Online 3D printing with i.materialise

3D printed nanotube

Watch the video to see how this nanotube was designed and 3D printed

The 3D printing revolution is rapidly taking hold. But it is also a phenomenon that few of us have any direct experience of. Given that most people do not own a 3D printer this is hardly surprising. And even when more of us do start to purchase personal 3D printers like the Cube, RepRap or Up!, the kinds of materials we an print at home with them will remain limited for some time.

With all of the above in mind, I decided to conduct my own online 3D printing experiment. As discussed in my recent article and video on the 3D Printing Revolution, several companies now offer an online bureau service that allows anybody to take the output from a standard 3D package and get an item printed out. I decided to try this using the service provided by i.Materialise, and to create a metal model of a carbon nanotube structure built in the 3D package LightWave.

To find out how I got on, just watch the video below.