3D printing can be used to make fun things, funner. Like slot cars, sure they can hug the track with terrifying speed and a power to weight ratio similar to putting a cheetah's strength into a hummingbird's body but they sometimes lack personality, say the personality of a 70's Hollywood car chase, with saggy suspension, sloppy handling and a certain clumsy swagger... Enter Chase-Cars, that uses Shapeways 3D printing to help make slot cars with that special 70's style, handling and swagger.
Modern slot cars have magnets to hold them down and powerful motors so they do enormous speeds, but that doesn't make them more fun. I've designed a chassis for a 1:32 scale slot car so 1970s American cars handle like they did in the movies, not like a racing car.
Shapeways 3D printed (Nylon) Strong & Flexible White is used for the chassis parts, everything for one complete chassis is made in one go during the SLS process then I can break them out and assemble them together with metal pins or nylon bearings where needed. The whole lot is incredibly tough, resistant to the heat of the motor and it allows me to make a complicated chassis without any production tooling costs. It also means I can improve the design as I go along with none of the implications of regular production tooling.
I've worked hard to cram all the parts I need into one compact block to keep my costs down, and Shapeways' easy website means I can upload different models and easily see the cost difference. While there's no cost benefit to ordering more than one, Shapeways allows me to group several together which minimises their work and gets me a lower cost.
This is just a hobby alongside my regular job and of course it can't compete with the major manufacturers but I've sold these kits to people in Germany, France, Finland, Norway, Italy, Portugal, the West Indies and of course America.