ModelBox 3D: Give Your 2D Printer a Third Dimension!
ModelBox 3D: Give Your 2D Printer a Third Dimension!
Bring any digital image to life with the printer that you already own. Create 3D art at a price you can afford.
Bring any digital image to life with the printer that you already own. Create 3D art at a price you can afford. Read more
About this project
Buy a ModelBox 3D at ModelBox3D.com!
ModelBox 3D is a fast and affordable 3D display which allows anyone to bring 3D models and 2D designs to life regardless of their technical background. Using the printer that you already own, you can make a full color 3D image that appears to holographically float within an elegant acrylic box. What we provide is a combination of software and hardware. Each kit includes with a frame to hold 28 inkjet or laser printable transparencies and the software to turn your designs into a series of flat layers to print. Together they form a uniquely vibrant full 3D image that's viewable from both the front and back. ModelBox 3D also comes with access to an online library of print-ready artwork so that anyone with access to a standard printer and a pair of scissors can build one. Whether you use it as fun art project or as an eye-catching functional display, ModelBox 3D is a new reason to dust off your printer and create something truly unique.
ModelBox 3D is completely new art form that gives your existing inkjet or laser printer a new life to create eye-catching 3D images. Whether you want to create a unique interchangeable lamp, show off a new product, or enhance your prototyping and creative development process, using ModelBox 3D does not require any complex technical knowledge to use. Our product finally brings 3D visualization to the masses at a truly affordable price.
We debuted ModelBox 3D at Maker Faire, won the Editor's Choice Blue Ribbon, and have been featured on some great tech and design blogs which means we are onto the right track. We would like to expand the project so that we can continue to develop the software, create a marketing campaign, and put ModelBox 3D into one large production order. You can support us by donating to our Kickstarter and in return getting a Modelbox 3D kit of your own right now as a Kickstarter reward (see rewards and package levels on the right of this page). We can’t believe that our little invention has made it this far and we would like to see where we can take it with your help!
All ModelBox 3D kits ship flat for durability and pricing purposes. Simply slide the acrylic layers and spacers onto the 4 provided bolts and top with cap nuts in just minutes.
From there you can either upload your own work through our online generator or choose a pre-sliced and ready-to-print piece from our library. Both services are free and included with your kit price!
With our simple online uploader anyone can generate a sliced, numbered, and print-ready document from their original artwork or design. Upload any 3D (.OBJ) files, or digital 2D (.PSD, .JPG) layered image files, download the generated file, print out from home onto printable transparency sheets, cut it to size, and insert it into your ModelBox 3D frame. Print to final assembly requires about fifteen minutes.
Alternatively, you can choose a pre-sliced model from our online library to print from home as well. As artists utilize our software to slice their pieces they will have the opportunity to share their work to help the model library grow exponentially over time. We are already working with a few artists from Disney, Sony, Mattel, and Dreamworks who have made some amazing pieces for ModelBox 3D and we'll continue to add our own pieces and our featured collaborations to the ModelBox 3D library.
We've tested every brand and have found the clearest and most vibrant printable transparencies out there. Compatible with both inkjet and laser printers, our transparencies are pre-cut to the proper size and are available at a far cheaper price than those purchased in any office supply store. We'll provide our ModelBox Pro Transparencies for sale from our website once the ModelBox community is up and running but you can still buy transparencies from any office supply store if you need to print a model on a moments notice.
ModelBox 3D is a beautiful volumetric display that serves infinite purposes. Whether you're printing your own 3D model, artwork, logo, product design, blueprint plan, trade show sign, graph, or are just looking for an interesting art piece, we're making the process entirely available in your own home. What's even greater about ModelBox 3D is that it can print things 3D printers cannot, and in full color. We've made boxes featuring solar systems, MRIs, brain scans, and molecular clouds, none of which would be possible to 3-dimensionally print otherwise. We've also made boxes featuring animals, superheroes, product displays, architecture models, automotive design and product prototypes.
ModelBox 3D can also be used as a quick and effective prototyping solution. In fact, we first used it to plan out a 15' hanging sculpture which sparked the whole idea for our product. We've done a few by hand and even laser etched one vertically to make an LED-illuminated lamp. The possibilities are truly endless and as we raise more funding the capabilities of our software will continue to improve. Every dollar over our original goal will allow us to create more customization tools to enhance and optimize your specific use of Modelbox 3D.
We know everyone will use their ModelBox differently. That's why we've created ModelBox mini and ModelBox 3D. ModelBox mini is adorably fun-sized and fits in the palm of your hand. The standard ModelBox is perfectly sized for display on your desk or tabletop. With two ModelBox sizes to choose from you're truly only limited by your own imagination.
