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3D Printing For Everyone

kdawson posted more than 5 years ago | from the rapid-prototyping-as-a-service dept.

Printer 183

mmacx writes "Technology Review has up an article about Shapeways, a new online rapid-prototyping service that allows users to upload digital designs which are then printed on 3-D printers and shipped back. A spinoff from Philips Research, the service gives small businesses, designers, artists, and hobbyists access to prototyping tools that were once available only to the largest corporations. The fee for a typical printed object is $50-$150. Their video shows the steps behind the process." We've been talking about 3D printing for years.

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183 comments

yawn (0, Redundant)

Lord Ender (156273) | more than 5 years ago | (#24433081)

Wake me up when we have a 3D printer that is capable of printing a 3D printer. Then we'll be on to something.

Re:yawn (3, Informative)

fractic (1178341) | more than 5 years ago | (#24433163)

You mean like this one [slashdot.org]?

FUCKING FATASSES (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24433999)

bunch of FATASSES with their disgusting ROLLS OF FAT and BODY ODOR and their horrible "wahhh its not my faulllltttt" whiney attitudes. they obviously got a oral fixation so why dont they suck a COCK. when i see some fat woman and i cant tell where her tits end and her stomach begins it doesnt even register as female. im sure theres a vagina in there someplace but youd need a bag of flour to find it. its horrible.

Re:FUCKING FATASSES (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24435325)

He forced his shit out and I opened my mouth and let it all fall in, chewing and swallowing as fast as I could to keep up with the pace he was setting, his shit was a lighter color than masters but it tasted just as good. When he'd finished taking a shit in my mouth, he quickly turned around and shoved his tubby cock into my shit-filled mouth, he face-fucked me for about 20 seconds, his shit squeezing out the corner of my mouth every time he thrust his cock in until he pulled his cock out and came all over my face and tongue, I hungrily licked and sucked all the shit and come off his cock begging for more...

I wasn't to be disappointed either as the next guy was begging to go next as in his words, "I can't wait no longer."

As soon as he squatted over my face he farted squirted shit all over me, "I got the shits boy!!" he told me, "how do you like that eh?"

Re:yawn (1)

unlametheweak (1102159) | more than 5 years ago | (#24434147)

When I think of self-replicating devices I think of Viruses and T-1000 cybernetic organisms. I don't think I want a 13 year old hacker prodigy with Asperger Syndrome self-replicating things. The IRAA has had enough problems with the likes of Bram Cohen et al. And yes I've been self-diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome, so beware what befalls me.

My first order (3, Funny)

nawcom (941663) | more than 5 years ago | (#24433095)

A life-size statue of CowboyNeal.

Re:My first order (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24433411)

Finally, my George Bush butt plug

Re:My first order (1)

JCSoRocks (1142053) | more than 5 years ago | (#24435095)

From what I've heard... they already make those. Not linking b/c it's NSFW. Google it and find out for yourself though. I've heard that they also make sacrilegious ones as well.

Re:My first order (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24433523)

...eating a twinkie while riding a Sybian [sybian.com].

My guess? Dildos (3, Funny)

aliquis (678370) | more than 5 years ago | (#24433951)

Which is why I tagged this story dildo.

Seems like the perfect use for the service :)

Can they do cavities? ;/

Re:My guess? Dildos (1)

jollyreaper (513215) | more than 5 years ago | (#24435601)

Which is why I tagged this story dildo.

Seems like the perfect use for the service :)

Can they do cavities? ;/

Ssh, you'll anger the dentist lobby.

Re:My first order (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24436085)

The parts I need to build this [reprap.org].

I'm waiting for the first copyright/patent suit (1, Funny)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 5 years ago | (#24433225)

...because someone used that service to copy a product.

It will be from a dildo manufacturer, I promise you that much!

You can't patent something.... (5, Funny)

snspdaarf (1314399) | more than 5 years ago | (#24433371)

...in the pubic domain!

Re:You can't patent something.... (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 5 years ago | (#24433637)

I doubt that specific dildo shapes (like, say, a Jesus Dildo, and yes, such a thing exists. I refrain from direct linking to a page that has one. Google is your friend if you're really interested...) are in public domain.

Though I dunno who sues first, the maker of the dildo or the RC church. Afaik they claim some rights to the cross with a carpenter's corpse and all that stuff surrounding it.

Re:You can't patent something.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24433913)

whoooosh!

