Bmore3D started as a holiday 3D printing, 3D scanning, 3D modeling popup store in Baltimore. It’s situated across from the famous Captain James (a restaurant which looks like a boat) and sits right along the Baltimore Inner Harbor in an area snuggled between Canton and Fells Point. The store came together through a collaboration of Todd Blatt of Custom 3D Stuff, Michael Raphael of Direct Dimensions and ShapeShot, Baltimorean Graham Stewart, and Tinkerine Studio of Vancouver. With all of our expertise and connections in the 3D industry, we were able to put together an extremely comprehensive and exciting destination for both the typical consumer as well as the most tech savvy folks around.
The main thing we’ve featured is the new revamped ShapeShot 3D photobooth. This is the same photobooth which used to be installed in the MakerBot retail store in NYC (and the portable variant which was in 3DEA last year) but with a reworked backend. We brought it back down to Baltimore where it was designed, and added several new features. It not only captures the user’s face in full color, but it’s now integrated with the Shapeways API. This means that the eight products currently available through the booth get generated automatically and sent to Shapeways for printing. The products include a full color 3D selfie, a full color bobble head, your mug on a real ceramic mug, mini-fig heads and silver charm bracelets, and are all completely built automatically. The best part is that this is also retroactive, so if you’ve gone through the 3D photo booth at the MakerBot store any time between November 2012 and October of 2013, then all of these products are available to you. Just log in to ShapeShot.com with your email and password and you’ll be able to get these printed and mailed to you! Check out some of our results:
Our plan with Bmore3D is primarily to show the general public what is actually possible with 3D technology. We want people to know that there are more things you can do with 3D data than just print plastic. We feature designs from local artists in 3D printed metal, ceramic, nylon etc, and have the Ditto+ running in the front display window. We also focus on scanning options, which has not gotten much attention in the other retail settings. On the scanning side, it’s very unique because we’re featuring high-end scanners like the Artec, and Faro Arm, as well as the more commonly seen inexpensive methods like the Asus xtion pro, 123D Catch, Sense, Digitizer, etc. I was able to 3D scan my sister and her fiance using the Artec scanner to create a high resolution wedding topper for their upcoming union in May.
We’ve been demoing the Ditto+ machine from Tinkerine Studio and even sold a few. The Ditto+ and Litto sit in the front window, and have been churning out prints all month long.
We offer consumers actual products they would want to buy which couldn’t be made other ways, and could be customized. People have enjoyed buying holiday gifts that have a story. Many of the products at Bmore3D are shapes which couldn’t be made other way. They twist and turn, and are linked together in ways indicative of 3D printing. These gifts were primarily designed by artists from Maryland. A few graduates from Towson University’s Object Design program brought in the first few products. Megan Dattoria’s fidget rings have excited many folks, and Josh Demonte brought in two of his very awesome vases. Trish Dobson has a whole stock of costume horns which are resin casts from molds made of 3D printed objects. She orders one set of horns from Shapeways, printed in SLS Nylon, paints and seals them, makes a silicon mold, and casts colorful resin horns.
After the store opened, awesome things started happening. A few people came by the store, told me that they had their own 3D printed products ready to go, and asked if they could put them in the store too! Tony Karp’s wife came by the store with these fantastic full color prints, and we added a shelf for his work. Jessica Searfino dropped off some earrings, and Aminimal Studio mailed some rings, earrings and necklaces over to us. Darius McCoy of Frozen Lava Cases, a 16 year-old high school student made Baltimore themed iPhone 5 cases and put them in the store for sale as well. Jason Bakutis modeled a raven for the store, and Ryan Kittleson created a crab and an oriole, Baltimore icons. With the Direct Dimensions scan of a rat, we completed the set of all fiur animals which Baltimore is famous for.
Continuing the theme of Baltimore specific products, I built out a section in the store which featured a collection from the Walters Art Museum. At the Artbytes Hackathon last year, I 3D scanned a dozen sculptures at the Walters Art Museum. Some of them I turned into holiday ornaments using Meshmixer. It’s neat to be able to take work you’ve done in the past, or work others have done and shared online to transform that work into something new. It used to be just a sculpture, and now it’s an ornament. Art Bytes II is coming up next month in Baltimore, and I’ve already signed up.
We also had a few 3D prints of Baltimore celebrities on display from previous projects. Here’s The famous recently retired #52 Ray Lewis, and 98 Rock radio personality Amelia. It’s exciting to look back at these pieces because both of these 3D prints are 10 years old.
On Saturdays we’ve been hosting a seminar, where experts in the 3D printing, 3D scanning, and 3D modeling fields have been giving talks about their experience, previous projects they’ve worked on, and how the general public can get involved. We feel that it is important for them to know that the industry has been around for more than just a few years, and there are very knowledgeable people right here in the local area. We’ve also done our part in dispelling rumors, as well as inspiring people to start making.
I was able to set up a display of my Custom 3D Stuff projects, including metal 3D printed jewelry, and my whole line of GlassKap products, the Google Glass accessories Kickstarter project I ran over the summer. I often use this project to explain that 3D printing allows products to exist which shouldn’t if we were bound by the constraints of traditional manufacturing. Often products need to appeal to a mass market to warrant the cost for injection molds to be created. For a small project like GlassKap, I was able to make only a few items without investing big bucks into a large run.
Another cool thing in the store is holograms. Typically holograms are produced by lasers tracing over a physical object and using the data collected to control the laser to create the hologram. We’ve partnered with a supplier who is able to create these holograms from digital files. We took scans from the ShapeShot booth and created holograms of people’s faces! It’s amazing how you can still get color data, as well as 3D information in the hologram. This is something which cannot be captured and shared easily online, so you’re just going to have to come by the store yourself and check it out! The best I could do is this video, but it honestly doesn’t do it justice. This hologram was created from a 3D scan of a 17-foot sculpture called The Genius of Connecticut.
We set up a workstation for people to design their own jewelry and figures using the MixeeLabs creation platform. Children are able to come in and play with the MixeeMe app from MixeeLabs, the Quark Jewelry App by Virtox, and the molecule creator to make their own pieces to be ordered online and shipped to their house.
Local artist Cody Wright worked with us to design this cool image which we used on our t-shirts.
We’ve even had people come in with .stl files ready for printing, and some who weren’t quite ready. We were able to help them clean up their file and prepare it for the 3D printer. On opening weekend, an inventor named Greg Smith came in who was working on a medical device prototype and needed a back panel for his enclosure. A generic top and bottom for the enclosure was working out well for him, but for the spot where the plugs and connectors needed to come through, his best attempt was to carve plastic with a rotary tool but that didn’t match the quality of the product he was trying to present. I was able to take measurements and create a model to print out a panel for him on the spot.
We did an iteration to improve the design and fit, and then printed out four more for Greg to take with him. He was so impressed with the results that he returned a week later to buy his own machine. It’s great to empower others to be makers!
Check out some further writings about Bmore3D from the Baltimore Sun and the Jewish Times. While the original plan was to close the retail presence of Bmore3D at the end of the year, we’ve found that for December we were profitable and plan to stay open for at least another month. No matter what happens, the companies behind the store are still in town and will continue to be a resource for the community. I hope you can make it!
2150 Boston Street, Baltimore MD. 21231