Cafe Press is the granddaddy of them all, with much the largest range of things to be printed on, but I've seen a number of complaints about the quality of their work.

LuLu is a site for printing books, ebooks, photobooks, and calendars.

Etsy and Artfire are the major sites for selling crafts and vintage stuff.

Kickstarter is a site for raising money-- the deal is that you set up a project with a goal for the amount of money and a deadline. If the money is raised by the deadline, you get it. If not, it goes back to the donors.

A kickstarter project for an Open Source Gantry Router -- a robot capable of milling complex three-dimensional shapes out of wood, soft metals, and plastics. The goal is to make this serious piece of capital equipment able to replicate itself and available for $5000. Link thanks to shadesong.

Make, the magazine for making things. It's oriented towards making things for yourself rather than selling them, but there might be some inspiration in it.

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From:beamjockey
Date:July 5th, 2011 06:12 pm (UTC)
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Thanks for the link roundup. I, too, am interested in these techniques.
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From:alyxyn
Date:July 5th, 2011 06:46 pm (UTC)
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Did you see the BBC article about the printer that creates 3D chocolates?

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-14030720
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From:nancylebov
Date:July 5th, 2011 07:17 pm (UTC)
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No, I'd only heard about printing frosting.
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From:madfilkentist
Date:July 5th, 2011 11:18 pm (UTC)
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This has me wondering -- are there any open file formats for describing 3-D objects?
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From:nancylebov
Date:July 5th, 2011 11:52 pm (UTC)
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