Re:You can't patent something.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24433829)

We need a porn star named Public Domain. She could completely reform copyright law by the end of a single tube of KY.

Re:You can't patent something.... (1)

nawcom (941663) | more than 5 years ago | (#24434807)

She could completely reform copyright law by the end of a single tube of KY.

A porn star that needs KY? No thanks mate ;)

Re:I'm waiting for the first copyright/patent suit (3, Funny)

Trent Hawkins (1093109) | more than 5 years ago | (#24433483)

...because someone used that service to copy a product. It will be from a dildo manufacturer, I promise you that much!

Well they do have a limit in size, so [insert penis size joke here]

Re:I'm waiting for the first copyright/patent suit (3, Insightful)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 5 years ago | (#24433825)

DUDE! 50x50cm is the max size (source [hightechcampus.nl]).

If you get sqrt(2*50)cm (about 28in) into any orifice of yours, I'd go for a career in the porn industry. I'm pretty sure there's a market for that (hell, there's people who get off on anything, so I'm almost sure!).

Exploit (3, Funny)

noidentity (188756) | more than 5 years ago | (#24433279)

Haha, they don't realize that they will bring about their own downfall:

1. Order prototype of prototype-making machine
2. Make your own prototypes.
3. ???
4. Profit!!!

Re:Exploit (1)

LordSnooty (853791) | more than 5 years ago | (#24433665)

But it can only produce a prototype, which is guaranteed to fall apart when you demonstrate it to somebody important.

Re:Exploit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24435903)

I think there was a previous slashdot article about an open source project to make a 3d printer than can make copies of itself.

Speculating on the Hobby Implications (5, Interesting)

Tetsujin (103070) | more than 5 years ago | (#24433281)

Every time 3-D printing comes up I like to consider what this will do to my favorite hobby, model-building...

Styrene injection kits have been around for ages, and they're generally the cheapest way to get a kit made in large quantity - but because it costs so much to set up the molds, usually they're pretty hesitant to make a kit of anything that's not a pretty sure-fire seller... Additionally the hobby has been dying by inches for a long time.

To fill all the niches of interesting subjects that nobody's bothered to make injection kits of (this would be, for instance, things like the Serenity cargo ship) there's resin kits - but because of the high degree of manual labor involved in casting the parts, as well as the material expenses and the initial sculpting work divided over a run of maybe a couple hundred kits, they're pretty expensive for the person buying the kit...

But then you think about stuff going on these days, like papercraft - people making model designs, putting them online in a form that other people can print out and build dirt-cheap. The results aren't generally as good as injection or resin models but it's quite impressive, and inspiring what they've accomplished...

So it's fun to think about what fabrication could mean for the hobby. On the one hand it may actually mean less people buying and building models, or scratch-building parts themselves. Rather, once the technology is cheap enough, more things will be simply fabricated. But on the other hand - to think of something that would today be a garage kit, only done up as a downloadable design for fabrication... that would be pretty damn cool.

Re:Speculating on the Hobby Implications (1)

Overzeetop (214511) | more than 5 years ago | (#24433479)

One would hope it would have the same effect as in the printing industry. Two decades ago, getting custom color printed materials for businesses was a real hassle. Now we print color letterheads as a part of daily business. I just sent out a short order (20 pads) of sticky-notes with our custom mailing worksheet (who it's to, how many copies to make, how to mail it, and where to file it). Heck, I even printed out a pattern off the 'net for making a hemispherical model rocket parachute. Think of all the photo printers in peoples homes. Of course, with the ink prices, it costs about 1/3 as much to just digitally transmit the prints to a traditional printer.

Sadly, the 3d printers produce very heavy models when reviewed for rocket use, but for display modeling it might turn out to be quite a boon.

Re:Speculating on the Hobby Implications (4, Interesting)

Ngarrang (1023425) | more than 5 years ago | (#24433639)

I would love to be able to print my own replacement model parts. Next time I break a rotor blade on my heli, just print one out. Need a new control horn, print it out. Servo arms, wing assemblies...such a home capability might bring back a renaissance of RC building that is becoming a lost art due to RTF products.

Re:Speculating on the Hobby Implications (1)

Moofie (22272) | more than 5 years ago | (#24434385)

Right, because broadening the appeal of a hobby makes it a "lost art". Much better if you have to take a test before you're allowed to do a hobby. That will keep the "art" from being "lost".

