I am an Industrial Design student who just learned about 3D printing. I found this site while doing research for a project so really I am just here to learn as much as I can about the materials and processes used for 3D printing.
Great! When I was studying ID the only 3d printing solutions were very pricey for student work. Many schools now have at least one type of printer, usually an FDM machine. Those are great for functional models but not as great with finish or detail. With so many material options, Shapeways is a great solution for someone wanting to prototype a design or even develop final products specifically for additive manufacture.
Be sure to share your results with others in your program, and consider requesting that your professors seek more information through the Shapeways Educational Program.
yeah, our department has an FDM machine but it doesn't print with very high resolution. It's still pretty cool though!!!! There's a rapid prototyping place in town that has much nicer technology, we took a field trip and saw all kinds of printing in action. It was really interesting, 3d printing seems to be a great resource for an industrial designer.