The backbone of Shapeways is the 3D Printing materials we
offer to our community. From the versatile Strong and Flexible Plastics,
to the beautiful, hand-polished finish of Premium Silver, materials
inspire everyone to create new products that no one ever dreamed of

Our mission at Shapeways
has always been to enable anyone to make anything they want. First, we
built a system to allow Makers to design and purchase models for
themselves. Then we created Shapeways Shops to enable anyone to launch a
business and sell their products worldwide. Now, we want to make it
easier for Makers 
to gain access to the newest 3D printing materials on the market and test them with us. Think about it like one big, global 3D Printing R&D team.

Shapeways New Elasto Plastic 3D Printing

excited to announce the launch of our first ‘Maker Only’ material: a
flexible, rubbery plastic called Elasto Plastic! The finish, color, and
properties are not yet ready for sale to a wider audience, but it’s a perfect
material for any Maker out there who can work with a textured surface and
maybe a little extra powder arriving with their model.

The new, improved Elasto
is a great option for Makers as it is an incredibly durable
material with a lot of really interesting properties such as high impact
resistance, flexibility and compression (depending on the geometry), along with a high level of static friction because of the surface
texture. Though not strictly water-tight, it can hold liquids, but it does
not like high temperatures or fire. It is a valuable addition to our 3D  Printing material options here on Shapeways that we are sure you will
find incredibly useful and fun.

To all our hackers, tinkerers, and dreamers, this is the start of a new series of materials catered just to you. The models that you submit push the limits of our machines and materials, which in turn inspire us to make improvements to meet your needs. The experiments we see posted on the forum (dyeing your own nylon or testing out surface treatments) help us understand your needs, and often get integrated into our standard processes. We want to continue to work together with our community on material innovation. 

Our first Maker material is an entirely new Elasto Plastic, and is not based on based on the same technology used for our Black Elasto trial we had back in July 2012.  Although it is still very experimental, this material is much more durable with more forgiving design rules.  Take a look at some of our test 3D prints and the video to get a better idea how this new material will work for you.

New 3D Printed Elasto Plastic

Shapeways interlocked cube showing excess powder caught in negative details.

Shapeways 3D Printing Elasto Plastic

Elasto Plastic’s impact resistance makes it useful to protect your valuables.

note warping

Note some warping may occur depending on geometry of 3D model.

Macro Shot of Shapeways 3D Print Elasto Plastic

Macro shot of Elasto Plastic surface texture

squishiness of 3D print elasto plastic shapeways

Sometimes it’s squishy

Not so good for very small things. 

Check out the full design rules for our 3D Printed Elasto Plastic and the video below to see how the material responds to impact, bending, twisting, stretching and fire. Remember this is an experimental material and the design rules may change.

We think this new material will redefine people’s perception of what’s possible with 3D Printing and we can’t wait to see what you make!