Shapeways, The Community

Shapeways Full color 3D printing

The image above is an actual picture of Alien Grey by Jiovanie. It is 3D printed using our Full Color Sandstone material. This is our least expensive material and the pricing is $0.99 per Cubic Centimeter ($16.22 per cubic Inch + $ 1.50 start up costs per model, these prices include worldwide shipping). 

You can check out the video here:

Several community members have been making some wonderful things over the past months to showcase Full Color 3D printing.

Upload an image and it will be made into these wonderful marbles that cost $10

We turn any image into a color 3D printed depth map so you can see as well as touch your holiday snapshots for $29. Check them out here.

For Character modelers & animators this really means they can now take their avatar or their favorite character design and put it on their desktop. Designers can now come up with Co-creators that can be turned into any color, any pattern such as this Ipod accessory below. You just upload any image or pattern and the designer easily makes your object this color or pattern.

Expectation Management

The type of 3D printer we use for this process are Zcorp 650. We however are using a finishing technique that strengthens the 3D printed parts using rapid thermoset composites. Additionally we also use a one of a kind machine to resin infuse the models. This unique process makes the models much stronger and the colors much brighter, than was possible previously. We believe that people that have been exposed to Zcorp previously will be blown away with the results.

Having said that we do have to temper your enthusiasm somewhat. The resolution of the printer itself is low compared to the other processes we use. So the details and features will be less accurate. However, the color resolution is high so high detail in images is possible. The models are much stronger than traditional Zcorp processes but still fragile compared to the other things you can make with Shapeways.

We have more technical information here in the Design Rules for Full Color 3D printing here. The most crucial information is to realize that the wall thickness is 3mm and that fragile dainty models can not be made with this process. For a quick overview of the material you can check out our material page for Full Color Sandstone.

You can currently add color to your models by using a VRML file with texture map or by using x3D. You can find out how that works here.

Please tell us what you think and especially in the first weeks of this new material, let us know what needs to be improved.


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