Re:Speculating on the Hobby Implications (1)

Tetsujin (103070) | more than 5 years ago | (#24434835)

Right, because broadening the appeal of a hobby makes it a "lost art". Much better if you have to take a test before you're allowed to do a hobby. That will keep the "art" from being "lost".

This issue hits kind of close to home for me, too, but in a somewhat different way due to the differences in my hobby...

Basically, one of the new things these days with injection model kits is parts that are not simply color-molded, but pre-painted. For instance, some of the recent Armored Core or Gurren-Lagann kits, the Revell of Germany Star Wars kits, the Bandai Star Trek kits... The trend for pre-painted kits is on the rise and I'm afraid it's only going to continue that way. Even Fine Molds is making a prepainted version of their Millennium Falcon...

You could say this makes the kits more accessible - just as snap-assembly or color-molding do - to me it means the product is more expensive due to a feature I don't want. If you want to talk about how the resulting growth of the hobby is a benefit of all this, you have to consider what has the hobby become in order to accommodate this growth? In the case of modeling, I'm afraid the answer is that the hobby manufacturers are making kits for people who don't want kits, and so a lot of people "in the hobby" these days don't actually do anything in terms of finishing their own kits.

Ham Radio has a similar problem - if you take away the process of building your gear (by buying it in a shop, for instance) then IMO you've taken away just about everything there that's worthwhile. It's almost paradoxical - the industry grows to service what the hobbyists want, and as a result the hobby ceases to be what it was...

'Course, the kit manufacturers need to sell kits, I can appreciate that. I also believe that the reason injection kits exist in the first place is because for a while it was the most efficient means to deliver people the product they wanted. People got used to the idea of building the kit themselves 'cause there weren't good alternatives. There was a "sweet spot" that favored injection kits - that "sweet spot" has since shifted elsewhere. So if the hobby is dying, it may at least be a natural and appropriate death.

What I see in fabrication that excites me (and let's be clear, here - I'm not talking about "$50 for a grainy, smallish part from a fab. service" fabrication, I'm talking about "Everybody has one on their desk that is capable of fabricating parts as good as typical garage kit parts" fabrication - a big difference in part quality and economy) is that it could mean there will be a new "sweet spot" in which people will again find kit building (in the form of home-printed parts of designs downloaded over the net) as a worthwhile means to an end - at least until the fab. machines are so refined that there's nothing to do once the machine's done its work. :) But even once things go to that extreme, people who want to build and paint will be able to use fab. machines to get parts to build and paint...

Re:Speculating on the Hobby Implications (1)

JCSoRocks (1142053) | more than 5 years ago | (#24435271)

Re: Models -
Yeah, if you're not interested in actually assembling the individual pieces and then painting them... you aren't really interested in modeling. If you're buying a snap together kit with pre-painted pieces you might as well just buy a pre-made assembled model and stop pretending. If it only takes you 10 minutes to make the model then you didn't really make anything.

Re:Speculating on the Hobby Implications (1)

Ngarrang (1023425) | more than 5 years ago | (#24434985)

Right, because broadening the appeal of a hobby makes it a "lost art". Much better if you have to take a test before you're allowed to do a hobby. That will keep the "art" from being "lost".

I have no problem with RTF. I like RTF and it is the way I started with model RC. There is more, though, that if you stick with RTF, you will never see. When you build your own plane or heli, it is an art. That art is being lost, yes, due to pre-built RTF. So while one aspect of model RC is growing (flyers), another aspect is decreasing (builders). Building your own plane will entail more cost in the end, than buying something mass produced in a Chinese factory -- which is where the RTF industry right now to keep prices low.

But, being able to print your own parts seems like a good middle ground between buying a laser-cut balsa kit and RTF. You just buy the model file and away you go. Producing model plans is far easier than contracting out laser-cut balsa or plastic molding.

Re:Speculating on the Hobby Implications (1)

Moofie (22272) | more than 5 years ago | (#24435441)

I hope you don't misconstrue me either. I've built Guillows balsa kits with my granddad, and designed a large remote control airplane from the wheels up for a design competition. I really like building model airplanes.

But it's silly to assert that, just because RTF is the most visible (and most popular) form of model aviation, that's somehow detrimental to scratch building.

Heck, with the Internet, I'd wager that you're seeing a major renaissance in scratch-built modeling. It may or may not be growing in terms of marketshare, but who cares about marketshare? All you need is desire and an Internet connection, and you can build anything you want.

