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Read about 3D design, buying, selling 3D models and updates to CGTrader’s community.

CGTrader.com Inhabits The Island of Nauru

August 27th, 2013

CGTrader.com Inhabits The Island of Nauru

As the summer breeze gets cooler and cooler everyday and you find yourself thinking about the cozy sweater and a cup of hot tea instead of ice coffee in the evening. We tried to enjoy all the summertime pleasure in smaller portions whereas we were straightly moving towards our sunny days goal - to reach the dreamed milestone of 10,000 users.

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Have Any Questions? Let's Discuss Them!

July 4th, 2013

Have Any Questions? Let's Discuss Them!

Social media enhances everyone to communicate, interact, share and talk. Even those, who are not really talkative turn into chatterboxes. There are billions of topics to discuss, myriads of ideas to express and enormous need to be heard. Social mainstream channels, thousands of distinct forums and discussion rooms try to serve this global need. There were even a few revolutions organized using Facebook and Twitter. CGTrader does not intend to start a revolution, but launches a discussion room for the community to ask, to talk, to answer and to be heard. And facilitates your involvement into artists' community by collecting all social news in the personal feed!

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Need A Special 3D Model? Request It!

June 18th, 2013

Need A Special 3D Model? Request It!

Designers and studios on 3D model marketplaces are not only talented creators, but also good salespeople. The ones, who understand how a trading system works. Nevertheless, 3D model trading sometimes leads 3D designers to the endless headache of questioning themselves: what do the buyers really need? CGTrader.com has found the answer to this Hamlet-style question. Therefore, we are opening the dashboard for custom modeling. Now if you know what you want, but cannot find it - simply request for it!

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voe3D Design For Good: Let's Donate For Robohand Project

June 10th, 2013

voe3D Design For Good: Let's Donate For Robohand Project

Lots of the people believe that any progress finally results in regression. It is pointless to argue with the convinced ones. Personally, I appreciate any technology that can improve the life of a human being just by helping to warm up yesterday's dinner in the microwave or washing dishes instead of going through trouble to do it yourself. But there's technology that can completely transform one's life.

3D printing is the exact sphere to seek for the real changes. Joris Peels, a former worker at 3D printing giant shapeways.com, has noticed that a dozen of people still think that 3D printing is something that was invented last week and will be relevant in a few years. But let's be brave and face the fact that it is already valid. This booming technology has recently proven it's importance. When used consciously it performs Jesus-style miracles: helps the deaf to hear and disabled people to walk, helps to grow and regenerate tissues and organs, serves with 3D printed dental implants and much, much more.

Richard Van As has found a way to solve a problem of finger and hand prosthesis

So, meet Richard Van As - the person behind the Robohand" project. It has nothing to do with such movies as "Robocop" and "Terminator" or sci-fi elements as you may associate. Ricard Van As and his virtual colleague Ivan Owens both decided to change the order of nature and gave an absolutely truthful meaning to a phrase - "Lend me a hand". They are actually lending hands.

Two people, separated by 10,000 km and working together managed to change a life of 4 people already

The story comes from real life and has nothing to do with fairy tales. Richard has lost a few of his fingers, while working as a carpenter and was trying to find any possible solution to this situation. Let's admit - prosthesis is expensive as hell. So he realised that to replace lost fingers with the prosthetic ones would cost around $10,000 per finger. Then Richard got in touch with Ivan Owens, a Seattle-based theatrical prop desiger, who specialized in hands: both collaborated to create a design for working fingers that could be inexpensively built. And after numerous experiments, they came to the idea of using 3D printer. Two of them were donated by MakerBot industries. As a result, free Robohand model appeared on Thingiverse to be downloaded by anyone, who needs it.

So, Richard has found a way to grab the world with both hands again. He shared his story on the internet and.. boom! He started receiving emails from desperate parents, who raise children being in a high need of hand. A hand to play with a ball, ride a bike, fly a kite or do any other thing we forget to receive pleasure from. Here comes 5 year old Liam, who simply makes you smile.

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5-year-old Liam a very first kid with a Robohand

Liam suffers from a birth defect called Amniotic Band Syndrome. This syndrome affects 1 in 1,200 births. Illness is the condition that caused Liam to be born without fingers on his right hand. Acctually, finger amputations are the most common amputation in the US, accounting for over 90% of all amputations, according to various reports.

So what's about Liam? With a help of Richard and his magic Robohand Liam now draws, plays basketball and enjoys his childhood. Moreover, there are two more children, who finally deserved a right to be careless kids.

