3D Printing for props?

Aculag Posts: 708 Just Starting Out
edited July 2011 in Practical Filmmaking
I stumbled upon this link today. You create a 3D model, upload it for them, and pay them to print out a physical version of your model. There are various materials you can choose from (even metals), and judging by the photos on the site, this is capable of some pretty amazing detail, including moving parts.
Now, I haven't used the service, and have no idea how well this stuff holds up, but I imagine this would be an incredible tool for people wanting unique film props. If you went for a metal print, I'm sure it could end up being fairly expensive, but for simple, small stuff, it seems affordable. I think I'm going to try this out in the next couple of months. 3D printing has interested me but I didn't realize it was prevalent enough for things like this. Looks pretty exciting.
Again, the link is www.shapeways.com Just browse around and look at some of the things they've printed out. Really cool stuff.
And check out this set of dice, for an example, or this cube


  • AxelWilkinson
    AxelWilkinson Posts: 5,252 Staff
    I've got a good friend who I work on custom Transformers toys with, and he recently picked up some of these replacement hands for Starscream and they are phenomenal. Obviously some of the quality of each piece comes down to the skill of the designer, but the quality of the pieces is fantastic, the detail is superb, and the plastic is very strong and durable.
    So, I have used the service, and it is fantastic. I can also highly recommend Shapeways.
  • Aculag
    Aculag Posts: 708 Just Starting Out
    Awesome, man. Good to hear that they're good quality. Will definitely be trying this out now.
  • AxelWilkinson
    AxelWilkinson Posts: 5,252 Staff
    edited July 2011
    I totally spaced it before, but here is a video that I helped Encline make of installing the hands the other night, which is on his YouTube channel. So you can actually get an idea what the products look like, and what sort of quality they are.
  • SimonKJones
    SimonKJones Posts: 4,448 Enthusiast
    Fascinating. Have you read MAKERS by Cory Doctorow, either of you? I highly recommend it if you haven't. It's basically about how 3D printing changes the world (or not, sort of).
    Would love to give these guys a go with some of the Arms Race web series props...