Shapeways a Web-based service that prints and sells user-designed 3D objects.
It has printable materials, full colors, many user designs, and new ways to customize objects. The CEO was also bullish on the new printable materials, including alumide, plastic mixed with aluminum powder; milky-white matte glass, made from recycled materials; and full-color plastic. sandstone [corrected]. Some are only temporary, such as the gold-plated stainless steel, available just until June 15. Weijmarshausen explained that they add new materials gradually, as each type requires its own printer.
Lightpoem and Ringpoem: You customize these with whatever text you choose.
Eventually, said Weijmarshausen, we may see personal 3D printers that can print in a wide variety of materials and don’t require serious CAD skills. “The interface between telling the machine what to build and it understanding you is the exciting point,” he said. In the meantime, he recommends Blender, Maya, and Rhino as good programs to learn, if you’d like to be able to design 3D prints from the ground up.
The Ferris wheel in the background is alumide; when it was printed, the moving parts were in place automatically. The jewelry in front is stainless steel: You can draw your own design for the earrings and have them printed to order.
This money pig is made of full-color sandstone and has a buyer’s photo printed on its side.