3D Printing in Steel and Plastic

A company called shapeways has developed an 3d printer that uses steel powder to create complex 3d shapes. Which could be interesting if they can get the price down – this could be a way for wargamers to print the figures they need rather than to buy cast plastic or lead figures.


3D printers have been used to produce 3d models for a while now but up until now they use fairly weak plastic this system uses a steal power which is held in place by a resin – they say:

This is a completely new technique which deposits stainless steel powder in a very thin layer, combining it with a binding material. Printed objects are built up like this, layer by layer, gradually creating the form just as you designed it on the computer screen. When complete, they are infused with bronze and cured in an oven. After cooling, the models can be left in the original steel finish or tumbled to get a great polished look.

If You don’t want to use metal some people are now producing DIY 3D Printers which for around £500 can produce 3D models in plastic and in fact make a copy of its self. The rep-rap team have a design which anyone can make here. this might make make nice way to make one off or hard to find models. They have a video explaing how the rep rap works.

So could this be the end for Games workshop 🙂

2 thoughts on “3D Printing in Steel and Plastic

  1. They will definitely need to bring costs down though, even at our university which has a nice new one this july, it still costs us about $50 to make a small figure such as those used in common tabletops…it makes great, highly detailed masters that one would _still_ cast and mould traditionally once produced.

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