Getting your 3D designs printed in plastic is really cool, but how much cooler would it be to have them printed in metal? And how much cooler would it be if that metal was titanium (or an alloy thereof)? Well, now’s the first chance I’ve heard of for you to actually have that happen.
Shapeways, a company I wrote about back in August, has launched a contest whose winner will get their design created in titanium! There are restrictions on the kind of design you can use, detailed on the contest web page, but details can be as small as 0.1mm (roughly the width of an average human hair)! They estimate that the prize will be worth between $1000 and $2000 (and be non-toxic, not that you’re likely to let your kids play with it, I would think), and judging will take into account community votes (though will be decided by the company).
You can enter the contest by creating a design meeting the specifications on the Shapeways website, and tagging it as directed, from now until January 15, 2009. I think just the idea of printing with metal is awesomely cool, so I’m going to have to enter (despite my mediocre design skills). Shapeways isn’t yet offering titanium (or any other metal) as a regular substance for printing, mostly due to the expense, but if lots of people enter the contest, maybe they’ll consider it.