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The Critters arrived! The Critters arrived! Within a week of uploading my model I got a happy little box delivered from Shapeways. They came out great! I wasn’t sure if they would be able to stand properly, but they can just fine. Here’s the gratuitous unboxing:


This is the model I had built in Maya, based on Mark Frauenfelder’s character design:

shpwycrtr02 3D printed character model

Here are a couple of closeups, with some Lego bricks for reference:



You’ll notice an odd topographical map-like texture on the second Critter. Not sure why he looks that way, maybe he’s a cartographer. I’m going to finish him with some sandpaper and then paint him.

The material is lightweight, but doesn’t feel overly delicate. It’s even possible print functional mechanical parts with this system, which I’ll cover in a later post.

My experience with Shapeways was excellent. I think we’re at a turning point for accessible, affordable 3D printing and rapid prototyping. With services like this one, and Thingverse, as well as the RepRap project we have very little excuse for not realizing our virtual objects in the physical world.

John Edgar Park

John Edgar Park likes to make things and tell people about it. He works in CG animation at DisneyToon Studios and writes for Make, Boing Boing, and other places online and in print. You can find him at and twitter @johnedgarpark — if you like that sort of thing.

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