My 3D printing arrived

By October 7, 2011Uncategorized

Ten days ago I wrote about how easy it is getting to design and print a 3D object.  This is the picture of the design that I posted at the time:


And this is the printed object that arrived today:


Once I got over how small it is I started thinking it’s pretty cool.  Useless, but pretty cool.  It is printed from a rigid, and slightly rough plastic which feels durable, the fidelity to the design at the corners is good, and the two colour printing is impressive.

It isn’t hard to imagine the practical applications.

The cost was €11 to get it printed, plus a further €11 postage.  The design tool was free.  I feel a bit robbed by the postage.

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  • Duann

    Nice first print..

    Where did you get it 3D printed?

  • i.materialise – 3dtin links out to them

  • Ok, thanks Nic,

    You should take a look at Tinkercad as well for browser based 3D modeling and Shapeways for 3D printing.

    (disclaimer I do work for Shapeways:)

  • I looked at Shapeways last year – at that point it was great for personalised items, but not so good for creating objects from the ground up?
    I will check out Tinkercad – tks for that

  • Oh, I am really interested to hear what made you feel Shapeways was not as good for creating items?

  • The modelling software was much more difficult to use than 3dtin. It was a year ago though. Maybe I should look again?

  • Cool! But slightly expensive. Understandably of course. I’m guessing those postage charges are to boost the low margins on the actual product.

    I’m quite interested in this and for some reason applications in Africa is one of the first uses I imagined fot it. Mass production of cheap plastic shoes and stuff like that. In Africa plastic shoes were quite big business for Bata, the Italian shoe company.

    Its a long way to catch up with injection moulding by the looks of it.

  • Definitely a long way off being price competitive for large volume manufacture. The exciting things in the near term are one offs (e.g. part replacements and personalised items) and prototyping that wouldn’t otherwise be economically viable.