Monthly Archives: December 2014

Develop a New 3D Printing Technology Challenge

At YouMagine we’re always trying to stimulate new exciting 3D printing developments, objects & inventions. We want to make all the stuff in the world better, shareable and malleable. We’ve decided to give away one Ultimaker Original kit to the person who wins the “Develop a New 3D Printing Technology Challenge.” The idea is for someone to come up with an idea for a new 3D printing technology. They will describe to us how they hope to make this a reality. We will pick the best idea coupled that seems achievable on February 1st. This person or group will then win an Ultimaker that they can use to implement their technology. They will then share their invention with the world through YouMagine.

Ultimaker Original Kit

Ultimaker Original Kit

How do you win?

  • Go to the design ideas section and:
  • Come up with an idea for a new or improved 3D printing technology.
  • So not an incremental improvement to an existing 3D printer or new part.
  • You may want to 3D print glass, electronics, etc.
  • A similar 3D printing process could exist but you could want to perfect or change it.
  • Describe succinctly why you are the person capable of doing this.
  • Tell us how you will do this.
  • You will also describe to us how you plan to make this a reality and within what time frame you hope to achieve this.
  • Groups, classes and organizations may submit ideas and win also
  • The winner will be chosen on the 1st of February by the YouMagine team.

Rules for the winner:

  • The winner could use the Ultimaker Original kit to implement the technology.
  • The winner will document their development process.
  • The winner will share their success or failure with us so we can all learn.
  • The winner will share their invention with the world through an open source license of their choice via YouMagine.
  • The winner will have a deadline to show their progress to the YouMagine community by June 1st.

Merry Christmas from YouMagine!

Merry Christmas, happy holidays and a great new year from all of us at YouMagine! Ronald, who heads up education for YouMagine made a Christmas tree for the office on the office laser cutter. I’d never seen a laser cut Christmas tree before but, days after, Bibliolabs uploaded another.

Laser Cut Christmas Tree

Laser Cut Christmas Tree

Laser Cut Christmas Tree

Laser Cut Christmas Tree

Lots of other community members made lovely Christmas things as well! We hope you all have a great time with your families during the holidays! Maybe you have time to print this lovely tree by Blecheimer or perhaps you still need a topper like the one made by Ashleywebster? All the best from YouMagine. Happy 3D printing!


3D Printed Christmas Tree

3D Printed Christmas Tree

3D printed Christmas Tree topper.

3D printed Christmas Tree topper.



An innovative 3D printed motorized off road trolley: the eSherpa

Ralph Naumann's eSherpa Electric off road cart

Ralph Naumann’s eSherpa Electric off road cart

YouMagine community member Ralf Naumann is working on the eSherpa an open source motorized cart that you can use to transport heavy loads across rough terrain. We interviewed him to see what the eSherpa is and how he used 3D printing to make it. You can check out the eSherpa website here. The eSherpa was originally developed to transport paragliders to their launch locations but we see lots of potential in this great open source project. Check out the video below.

Why did you make the eSherpa?
Ralf Naumann: Some say because i’m lazy – some say because i’m clever – some say because i’m old….I think it’s because i’m lazy, clever and old 😉
Working as a tandem pilot is one of the best jobs in the world – most of my passengers do paragliding for the first time and I feel for them when they get nervous just before take off and i feel for them when they are totally ecstatic and happy after landing.
But there is one part I really don’t like: carrying 25kg equipment uphill to the take off and lifting this voluminous back pack four times per turn… in main season i do up to 7 turns per day. I’m lazy is one part –  i’m old the other… after my first season I felt my back and my joints badly and i saw the other tandem pilots which have doing this job much longer – they all have problems with their backs and their joints… and I don’t want to ruin my body because of my work. While I payed the bills for my chiropractor I decided to find a solution – because i’m clever…
How long did it take to develop?
The main idea is older but 2 years ago I started to build a prototype – a proof of concept. I bought an electric golf caddy, built it apart and used some glass fiber and epoxy to clue the usable parts together  – this prototype worked somewhat well and I discovered the problems limitations of it. Packing up must be faster, more compact, lighter, stronger, easier and cheaper to build and maintain, easier to control.
I decided to buy a 3D printer and it took me one more year to find the right parts and to design, 3D print and test it. Finally I built  4 different versions and now I’m really  satisfied with the result..
Would you like others to collaborate with you on it?
Yes for sure! This is why I gave it to the open source community. I want to see others building it, using it and thinking about it. Improvements or developing other uses for the eSherpa can be done best in a community.
3D printed telescopic handle for the eSherpa

