The 3D printing consumer service market seems to be expanding rapidly. Currently led by Shapeways, who earlier this month announced that they are now 3D printing over 180,000 articles each month, there are several other companies also making a splash, including Sculpteo and i.materialise.
As with any highly competitive market, when one company makes a move the others usually follow close behind. This is just what we have been seeing with Shapeways, i.materialise, and Sculpteo. All three companies have already been offering products which are fabricated in metal for quite a while. Not direct 3D printing per se; these companies use a method of lost-wax casting where they 3D print an item in wax, and then create a mold around that wax, which is then filled with molten metal.
Earlier this month, however, Shapeways upped the ante by announcing multiple new precious metal plated material options to their customers. This was quickly followed just a week later by i.materialise who announced news that they would be offering 3D precious metal printing in yellow gold, rose gold, and white gold, in both 14K and 18K.
With both these companies expanding their precious metal printing offerings, it was only a matter of time before Sculpteo would jump into the action. Today, just a day removed from i.materialise’s announcement, the company has informed us of several new metal material options. These include the introduction of pink gold, white rhodium, and black rhodium. They have added finishing options to their brass and silver materials.
In addition to having the option to purchase items in brass which have a rough or mirror polished finish, or a 22k gold plating, Sculpteo’s brass can now be plated with the pink gold, white rhodium, and black rhodium precious metals that were unveiled today. Also Sculpteo’s silver material can now be plated with the new white and black rhodium.
“This brings our metal options up to 2 different materials with a total of 10 combinations when you choose between our rough, mirror polished, 22k gold plated, pink gold plated, white rhodium and black rhodium finishes,” states the company on their blog.
Such additional material options should go a long way in attracting new merchants to the Sculpteo marketplace, especially those who design and sell jewelry. For those interested in further information regarding these new plated precious metal materials, you may visit the Sculpteo brass and silver pages.
Let us know if you have ordered any products with these new materials. What did you think? Discuss in the Sculpteo Precious Metal Plating forum thread on 3DPB.com.