« Posts under Announcements

ThreeForm Is Now On CG Trader


I have been trying several different platforms to find a good fit for offering downloads of the type of 3D models I create. I make electronics cases, wearable designs, sculptures, figurines, 3D game/world assets and more. Rather than jam these all into one platform, I’m finding what options and audiences each platform offers and tuning the content to match.

I have variety of free (reduced resolution) sample figurines and cases for classic electronics like Raspberry Pi and Arduino on Thingiverse.

CG Trader, a Lithuanian company, is a platform that also offers models for rendering and animation, so the models there will often have textures and other additional features beyond the basic STL found at most 3D printing oriented site.

I also tried Patreon, but a flaw in their system allows people to temporarily subscribe, scrape all the content from a creator, then cancel before making any contribution. That system may work for some but I found it wasn’t appropriate for my work, and I’m hearing a lot of complaints from other creators. Maybe they will improve in the Future.

For those new to ThreeForm I’ve put together a writeup to explain how this unique mix of art, tech, and fashion came about:

I describe ThreeForm as the physical interface between the body and technology. Creations that interact with the body should respect the body, and the approach used by ThreeForm makes this possible. As a long term initiative it pursues esoteric technical goals described below, but as my guest here on Patreon, you’d probably rather know in what form these ideas are manifested in a way that you can download, print and enjoy right now. ThreeForm creates:

 - 3D printable Figurines and Characters. These sculptures are based on real people. They are professionally optimized and designed for 3D printing at home. I do “3D Photoshoots” with a variety of performers, dancers, and models to create a library of poses. These are carefully sculpted to perfection and tested to ensure they print beautifully. Some are further developed to include custom outfits and accessories that are used in real life fashion shows and performances, and many of those will be shared here for you to print in miniature. Your contributions are shared with the models, so continued support ensures my team and I can create many more unique poses and outfits.
 - Wearable Technology. These models take the form of cases, accessories and designer packaging for popular devices and computing platforms like Arduino, Raspberry Pi, Adafruit products, and OpenBCI.

 - Fashion Accessories. Smoothly transitioning from wearable technology, the design are morphing into fashion accessories. 3D printing enables universal customization, so our technology no longer needs to take the same form. It can be stylized to our liking. Expect to find customization templates that  may be entirely about style, or contain a functional element from the wearable tech category.

The mission of ThreeForm is to explore design on the body leveraging two synergistic technologies: 3D scanning and 3D printing. I conceptualize these as a portal between the digital world and the physical world. In the context of the body, this enables design to respect the body by conforming perfectly to our shape and movement. ThreeForm seeks to develop this approach by solving mechanical and material challenges in the 3D printing technology, by refining design techniques and developing software solutions to optimize workflows to make the combination of these technologies practical and useful by reducing time, labor and cost, while increasing functional capabilities.

In addition to experimental styles and gadgetry (which is the fun part) I also develop research tools and assistive devices such as the Ultracortex platform developed in collaboration with OpenBCI. Current laws limit the extent to which 3D printing can be applied in a medical context, and devices take a lot of time and money to gain approval, so while legislation will take several years to catch up, I am not waiting around. For five years I’ve been developing solutions to make these technologies more applicable to improving people lives, and these will all transition from research and experimentation to daily life as soon as possible.

While technology and society will continue to evolve and adapt to new technologies, a lot is possible right now, and I would like to share the excitement of exploring that with you. Your support is greatly appreciated.


Reward Tiers Offered on Patreon:

$3 Patreon Tier:
At this tier you’ll receive several new designs per month, as well as access to all previous designs released at this tier. The figurines at this tier feature basic editing to ensure printability, and enough detail to print around 6″ high at the resolution of a typical home printer.

  • 4 printable reconstructed scans with basic edits
  • 4 raw body scan poses per month
  • Preview renderings and animations and photos
  • 1 new wearable tech electronics case per month

$5 Patreon Tier: Body Scan Package

Editing scan data is a lot of work. At this tier, scans have had 2-5 hours of editing to enhance detail. These scans are optimized to fill print around 8-9″ tall. Manual support structures are often added for easier, more reliable, higher quality prints. Wearable tech packages are more complete with a variety of options included.

  • 4 1/8th scale sculpted figurines per month
  • 4 additional (for 8 total) raw body scan poses per month
  • 1 Wearable tech variety archive with at least 4 variants included.
  • Hi-res artwork based on scans
  • 1 new printable small wearable accessory per month
  • Works in progress and early releases
  • Plus all previous rewards$10 Patreon Tier: Digital Avatar package
    This tier features fully developed avatars/characters with complete outfits. Professional quality. These are delivered in package with a variety of 3D formats, part configurations, and polygon counts. These include versions that take advantage of multi-material, dual extrusion, or full color printers.

    • 1 new High detail digital avatar package per month
    • 2 additional 1/8th scale sculpted body scans
    • 2 Bonus 3D printable designs
    • Plus all previous rewards$15 Patreon Tier: Sculpture Package
      In addition to figurines and wearable designs, I also create original work based on the scans.

      • 1 new sculpture per month.
      • Plus all previous rewards

      $20 Patreon Tier: Digital Fashion Package

More about the scans and process:

The scans used in this work were made in association with various other artists and models. The scans capture their natural shape and pose with limited detail depending on which scanning method is used. When I started ThreeForm I used a method called photogrammetry which is based on photographs.

I still occasionally use this for clients who do not have access to a scanner, but it is fairly crude and requires a lot of cleanup. I now use laser or structured light based systems.

