Especially for small products with lots of details and flexibility, Shapeways has added a new material to the already existing ones. It involves black High Definition acrylate, a UV-sensitive acrylic polymer. This new material is printed using direct light projection, a method that provides higher resolution and accuracy. The end result is smoother and therefore better to paint – perfect for instance for miniature figures.
Shapeways started in 2007 as a spinoff from Philips. In the initial period it was still supported by the Philips Lifestyle Incubator. Shapeways is a community for 3D printing. From the headquarters in New York and Eindhoven, the company facilitates the local printing of objects in various materials. Started with plastics, Shapeways developed quickly towards steel, silver and ceramics. The mission of Shapeways is to facilitate the designing, making and selling of 3D-printed objects.
The new material, including the production process, is faster than existing processes. The whole project is still in a test phase: High Definition acrylate is now first released within the Shapeways Maker community. Only after their feedback – and possibly some adjustments – the material will be made available for everybody.