SI
SI
discoversearch

We've detected that you're using an ad content blocking browser plug-in or feature. Ads provide a critical source of revenue to the continued operation of Silicon Investor.  We ask that you disable ad blocking while on Silicon Investor in the best interests of our community.  If you are not using an ad blocker but are still receiving this message, make sure your browser's tracking protection is set to the 'standard' level.

Revision History For: 3D Printing

12 Aug 2014 05:17 PM <--
23 Apr 2014 01:14 PM
03 Oct 2012 12:38 PM

Return to 3D Printing
 
Article excerpt:

http://www.theverge.com/2012/10/3/3439228/advocates-say-3d-printing-will-go-from-novelty-to-industry

The company now prints in 30 different materials, including silver, full-color sandstone, stainless steel, and glazed ceramics. One of the most popular items on Shapeways is " A Little Sad Keanu Reeves," a tiny sandstone version of the actor in a blazer and jeans, his face and hands perfectly flesh-toned, with separate fingers and lines to texture his hair. At Maker Faire, the company showed off a lighter, a pair of sunglasses, and a detailed replica of the Nyan cat meme sailing on an 8-bit rainbow.

How did Shapeways's production get so good? Machines have improved, said marketing director Carine Carmy, as have the post-printing process and the company’s design guidelines. Design software is also getting better and more usable, she said.

HOW DID SHAPEWAYS' PRODUCTION GET SO GOOD?

Shapeways has a few machines in New York as well as a factory in the Netherlands, and it will open a factory in Long Island City later this month. For some of the tougher materials like ceramic and metal, Shapeways partners with companies like 3D Systems, which manufactures a range of printers from desktop to industrial-grade. 3D Systems bought the pioneering printer-maker Z Corp last year, and has also been improving its machines and processes.

With Shapeways now printing out shelf-ready products, the economic power of 3D printing is easier to see. For example, a jewelry designer could use a 3D printing marketplace like Shapeways, Sculpteo, or i.materialise to collect orders on demand and avoid keeping a drawer full of inventory. "I think 3D printing as a sci-fi technology might be reaching its peak," Carmy said. "But 3D printing as a revolutionary game changer, I think we’re just starting to see the beginning of that."

CONT...