3DP Resolutions: Try a new material

It’s January 10th, how are your #3DP2014 Resolutions looking? Don’t worry, we’re here to help in this resolution series, kicking off with Resolution 1: Try a new material

In 2013 we introduced TEN new materials and finishes – that’s a lot to choose from! Way beyond plastic, you can now make everything from a beautiful brass ring to a sparking silver pendant.

Premium Silver brought our silver choices up to three finishes, and with a hand polished wet sheen, this really is a beautiful professional finish.

Brass arrived in three finishes: Raw, Polished and Gold Plated. Raw brass looks great for miniatures like the bicycle and the gold plated makes cool jewelry designs like the shark ring look amazing while still remaining affordable.

Bronze followed with both a Raw and Polished finishes. Raw Bronze has a rustic matte look and it’s great for antique-looking objects, vintage jewelry, functional parts, even dinosaurs! Polished Bronze is still sparkly enough for jewelry, and makes this steampunk heart shine.

Three new finishes in Steel means you can now make Polished Grey, Matte Black and Polished Nickel Steel. Look how awesome the bottle opener looks in the nickel finish, and the explorers ring dazzles in matt black.

Last but not least, we also introduced Elasto Plastic, a maker-only material so you can test out this rubbery material on your own models like a bouncy phone case.

Something we’ve noticed is that printing your model in a new material can give it a whole new life you hadn’t imagined. A toy tractor, traditionally made in detail plastic, when made in polished brass, suddenly becomes a valued possession with a prime spot on your desk. Many of our shop owners have also discovered that the new metal options have transformed their jewelry offerings into something you might normally find at a fancy store like Tiffany’s.

With these new ten options, we now have over 30 3D printing materials available on Shapeways. Since the design guidelines between materials vary, my tip is to design with your end material in mind, but your only decision now is which one to try first!

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