3D printed telescopic handle for the eSherpa

Why do paragliders need a specific cart made for them?
A cart which helps a paraglider to carry their equipment uphill must be flown down again. It has to be strong enough to manage offroad trails and able to carry voluminous weight.  Because of safety reasons it has to fit into the backpack of the pilots harness without restricting movement. Therefore a cart for a tandem paraglider has to be very compact and lightweight. An efficient, easy and quick setup is important because the next guests are waiting – the gondola doesn’t…
Could one use this for many more things? 
Compactness, lightness, efficiency and simplicity -this a good base for a lot of other uses. Yes, why not a 3D printed golf caddy, or a caddy for toolboxes, shopping or pattern catalogs… with the right set up an eSherpa can carry everything which needs to go uphill in a easy and healthy way. Or also downhill – with the engines you have e nice brake to bring heavy loads downhill. In a flat area you can use a eSherpa „light“ without engines, batterys and electronics to carry things…
Top view of the eSherpa cartTop view of the eSherpa cart

Top view of the eSherpa cart

Does it work well?
Yes, I’m really satisfied with it. I solved a couplet of problems with electronics, 3D printing, maintenance, reliability and stability. It works well now, it works for me!
And the best: no bill from the chiropractor… 🙂
Would you like to improve it?
An invention is never finished…see these three thin wires from the pot to the electronics through the telescope with several plugs – shouldn’t that be wireless?… but there is a risk of over engineering 😉 Uploading the files to was akin to saying: Now its pretty good lets improve it together!

Interview with YouMagine Community Member Flowalistik

Augustin Flowalistik

Augustin Flowalistik

Augustin Flowalistik is a YouMagine Community Member and award winning designer who has made waves with his low poly 3D printed designs. Augustin is originally a graphic designer but now works extensively with 3D printing. We love his work. Furthermore Augustin shares his designs for free on YouMagine but people have been selling these designs or derivatives of these designs. He finds himself at an interesting point in time where 3D printing is gaining a lot of traction but we haven’t figured out how to properly regulate and guide sharing. Due to our deep interest in Intellectual Property and 3D printing (and because he makes cool stuff!) we asked him for an interview. You can check out Flowalistik’s YouMagine profile or his home page here.

Why did you go from graphic design to 3D printing?
I’m currently studying a Design Degree in the Complutense University in Madrid. It’s mostly focused on graphic design, although I’ve had some subjects focused on object design. Any of my teachers have ever talked about 3d printing, but as I love technology, I knew 3d printing would be something important in the near future. Until 2014 all my projects were focused on graphic design and illustration as I didn’t have the possibility to design and create my own objects. It wasn’t until Sept 2013 that I purchased my first 3D printer kit, and it was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.
What tools do you use to 3D print?
I’ve got a Prusa i3 and an Ultimaker 2. I usually print with the Ultimaker as it’s easier to use, but when it’s about a low poly design I always print it with the Prusa to check that it can be printed with a more-afordable 3d printer. Also, I only work with PLA, as I find it easier to work with.
Augustin with one of his 3D printed masks

Augustin with one of his 3D printed masks

What software do you use? 

I use 3DS Max to design all the low poly models (Pokemon, Videogame Characters, Masks…) and for more precise things I use Solidworks. In the near future I pretend to learn to use Blender and Freecad, as I would like to work 100% with open hardware and software.

Pikachu Low Poly Pokemon flowalistik

Augustin Flowalistik_large_pikachu_low_poly_pokemon_flowalistik_youmagine

Do you have tips for graphic designers wanting to 3D print things? 
Well, when I bought my first 3d printer I didn’t know what I would find, and if I would really love 3D printing. Fortunately I discovered that 3D printing is what I really love. But I know people who saw some 3d printers in a Maker Faire and bought one without considering they wouldn’t use it more than once a month. Almost all of my friends are graphic designers, and when they ask me if they should buy a 3d printer, I always explain them what they can and cannot do, to make them sure the 3d printer will reach their expectations.
I love your low poly work, why did you start doing this?
I’ve always loved the low poly style, as it makes complex models really simple and it keeps the “idea” of the object. When I first came up with the idea of making low poly Pokemon, I just wanted to design a Squirtle for myself, but when I shared it and received some great feedback I decided to make this project, as people really appreciate to have their favorite Pokemon or videogame character 3d printed in good quality.
Large Bulbasaur by Flowalistik

