You guys might have seen all the press we have been getting about the Stainless Steel printing. We had a Crunchgear article, a FastCompany one, a Wired one and lots more besides. That coupled with the many many many people we met at SIGGRAPH means that it is quite busy right now on the site with people who are new to Shapeways. It would be great if you guys were kind to all the noobs and helped them out should they have any questions. I mean noobs in a nice way.
The Stainless Steel material has been added to all models on the site, so you can now check the prices of your models in Steel. The price per cubic centimeter is $10(including shipping of course). We can not currently guarantee that all the models that you order will print. Since the process is new we have not been able to develop completely 'watertight' software filters to check this. We do know that for the model to succeed a wall thickness of 3mm is required.
To clear up: the models that we ship to you, that you can now make are stainless steel and bronze through and through. There is no cast, it is not a covering or layer over a plastic model, the entire thing is steel and bronze and it is built like that.
We've been getting a lot of questions from engineers about the material properties of our 3D printed Stainless Steel. So here are the answers:
The UTS (Ultimate Tensile Strength) is 99 KSI / 682 MPa.
If you compare this with other materials the tensile strength of our Stainless Steel material is: higher than aluminum, higher than structural steel(as in the steel used in buildings in the US), much higher than cast iron but lower than titanium and regular stainless steel.
The yield: 66 KSI (455 MPa)
The modulus(Poisson Factor/material constant): 21.4 MPSI (147 GPa)
Hardness: 25 HRc
As far as post processing the 3D prints are concerned you can weld it, machine it and drill it. If you do want to drill it, we'd advise you to use carbide drill bits.
As you can see, apart from being awesome and fun to use for rings, jewels and lovely interior decoration items these values give our Stainless Steel material quite some other uses. People have already tested this for turbine parts so something like that would be completely boring. But, perhaps the strength could inspire you to make something interesting?