Intresting Prospects from Shapeways

If you’ve been reading my blog posts over the last few weeks you’ll know I’ve been working on updating my 3D printed models for my Shapeways shop.  This is because Shapeways have had a price structure change which overall has had a positive effect although some models need to be updated.  I’d planned on having all the changes done by now but I’ll admit as well as working on the models I’ve also been out enjoying the sunshine, so I’m not quite ready yet!

One interesting development which is on the way from Shapeways is their orientation tool.  This will be for their Frosted Ultra Detail (FUD) and Frosted Extreme Detail (FXD) plastics and will allow me to set the orientation the model prints in.  This will be a huge benefit; although the FUD and FXD don’t suffer from the ‘attached support material’ problems that the other 3D printing materials do, you can still see the difference between a surface which is on the underside compared to the top.  This is because support material is still used but as it’s a liquid it’s not permantly attached.  By choosing the orientation I can make sure all the best detail is on the top and not face down in the liquid support material.  The downside of this will be some models, such as locomotive shells, will be more expensive due to the larger amount of support liquid needed.  That’s the reason they are printed upside down in the first place.

I’ll be doing some experiments, once the tool is launched, to see how to make these models more cost effective, and I’ll share my findings with you.  As for this week it’s back to the drawing board. Well, mouse and keyboard.