I've been doing 3D and computer graphics for 20 years and this is the first time I've ever been able to hold one of my creations in my hand. It's a real thrill for me, and the Shapeways gang did a terrific job of bringing it to life. I sculpted this in 3D-Coat and then sized it and did the final export from 3ds Max. Since this was my first experiment with 3D printing, I ordered a variety of materials to be able to get a better sense of the capabilities of the various printing methods. The results exceeded my expectations. Here's the pics I did of them.
First up is raw brass and raw silver. I'm amazed by how much of the detail was retained - even the subtle bark texture.
Here's polished nickel steel. A lot of the detail is lost but for this design the finish looks pretty cool, especially from a distance.
Finally, here's white detail plastic. The loop for the chain didn't print so I decided to antique it and make it into a pin.
To do the antiquing I first did a coat of gold metallic spray paint. When that was dry I made a mix of black and brown acrylic paint and water. That was brushed on small sections and then wiped back off with a paper towel so that only a bit is left behind in the crevices. When that was dry I sprayed a clear protective coat over top.