Following the path of personal fabrication services such as Ponoko (for laser cutting) and Spoonflower (for custom textiles), Shapeways.com offers digital 3D model printing on demand. The service works in a similar fashion as all the other personal fabrication services do including an online community where individuals can share, rate and even sell their designs.
How the Service Works Simply upload a digital file and for $2-3 per square centimeter you receive a 3D model in about 10 days. Shapeways offers a variety of materials to choose from and color options of white, semi-transparent or black.
Why is this important? It’s nice to see more and more of these services becoming available for individual designers and makers. As the cost of rapid prototyping equipment drops, Neil Gershenfeld‘s future vision of how personal fabricators are going to revolutionize the world doesn’t so distant in the future.