Category Archives: Community Feedback

Improved search, 3DHubs for all files and bug quashing

We’ve integrated 3D Hubs into YouMagine. If you don’t have a 3D printer you can now print any file on YouMagine. We’re interested to see how many people will use this feature and are interested in the designs on the site but don’t own a printer.

The 3D Hubs button can be found to the right of all design images.

The 3D Hubs button can be found to the right of all design images.

We’ve switched our search to Apache Solr, redesigned the search results page and improved the search results themselves. The results can now be sorted by relevancy, recency and popularity. We’ve added more synonyms as well. Search has been one of our biggest issues and we hope to have made significant steps forward with this.

Search results page

Search results page

There was a bug saving the email notification preferences, this has been quashed with extreme vengeance. Another bug appeared whereby a community member got multiple notifications for the same event, this has also been solved.  We hope you’re happy with the improvements and please do email joris (at) youmagine with ideas, feedback and bugs.

3Dhubs integration with YouMagine

3D Hubs

3D Hubs

As of today we’ve added a “Print on 3DHubs” button to the site. This will let people who don’t have a 3D printer order the wonderful objects we have at YouMagine. They can use 3DHubs to print out lamps, vases, boxes, covers, toys and other lovely things. We hope that this lets people who do not have a 3D printer touch and use their first 3D printed objects. We are curious to see how many people will use this opportunity to get a 3D print in their hands.

If this feature is used often then we may look at adding margin to the 3DHubs order so that the designer can make money on the 3D prints of the objects. At this time, neither we nor the designer makes money off of the 3D print. We believe in keeping the files on YouMagine free to promote remixing and sharing. But, we think that people will not mind paying the designer a fee per print. People are used to paying for physical objects whereas to many the digital is most often free. We will be watching the 3DHubs button closely to see what is being printed and what people are interested in. We’ve known the 3Dhubs people for a years now and its wonderful to see them grow and do so well. Due to this we’re very happy to work with them!

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The print on 3Dhubs button can be found below the download button next to each model. Not having a printer is no longer an excuse!

Not a wall flower, a door flower.

Not a wall flower, a door flower.

Print out this lovely door handle for example using 3Dhubs.

Is it a bear, is it a robot? No, its a bearrobot. Cuddly and efficient.

Is it a bear, is it a robot? No, its a bearrobot. Cuddly and efficient.

Or these adorable bear robots.

Skull end cap for bike.

Skull end cap for bike.

Or a skull endcap for your bicycle.

Catch of the day? PLA.

Catch of the day? PLA.

Maybe a lure for fishing?

Print me, it whispers geometrically.

Print me, it whispers geometrically.

Or a Voronoi bracelet?

Nothing is not impossible is.

Nothing is not impossible is.

Perhaps you are looking for a better way to tie your shoes?

Snug and warm your Arduino sits, calculating all the while.

Snug and warm your Arduino sits, calculating all the while.

Or for an Arduino case?

No longer just on the Discovery Channel.

No longer just on the Discovery Channel.

A megalodon tooth?

Check out the files on YouMagine to find your next print. Happy 3D printing!

Improvements to YouMagine

Schermafbeelding 2015-07-29 om 11.30.10


We’ve been working on improving YouMagine for you. The most obvious improvement is the changes made to the design details page. We made the page easier on the eye and easier to scan through if you’re looking at a design quickly.

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You can now also embed YouMagine designs on forums and blogs easily.

We also briefly summarize the licenses for you, please be advised that you should take the time (at least once!) to read through the different licenses to find out which one suits you and what rights you are restricting.


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We repositioned the content on the page and changed the order of importance of things on the page. The page should be faster to load and quicker to use for you.

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Commenting on models just got easier and you can decide to follow or unfollow activity streams.

We’ve updated our email addresses for them to be more personal for you. Although we continue to send any email to the old emails to us we now will use support (at) youmagine, hello (at) youmagine for support questions and supercomputer (at) youmagine for automated emails. You can always just email joris@youmagine for any and all questions! Also the support emails now get sent to the whole YouMagine team, so even though I will answer your questions all of us will read what you have to say in order to understand what our community’s needs and suggestions are.

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Our error messages have become friendlier with a kinder tone. Our 404 page now explains that a community member did nothing wrong and gives them links to the gallery and main page as well as a way for people to report dead links should they wish.

