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Moddler printed some diamond earrings for me — they look great

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A couple weeks ago, I had just gotten some orders for black Wireframe Diamond Earrings. I was worried I wouldn't be able to fulfill the orders in time — my incoming order of black diamonds was late, because the machine my usual supplier uses to make them was down.

So I ordered some diamonds from Moddler, a small 3-D printing shop located right in San Francisco. Moddler's price per diamond is quite a bit more than my usual supplier's, but he can produce an identical product in 2 days! And I can just hop onto Muni to pick them up -– which is quite an advantage when you have a deadline.

Moddler is located in a nice brick warehousey building. John, the owner, is very friendly and helpful, and makes sure every piece is perfect — a one person business makes for great quality control.

As you can see, in the photo above, much of Moddler's business appears to be printing of avatars.

The space has great light.

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You can see his 3D printer in the background here.

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Printing with Moddler was a really good experience, and I would do it again.

Google SketchUp and Ponoko team up

 

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Google and Ponoko have a new contest to promote 3D printing.The challenge is to create some content (text, images or video), explaining how to use Google SketchUp for Ponoko 3D printing, with a first prize worth$1500. Sounds like fun!

 

Ponoko to offer 3d printing

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Ponoko has started to offer 3d printing, in partnership with CloudFab. I'm excited to try out their 3d printing services. And I've been meaning to try their laser cutting services. It would also be interesting to try building a lamp I have an idea for with Personal Factory 4, which allows you to combine laser cutting, 3d printing and electronics in one product.

My first attempt at “tabletop photography”

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I've been wanting a tabletop photography kit for a while, to take decent pictures of my 3-D printing experiments, as well as other projects. After reading endless Amazon reviews, none of the kits seemed like the perfect choice. I finally settled on the 30" universal photography kit by EZcube. The cheaper kits sounded like they would have weaker, flimsier lights.

The EZcube itself is pretty interesting — 30" x 30," and folds up to the size of a small pizza, for storage. So it's very compact. But actually getting it folded is like making a particularly difficult origami model. After multiple attempts,I've finally got the hang of it.

As a (very) novice photographer, the lights seem decent and sturdy, though they could be brighter. The backdrop is wrinkly when unfolded, and the wrinkles show up in the photos. I followed the advice of some of the reviewers, and put a piece of white paperboard into the tent to shoot against, instead of the backdrop. This worked much better. Also, the kit could use a storage case.

I was shooting some pictures of my Speedo Clock (which I'm now calling Speedo Mandala Clock), to submit to a call for entries for an art show. They turned out alright — the main benefit of the tent seems to be to diffuse the light, making the shadows less severe.

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I'm just using a point and shoot camera — a couple-year-old Casio Exilim. Annoyingly, when the center of the clock is in focus, the outsides are out of focus. I've tried a couple of different modes to try and fix this, but they haven't made a difference. At least I got good enough photos to enter this competition with. I'll have to revisit this focus issue though.