We're so excited to see what new methods and uses artists will come up with for their ModelBox 3D! We are especially interested in reaching out to specific groups like young architects, product designers, set designers, etc who would be able to create real 3D mock ups of their work using ModelBox 3D.
LAURA is from Chicago and attended Ringling College of Art + Design to study Computer Animation. She has worked as a 3D Modeler at DreamWorks Animation, General Motors, and 20th Century Fox. She has created everything from wheel rims for Cadillac to island landscapes for award winning TV shows, animals for blockbuster feature films, and even a handful of commercials you've probably seen. Raised from a family with an industrial design, engineering, and artistic background she's always had a pencil in hand.
ERIC is from Princeton, NJ and attended Emerson College for Live Television Production and Business Management. He works as a TV engineer, working in production for live events such as the Grammys, prime time game shows, and huge concerts. He's also a cinematographer for feature documentaries and films commercials for fashion and jewelry lines. Eric caught the invention bug at an early age from his grandfather, who invented revolutionary advances in industrial baking and floral design.
Others in our inner circle come from programming and effects backgrounds at Google, Youtube, and LucasFilm Animation. Our design advisors have developed nationally distributed products and have been featured on a variety of TV shows as well as launched and delivered products from successful Kickstarters of their own.
Without at least $30,000 worth of sales and funding it does not monetarily make sense for us to release ModelBox 3D to the public. When it comes to laser cutting fees, plastic and hardware costs, and transparency sheet orders, working in bulk keeps our prices affordable. Most importantly, without reaching our funding goals we won't be able to finish developing the software to allow anyone the ability to slice up their own models and feed into our online modeling library which the whole ModelBox 3D community can use. Quality programmers are never cheap! We don't want to cut any corners that may keep us from being able to easily add features in the future or update our software interface.
We also know that there has been a huge following for 3D printing and art projects on Kickstarter. With ModelBox 3D we're trying to make more than just a product; we want to build a vibrant community of users who will share their works with everyone else. With Kickstarter we're giving you the opportunity to help us build our product from the ground up and we hope that your early involvement will make you into an active member of the ModelBox 3D community in the future.
MODELBOX 3D KIT:
- Dimensions: 6" tall x 7.4" wide x 8.9" deep
- Weight: approx. 1 pound
- Materials: 1/8" Cast clear acrylic plastic, zinc plated hardware, nylon reinforced tubing. Pre-cut printed model uses inkjet-coated acetate sheets
- 28 slices
- Ships flat with simple instructions
- Dimensions: 2" tall x 1.8" wide x 2.1" deep
- Weight: approx. 2 ounces
- Materials: 1/16" Cast clear acrylic plastic, zinc plated hardware, vinyl tubing. Ready-to-cut pre-printed model uses inkjet-coated acetate sheet
- 14 slices
- Ships flat with simple instructions
- LED Light: High output LED panel, lasts approx. 20,000 hours - 7.4" x 4.1"
All domestic orders within the United States include shipping, free of charge.
International backers will be responsible for applicable tariffs and customs fees.
A huge thank you to everyone who has supported us along the way and made ModelBox 3D what it is today. A special shout out to the guys over at Two Bit Circus for their engineering and laser cutting help, without them we wouldn't even be here. Also thanks to Lily Cosgrove, Scott Barrett, Maxwell Trauss, Kevin Mastman, and Jeremy Fischer for helping out on our video and Matthew Wachter for all the software help!
Risks and challenges
We've been prototyping and prepping ModelBox 3D full-time for almost six months now. What started as a fun art project over a year ago solidified once we dedicated all of our waking hours to its creation. We're finally ready to release the product to you with our 6th and current working prototype but in the next few weeks we'll really be taking all of your suggestions to consideration for tiny tweaks and add-ons to make ModelBox 3D that much better!
We've produced over 30 working Modelbox 3D and Modelbox Mini units from which we figured out the best materials and most efficient production techniques; however, we've been producing these units ourselves, one at a time. Fortunately, our single unit laser cutting production process can easily be scaled to mass production levels, but there may be some small developments and changes to the design that are necessary to make that happen. We are already lining up our manufacturers which have produced sample units for us that are of exceptional quality. They've also assured us that they can produce our product at very high quantities within our delivery deadlines.
While this is our first large scale project we have many people in our inner circle who are highly skilled designers and engineers who have years of experience in manufacturing, programming, and distribution. We're currently locking down laser cutting facilities (we have a number of good options depending on scale), ideally local to us so we can personally ensure the best quality control possible.
We are in the preliminary phases of developing a web application and online library. Our current process for slicing models and artwork is very simply automated and we've even developed working software in TouchDesigner that has the full functionality of the web app that we're using your funding to develop. We're certain that with your Kickstarter backing we'll be able to afford to create a seamless and user friendly web application anyone can use.