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If one of your designs is added to a collection then the notification email will also inform you to which collection this design has been added and which design has been added. This has been requested by a lot of people!

We’ve made the Bill of Materials easier to use and added an explanation of what the bill of materials should look like.

Our automated thank you emails have been changed yet again. We’ve updated the text, subject line and timing as per your suggestions.

We’ve solved some caching issues and solved the sizing of photographs on different devices. We’ve changed the related designs to “other designs” in the same category. This means that for now the other designs should be quite random and lead to serendipity. In future we will make them more logical for you.

We’ve added a list of many 3D printers and also let people link through to a detail page about the printer.

A contributed image by another user can also now be the primary image of your design.

OpenSCAD files are now downloaded instead of displayed as plain text. We’re wondering what you think of this feature since some prefer to copy paste the text into OpenSCAD while others prefer to download the file.

We’ve done research into how to best improve the search and will be doing this in the next sprint, these coming two weeks. Please let us know how to further improve YouMagine! Email joris (at) with any feedback, bugs or ideas.

WikiMode and Jam released on YouMagine


The Jam Logo

The Jam Logo


We’re continuing to improve YouMagine for you and have quashed a lot of bugs in the past two weeks. We’ve also released the alpha version of Jam. We’ve been talking about Distributed Innovation at YouMagine for a while, the idea that people will increasingly use digital manufacturing tools and software to collaborate worldwide on open source projects and businesses. This is a trend that has been occurring gradually over decades but with 3D printing hardware becomes malleable changeable and can be iteratively improved. Agile engineering and product development will increasingly occur and barriers to entry to many industries will be significantly lowered. It is for such a world that we are building YouMagine.

Jam is a key tool for us that will help make 3D design and collaboration more social and interactive. At the moment Jam is the 3D viewer that you can see on YouMagine in the carousel on your model page. Check out any model in the gallery to see that. You can zoom in and out and look at files using it. Gradually however we will add new features to it. Jam is a key piece of infrastructure that the 3D printing world is missing, a tool to with a group of people work collaboratively on 3D printing files. We called it Jam because we’d like it to be a tool that could let you have a Jam session but then for 3D printing, also because Jam is a disparate but delicious mix of things and because we’re in Geldermalsen in the Netherlands where people make a lot of jam (and 3D printers!) Do take it for a spin and give us feedback!



WikiMode is another social design feature. You can in the Edit tab of any uploaded model enable WikiMode. This lets anyone else who is logged in to the site add documents, descriptions, categories, tags, designs and images to your design. WikiMode is a way for groups of people to design things together. The original file can not be deleted by other users.

Bugs & Improvements

We’ve moved our servers to Cloud66 and Digital Ocean, this has increased the response time of the site and lets us serve up your delicious triangles at higher speeds.

We’ve also made a new Postmark account to serve up welcome and other automated emails to you. Some people have responded very positively to our emails, others have been skeptical. We’ll continue to tinker with the emails but do tell us if you hate or love them. You now get an automated email if someone starts to follow you or if you are added to a collection. One of our automated emails was actually generating links to 404’s and this has been fixed as well.

We’ve added images of 3D printers that you can add and now can only pick from a list of printers in your profile to show people which machine(s) you have. For the moment we’ve only added very few printers including the current Printrbot machines, the Ultimakers and the Prusa i2 & i3 (Update: We’ve added an expanded list of printers, for now email joris (at) if you’re printer is not on it. Have no fear we will add many more in the weeks to come its just that there are rather a lot of 3D printers out there and we want to see how we can do this in a manageable way.



Manage your printers in your profile.

Manage your printers in your profile.

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There was a bug whereby the message counter for some people indicated that they had a new message but this was not the case. This has been fixed.  We also made the drop down in the categories field have one blank option rather than be set default to one of the categories to let people tag and archive things better. We got rid of the “Droste effect” bug whereby you could enter an existential minefield through YouMagine by following yourself.

You can now copy our RSS feed and the social media links at the bottom of the home page have been improved as well. We’ve slightly updated the design of the home page with tweaks and improvements. We made some improvements to our API and the documentation of our API.

We hope you like the changes and keep the feedback coming.

