Shapeways Delivers 3D Printing as a Service

An assortment of 3D printed items, accompanied by Duann Scott (left), myself (center), and Savannah, (right) at the Shapeways 3D “Factory of the Future” in Queens, NYC. Behind us are rows of high-end 3D printers, polishing machines, designers, QA teams, and operations experts. Trying to configure, calibrate, and properly print a 3D object is a clunky experience. Fortunately, there are services that enable this: Meet Shapeways, a 3D factory available now for you. In my humble opinion, I’ve found that 3D printers for consumers need some time to mature. I’ve taken a class at TechShop to learn that the level of skill requires a hobbyist and tinkering capability. It’s not just “Press print.” To meet this need, and to print using high quality materials, Shapeways offers 3D printing services on demand, and ships your products to you. Yesterday, I had the opportunity to tour Shapeways “Factory of the Future” in Queens, NY, and got to see first-hand how they do this. They offer a variety of designers and artisans, who can custom design your products, or tools that enable you to customize existing products. Truly, the possibilities are limitless. With the capability to print in 35 different materials (and new ones coming), Shapeways has high-end, professional grade, 3D printers that can print in color, acrylic, and also polish and dye process to color your products. The impacts to business are potentially tremendous. One can print personalized goods for your own style. Items can be printed on-demand and delivered to you within days. They can also be printed at scale and replicated quickly by printing an entire batch. These resources aren’t limited to consumers alone. Progressive companies like Nokia have made their STL 3D printing files available to the 3D printing community, encouraging them to print out their own cases. The potential impacts for business are quite significant: Anyone can become a designer or manufacturer, without ever leaving home. Rapid design and prototypes can be printed quickly. No need to configure large warehouses and supply chains. 3D printers print quickly, on-demand. Print only what you need, reducing the costly overhead of warehouses and excess inventory. Customize and personalize for individuals, radically changing the game. Eventually, use recyclable or sustainable materials, preserving our resources. You can learn more about Shapeways, order ready-to-print items now, and customize things like color and size. Read their blog, build your own custom design, or upload your own design and set up your own ‘store.’ Below are some images, vine videos (Scroll over to see) and other examples of what I learned at the Shapeways factory tour. Shapeways

You May Also Like

More From Author

+ There are no comments

Add yours