, part of Philips’ Lifestyle Incubator, lets users upload 3D designs and have them produced on one of Shapeway’s 3D printers. Customers can currently choose from four different types of rigid and flexible plastic, and their object is shipped to them within 10 days of ordering. Costs depend on size and mass, but smallish items are priced around USD 50—150.
Shapeway’s FDM Machine

Users need to have some level of 3D CAD expertise to be able to design an object in 3D, Shapeways isn’t as widely accessible as Ponoko, which allows users to create items based on 2D vector images.
On the other hand, this is one of the first initiatives that makes 3D printing widely available to consumers around the world along with Fabjectory, Fabidoo and Zapfab. Creative people who love to design in three dimensions finally get a chance to turn those computer screen images of toys, tools, art into tangible objects, a desire that drives the make-it-yourself trend.
mass customisation 3
And like Fabjectory, Akiba (global dtaku unite) lets you go into their store to print your own 3d object, if you are in Japan in their “Magic Microwave” .
rtmass customisation 1
via Springwise, ahhh Springwise

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Would you like to know more about Feel free to drop by at our booth at Siggraph 2008, next week in LA.

The now completely free Truespace from Caligari (Think Blender) will go nicely together with the required 3D abilities for Shapeways, just as the free Inkscape and Ponoko. Also, when people start using those expensive 3D printing services, they’ll appreciate services like Ponoko’s 2.5D even better!

Shapeways looks cool, but I don’t know if I’m ready to tackle 3D design software.

Users do not need to know how to use a 3D CAD package. You can use all sorts of modelling programs, such as 3DSMax and Maya, as well as free programs like Sketchup, Wings, Milkshape and Accutrans.

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