Philips announces 3-D printing service

Shapeways 3-D Example

Shapeways 3-D

Last year I wrote about 3-D printing technology and the prospect of it becoming more widespread thanks to the falling costs of the machinery involved.

As a first sign of what’s to come, Philips have announced their spin-out of public 3-D printing service called Shapeways. The company describes it as “the first online consumer co-creation” service which enables the public to submit computer generated models for manufacture by 3-D printing technologies. The company will make up the design and return to the customer within ten days for around 50-150 USD (about £28-85 ). A video on the website shows the process.

Interestingly, the company is linking the idea with the rise of Web 2.0 user-generated content and crowdsourcing, and are providing an online community where users can upload new designs for printing, as well as view, comment on and customise other people’s designs.

Is this the YouTube of 3-D objects?

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