Re:Speculating on the Hobby Implications (1)

hcdejong (561314) | more than 5 years ago | (#24433749)

IMO, 3D printing solves one problem (generating copies of a design) but not the other (creating the design in the first place).

Traditionally, creating the design has been done in hardware (a master, which is used to produce moulds etc.).
With a 3D printer, you can either build a master, scan it and clean up the data, or you can build the model in CAD. CAD is less messy, but I'm not convinced it's faster than building a master.
Using CAD will result in more accurate models, though. A handmade master is hard to make completely symmetrical, for instance.

The first 3D printed scale model parts have already appeared, btw.

Re:Speculating on the Hobby Implications (1)

FinchWorld (845331) | more than 5 years ago | (#24434263)

Using CAD will result in more accurate models, though. A handmade master is hard to make completely symmetrical, for instance.

I believe Games-Workshop uses some CAD now for there models, though I gather this uses some sort of milling machine to make a mold or similar, rather than 3D printing.

Re:Speculating on the Hobby Implications (1)

Tetsujin (103070) | more than 5 years ago | (#24435123)

IMO, 3D printing solves one problem (generating copies of a design) but not the other (creating the design in the first place).

I've done a little bit of computer modeling and a fair bit of scratch-building - certainly there are things that are perfectly simple to do by hand, not worth complicating the process by introducing a computer-design phase... And there's inherent limitations in current display and input technologies that make it difficult to model on the computer, even with the right tools...

But on the other hand, I've basically finished my computer-modeled Zaku, but the process of making the corresponding physical parts has been very slow. Maybe this says more about my lack of skill at scratch building than it does about the relative ease of computer modeling, I don't know... But either way, once a model design is on the computer, cheap fabrication would mean cheap production and flexible distribution... A great thing for people who want to have kits, I bet - probably not so great for people who want to sell them. :D

I am aware that 3-D printed parts are already a present-day reality - what I'm looking forward to is a point when it's as cheap and accessible as papercraft is today.

Re:Speculating on the Hobby Implications (4, Funny)

Tabernaque86 (1046808) | more than 5 years ago | (#24433857)

Additionally the hobby has been dying by inches for a long time.

At what scale though?

Re:Speculating on the Hobby Implications (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24433899)

Too expensive, and too low resolution/rough. For models, try www.printapart.com, the parts are durable enough, and the minimal texture covers fine with primer and paint.

Cheaper rates, higher res parts, but the max part size is probably smaller than what shapeways can offer.

I use them to print out masters after designing miniatures figures on my computer, and then molds are made from the masters for spincasting in pewter.

-Daniel

Re:Speculating on the Hobby Implications (1)

Tetsujin (103070) | more than 5 years ago | (#24434485)

Too expensive, and too low resolution/rough. For models, try www.printapart.com, the parts are durable enough, and the minimal texture covers fine with primer and paint.

I am familiar with printapart - people bring up the subject of fabrication services every now and then on modeling forums... I know it's not ready to take the place of paper craft and GKs now - but there will come a time when it will do so. It's inevitable, in my view - the hardware will get better, and the printouts cheaper - at some point this is going to shake up the hobby in a major way. For the better, I think.

Re:Speculating on the Hobby Implications (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24434653)

3D printing would make that hobby much easier - and obsolete.

Re:Speculating on the Hobby Implications (1)

Tetsujin (103070) | more than 5 years ago | (#24435329)

3D printing would make that hobby much easier - and obsolete.

How do you figure?

I mean, right now, the model-building hobby is "obsolete" for any number of reasons. Resin Figure kits are obsolete due to high-quality pre-painted polyvinyl, or pre-painted resin products. Injection kits are sold pre-painted, too. Even kits without such gimmicks are generally of such high quality these days that modelers joke that you can "toss in some glue and shake the box" and have a winning model... Some even argue that the whole reliance upon kits has killed modelers' potential to learn "true modeling" - AKA scratch building...

3-D printing does not presently do anything to make modeling obsolete. At some point it will advance far enough that there'll be nothing left to do once the part is printed. But it's a long way from here to there. In the mean time, there will be this new capability, home fabrication, but to really exploit it (produce display pieces from raw fabricated parts) people will have to turn to modeling skills... That's what interests me.

Re:Speculating on the Hobby Implications (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24434937)

Well, at $50-100 per part according to TFS, a 200-part kit is going to set you back a pretty penny.

