Introducing a new material here at Shapeways takes a lot of preparation. And as many materials come straight out of the Shapeways Labs (where people with thick glasses cause occasional explosions), we're not always sure how they will work in the real world. Will people like the stuff? Will we be able to produce them accurately enough and ship the models in time?
So, sometimes we experiment - like with Alumide. In February we announced the temporary availability of this new White, Strong and Flexible variation. We mixed in a dash of aluminum powder to give it a 'space aged', metallic appearance. It looks great and feels very smooth, but also has some limitations: it's not as flexible as the original and it's brittle.
Alumide was available for only three short weeks, but its unique look made it immensely popular. After tinkering with our machines some more and polishing up our internal processes we're now happy to announce the return of Alumide, and it's here to stay. Enjoy!