Results of the YouMagine 3D printing survey part 2

Previously we told you about the results of our community survey amongst 500 members of our 3D Printing community. This is the largest and most in depth desktop 3D printing survey conducted to date. Today we can share you the second part of this survey.

At YouMagine we want to enable collaborative worldwide innovation in 3D printing and build the tools to let people in a distributed way work together to create, remix and share open source technology. We call this Distributed Innovation and want to build the tools for our community to engage in letting more people make better things.

In order to make sure that we are building the right future we want to understand our community and get feedback on what we need to do better. Through this process of letting our community guide our roadmap and development we can also give people an insight into what is happening in 3D printing. We would like to qualify this information to a certain extent however because we would expect our community to skew towards people who have been involved with 3D printing longer & be more open source minded than a random sample of the 3D printing community.

We asked Alexey Butakov to make us some nice illustrations to show off some of the graphs.

What do we need to improve about YouMagine?

What do we need to improve about YouMagine?

Probably the most important thing for our development is the above graphic. We need to improve search and navigation. We’re working hard on this and have adapted our roadmap to the findings. We also received a lot of individual feedback about bugs and issues that need addressing, we found this super helpful also. We’ve identified different types of users whereby we’re generally seeing that one group wants more interaction and collaboration whilst the other seeks quick access to many designs. We’re making lots of quick steps forward on improving our overal design and user experience.

What needs to be improved in order to make 3D printing better for you?

What needs to be improved in order to make 3D printing better for you?

The main thing that needs to be improved is the reliability of the 3D printers. If we drill down into these numbers we can also see that certain issues such as bed adhesion and dialing in new materials is also an issue for people. Reliability not only encompasses machines and in order to improve the overal experience  improvements in software, electronics, materials & machines will have to be coordinated. People also want larger build volumes and faster 3D printers. Cost is not an issue for many.

One thing affecting many is warping and bed adhesion. Here we see that it is still critical to get your first layer right. Rather than be a solved issue for many we can see people looking at many different strategies to make materials adhere to beds. The best strategy is also very material dependent and depends on if you have a heated bed or not. Over the past few years a lot of new types of materials have become available for desktop 3D printers. These have exacerbated this problem especially since the best bed adhesion solution differs per material. Personally I’ve taken to washing down my glass heated build plate with a dishwashing soap with a high alcohol content. This degreases it and makes for excellent adhesion. As a YouMagine team we are leaning towards using only soap but some still use glue or tape.

There is a wide distribution of bed adhesion solutions for 3D printers

There is a wide distribution of bed adhesion solutions for 3D printers

We’re seeing that even though there are a number of products out there to solve the issues. Most people still use glue or blue painter’s tape. Hairspray is also quite a popular solution. There is still scope to as an industry make better beds or come up with better solutions to this issue. Bed adhesion issues and warping are still the leading cause of failed prints. It would make a lot of people really happy if someone solved this issue.

I hope you enjoyed these results, thank you so much to all who participated. The third and final installment of our survey results can be found here.



YouMagine updates, scrum & agile.

We’ve learned a lot about what our community needs and would like to see changed at YouMagine. We have gotten direct feedback from you and reached out to you in our YouMagine 3D Printing community survey. Based on that we’ve expanded our team and already done some significant changes to the design of the home page. We’re going to be doing a lot more and I’d like to give you an update on the most recent changes.


We’ve adopted Scrum which is a process whereby you continually improve websites or applications. This lets us plan Sprints, two week development periods, whereby we can home in on your needs and build what you wish for us to build. We didn’t adopt scrum because it was hip but rather because it lets us act more directly based on your feedback and ideas. We’ve also switched to doing continuos deployments which means that we release bugfixes and updates several times each day. We also wrote a lot of unit tests that should trigger if we break something important. We do test before releasing and we have a continuous integration server where we deploy to first.


We also internally do demos where we show the team and people like Joris our Community Manager and Ronald who does our educational outreach what the development team has built. They can then give feedback and be your voice in the demo. We’ve found that this method eases issues that arrive when there is a disconnect between expectations and reality.

First Demo

I’m going to share with you our first demo.


We fixed a bug whereby the dropdown menu in the “I’ve created this design” view. It now shows designs you’ve created. So you can now add your design as a solution to a challenge. You cannot just add any design, which used to be possible. This means that the drop down will be smaller and load a lot faster.

