Saturday, April 25, 2015

3D printing of miniatures

This week, the winners of the Miniature House Contest of Shapeways (3D printing company) were announced.
Congratulations to the winners Otterine, Aliceminiatures and Paperdollminiatures!
I was very chuffed to see that some winners used products I have in my Shapeways shop :-)))

Let me share with you how producing 1:12 items in 3D works:
I started printing in 3D because  the choice of design furniture in 1:12 is very limited - could not find what I wanted to buy. And: I did not fancy making 6 of the same, e.g. chairs...
So, I went to a 3D design workshop - just to find out that this would mean spending lots of time at the computer until I was good enough to draw what I had in mind! Definitely a no-go!!

Getting the drawings/files:
I search the internet for original 1:1 files of a specific product. Many manufacturers offer DWG files on their websites for architects and these can be downloaded for free. The best source for buying files of design furniture is Turbosquid for contemporary furniture models. Here a list of a few others:
At first, I commissioned a friend of my son for the drawing part. But his speed and my speed differed somewhat and I did not want to wait forever until he could had time for my things ;-). So, I changed to a professional, Vijay at I found on Shapeways. He does a great job, is affordable and really fast! My thinking was that the drawing costs would be balanced out with money I saved while doing minis rather than hitting the cinemas and all ;-)

Running a shop and selling products to others:
Shapeways offers the possibility to have a 'shop' - meaning that I could share my models with everybody. I think that this is a great idea because there must be other frustrated mini builders out there having the same problem as I have!!

The 'shop' is not a money maker because I have a mark-up of 10-15% on all items I sell there. It would take many years to get anywhere close to cover the design costs.. And Shapeways has the naughty habit of regularly changing their printing machines and suddenly files are not printable any longer! So, my designer has to update files (not for free of course..).

You see that there is no way that anyone can make money with 3D printed minis if drawing is done by a 3rd party: the development and maintenance cost are high and the demand is limited.

But maybe you want to give it a try for something you desperately want? Just let me know if you run into problems - I gladly share my experience in 3D printing.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Modern mini lamps

How about visiting a shop full of modern mini designer lamps?

I would like to introduce you to the miniature work of my friend Francisco del Pozo Parés in Spain : in my opinion he makes the finest contemporary lamps... next to all his other creations, which can be viewed at

Here a selection..
 lamp TWIGGY
lamp TMC

All bulbs are 12V bi-pin of 30 or 60 mA (in the gallery this information, as well as the materials is included for each lamp, although in Spanish). They are mainly made of brass and resin
For more detail information and prices feel free to contact him via his website 

Monday, April 6, 2015

Bathroom Renovation

My model building is not very active at the moment: business is great and that obviously comes first.
And: I am renovating a real one-bedroomed apartment!!

No 'doing-it-all-myself' - need to organize and rely on plumber, electrician, tiler, carpenter and other suppliers. 
The 30-year old kitchen needs to be replaced - but that will not be a major issue.
It is the rather dated bathroom that gave me a headache: 4m2 is not a lot of room to play with and I do not want to spend a fortune either.

The choice of ceramics, tiles and all that stuff is nearly too much! Decisions, decisions... but I eventually had to decide.

As a passionate miniaturist I thought that I better make a model first... hihi
Now I know what this tiny bathroom should look like :-))

The downlight made me realize that there was not enough light in the shower area!
I am thinking of adding an LED strip to the left side of the mirror cabinet..

Whether I really find this kind of basin with cabinet? Not sure, probably will have to settle for a square one...

Will update you with pix once it is all done!

Update June 21st 2015: all completed in real life! Unfortunately I could not source a round vanity, but I like the square one, too.