Large Bulbasaur by Flowalistik

Some of your work is inspired by characters. Do you think you should be allowed to “remix” Mario or Mickey Mouse? 
I’m not the original creator of the characters, as I chose those who were really important in my childhood. I publish all the low poly models under CC license (BY-NC-SA) and since the first model was created I knew that this project’s purpose was clearly not commercial. Anyone can remix my models, I don’t mind, as it helps to expand the project. For example, now you can find on the internet some great low poly models that some people designed after they saw my designs (and they didn’t find their favourite pokemon!).
How do we balance sharing & creativity with IP?
I think the balance is what happens at the moment. People create and share, but there’s no commercial use of these models. I’ve already talked with Nintendo’s lawyers, and they’re not against 3d printing or people making models based on their characters. The problem is that 3d printing works differently as the world does nowadays. With 3d printing you don’t buy and item, you create it in your house, and that is what really scares all the merchandising companies.
You share your designs for free but people sell them. These people have had IP issues. What are your thoughts on that?
I can distinguish two different groups. The ones who steal my work (they sell or share my models as if they were the original designers) and the ones who sell them (they attribute the work but get some benefits from selling them). What I do is send them an email telling them what could happen in case they continued selling or stealing my models, and that’s usually all I’ve got to do. 3d printing is based on sharing on the internet, and I can’t stop people from selling my designs. If they offer them on Ebay, Etsy or similar platforms, I may discover it, but if they sell it in their stores I have nothing to do. As I don’t get money for the designs, I’m not usually angry when I discover it. Anyway, I approve it when, for example, people request someone to print a low poly models for them (paying for it). This can be applied to 3D Hubs. I like that, and I understand they are paying for a service and not for the model.
Would you like to make a living from 3D Printing?  
My idea is to work in something that benefits the planet in some way, and I think 3d printing is one of the best ways to achieve that goal. In six months I will finish my Design studies, and I would like to start working with a 3d printing related company. And if I someone asked me right now were I would like to work in a year, I would say I would like to work in Colorfabb, Ultimaker, YouMagine or 3D Hubs. I don’t know if you find the last sentence a little bit opportunistic, but I believe that those four companies work and think similar as I do.

YouMagine Useful 3D Prints Contest

  • Win a ColorFabb value pack with 16 rolls of ColorFabb 3D printing filament in it!
  • Add the tag “Useful 3D prints Contest” to your uploads to participate.
  • Enter before the 31st of December.

We really want YouMagine to be a place where people work together to build the future of things. Due to this we want to stimulate you to work with other people and help each other. Especially where some people have skills that others do not. Any way we can stimulate this would be great. And any ideas on this that you have would be very much appreciated! In order to show how useful 3D printing can be we will be holding Useful 3D printing  contest from now until the 31st of December. Just add the tag “Useful 3D prints Contest” to your uploads to participate. The winner will receive a ColorFabb value pack with 16 rolls of ColorFabb 3D printing filament in it! This usually sells for €484 ($604). Thank you ColorFabb for providing this prize!

A ColorFabb Value Pack!

A ColorFabb Value Pack!

The contest will be judged by the YouMagine team.


We will look at the originality and quality of the photographs but most of all the utility of the 3D printed object.

  • The contest will be judged by the YouMagine team.
  • We will look at how the photo illustrates the scale of the 3D printed object in an interesting way. This is important in order to get viewers to understand how large the objects on the site are.
  • We will look at how the photo illustrates the utility and purpose of the YouMagine file or project to other community members.
  • We will look at if you’ve made the 3D printed thing look beautiful.
  • We will look at if you’ve shown how a person is using or uses the 3D printed thing.
  • Above all we will look at how useful is the object? How does it add value to people’s lives?
  • How well is it made, designed and printed?

By using these criteria we hope to get a lot of you guys to start thinking about ways through which we can make the photography on the site more useful to the community. As well as thinking about more practical applications for 3D printing. Compared to other sites we do have much better photography, more complex items and higher quality 3D prints. But we think we can as a community improve even more by finding out how to convey more information to the community through each photograph. That way people browsing the site can much quicker find what they want or need. So how can photos be used to convey more information and make the 3D printed designs on YouMagine look nice at the same time? We want to convey scale, utility & beauty in a simple way. We can’t as a team figure out how to do this. Is every model going to be a shot of someone holding it in her hand? Does there always have to be a Coke can in the picture? How to get a good photo of something using an Iphone? How to quickly take a great picture that gives the rest of the Community an instant idea of what this thing is? Since we couldn’t come up with an answer to these questions, we have turned to our extended team, the YouMagine community for answers. Additionally many people now make tchotchkes, small fun things that have no real value. What we think is different about YouMagine is that we are seeing you make things that are useful, interesting and do add value to people’s lives. We hope to encourage more of this and this is why we’re having the contest. Happy 3D printing!