Re:Speculating on the Hobby Implications (1)

Tetsujin (103070) | more than 5 years ago | (#24435137)

Well, at $50-100 per part according to TFS, a 200-part kit is going to set you back a pretty penny.

Did you not get the part where I'm talking about the future potential of 3-D printing? Do you really think it's always going to be as expensive as it is now?

paper model generator/creator (1)

sectionboy (930605) | more than 5 years ago | (#24435709)

Is there a software can generator a paper model design from a 3D CAD software file( maya, auto cad...)? There are lots of free 3D models available on the web, way more than paper model designs. Even without texture, it can be really fun, then just image if it can generate texture with rendering effects ( lights, motion blur...).

Bah... (2, Interesting)

Muad'Dave (255648) | more than 5 years ago | (#24433321)

Holler when they can selectively print with highly conductive and non-conductive inks. I can then design 3D, flexible, massively interconnected PC boards.

Re:Bah... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24433901)

This is old news... Check:

http://www.optomec.com/site/m3d_home

They have been working on an ultrasound induced suspension of precious metals to be deposited on just about any surface using a laser.

Only 3 dimensions? (5, Funny)

techess (1322623) | more than 5 years ago | (#24433369)

Great there goes my plans of printing tesseracts.

Re:Only 3 dimensions? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24434681)

Not so fast:

http://www.infostuka.org/2007/9/1/tesseract-3d-prints

direct link (4, Insightful)

Speare (84249) | more than 5 years ago | (#24433439)

I would have complained about a direct link (http://www.shapeways.com/ [shapeways.com] in the summary, but the site is a bit rude to looky-loos like us who just want to see what's going on. Almost all their front page links are blocked until you log in, even the "getting started" page! The "about" page is about all you can see, and it's got no real details. What is the printing resolution? What material choices? Can you print two-material designs? Come on, Shapeways, if you want to generate buzz, put out a bit more welcome mat.

Re:direct link (2, Interesting)

rdschouw (139250) | more than 5 years ago | (#24434469)

Actually we are private beta now. But you are right. We could show a bit more information without requiring a beta login.

Let's see what I can do!

Re:direct link (0, Troll)

scorp1us (235526) | more than 5 years ago | (#24434621)

Let me get this straight, you participated in this "story" (really a marketing moment) and didn't prepare your website for the ensuing curiosity?

Things I want to know:
What software can generate the models?
Costs?
Turn-around time?

And you don't even have a gallery...

Re:direct link (2, Informative)

coolhelperguy (698466) | more than 5 years ago | (#24434779)

Printing resolution seems to be 0.5mm to 2mm minimum detail, depending on material. Colors are cream, white, transparent (translucent yellowish, from the looks of it), and bright white. They all have various properties (one bends well, some are weaker, etc).

Maximum size varies from 20x25x33cm to 35x40x40cm, depending on the material as well. Prices range from $1.87 to $2.89 per cubic centimeter.

I'm not affiliated, just a beta user. I got my invite the same day(?) I signed up for one, so if you're interested, go sign up. I did look for anything saying that that information might be proprietary, but I couldn't find anything, other than the warning that those prices may be low for the beta. (And that the beta includes no shipping/handling fees, I believe.) Sorry if I shouldn't share!

Re:direct link (1)

JCSoRocks (1142053) | more than 5 years ago | (#24435497)

So... for those of you that are trying to make a "cylindrical object" that's about 3cm in diameter and 20cm long you're going to end up paying (pi)9*20*$1.87 = $1057. That seems a little spendy... maybe you guys are better off taking a wood working class.

What else do folks use? (1)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | more than 5 years ago | (#24433499)

It seems most of the content on the ShapeWays site is unavailable to folks not in their closed beta program (even the FAQ's). So, there's no much to go on other than the video?

So, staying mildly on-topic, what else do hobbyists use in this arena? Say I want to prototype a new computer case:

  • What's good opensource software for doing millimeter-accurate modeling?
  • Where else could you send your 3D file to have it 'printed'?
  • What would that cost?

Re:What else do folks use? (3, Informative)

ironwill96 (736883) | more than 5 years ago | (#24433663)

Not sure on the open source software front but i've always been fond of Rhinoceros 3D for doing modeling since it is relatively in-expensive to buy a commercial copy ($900).

