Solidscape Printers?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by MaxSMoke777, Aug 14, 2009.

  1. MaxSMoke777
    MaxSMoke777 Member
    Is Shapeways going to add something like, or maybe one, of these Solidscape wax printers? The resolution is INSANE! 5,000 by 5,000 per inch, 25 Million dots possible per cubic inch. The material costs see quite high, but then again, so is all of this 3D printing material.

    Somebody showed off this image before, but just for reference, here's a statue of Christ made by the machine, less then 3" tall:


    From my research the printers themselves cost a relatively low, $45k. That's a HUGE investment if I was buying one myself, but little compared to the machines Shapeways currently employs:

    The materials are high, at a bit less then $200 per 550ml: egranulest66t76r66.aspx

    But in the case of rings, very little material is necessary. This stuff is made for casting and can handle the high resolutions tiny objects like rings need.

    I think I'm going to get a ring printed using Esslinger's service bureau. It's going to run me $100 for a print. It's crazy expensive for a wax model, but this could make my Ring of Souls flawlessly, in detail so small you'd need a magnifying glass to take it all in.

    It could be a really nice addition to Shapeway's services! Well worth the premiums involved.
  2. Dalhimar
    Dalhimar Member
    I agree that this would be an awesome addition to the printers currently employed at shapeways. I know that there are quite a few people here that would love to get some insane detail on small objects that the current materials and printers just wont handle.
  3. MaxSMoke777
    MaxSMoke777 Member
    I've posted this in another thread, but I want to make sure this gets noticed. I recently got back my new Ring of Souls, which was caste in silver, using a wax print I had done using a Solidscape machine. The level of detail is INSANE:




    Now compare this to a print I got from Shapeways, using Stainless Steel printing.


    The wax was shipped to me in a simple, cotton lined ring box, inside a bubble wrapped envelope. Nothing special packaging, no super-fancy shipping. It was 105 degrees in Chico when the package arrived and the ring did not suffer heat damage.

    There's no reason Shapeways couldn't offer Solidscape printing to us. The models are every bit as tough as transparent plastic, and have similar melting points. But the results are an order of magnitude better!
  4. randomblink
    randomblink Member
    That is amazing...

    Great model man... wow.
  5. Lyndzer
    Lyndzer Member
    I support this 100%
  6. dadrummond
    dadrummond Member
    I agree this would be a great asset.

    What I'd like to see: Shapeways offers the Solidworks service, but (and in my mind, this is much more attractive) also offers the finished metal product. The beauty of Shapeways is that it allows us end-users to not have to deal with any of the production details. I have a design, I upload it, pay for resolution and for materials, and get a high-quality print.

    I'd love to see Shapeways simply put a price on this service that they'd profit from, and then drive that price down over time.
  7. robert
    robert Member
    Great to see that you all are so passionate about the Solidscape printers.

    I will take a look at their technology during Euromould fair in Frankfurt 3-5 December. Let's see what they can offer us.


  8. thakeham5
    thakeham5 Member
    Any outcome or decision on Solidscape printers?

    I for one would be very keen on much higher quality prints with better surface finish - almost mould ready for resin casting.

  9. robert
    robert Member
    Thanks for asking.

    I have looked at the technology and it looks very promising from our point of view.The parts were of high quality. The equipment itself is more targeted to low volume environments. This needs more investigation. Especially if they could handle the expected load we generate on these systems.

    It is not yet an official project here at Shapeways. With enough demand we will make it so.

    I invite everyone who is interested in wax printing to reply to this thread. Please also let us know how you would like to use it.


  10. locodan
    locodan Member
    The subject of wax as a material has been brought up on several threads.

    I am very interested in wax for model steam cylinders and other parts of a live steam locomotive. Small precision parts like bevel gears do not work well in stainless steel with out a lot of post processing work.
  11. robert
    robert Member
    Thanks for your reply Dan.

    I am aware that Wax has been brought up / requested in other threads.
  12. Atso
    Atso Member
    I would like to add my interest in Shapeways providing this service - while I would like produces which can be directy used the level of detail that this process offers is incredible and I think would be well worth the separate casting process required.

    From my own stand point this would be really useful for producing masters N gauge model kits with a level of detail comparable to mainstream manufactures.
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2010
  13. rawkstar320
    rawkstar320 Member
    Although I probably would not use the wax print as often as some others would, I would still use it. I've been working on desgning an engagement ring and I'm hoping to find a way to get it in wax when I am finally ready for he final product. Of course, I would use it again to complete the set with a wedding ring(best case right?)

    I would probably find some uses for t in regards to mechanical objects, but at the time if I need something, I do have access to a hitech mfgt lab through my University.

    Keep up the awesome service shapeways!!
  14. Wolfdagon
    Wolfdagon Member
    Count me among those who are interested. While I would eventually like to learn to cast items in metal, I think that I would also like this as the end product in some cases.
  15. Jettuh
    Jettuh Well-Known Member
    What is the minimum wallthickness? 1mm?

    if yes,, i'm in :D
  16. tinsoldier
    tinsoldier Member
    I'd like to toss my vote in too! I'm most interested in the ability to create miniature mechanical bits for mini-rc and robotics. I could see this being popular with the table-top rpg crowd too (Warhammer and Full Thrust) and of course the obvious jewelry aspect.

  17. Lyndzer
    Lyndzer Member
    my vote is in too :D
  18. tedparsec
    tedparsec Member
    Thanks to Maxsmoke for having highlighted this...

    Definitely count me in too, Joris !

    As Tinsoldiers said, this would be the perfect match for table top gaming and miniatures. The precision of this machine is awesome !
    Knowing if i'm going to use the print as the finished and usable object or as a master for mold making will obviously depend on the strength and the price, but no matter what, i'm more than willing to give it a try.
    In fact it was this kind of resolution i was expecting and dreaming of from 3d printing since i dug into this.
    If the wall thickness is not too restrictive and the price per cm3 not sky high, i would for sure create and order a bunch of models printed with this machine. i can't wait...
  19. Atso
    Atso Member
    Ted, that makes two of us that can't wait - this is a really exciting possibility.

    I've seen examples of casting moulds being made using wax prototypes so it is possible but usually at the cost of the destruction of the master. I'm intending to get something made using Solidscape to see just how good the quality is.

    I think that the really interesting thing about Solidscape is that apparently you can use the print to investment cast an injection moulding tool which requires next to no additional finishing! - see page 22 onwards of the attached link: CD19C971A23/0/solidscape.pdf

    Exciting stuff!

    Last edited: Feb 4, 2010
  20. SDabbs
    SDabbs Member
    At present, I'm having to get most of my sculptures made with other companies due to the fact that shapeways just cannot provide me with enough detail - which is a shame because I love shapeways!! I'm totally in for this, this could bring in many more serious character sculptures to shapeways!! :D