There is a multi-stage process of cleaning up the data (removing noise and errors) and  reconstructing the scan to fill in missing areas. At this stage the model is printable, but for select poses I do additional sculpting work to add in missing details like fingers and toes. I also smooth out the seams of any garments to restore their natural shape. The models are not nude during scanning, but wear minimal undergarments to ensure accurate measurements and shape of custom outfits. At this stage each scan has taken 5-15 hours of work. For exceptional poses that will be used to build an avatar, full replacement of the head is required to add realistic eyes, hair, etc. Many outfits have several layers made of hundreds of spline curves and surfaces, composed of several thousand individual control points.

By the time final meshes are exported, a full outfit could take around 100 hours. The separate meshes are imported into rendering software to create realistic lighting and materials, which may take several dozen more hours, and may take several days to process the renderings in the case of an animation. Bringing the designs into reality with 3D printing is an even more elaborate process. There are many different printing processes, materials with varying properties, a variety of post-processing techniques to change those properties, and many solutions available for mechanical enhancement such as coatings, textiles and straps.

Assembly can include adhesives, fasteners, sewing, or heat bonding. I do want to  to better document this if there is interest. If you have any questions or requests, please ask.

Rapid 2012 Fashion show video

I’ve put together some nice footage of the show. This video and some of my photos have been picked up on Fabbaloo here and here, as well as a variety of other 3D printing blogs. The artist/model I worked with to create the corset design (Amandacera) was in Peru during the show, but amazingly Materialise worked with a modeling agency in Atlanta to find a model that fit the exact measurements of the design! Big thanks to Jamie Milas, Gary Mikola, and Mike Roosa for helping me get my designs into this amazing show, and I also want to thank the model, Stephanie (and her mom), for helping me to present the groundbreaking-but-complicated Seed of Life corset in the best possible light.

I now have a Twitter account for ThreeForm, my 3D printed apparel design company, where you can keep up to date on new developments.

It’s Coming

I am working like crazy to get my creation completed for Maker Faire. I am documenting the process, but I’m too busy to compile that right now, so I’ve selected another video that dramatizes it accurately.

Ex-DRA featured in i.materialise Challenge

One of my designs has been featured in the Man-Machine Human Augmentation Challenge at i.materialise. This was intended to be an exploration of some of the more far-out concepts made possible by 3d-printing. The guidelines focused as much on aesthetics as function, but I chose to focus on an area that I felt would have the most impact on quality-of-life for many people, and I am not enthusiastic about the idea of surgically modifying a perfectly healthy body for purely stylistic reasons. I did a lot of research on the current applications and where they are headed, as well as the numbers of people affected by various disabilities. Looking at limb-loss, I found that most of those who lose an arm lose it below the elbow, and while there are mechanical prosthetic available for full limb loss, there currently isn’t enough room for that in this more-common type of amputation.

The statistics I found showed that there were about 40,000 people with this disability in the US around the turn of the century. The subsequent wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have resulted in a massive number of amputations and disfigurements, partly as a result of better medical care that allows our soldiers to survive what would once have been a fatal injury. The goal of this project was to focus on one area that would have the most profound effect on mitigating the effects of an increasingly common disability, the loss of an arm below the elbow (Trans-radial amputation). I selected this type of amputation because I observed that a very important motion of the arm is lost even though most of the anatomy involved is still present. When the connection between the two bones of the forearm is lost, an rotating the forearm around its long axis, called pronation and supination, becomes impossible. My solution is to recreate that connection outside the body and make a permanent connection to the remaining bones. This allows the remaining muscles to articulate the wrist in a natural way, making a simple prosthetic hand far more useful.

Implants that join to the bone (osseointegration) are common in joint replacements and are often made with 3d-printing. A recent innovation is to use a solid connection the bone to support an external prosthesis, with the implant passing through the skin. There are huge advantages to doing this, but also several challenges that are only beginning to be solved. My idea is a future development that will become possible when these procedures are perfected. While it won’t be easy to accomplish, the advantages are so great and affect so many people that these type of advances are very likely to occur over the next decade.

Mini City on Etsy

I’m now selling the full-color Mini City model in full scale and 1/8th scale -Nano City- on Etsy.  I’m also offering it at 1/4 scale in Frosted detail materials. -Micro City on Shapeways-

Time Keeper Promotion

I have produced more of my Fleeting Time Keepers as a promotion for 40 West Designs. While supplies last, I am reducing the price to only $10 including delivery within the US. This price change applies to both Etsy orders and the ones I sell at retail at Utopia Skate Shop in Norwalk, Connecticut.

New Time Keepers

Fresh Time Keepers about to be de-powdered and finished.

See a video of the how I make these here: Time Keeper Production

Morning Star Heading To RAPID 2011

“The Morning Star is an incarnation of Danger and Beauty”

The upcoming RAPID 2011 conference in Minneapolis will feature many great examples of 3D printed artwork. This year I am fortunate enough to have one of my pieces displayed in the exhibition gallery. The Morning Star is made with a combination of 3D-printed stainless steel and CNC machined wood. I have spent a lot of time perfecting the model over the past year, and this past month I have been putting the finishing touches on the final piece. These images show the wooden handle being made. The final display for the Morning Star will be presented next week.

Morning Star Handle2 MorningStar_Handle4
MorningStar_Handle2 MorningStar_Crate

I could not find a CNC lathe locally, so I built the handle from five radial segments on a standard 3-axis CNC. The segments were laid out flat for cutting, then trimmed to the correct angles with a jointer. The glued segments were compressed onto the pentagon-shaped core with tightly wound rope.  A special crate was designed to securely house the Morning Star during it’s voyage.

Morning Star Under Construction