You can send your 3-D file to lots of companies, i'm not sure why ShapeWays is getting all the press when there are thousands of RP companies called "service bureaus" that will take 3-D models you upload and print them using some RP machine then ship them to you, usually with a 1-2 day turn-around time.

I used to get some parts done with http://www.rjmrp.com/ [rjmrp.com] but they focus mainly on high-resolution small parts (such as jewelry pieces). So, if you're designing jewelry i'd recommend them otherwise look for some other companies using Stratasys type machines (there are lots). The costs they quote sound about normal, typical jewelry prototypes were around $100 or so for a ring in .001" resolution.

The Techshop (4, Insightful)

btarval (874919) | more than 5 years ago | (#24433855)

While this is a really cool service, nothing can beat hands on. My preference is The Techshop [techshop.ws].

The site seems slashdotted already. Google's cache should have a copy of their 3D printer, laser etcher, and other services for building (nearly) anything that you can imagine.

This is the most innovative thing to hit Silicon Valley in years. It really should've been covered by Slashdot long ago.

The advantage the Techshop has over mail-in is that you can get advice on how to create your prototype. The costs for a 3D print job can vary greatly depending on how you do it. Just the orientation alone can either save you or cost you quite a bit. So that's why I prefer "hands on". Now, if I really knew what I was doing, or I didn't have a TechShop nearby, then I'd probably do a mail-order service.

As far as apps goes, you can pull down one of the Google apps (whose name I've forgotten at the moment) and use that.

Oh - and the guy who founded the TechShop used to work with Mythbusters in creating their gadgets. I hear they even showed up on opening day.

I have no connecting with the Techshop other than has a happy and frequent customer.

SLA? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24433501)

We've had 3D printing for over 15 years to my knowledge. Probably more like 20 years. My high school got one way back when, it was called a "Stereo Lithography Apparatus" or SLA for short. You inserted a disk containing an acceptable 3D wire mesh file format, put in a bucket of "printing goop" and pressed a button. An ultraviolet laser then solidified the goop in the shape of the 3D object you gave it and drained the rest of the goop back into the drainage pan. We used it for rapid prototyping in our CAD/CAM lab.

The goop used is the same stuff that dentists use for "clear" or "tooth colored" fillings. It is a translucent yellowy resin that solidifies when exposed to ultra violet light.

The goop was pretty darn expensive stuff. I imagine if demand hasn't increased greatly or if SLAs haven't gone down in price then the goop probably hasn't changed much in price over the years.

Anonymous Coward (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24433511)

It prints in 4d space.... you just can't see it.

I like the sound of this (4, Funny)

jollyreaper (513215) | more than 5 years ago | (#24433555)

Hello, gentlemen. I am interested in your offering. I am linking to my specification here: http://babes.com/monica_bellucci [babes.com]. How long should I expect to wait for delivery?

Re:I like the sound of this (3, Funny)

Archangel Michael (180766) | more than 5 years ago | (#24433709)

Typical Slashdotter, going for a cheap knockoff rather than enjoy the real thing. But then again, I shouldn't expect any different. ;-)

Re:I like the sound of this (4, Funny)

jollyreaper (513215) | more than 5 years ago | (#24433985)

Typical Slashdotter, going for a cheap knockoff rather than enjoy the real thing. But then again, I shouldn't expect any different. ;-)

If I went and got the real thing, that would be kidnapping. This does not deprive her husband of use of the original Monica Bellucci, I'm just committing a copyright violation. That's far more socially acceptable.

Nothing new here (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24433627)

There are dozens if not hundreds of other companies that offer the exact same service and have been for years with turn-around in 2-3 days rather than 10. Perhaps the novelty is that this organization is targeting hobbyists, but their price isn't impressive and I've never know any other shop to turn away business.

This is going to be the best ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24433629)

Halloween ever!

Images courtesy of Blender... (3, Informative)

LetterRip (30937) | more than 5 years ago | (#24433667)

It isn't mentioned in the article, but it is clear from the images that they used Blender for the demo items and screenshots, indeed the two images from the article are rather well known among Blender users, one is from 'man in man' a short by Sacha, and the other is Petunia by macuonu which was used for a collaborative animation for the Blender art festival. Also some of individuals involved in Shapeways are major Blenderheads.

I thought Shapeways was being supported by Phillips but was under the impression that it started externally and hence would not be a spinoff.

