Throwback Thursday: Getting Ready for Take Off (Part 1)

For all who are new to 3D Printing, Rapid Prototyping and Additive Fabrication in general
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During the one month trial, we also learned a lot about 3D design software or the barrier to design. I remember someone telling me his favorite design software was MS Paint but unfortunately it didn’t have a 3D design option.

In 2009, there was no Tinkercad or a 123D Design. People here used AutoCAD, SketchUp, Rhinoceros, Cinema 4D, Maxima, Blender, 3-matic, Magics and Excel. Yes, someone called that a design software too. Turned out that, for a lot of colleagues, Materialise’s high-end software like Magics and 3-matic was also a great to achieve their goals.


Eager to see what people would be creating, a few categories quickly began competing for the title of most submitted designs:

  • Architectural Models: It almost seemed like everyone was doing renovations in 2009 or busy constructing a house. What better way to visualize a future home than to draw it in SketchUp and have a 3D printed version of it?
  • Mathematical Models: Having a lot of colleagues with a background in Mathematics, we ended up seeing all kinds of fractals, Sierpinski sponges and Tesser cubes.
  • Lamps: The .MGX by Materialise collection inspired the majority of colleagues to see if they could also design something that creates the mood and brings magic to any setting.
  • Spare Parts/Functional Models: Whether it’s fixing what you broke or replacing missing parts, we helped people from making that board game from the 80s complete again to fixing the guardrail of the stairs a bit safer.
  • 3D Lithophanes: A great way to add an extra dimension to photographs was turning them into a Lithophane that can be seen clearly when back lit with a light source. For over 10 years, Magics software has a great functionality for that: Create from bitmap.

An interesting fact back then was that we printed almost no jewelry or iPhone cases. Of course , i.materialise didn’t offer precious metals yet in 2009 and 3D printed phone cases only took off after the iPhone 4 was released in 2011.

Created by Franky in

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