These days, thanks to the wonders of tech, "3D glasses" means something totally different: edgy sunglasses made on 3D printing machines. Now hitting the mainstream market, these unique designs can be worn day in and day out. And the thing is, they're actually really stylish. Some you can shop right this moment — others you have to call to inquire about. Nonetheless, you'll want to check out these beauties stat. Let the three-dimensional inspiration flow!
When we talk 3D printing to friends, a common question is "What do you make with a 3D printer?!" While some people have experimented with fashion, lamps, and toys, the future of 3D printing could be as ubiquitous as your used-everyday key chain. Everyone needs one, after all!
Pixil 3D, a Florida-based 3D printing company run by two brothers, creates goods using its MakerBot printers with the design-savvy in mind. Yes, creative minds, these Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator key chains ($16 each) were made just for you, with an extra dose of hi-tech from its 3D construction. It's a clever keepsake for designers who seem to spend more time with the Adobe Creative Suite of programs than, well, anyone else.
Dresses, cafes, and our favorite dinosaur movie . . . no stone is left unturned when it comes to 3D technology. The 3D revolution has begun, and you can get in on one of the biggest trends in tech without all the complicated computer modeling or an expensive printer. Bring your photos to life with 3D camera apps that'll make your snaps pop!
Most of these apps use stereoscopy, a technique that creates the illusion of a three-dimensional image using two two-dimensional images. Check out these eye-popping photo apps for iOS, and share your best 3D snaps with us.
- Jittergram (free) — This is probably our favorite app of the bunch, because it has the best UI and the fastest processing time. Make a 3D stereogram, GIF, or stop-motion animation, and then share through Twitter, Facebook, or email.
- 3D Camera ($2) — The app's camera has advanced alignment tools to ensure anaglyphs are all lined up. There are also advanced controls for stereogram alignment dots, image size, and color. Create wigglegrams, GIFs, and anaglyphs, and then share on Facebook or Twitter.
- 3D Photo Creator ($2) — In addition to having 3D photo creation tools, this straightforward app shows you how stereoscopy works.
Check out three more 3D photo apps after the break.
Enter Starbucks on a weekday morning, and it'll likely be filed with Work From Home warriors, emailing, freelancing, and PowerPointing between latte sips. Free, reliable WiFi is a tech-savvy worker necessity, but for those with more tactile creative pursuits, the traditional coffee shop scene isn't conducive to, say, creating a line of wallets to sell on Etsy or experimenting with the latest in 3D printing technology. Specific needs like these are what caused Tim Wong to open FabCafe in the Shibuya neighborhood of Tokyo, as he told us at this year's SXSW Interactive.
Alongside the usual cafe fare like caffeinated drinks and small bites is the heart of Tim's vision, a studio where local designers can rent use of a laser printer to cut from Adobe Illustration files for about $20 per 30 minutes. Rather than going the way of a Kinko's where people come in to use the machines and leave in a hurry, FabCafe draws the local design community with artist lectures and workshops.
The workshops are when the six 3D printers are put to use, since the cost of the materials and machines makes regular renting of them less than feasible. Look for more FabCafe locations to open in Taipei and Barcelona this year. Take a look at some of the cafe's work, and tell us: what would you do at FabCafe if you had the chance?
A 3D printer has been on our wish list for a while, along with a 3D-printed lamp and 3D-printed photo booth — OK, 3D-printed anything, really! But a 3D-printed gown? That wasn't even on our geek-girl Spring 2013 fashion radar. In New York City this week at the Ace Hotel, burlesque superstar Dita Von Teese arrived wearing the world's first 3D-printed dress. Designed by Michael Schmidt and Francis Bitonti, then printed with a Shapeways 3D printer on powdered nylon, the analog had no place in the creation of this dress.
The creation was designed on an iPad to Dita's exact measurements, critiqued via Skype, and then digitally rendered before sending to Shapeways. The usual pencil-to-paper sketching and fabric draping sounds practically primitive when compared to the powerful software, Rhino and Maya, used by the designers. Is this the first look at a sartorial future of completely customizable attire, no tailor required? Would you buy into a new 3D fashion trend?
We're fans of 3D street art but had never seen it in its early stages until happening upon this artist in action at Comic-Con. Check out that perspective as characters from The Lord of the Rings are carefully plotted, drawn, and painted in their Lego video game forms.
What was one of your favorite sights from this year's Comic-Con?
Ever wish you could go back and watch your favorite movies in 3D? Lucky for Titanic fans, the epic 90s film is being rereleased in 3D this week! You will soon be able to relive your Leonardo DiCaprio crush in three dimensions!
Of course, we're of the camp that says you shouldn't convert films to 3D just for the sake of jumping on the bandwagon. It needs to serve a purpose. But there are a few films that were released before the trend went mainstream that we wish we could see in a third dimension. Click through the gallery and see our picks, then tell us — are there any movies you'd like to see in 3D?
We're often hearing of new advances in 3D printing, but has the technology shown up in your everyday life much yet?
The 3D printed table lamp kit from i.materialise puts 3D technology and industrial design in your power. The company will provide all the software required to design a lamp within the proper dimensions yourself. Once your concept is finalized, submit the rendering back to i.materialise, and its 3D printers will get to work on a lamp shade all your own.
Included in the $260 3D table lamp kit is the lamp base, reference lamp shade for use before the 3D design is ready, and light components. For design inspiration, check out the company's examples on Flickr. Where else would you like to see 3D printing put to use?
3D movies were a big trend in 2010 (and carried over into the early part of this year), but other 3D items made their way into our lives in 2011. From personal glasses to use at the theater to 3D printing and 3D video game hardware, tell us — what was your favorite 3D product trend of 2011?
Source: Flickr user Phillie Casablanca
I'm not gonna lie; this PlayStation 24-inch 3D Display is too rich for my blood at $500, but what it does is practically magic. It allows two gamers to play the same game and see just one full-screen image. Gone are the days of split-screen gaming thanks to Sony's SimulView Technology, since you'll see your character (or car, or whatever) in full-screen mode even when you're playing with one of your pals.
Basically, the display works just like 3D does — it broadcasts two signals, and the included pair of glasses picks up either the left or right signal at one time, so you and a friend can see two totally different images while playing. Although, there are a few downsides; there's only one pair of shutter glasses included with the set (a second pair will set you back $70), and SimulView works with only a handful of games (Killzone 3, MotorStorm Apocalypse and Gran Turismo 5) in dark rooms. Still, you can hook up the PlayStation 3D Display to your laptop, PC, PlayStation 3 (obviously) or cable box, which makes this a great — but pricey — gift for a dorm room, bedroom, man cave, or game-addicts office.