LetterRip

Very nice (3, Insightful)

iminplaya (723125) | more than 5 years ago | (#24433683)

But it still suffers from the age old problem of control by those who own the press. Let's get the printers in the hands of everyone to insure that control goes where it belongs. Then we can make our own DRM free hardware for instance.

I'd like to see color (1)

loafula (1080631) | more than 5 years ago | (#24433801)

Imagine printing a 3 dimensional multicolored object. The color would be layered and continuous through the object, not just painted on. You print something like an apple. It is red on the outside, but if you cut it in half, you see the white inside with brown seeds in the core. Or imagine a figure of a human or animal. Cut it open, see guts. Granted, it would all be 1 solid object with no physical distinction between gut and skin other than color.

Re:I'd like to see color (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24434805)

Check out Zcorp. They've been building 3D printers that can do color for a while now.

There are tons of different ways to rapid prototype objects but none is perfect. All methods require some level of post-processing to remove imperfections (picture anti-aliasing on a real life object) and many methods are time consuming and VERY expensive.

A small SLA of a handheld object even with a very thin wall thickness will cost several hundred dollars from most vendors.

Everyone? (2, Insightful)

hcdejong (561314) | more than 5 years ago | (#24433875)

I can see one stumbling block for 3D printing becoming more popular: the software you need to create a 3D model is generally expensive and difficult to use.
Google Sketchup is a potential answer here, but the last time I checked, the 3D printing house I wanted to use didn't accept Sketchup files (and/or the free version of Sketchup doesn't allow export to any generic 3D format).

Re:Everyone? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24434213)

Blender.com

Re:Everyone? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24434373)

blender

Re:Everyone? (1)

MindStalker (22827) | more than 5 years ago | (#24434403)

Sketchup Pro is $495 and allows CAD export.

Yea thats expensive but if you Really need this for your work, its cheap.

Second Life and OGLE (1)

argent (18001) | more than 5 years ago | (#24434455)

The Second Life building tools are actually pretty good, for putting together objects that are going to be reproduced at 3d printing resolution.

And you can extract a mesh from Second Life (and other games, but don't let Blizzard catch you :-> ) using GPU hooks and programs like OGLE.

Re:Everyone? (1)

jatriska (1160723) | more than 5 years ago | (#24434487)

You could use Blender [blender.org], and if you dislike Blender's interface for modeling, you can at least import a Sketchup model through a third party import script (don't have the link at the moment, sorry) and export as .OBJ, or any other of the many formats Blender supports exporting to.

Re:Everyone? (1)

rdschouw (139250) | more than 5 years ago | (#24434541)

Well actually there is a STL export plugin for Google Sketchup which you can use to export models for 3D printing.

I tested it and it creates printable STL files.

Interesting issue (4, Interesting)

jez9999 (618189) | more than 5 years ago | (#24434235)

When everyone can accurately 3d-print objects, does getting the design for, say, a type of chair then 3d-printing it without paying, count as theft? After all, you're not depriving anyone else of the model chair the 3d specifications were based on.

Re:Interesting issue (1)

hasdikarlsam (414514) | more than 5 years ago | (#24435999)

No, it's pretty obviously copyright infringement.

I do believe we know well how that works already, here. ;)

nice to see another competitor, but... (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24434245)

this has been done before quite a bit, there are plenty of places online that let you upload a model to their website and purchase the fabbed plastic result.

however, more competition will probably bring the prices down. also, more attention to this sort of capability will make it more popular, and bring the prices down/advance the technology.

i worked at a place where they blew tens of thousands of dollars on a 3D printer, printed one prototype out and then let it sit there. big companies can't think outside the box. they'd probably make a lot of money running an operation like Shapeways. i think the reason they bought a whole machine to make one simple prototype (i'm sure they'll use it in the future as well, it just seems hard to justify not just having it fabbed quickly by someone else who owns one already) is because they were very paranoid about someone stealing their designs, plus they're just fun to use.

my first hand knowledge watching them use the machine is this; the layering technique using two kinds of material, a white plastic and a black or brown organic substance. in order to make gaps/holes/crevices and other 3D abnormalities the darker substance is used in those areas. when the printing is done they have to place the model in a lye solution to eat the darker matter away.

you see the fella in the video doing this at the end, it is also why he is using gloves. lye is very dangerous to human skin/flesh. if you've ever seen fight club you'll know what it can do, and you get a pretty detailed explanation and history from tyler about it.

i think they used borax afterward to clean the lye off and any residuals. the whole process can take a long time depending on how large and how complex your model is. some things are better left in overnight. the cubes they used were the simplest and easiest thing to make with this and they kept their model small, so the duration of the print was short.

the materials that go into this are expensive and since they only have one (maybe two?) machines this is most likely why they charge alot more for complex/larger models. it all depends on what you send them.

