When machines were first invented in 2006 to bring drawings and sketches to reality in the form of ceramic art objects, these fancy machines were almost exclusively available to those developing them, ie researchers. However, in the last two years or so, this has changed dramatically. So much so that through the use of everyday home personal computers, nearly all users who have some simple knowledge of computer graphics design can now have the opportunity to bring their art work to reality via non-research exclusive but commercialised 3D printing services.
The particular service we’re interested in mentioning today is called Sculpteo, think of it as your personal, on-demand design transformer. By that, we mean, whatever drawing / object / design you had in your mind. All you need to do is sketch it out on your PC using popular 3D file formats such as AutoCad, SolidWorks, 3DSMax, Cinema 4D, or sketchUp and upload and place an order with Sculpteo. If you’re not into designing your own, you can also browse around the gallery of designs which they already have on their site, great for those who know what they want but not so confident that they can draw it digitally. Now the obvious question which will ponder many users, is the question of cost. It is in fact not as expensive as many would think. Pricing would of course vary according to the colour, material and size of the object you’d like to be printed out. Being Europe based, pricing is in Euros, but here’s an example of what to expect. A monochrome dice costs approximately 2€, a blue airplane of maximum size will set you back 1500€. Printing does not take very long, as long as the technicians at Sculpteo have checked your design’s compatibility with their 3D printers. And for those of you who live within the EU, you’ll see your ordered design delivered to your doorstep in a matter of days to weeks.
Certainly, everyone is into customisation these days and this is the entire point of designing and seeing your design make the jump from the virtual world to the reality. We can imagine Sculpteo’s service to be incredibly valuble in a number of ways. For example, you know how some say no gift is better than the gift you’ve handmade? Well for us geeks, this could be the solution. Design something through your computer for your girlfriend as an ornament or decoration. On the other hand, 3D printing will be well received by students studying graphics design who may like to see a real life prototype of their art work. 3D printing offers such a vast range of purposes and for those of you who are non-UK readers, Sculpteo is currently offering a limited time only necklace / bracelet creation and customisation service. So if you’ve been thinking about what to gift this Mother’s Day, we do recommend checking this out. Otherwise, do check out Sculpteo’s new shop function which allows any user to create their own design-selling-shop to sell the 3D designs they’ve uploaded. This is completely user-led and is probably one of my favourite functionalities on their site.
Additionally, we’ve been given an exclusive chance to give away six free “sculptures”, limited to one per person, the first six readers to contact us via email: info at gadgetlite.com or tweet us @gadgetlite will receive a free item of their choice. And if you’ve got your own design you’d like to “3D print”, you can now benefit from a 10% discount by punching in the voucher code “gadgetlite” at checkout. Enjoy and have fun!