Like Etsy for wanna-be product designers, Shapeways is providing 3D dreamers with a fascinating way to produce and sell their concepts online. If you can render it (in the 3D application of your choice, exported to Collada or X3D format), you can probably see it come to life here.

At the moment, the biggest size they can produce is 49x39x20cm. Materials so far are polycarbonate and a variety of acrylic-based photopolymers. The Material Options page has a chart of properties, example photos and downloadable material data sheets.

I copied the process from their About page:

  1. Create a design in your own 3D application
  2. Export it to Collada or X3D format
  3. Upload it to your own Shapeways page
  4. Choose the right material
  5. Check the instant production quote
  6. Pay by PayPal or credit-card

They’ve also got special, customizable projects going, such as this Light Poem—just compose and submit your heartfelt words, and bring them to… oops.

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