Depending on our final number of backers we may have some initial hiccups if large numbers of people are accessing our web application. We will of course address these types of issues ASAP and work to find the best and fastest solutions with our team!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
ModelBox 3D comes in two convenient sizes, the standard and mini. The standard ModelBox 3D is 6" tall x 7.4" wide x 8.9" deep. ModelBox mini is palm-sized at 2" tall x 1.8" wide x 2.1" deep. Both kits include a pre-printed model of your choice, the software, the free online library, and free domestic shipping.
Every ModelBox 3D kit ships flat with easy-to-build instructions. Simply feed the pieces onto the four provided bolts and top with cap nuts. It's durable and assembles in minutes. Anytime you wish to insert a new set of transparencies just remove the top lid to feed them into each slot.
Right now we're developing an online web application so that you can utilize our technical process in just a few mouse clicks. After uploading your work you'll be provided with a file ready to print from home. And the best part is, even if you don't have any artwork of your own you'll be able to print other artist's creations free of charge. (The artists of course can add their names and logos to their ModelBox designs to help promote themselves).
Whether you want a holographic 3D representation of your own artwork or you just want to download someone else's creation, ModelBox 3D is a really awesome volumetric display. While it functions as a fast, low-cost 3D printing solution for prototyping and display purposes, it also is a really cool illuminated art piece. We've used our ModelBoxes thus far to display MRI scans, character designs, product marketing displays, automotive designs, anatomy studies, 2-dimensional artwork, brain scans, solar systems, illuminated etched forms, and superheroes, some of which cannot be 3D printed! We've developed a truly new art form for displaying a variety of content.
We're about to open up a voting page on our website where you can vote for your favorite 5 designs to choose from. At the end of the campaign we'll send out a Kickstarter survey where you will be able to select the design of your choice to ship pre-printed with your kit. Right now some of our popular ones are ModelBox Man, our brain scan, and the shark. If we reach our first stretch goal at $50,000 we double your choices to 10!
Absolutely! As long as you have access to a normal inkjet or laser printer, creating a beautiful ModelBox 3D is as simple as clicking "print". It's so easy to replace the art inside the ModelBox frame that many kids and schools are purchasing our kits. Anyone of any age and any skill set can make a ModelBox 3D!
ModelBox 3D works best with 3D model files, especially .obj's that can be exported out of almost any 3D software platform. The software that we have (and are trying to raise money on Kickstarter to make more consumer friendly) automatically takes a 3D model and slices it into layers that are correctly spaced for ModelBox 3D, similar to how an MRI machine works. Most 3D printing software packages already perform this function, but what is revolutionary about ours is that we can directly apply a model's colored texture file so that your ModelBox 3D prints in full color. We're able to make full color models by simply projecting the front and back views of your model onto each transparency sheet layer.
When it comes to making a ModelBox 3D from flat artwork, simply approach your piece as if it has physical depth. If you're used to working in Photoshop, split your piece into layers, designating which parts you want to appear in each. Starting from the back layer, erase elements from your file in each progressive layer. For example, a cat would be layered forward starting with its fluffy outline, then ears, forehead, eyes, muzzle/whiskers, and finally its nose. Alternatively to doing this yourself in Photoshop (uploaded as a .PSD) we are developing an online editor to utilize the same process described above to take any flattened 2D artwork and make it into a ModelBox 3D piece. Whether you have a 2D or 3D model, our software will send you a print-ready PDF document with all of the layers numbered and arranged correctly on the page.
At this point with our simple process it takes us about 20 minutes to make an entire ModelBox 3D piece from any 3D model or .PSD file, including assembly time. More complex, flattened 2D artwork and photos requiring the user to erase layers, adds an additional 20 minutes or so to the whole process.
One standard size ModelBox 3D requires just seven 8.5" x 11" inkjet or laser printable transparency sheets which can be found at any office supply store or for purchase directly from our website. Our ModelBox Pro Transparencies sold through our website are pre-cut to size [4.25" x 5.5"] for $10 per pack and have been tested to be the clearest and produce the highest quality at-home printable image. If you purchase full-size transparency sheets from another venue simply cut along two dotted guidelines printed along with your sliced artwork to cut each sheet into quarters. Regardless of which transparency sheet option you go with, each slide will be numbered from 1-28 so they are easy to sort and put into your ModelBox 3D.
We've been working closely with a very high tech LED light company in Canada to produce a custom 5/8" thick, extremely bright, LED light pad that fits perfectly either underneath or behind ModelBox 3D. Our product looks best when it has soft light behind it and this custom designed light panel will provide tens of thousands of hours of light to your ModelBox 3D effectively making it into the coolest lamp you've ever owned. If you choose not to buy the LED light, ModelBox works just fine if it's held in front of a window or a standard table top lamp.
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