Last week Sculpteo announced the availability of two new materials for their 3D print service: Sterling Silver and Wax.
It's an arms race between 3D print services; each adds new materials and features to keep up with or gain a lead on the others. The most frequent battlefield is materials. This announcement is just another day in that ongoing competitive war.
That said, Silver is a very useful material, not normally accessible by those with personal 3D printing equipment. Typically you'd print jewelry or decorative items in silver, as it isn't the best nor cost effective material for industrial parts. Sculpteo offers three different finishes for your silver prints: Rough (sandblasted), Polished (slightly shiny); and Mirror Polished (jewelry quality). We suspect Mirror Polished will be the most popular.
The more interesting material we think is wax. Wax items are not particularly strong nor are they visually attractive. But they do offer one singularly useful feature: casting. A wax model can be covered in another material that solidifies. Then simply melt the original wax model out and you have a mold capable of duplicating the object. Depending on what you make the mold from, you could potentially cast plastic, plaster or even metal.
Wax is better than Silver.