Hi, I’m Koogee Brown from koogeebrown.com. I make original decorative art and jewellery from 3D printed models decorated with mixed media and craft materials. I’d like to show you some great diy home decor ideas. You can create an interesting and beautiful piece of art like this keyholder.
It’s made by adding a diy copper patina to a 3D printed sculpture. Check out my “how to” tutorial Decorative Crafts – New ideas.
This is an exciting new area of arts and crafts which is developing rapidly.
There are thousands of art objects available for anyone to buy at Shapeways.com. Their online marketplace contains a treasure-trove of incredibly beautiful art as well as gadgets, tools and even musical instruments (mixed up with many weird and wacky creations). The designs are uploaded by Digital Artists, some professional but most self taught. If you are willing to spend some time patiently browsing, you will find wonderful designs which can make great diy home decorating ideas.
To start you off I’m going to show you how to order a 3D print from the Shapeways online 3D printing marketplace.
Browsing for diy home decor ideas
Shapeways and other 3D printing companies such as imaterialize are able produce 3D prints in an incredible variety of materials and colours, ranging from metals and plastics to full colour sandstone and ceramics.
Each shopping page has options on the left hand side for category, price range and materials. There is a search box at the top if you have something specific in mind. I’ll mention more about materials later on, but here is their materials page if you want to take a quick look. Yes 3D printing is moderately expensive, but when you consider that you’re buying a precision made piece of art with probably very few copies ever made then it’s well worth it. This ain’t a piece of mass produced Chinese junk!
You will also see a little checkbox for “customizable” which shows only products you can add personalized text to. The “Beta products” search option will show only items which are still under development by the designer. Buying these helps out the designer but the customer accepts the risk that the item may not work as intended.
The Shapeways marketplace consists of many designer “shops” so when you see a design you like, head over to the designers store to view their other models.
Remember to check out the stated dimensions of the article before you make your final choice.
About Product Images
Many designers, for whatever reason, only show the Shapeways digital (computer generated) previews of their products. Although these are clearly marked, be aware that the actual product may look a little different.
When you’ve found something special
Shapeways offers an amazing variety of 3D printable materials as I’ve said. None the less there are several factors which limit your choice of materials for any given model.
Firstly there are the technical limitations of each 3D printing process. Primarily this is the strength of the material which in turn affects the minimum possible wall thickness of the model. So if a design features very thin walls, then the less robust materials can’t be offered for that model.
The second thing is the designers choice. The artist has control over which of the technically suitable materials are actually offered for sale. From the buyer’s point of view, you can push any of the little buttons below where it says “CHOOSE MATERIAL”. All these materials are confirmed by Shapeways as Ok for that item. That said, there remains a teensy chance that there could be a structural problem with the model until such time as someone actually has it 3D printed in that material. This is why Shapeways puts a little “First to try” flag above any materials that have never been used for a particular design.
While each Shapeways material has it’s “Natural colour”, some materials allow colour to be added if desired. This is done in two ways.
The “Full Color Sandstone” 3d printing technology allows a colour image (known as a texture) to be embedded into the object as it’s printed. The result is a coloured object that only a skilled porcelain painter could replicate by hand.
The other, less sophisticated colouring technique offered by Shapeways is to simply dunk the finished 3D print in a vat of dye. This is available for models printed using the “strong and flexible plastic” technology. These models are put through a polishing process first.
Now that you’re a red hot keen buyer you will want to join Shapeways to order your sculpture (or in the meantime you can add it to favorites if you want time to think about it). There is no obligation, it takes just a minute and you can opt out of their promotional emails if you want.
I hope you’ve had fun and have ordered a unique and delightful piece of art. Well done having to courage to give it a go!
If you enjoy diy home decor projects please check out my tutorial Decorative Crafts – New Ideas
If you have any questions feel free to use my email firstname.lastname@example.org or use the comment box. Also I’d love to see photos of your finished art.