I'm put of paper (2, Funny)

Savior_on_a_Stick (971781) | more than 5 years ago | (#24434249)

can you fax me some?

Re:I'm put of paper (1)

JCSoRocks (1142053) | more than 5 years ago | (#24435537)

no, No, NO! I'm not falling for that one again. Last time, my friend asked me to send him some money so I faxed it to him. All of sudden I've got the FBI breathing down my neck. Something about making counterfeit bills.

Linux Collada Exporter? (3, Interesting)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 5 years ago | (#24434265)

This Shapeways 3D printing service requires models in Collada (or X3D) format. Other than running Windows SketchUp under Wine, which is so buggy that it crashes when you try to save a file, what's a really good, basic Linux 3D studio, suitable for learning in about 10-15 minutes how to sketch out accurate scale models of houses and basic landscape, that imports and exports Collada format?

Then I can 3D print the models, and I can export them to Google Earth. I could even download and import my neighborhood, tweak it, and 3D print it for my trainset.

competing service (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24434441)

http://www.quickparts.com

They're a farking print bureau, big whoop (2, Insightful)

Libertarian001 (453712) | more than 5 years ago | (#24434551)

I'm a garage-kit maker -- 1/285 Macross and 1/2500 Star Trek, available at http://scifiskunkwerks.blogspot.com/ [blogspot.com]. All of my models are done in CAD first, then rapid prototyped. I spent several months looking for an affordable way to get my parts printed out in the quality that I needed and I'm always on the lookout for being able to just buy my own machine. So when this PAID ADVERTISEMENT masquerading as an article came along I was pretty interested. RTFA and you'll see: "The 3-D printers that Shapeways is using are commercially available, made by Israeli firm Objet and Stratsys in Eden Prairie, MN." That means they're nothing more than a print bureau. Big farking whoop. Last night I saw a nice, big Objet add on the front page and now I know why. Incidentally, I'm already having my stuff printed on Objets. The quality is top-notch. I'm just irritated (no coffee this morning) because this is a non-article.

Not such a Yawn... (1)

lurking_giant (1087199) | more than 5 years ago | (#24435039)

If you are really interested in the technology of rapid prototyping and would like to learn more, goto: http://www.prototypemagazine.com/ [prototypemagazine.com] And Yes it's possible to build a "Klien Bottle" http://emsh.calarts.edu/~mathart/sw/klein/Klein.html/ [calarts.edu] Full color parts and moving assemblies, http://www.zcorp.com/Solutions/Rapid-Prototypes---CAD/spage.aspx/ [zcorp.com], Transparent, Opaque, Elastomeric, Rigid, Plastic, Metal, Ceramic, Wax... Allare available as a service from a prototype house somewhere in your area. http://wohlersassociates.com/service-providers.html/ [wohlersassociates.com] All you need is a good solid or surface model to work from. I spent 14 years in the RP business, just about anything is possible, it just costs $$$.

Re:Not such a Yawn... (1)

lurking_giant (1087199) | more than 5 years ago | (#24435177)

Sorry, links are fixed here: If you are really interested in the technology of rapid prototyping and would like to learn more, goto: http://www.prototypemagazine.com/ [prototypemagazine.com] And Yes it's possible to build a "Klien Bottle" http://emsh.calarts.edu/~mathart/sw/klein/Klein.html [calarts.edu] Full color parts and moving assemblies, http://www.zcorp.com/Solutions/Rapid-Prototypes---CAD/spage.aspx [zcorp.com], Transparent, Opaque, Elastomeric, Rigid, Plastic, Metal, Ceramic, Wax... Allare available as a service from a prototype house somewhere in your area. http://wohlersassociates.com/service-providers.html [wohlersassociates.com] All you need is a good solid or surface model to work from. I spent 14 years in the RP business, just about anything is possible, it just costs $$$.

Another option (1)

gr8_phk (621180) | more than 5 years ago | (#24436049)

For making "real" parts. Check out www.emachineshop.com. They provide a free downloadable program for designing parts. You can get help optimizing cost and even order right from the software. OTOH, a one-off is probably still more expensive and I don't think they have SLA.
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