From idea to product – Rethinking the frame

Case Studies

May 24

Remi is a little bit of everything. He is – in many ways –  a prototypical member of the Y generation.  He has tried out multiple things throughout the years, and tried to excel in all of them. He is a self-taught product designer/entrepreneur, with an education in Economics. His latest work is a hangable picture frame, that gives a little twist to the same old, boring frames of IKEA and alike. 

Lantern shapr3D design

It is made of the simplest shapes, but it’s elegant and of course, 100% designed in Shapr3D. We made a quick interview with him to understand his product, himself and his relations to the 3D CAD/ product development world.


Can you tell us about your background? (education, occupation)?

I am Rémi a 10.377 days old french thing maker/entrepreneur living in Shanghai China (with a double degree in Economics and Management).

I like to learn about new things every day, especially design/tech-related stuff, then learn more to get really good at it.

How experienced are you? (in terms of 3D modeling, using CAD systems?)

Thanks to some projects I did in architecture/interior design or motion graphics, I have decent skills with both Cinema4D and AutoCAD. I wouldn’t call myself a  professional 3D modeler at all, but I’m always able to get things done.

lantern frame side

Designing the Lantern

How and why did you start working on Lantern?

The idea for Lantern was born a few years back when while visiting my parents I found some old, instant pictures and got a bit disappointed when I had to put them back into that cardboard box so they would not get dusty and or damaged.

I then decided to come up with an idea to have family / artsy pictures in our home as a real part of its decor not just as a small Ikea generic frame with our dogs best smile (disclaimer: I have nothing against Ikea generic frames nor any dog).

I thought that revisiting the well-known instant self-developing picture format is exciting and adding a double twist to it, size and light actually looked awesome so I went for it. The LED backlighting give that special effect to the picture and made it art!

lantern inside frame

How did your work process look like designing Lantern?

I first started by listing on paper the different physical components of the frame as I imagined it (plastic frame / LED panel / electric wire + plug + magnet / etc.) and then I did some sketches/iterations to have a global view of this concept and if it was possible to create such a product.

After that I went from my paper sketches to my iPad Pro, I used Shapr3D to create the first 3D model of the Lantern frame. The plastic frame of a Lantern is composed of 3 plastic parts that were 100% created in Shapr3D by me. 

It was easy, I did try with other 3D alternatives and it was a pain, no equal to the simplicity and efficiency of Shapr3D.

I had to do many modifications along the way to get the parts right for the mass production injection molding, but it was really not a problem to get everything right thanks to the iPad Pro / Apple Pencil / Shapr3D combination.

How did you produce Lantern – 3D printing, other manufacturing?

The first prototype of the Lantern frame was not a functioning one, it was made out of a single sheet of cardboard just to see with my own eyes if the dimensions/proportions I’ve settled on were working or not (basically it was a cardboard rectangle with a square hole in it). I did upgrade to another iteration the next day, this time made out of few sheets of white high-density white foam.

The first real prototype was made with 3D printing few weeks after that. It was the first time that I was able to see a “finished” unit with the electric components inside lighting up the picture. I stared at it for maybe 20 minutes smiling like a kid. I will never forget that.

The first prototype is now in really good hands, I flew to NY to give it to Casey Neistat. Casey loves our Lantern and showcased it many times in its vlog, he hung his Lantern in his living room. We are really proud of that check it out:

lantern casey neistat

Working on the iPad Pro

How long have you been using the iPad Pro and why did you choose a tablet to do your modeling?

As an Apple fanboy, thanks to my dad and me being an iOS developer,  I almost ordered my iPad Pro / Apple pencil combo during the keynote, seeing the potential of this tool. So let’s say day one + delivery time.

I have been looking for years for some pro, graphic tablets but have never found a valid excuse to buy myself one before the iPad Pro / Apple Pencil era. I’d always found that the hardware and/or software weren’t worth the investment with all the limitations. But now the iPad Pro & Apple Pencil combo really changed that.

How did you discover Shapr3D and what do you think about it?

I remembered the first time I read about Shapr3D in the end of 2015 (on a tech website can’t remember which one). I instantly went to the website; that at the time was still a launch page for beta registration, I registered and sent also an email to get in the beta. Unfortunately, I had to be patient as I never got in. 🙂

I’ve tried almost every other 3D iPad App and Shapr3D is the only one I use.

It is the best one available by far, in 2 minutes you can create any cool 3D model without a computer and a mouse and on top of this, I don’t need to learn 50+ keyboard shortcuts.


frame hole blocker lantern

I’ve even been to the forum thinking about a feature that might be cool to implement. It was already there and part of the App a few updates later!

To sum it up I think Shapr3D should be part of the Apple iOS native Apps. This is the kind of App that truly allow users to feel how powerful the Apple Pencil / iPad Pro combo is. 

Shapr3D and the team behind rocks (and nope, I wasn’t paid to say that).

You can connect with Remi and his project here: