3D PRINT Research


Shapeways is a Dutch-founded, NYC-based 3D printing marketplace and service, startup company. Users design and upload 3D printable files, and Shapeways prints the objects for them or others. Users can have objects printed in over 55 materials and finishes.



Acrylic Plastic

Acrylic Plastic is an acrylic-based photopolymer that comes in white, black and transparent. We recommend using this material for smaller, detailed products that don’t face high stress or heat. The level of detail for these products is high, but individual layers are more visible than in Strong & Flexible plastics.




Frosted Detail Plastic

Frosted Ultra Detail and Frosted Extreme Detail are both made of a UV cured acrylic polymer. While both offer high resolution, Frosted Extreme Detail uses a 16 micron layer height to produce incredibly fine features, making it a great choice for miniatures, model trains, and products with very fine embossed or engraved details. Both materials are well suited for painting, and are relatively brittle, especially when features are thin. The material is heat resistant up to 80°C / 176°F degrees.

This material is printed using the Multijet Modeling (MJM) process. Molten plastic is deposited onto an aluminum build platform in layers using several nozzles, essentially like a large print that sweeps across the build layer. As the heated material jets onto the build plate, it solidifies instantly. After each layer is deposited, it is cured, or polymerized, by a wide area UV lamp. The next layer then applied, and through this repeated process layers of thermoplastic build up into a model. When printing is finished, we remove the models from the tray and put them into an oven that melts away the wax support material. Next, we put the models into an ultrasonic oil bath to remove any remaining wax residues, and then an ultrasonic water bath to remove any oil on the model. Finally, we inspect the models and dry them by hand.




Elasto Plastic NEW*

Elasto Plastic is an off-white elastomer that is very flexible. It has a rough, grainy finish, and is quite strong when printed with thick features (greater than 5mm). Elasto Plastic is an experimental material, and although we’re very excited about its capabilities, the quality is not ready for broader use.





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