Introducing 3D Printed Black Elasto Plastic : I Can’t Believe It’s Not Rubber

Posted by in Shop Owner, What's Hot

It’s squishy, it’s flexible, it stretches, it bounces, it blends, it’s 3D Printed Black Elasto Plastic!!!!!

Squishy SpringBall by Opresco

Black Elasto Plastic is our first fully flexible material! It is still in the
experimental stages of development, and we are learning more about the
possibilities and restrictions of this material each and every day.
Design, order and give us feedback when your model arrives at your
doorstep! This material will be on trial until the July 20th, 2012,
so get your orders in soon. After the trial, we will review and decide
whether to introduce it permanently, whether we need to change any
design rules, etc.

Flexible Design Rules.

As this material is still in its very early stages of development, we rely on
your feedback to improve our design guidelines (email Nancy from the Contact Us Page
with feedback). Right now, we can make the following suggestions but
please be aware that these rules are flexible and subject to change as we learn more and
more about this amazing material and how to design for it.

Minimum wall & detail: 1.5mm
Minimum clearance: 1.5mm
Minimum hole size for hollow parts: 6.5mm (in diameter)

Check out our Black Elasto Plastic gallery, products available in this squishy material right now:

Elasto Plastic Products Available For Sale Now

What will you make?

Pricing for the trial period will be $2.00 per cubic centimeter with a $3.00 handling fee

Delivery time should be 2 weeks (10 working days) after payment has cleared

Black Elasto Plastic is flexible and stretchy, as the name implies, though it
also has a rough, grainy surface texture. If you rub the models against
another surface, you may see flakes rub off.

We must reiterate this is an experimental material, we have only had a chance to experiment with a small number of geometries and uses so we do not know exactly how it will react under all conditions. That being said we LOVE the material and think you will all have a lot of fun with it but you need to take heed of the design rules and give us as much feedback as possible so we can learn quickly together.

We are really looking forward to seeing your designs stretched to the limit.

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    1. opresco

      Me, too, awesome indeed.
      I keep wondering: how in the world these modern alchemists at Shapeways keep coming with bright ideas like this! 🙂

  1. lensman

    “these rules are *flexible* and subject to change” – oh, groan! 🙂

    Are you going to pack the models in bubble wrap?
    Restriction on making knives out of this stuff?

    Seriously, looks like fun material. My only problem is trying to decide what to make first…

    1. Duann


      And we are stretching your design skills 😉

    2. nancyliang

      Oh the puns keep coming! XD

  2. Virtox

    This is soooo cool!

    Crap I just ordered something with wall of 1.2mm, will that be rejected or is that a good limit test? 😉

  3. nancyliang

    @Virtox — shhh, we won’t tell. 🙂

    It really depends on the structure. We printed a bunny at 1.0mm, and it’s poor lil head broke. Very sad. We’ll see!! At the very least, it’ll help us test. =D

  4. Chris J

    So is this the sort of official version of the squishy contest material?

    1. Duann


      This is the squishy contest material…

      Fun times

  5. nancyliang

    We printed contest entries up to a certain point, we couldn’t wait until all the entries were submitted and still print the models in time for the launch, unfortunately..

  6. Shapeways Blog

    Showing all Kinds of 3D Printed Awesomeness to New York Art and Design lovers. This weekend as part of New York Design Week Shapeways will be showing off some 3D printed art and design at Model Citizens NYC in SOHO. If you are in New York this weekend

  7. peterhguk

    Hi, did you print my suction cup design? Was it any good?

  8. natalia

    peterhguk, we did print it, and Nancy – correct me if I’m wrong, but since the material is not airtight (it’s porous), it doesn’t hold suction unfortunately 🙁

    1. peterhguk

      Natalia, thanks very much for letting me know. I see from posts below my question that this is a different material from the watertight one. Please count me as interested in that other material :o)

  9. Anonymous

    Is this stuff different than that shown in the earlier previews?
    Iirc that was foodsafe and watertight?
    Also looked a lot smoother?
    I think it was in a webcast that showed it also in yellow and other colors?

    1. Duann

      Yes, this is a totally different material,

      The other was not available to us fast enough or in enough volume..

      We may bring it on board later if there is enough demand.


  10. nancyliang

    There were two different materials we showed.. this material is potentially available in other colors (yellow, navy, white, red). Any color in particular piques your interest? 🙂

    We decided to start with black first to keep it simple, and then expand if we see enough demand to justify additional R&D.

  11. WillLaPuerta

    I just saw the post about this on Wired and it said under a picture of my pencil topper that it also worked as a “great eraser”. Is that so? I put a notice that it wasn’t an eraser in it’s description, but if this is true I may want to change that.

  12. xGATOxMALOx

    When will the contest results be up?

    1. KGB

      Contest winner will be announced later today.
      #42 nancyliang on 2012-05-17 19:35 (Reply)

      So…who knows…
      I’m assuming those that won have already been notified 🙁

  13. xGATOxMALOx

    Yeah that was 5 days ago and I am sure the winners were notified but who knows if they weren’t

  14. The Mind Forest

    Wow, this flexible stuff is really awesome and super exciting, I remember seeing an announcement about something like this before. Seems like it will be really neat for a ton of applications.

  15. Andrej

    Obviously, we are going to print dildos!

    1. Mart

      Isn’t; White, Strong & Flexible better for that?
      It does sound better than black elasto

  16. mark t

    what I would be interested in would be a way to transpose an object from solid to flexible then back again…..

  17. GP

    How is the trial going? Any ideas if this is going to be a long term option?

  18. Shapeways Blog

    The Shapeways 3D Printing Elasto Plastic trial is drawing to a close on July 20th. We are temporarily suspending this material to make improvements requested by the community. Why are we putting Elasto Plastic on hold? We launched Elasto P

  19. Paul Dutch

    Is this material still available??
    I wanted to upload a design but can’t find the material any more?


    1. GP

      Yes, my question as well. Will this material be available as a permanent option?

    2. Duann

      This exact material is unlikely to be available again, we are looking into a better flexible 3D Printed material.

    3. Duann

      Yes, that is Objet ‘rubber like’ material, we had tested that in the past and decided not to run with it at the time as it did not meet all of our requirements in durability and strength. We saw it delaminate fairly quickly and scar quite easily, if you have better luck with it I would love to know.

  20. brian mcloughlin

    Do you offer a similiar material for rubberized prototyping??? Do you have something in the works for 2013 thats better than this?

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