Just got this in, that a “A new, purpose built centre has opened in London to offer rapid prototyping and digital manufacturing facilities on a ‘pay-and-go’ basis.” Based in a four-story building and an extension of the activities of Metropolitan Works, London’s first creative industries centre which currently operates on London Metropolitan University’s city campus in East London. Two additive layer manufacturing machines from EOS, one for laser-sintering plastic powders and the other for metal powders, were delivered last year, joining rapid prototyping and manufacturing processes on site (including Z Corp and Envisiontec Perfactory machines).
One fascinating project is by acclaimed silversmith, Marianne Forrest, it is a watch with an innovative strap that takes inspiration from prehistoric vertebrae. Although hand finished, it would be almost impossible to make entirely by hand to such high precision.
While I’m all for increased exposure of this type of technology to both the design industry and the masses as a whole, what I didn’t quite get a handle on was the ‘pay and go’ tag they’ve added. There is a wealth of service bureaux in the UK, Europe and further afield – and they all operate a pay and go scheme – you order your part, it gets built and finished and shipped – job done.