This story is not a just-made-innovation or the unique idea of yesterday's dream. Most of the people have already heard about the "Robohand" project. And there are a bunch of children, who are waiting for a robohand to be made. You can meet them at Robohand's blog. We do want to remind that Richard Van As is doing this absolutely for free. It is natural that he is lacking of funds to get all the necessary material to keep producing robohands. Richard is an important figure of 3D design community and he is really making a world a better place to live.

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Waldo and his mother just after getting a Robohand

Here at CGTrader.com we decided not only to support a project on our own and promote the free 3D printable model of Robohand on CGTrader, but also to encourage everyone to keep donating.

Do it at Indiegogo.com Robohand Campaign now!

It does not matter that a project has already reached a line of $10,000. It does not matter how much you donate: even $1 is essential. There are still 45 hours to go. Wake up and become a part of this project.To make a long story short, I do recommend to watch this video. Please note that it is extremely emotional, so if you are highly sensitive, think twice.

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10 Tips For Modeling For 3D Printing

May 29th, 2013

10 Tips For Modeling For 3D Printing

3D modeling brings you out of space. It loosens your hands and releases your fantasy. You can sculpt, combine, model, shape, form any most ridiculous object that contravenes physics and is far beyond the reality. Since CGTrader.com is holding 3D Printing Competition, there are a few things each 3D designer must definitely know about.

When you design a print-ready model, a process of modeling changes a bit. While modeling 3D printable objects, you must always be aware of the reality. At least, a little. In order to answer all your questions and save your time, we offer to look through these guidelines to make sure that your modeling is going to the right and bright side. Special thanks to our 3D printing competition's sponsor 3DPrintUK for simple, but amazing visuals!

1. Forget Surfaces

Keep in mind that the walls of your 3D model must be thick enough. If you want a model to be 3D printed, a wall must be not less than 0,5 mm, 1mm would be your absolute guarantee. So, as 3DPrintUK reccomends, draw in solid bodies, because they are easier than surfaces. If you are not fully convinced, watch this video:

2. Shut Your Model's Face

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Open faces do matter. To make it simple, an open face is where a model is missing a face from the surface of the part. In other words, an object must be so called waterproof. If there are any open faces left after your modeling, close them. If not, it will not be possible to 3D print it.

3. Separate Edges

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Be aware that your 3D model must not contain any shared edges. Better replace it with a 0,1mm gap between two bodies or just overlap if parts have to be joined together. Otherwise, it results in a crash of 3D printed object. Damn.

4. Correct Normals

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All surfaces of a designing model must have their normals pointing into the right direction. Happens that your 3D model contains inverted normals, so most of 3D printers cannot determine the inside or outside of your mesh.

5. Hollow Your Models

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3DPrintUK advices to hollow out large volume objects. Hollowing saves you money, because filling model's inside with expensive material is pointless. Take a look at huge price differences! Only by hollowing a model, this designer has managed to save 80% of the amount!

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6. Scale It Down, If You Can

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Another way to reduce 3D printing price is to scale your model down. Think twice if you do not want to make it smaller. If you cut the size in half, you will reduce a printing price by eight times. Worth to consider.

7. Stay Within The Limits

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3D printers have a particular volume which you cannot build larger than. If your model is larger than the build volume, either break it down into smaller individual components, or cut join lines through the model. Model reasonably.

8. Always Leave A Gap

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While designing moving parts of a 3D model, always keep in mind to leave a gap between them. It must be at least 0,5mm in order not to stick and provide an unobstructed movement.

9. Keep It Stable

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In the 3D printing's slang there is a so-called 'thin arm syndrome'. You must not leave thin arms with unsupported weight at the end. Especially after scaling a model down, be sure that the arms are strong enough to hold it. Moreover, shapeways reminds that your 3D model will always stand on its' feet, while a real one may keel over. So, consider the size of a character and the shape of contact area. It must not be significantly smaller. Or keep in mind that you always can add an artificial base for stability of a model. This is an example, how the size of contact area properly matches the dimensions of the object:

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10. Model Characters Accurately

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While modeling a 3D printable character, you must be careful about the details more than ever. Even the smallest part does matter. Make the arms and legs of your model strong enough. Just imagine Shrek, standing on two tiny legs. Do not forget that any surface details must be supported on at least one side of the another surface. Thinness of it should not be less than 0,4mm. Fingers are vulnareble part of a body. So, they are likely to break the first ones. Try to keep them together.

Put your character on two feet better than on one. If you want it to raise a leg, put it on a stone. Furthermore, avoid precisely small details. If you are not sure if you can print it out, better remove it. Do not experiment a lot in character's shape also, keep body parts going across or along X,Y or Z axes.

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Yes, it is a lot to remember. But you can always follow these guideliness in order to design a proper 3D print-ready model. Do not think that these are the rules to restrict your creativity. We need it. That is why originality matters that much in our competition.

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