We’ve created a dashboard so we can monitor and visualize our own development work and the site.

We added an updated Notice and Takedown policy to the footer of the site.

We’ve altered the main navigation and improved its performance & design for mobile devices.


We’ve been trying to improve our search significantly based on your suggestions that it needs to be improved. At the same time, we realize search is a core function that should never break. We found a solution to enable fast development without breaking searchIf there is a bug or issue with the search it automatically runs a Google query (with YouMagine as a site filter), this means that we have the time to fix our search without you really waiting for it to be fixed.

A lot of people like our messaging system but we had a bug whereby you were not able to search for users, we fixed this.

We’ve added a functionality whereby you get an email notification as soon as someone adds your model to their collection. You can turn this off in your profile if you find it annoying.

We’ve also added an automatic email should you get a new follower. Both these suggestions are in response for people requesting greater interaction on the site.

An email also is generated if someone prints your design and uploads a contribution to it in the site.

We’ve deployed Mixpanel in order to better analyze what you are doing on the site and what could be broken or needs to be improved.

Your photograph is now visible on the link to your profile and we made the message notifications much more obvious.




YouMagine Community 3D Printing Survey Results Part 1

In order to find out how to improve YouMagine we conducted a survey with 501 Community Members. We’d like to thank all of you who participated! We’ve analyzed the answers and read through all of the input and suggestions you gave. In addition to the responses that we can tabulate directly we asked for a lot of “open” responses in order to get suggestions & ideas. We’re currently comparing these ideas & suggestions with our development roadmap to see how we can change the roadmap in order to better meet our community’s needs. We’ve already put a number of easier to implement ideas and improvements into our development backlog and these will be built soon. We’re also going to be doing more analysis in order to see what YouMagine should become in the future. We are building YouMagine for you and the better we can make it suit your needs the better it will be. Because of this the survey was very important to us. We are looking for more mechanisms whereby we can let users tell us what to build and what to change. If you have any ideas in this regard, please do tell us.

Survey Limitations

Even though 501 respondents is a significant sample of our community and can be used as a representative sample for the 3D printing community globally due to its nature this survey will have some limitations. Firstly, the people who are likely to complete  a survey will tend to be predisposed to caring about the subject of the survey. What the silent majority thinks is not something you can actually ever survey. Or in other words, “What percentage of people don’t like surveys?” & Why don’t some people like surveys?, is something we’ll never know. Our community consists of people who tend to be passionate about open source and open hardware. Our sample is also skewed towards people who are experienced 3D printer operators. We will also tend to have more people who have been 3D printing for longer and have built their own kits as well as designed and built their own 3D printers. Because YouMagine is supported by Ultimaker we will also tend to have more Ultimaker users and Ultimaker-minded people than the 3D printing population at large. We will also tend to reach more people who like to share their open source designs online because that is what the site does at the moment. We therefore are assuming that we’re missing many companies, closed source people and noobs in the sample. But, generally the sample, if qualified as above, can be used to gauge what our community needs and be used to generally learn about 3D printing peoples.

Survey Feedback

We got some feedback about the survey itself. Many found it a very positive thing and told us that it was good that we were listening to our community in this way. Some did however think that the survey was too long. We will make any surveys we do in the future shorter. Some others thought we should have more “other” and Not Applicable responses. We will do this next time. Some were confused by the bed adhesion question. In this question we asked “For bed adhesion I use…?” People noted that it would depend on the bed and material. We added this question also as a control question but understand that it may be confusing. Similarly for the slicer and 3D modeling software questions people indicated that they used several instead of just one.


Where does the YouMagine community live?

We know from Google Analytics that our community comes to us from 218 countries and territories worldwide. People from 49 different countries completed the survey. Immediately this shows us the limitations of our survey approach. The most popular country by far is the Unites States.

Analytics top ten

  1. USA
  2. Germany
  3. Netherlands
  4. UK
  5. France
  6. Spain
  7. Canada
  8. Italy
  9. Australia
  10. Switzerland

Survey top ten

  1. USA
  2. Netherlands
  3. Germany
  4. UK
  5. Canada
  6. Spain
  7. Sweden
  8. Switzerland
  9. Belgium
  10. France

We can see differences between the popularity of the site versus the respondents and should be mindful of these. Below you can see a heat map showing you the top 25 countries and the relative popularity.

