Justin Shook from shookdesign is Pinshape’s September Designer of the Month! His designs aim to solve everyday needs and add some subtle spice to your life, so check out his collection of designs if you haven’t seen it around the Pinshape site already.
Although new to solely focusing on 3D printing, he’s here to share some insights he’s learn while starting to help with product design, selling 3D models, and operating his own Etsy shop!
Pinshape: What initially got you interested in 3D printing, and how did you start?
Justin: I first started becoming interested in 3D printing in 2012 when I was trying to prototype some of my first designs. I ended up buying a Prusa Mendel clone from Lulzbot and became obsessed with the idea of open-source 3D printing.
From there, I also became interested in the components of that same 3D printer which made it so affordable. We’re at an exciting time in history because a 3D printer in combination with open source micro controllers, like Arduino and Rasperry Pi, opens up Pandora’s box for engineers and designers like me.
When I saw 3D printing and cheap computers work hand-in-hand, it struck me that we are quite possibly living in the 2nd industrial revolution. Then reality hit.
My first 3D printer itself was either really finicky or I didn’t know what I was doing, and I saw a lot of wasted plastic and failed prints during that time. 3D printing is a skill and I think I’m still earning experience through periodic failure. On a larger scale, I’m still in love with the technology. At the time when I first started I thought to myself, “When 3D printers become faster and more reliable, we’re going to have a vastly different economy and thought process in manufacturing”.
In 2012 I was still working for John Deere as a product engineer, so I had some experience with traditional lean manufacturing to make this inference. In the last few months I acted on this thought and I started my own 3D printing company, Shook Design, in hopes to be one of the people who helps to bridge the gap.
Pinshape: You’ve got lots of clean designs that are practical as well. What inspires your designs?
Justin: I’m still a young designer with a lot to learn. I’ve only been at this for a few months full time. However, I’d love to master the process of rapid design to manufacturing. I think we’re headed in a direction of on-demand manufacturing, where instead of Amazon Prime, we will be downloading cool things from sites like Pinshape and making things when we need them.
The inspiration for my designs is rooted in this vision. The idea is that we will have a more efficient, less wasteful civilization. For example, last year the world spent 10% of its GDP in shipping/logistics alone. Said in another way, we used 10% of our productive capacity as a species “moving things”. Why do we need to waste energy moving things like toys and kitchen utensils half way around the earth when we can make them?
With different colors and compositions of printing materials exploding and 3D model customization software sprouting out everywhere, these products can also be highly personalized for what I think will be a UX revolution in consumer product design.
Pinshape: You take some great pictures for your design listings— what’s your process? Any tips for someone starting off in listing their designs?
Justin: I think if you’re serious about design and 3D printing, buying a $100 product photography kit will do wonders. I bought one online from a Google Shopping search and I love it. The alternative is a cardboard box and some (clean) sheets, which also works! One thing I’m learning is that a plain background is not applicable for everything though! Experimentation is key. I look on places like Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest to brainstorm ideas from popular posts.
Pinshape: What programs do you use for your designs?
Justin: I use Solidworks and it’s a bittersweet relationship. I learned it at the University of Idaho and I’m very comfortable/fast with it. The problem is it costs way too much for most people and it’s really geared towards engineers in many ways. If people want to get into designing products without an expensive software license, I would definitely recommend the new cloud based CAD system from Onshape.
Pinshape: Do you have any tips for new designers?
I’m a new designer, so I could use a few tips myself if anyone wants to leave comments. I guess if I’ve learned anything, it’s just to prove that the designs can be printed with good photos. From there, support people when they leave comments. It usually turns out to be a mutual transaction where they get a cool print and I learn something about how my design is being used or made.
Pinshape: We know you’ve also got a wonderful store on Etsy, selling your own printed 3D designs. Any tips from your successes and failures on there?
Justin: My success on Etsy is limited, but I’m starting to pick up some steam. The most successful stores on Etsy seem to have a theme. Pick a theme and build on it. “Shook Design’s 3D Print Shop” doesn’t seem to have a wide appeal. I think I might change it to “Tech Gents” :).
Pinshape: Anything else you might like to share with the Pinshape community?
Justin: I encourage people to jump into 3D printing even if they don’t have 3D printers. 3D printing design contests are great places to start because you can win 3D printers if you’re clever enough! Pinshape, Instructables.com and several other sites on the internet have awesome DIY projects that include 3D printed parts as well. If you don’t have a 3D printer, you can order from prints from 3DHubs or even build one yourself. I guess this would be an appropriate spot to plug my website, ShookIdeas.com too. I love helping people develop models, prototypes, and even end-use parts. Let’s work together on your next project! You can call or e-mail my shop from my website or give me a shout on social media:
We had a great time learning more about Justin’s journey, and we’re excited to see where else he’ll take his background as a product engineer in the 3D printing world! Thanks again Justin for your time! Check out his Pinshape portfolio here and print out a design or two of his practical designs!