As the leading 3D printing service provider, Shapeways sets the stage for helping other businesses succeed too. This means a dedication to encouraging innovation and vision through making technology like 3D printing and all its accompanying materials accessible. Shapeways has over 90 materials available, but the list doesn’t stop there.

While the Shapeways team is continually seeking out new products and services to offer, sometimes there may be an unusual request or demand for another material that is just beginning to trend, whether in 3D printing or for use with conventional manufacturing methods too. These requests are welcome, and Shapeways will always try to help source materials which may not currently be in inventory, or are harder to attain overall.

Special Metal Materials Like Tungsten Are Trending

3D printed in steel

Metal materials for 3D printing serve as a great example. This area of the industry continues to grow powerfully, indicated by its ever-increasing presence in applications like aerospace, automotive, medicine, and defense. Speed in metal 3D printing continues to gain traction, and the range of materials available continues to widen also.

While Shapeways currently offers 3D printing with Aluminum via Selective Laser Melting, and both Steel and Stainless Steel 316L through Binder Jetting, there may be demand for other types of metals. In preparation for such inquiries, Shapeways works with a global network of partners for 3D printing in other metals, to include tungsten-bronze, a metal powder becoming more popular for use in critical applications like aerospace and automotive due to its extremely strong mechanical properties—including one of the highest melting points possible.

Contact Shapeways for information about what makes other types of materials like tungsten-bronze so unique, and how to get them,

3D Printing Modifies the Ride for Skateboarders

Shapeways customers are famous for stretching the limits of technology and breaking through to the other side with incredible innovation. In some cases, they may also use 3D printing to improve on conventional designs—like that of the iconic skateboard. In the hands of Industrial Designer Paul Sohi, a classic board underwent an overhaul in 3D print during a dynamic collaboration with Autodesk.

Sohi wanted to emphasize how useful 3D printing is for high-performance, functional parts. Choosing a fun, high-energy way to drive the point home, he reached out to Shapeways with a unique project for 3D printing his skateboard truck after designing the part in Fusion 360. Shapeways manufactured the trucks, which basically function as the T-shaped axle underneath the board—in aluminum and titanium, making it clear that designers don’t have to purchase their own 3D printers to reap the high-tech rewards, and they are welcome to reach out for materials outside the norm.

More about that story here.

Reach out with Questions about Materials and Manufacturing

Just as Shapeways may not have every single material on hand, customers may not possess all, or any of the required technology. This is precisely why Shapeways 3D printing services offer such a boon for businesses interested in innovating and manufacturing—without having to invest hundreds of thousands of dollars in industrial 3D printing hardware, software, and material inventory.

Contact Shapeways for extended assistance in 3D printing, to include help in understanding more about the compatibility of materials with specific models, as well as matching your manufacturing needs with the most fitting materials..

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About Shapeways

Explore the benefits of advanced technology and materials for manufacturing creations with accuracy, complex detail, and no minimum or limits in terms of mass customization or single part orders. Shapeways has worked with over 1 million customers in 160 countries to make over 20 million parts! Read about case studies, find out more about Shapeways solutions, and get instant quotes here.