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What do we need to improve most about YouMagine?

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We can clearly see that the biggest point of improvement needs to be search. We’re working on this and it will be improving soon. People also think we need to have better navigation. Generally if we read through the comments people also feel that we can improve the usable space. A lot of people don’t like the margins around the pages and think that images can be larger and we can be using the space more efficiently. We will be working on a complete site redesign that incorporates these wishes.

If we break out the users we can see that two different distinct user groups can be identified. One group wants things such as pagination, see many designs at once, scroll quickly through many designs etc. They want to find and download things quickly. We’re looking at how we can speed up the workflow from this group. The other group wants more interaction and social features. We also learned from the survey that often single features such as issues with the aspect ratio of the photos is a huge turn off for individual community members. We’re using the outcome of this survey to build the site as you would like to have it built. If you have any suggestions as to a feature or improvement, please do email joris (at)

The second part of the survey is here and the third here.

3DPL released: an Open Source License for 3D Printed things

Sketch by Olivier van Herpt

Sketch by Olivier van Herpt

At YouMagine we’ve spent the last months creating the 3DPL for the 3D printing community. The 3DPL is a license for 3D Printed things that has been specially made so that people can create, improve and share their inventions with the world. Most of all we want to let us all stand on the shoulders of giants. We want people to build upon previous technologies, improve them, remix them and individualize them. We wish to create the preconditions for a 3D printed world where all the stuff in the world is iteratively and fluidly collectively improved. The 3DPL is a part of our effort to make all the things in the world malleable.

We’re doing this for you and so would like your help. Please give us feedback. Tell us what doesn’t make sense to you, what you hate, what we should change. Please involve others. We’re especially interested in home 3D printer users, companies that use 3D printing, lawyers, people from the wider open source community, inventors, artists, designers, makers and creators in the broadest sense. The 3DPL itself can be found here on Medium and you can comment on it there. Feel free also to ask questions or discuss it in the comments below this post. We consider the license to be in beta, so anything and everything is open for discussion and change. We would like to make it as inclusive as possible in order to cater to the entire 3D printing community so please get stuck in there and tell us what we need to improve.

Why should you get involved in shaping the 3DPL?

  • We have a real opportunity here to lay the foundations for a world where much of the emerging technology landscape will be available to all under an open source license. A world where a good portion of the inventions made in the future will be shared and created through 3D printing.
  • Other open source licenses were not created with 3D printing in mind.
  • In order to safeguard and encourage creation we have to properly protect inventors and innovators or progress and breakthroughs will be impeded.
  • In order to ensure progress on collectively developed technologies disputes over intellectual property should be resolved in a quick and efficient manner.
  • In order to encourage sharing and remix it should be clear what rights are held by whom and what one can do with a file that has been shared.
  • Since the 3DPL is the first and only license for 3D printed things it may just end up being the standard one everyone uses. And it would suck if the 3DPL sucked.
Sketch by Olivier van Herpt

Sketch by Olivier van Herpt

What are some interesting things about the 3DPL?

  • The design must always be attributed.
  • All subsequent derivatives of a shared file must be available for remix and sharing.
  • If the creator requires that you include reference to be printed on or in the physical printed object, such as a logo or name, you have to respect that and are not allowed to remove that reference without the creator’s approval.
  • If one doesn’t abide by the terms of the license the rights granted under the 3DPL will be terminated immediately.
  • If you fail to comply with the license such as selling a work that was meant to be non-commercial then you must pay the creator 3 times the gross revenue you made on the sale.
  • Arbitration for conflicts between parties is arranged for in accordance with the WIPO Expert Determination Rules.

We have 3 license types:

REMIX: With a REMIX license your derivative work must be available to remix and share by others.

REMIX — NON COM A REMIX — NON COM license restricts the use of the Design File, the modified Design File and any Designed Product to non-commercial use only. The Design File, the Modified Design File or any Designed Product may not be used with the intent of making money directly or indirectly from it.

REMIX — RIGHTS MELT REMIX — NON COM for 12 months melting down to REMIX after 12 months. With a REMIX — RIGHTS MELT license your design file is available as a non-commercial share-alike file for 12 months. After this period the license will automatically become REMIX.


Sketches by Olivier van Herpt

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.

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.