3D Printing for everyone

I just stumbled across a new web site, ShapeWays.  I gather that one can create a computer model of a 3D object, upload it to the ShapeWays site, and then pay to have it “printed” and shipped to you.  Even more interesting, you can make your models available to others, so that anyone can order the objects that you design.  You pay a flat rate per cubic centimeter of printed material.

3D printers create solid objects from 3D models.  It is possible to create objects that could not be made by casting or by sculpting, or with traditional machining operations.  This is because you can “print” something inside something else, or interlocked with something else.  If you take a look at some of the examples, below, you will understand.

What have people used this new facility for?  Many are just interesting 3D objects, such as those created by Bathsheba, but others have created parts for cars (wheels, chassis, etc), some figures (faces, chests, legs), robot parts, and even an iPod rest.

Here are some of the more interesting shapes that I found:

Vorodo, by Bathsheba

Soap Dish

Interlocked Rings

Worm Hole

Flexible Whale

Dodeca Hydrex

Rolling Star

Virus

Holey

Pendant

Working 3 Speed Transmission

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