Modelling moves into the mainstream

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Online open 3D print site Shapeways has been around for a few months now, but has now added its own Creator engine, allowing anyone to go online to design, model and print.

The latest step towards making 3D design more mainstream, Shapeways, the offspring of Philips Research sponsoring bills itself as ‘the next generation of consumer co-creation’. It joins a number of sites, including the impressive laser-cutting based Ponoko, that offer anyone the chance to grab their mouse and create anything onscreen to be built and shipped to them.

CMO of Shapeway Jochem de Boer, said:”In today’s world, consumers are universally less and less satisfied with the choice that the usual shops offer. Instead, they are looking for ways to reflect their personal identity in the objects that they choose to have around them.”

The sites gallery shows this clearly, with the greatest uptake beginning to produce seasonal items; Christmas Tree decorations, Nativity scene candle holders and snowmen ornaments hoard the pages and fill the niche of the personal gift, with the benefit of having someone else make it and having a 10-day shipping period.