Shapeways announced a very cool feature offered by their 3D print service: NFC tagging. If you haven’t heard of it, NFC stands for “Near Field Communication“, a short-range wireless technology.
NFC is used in key fobs or other security devices. It simply receives a signal and responds with its own unique digital number. With this technology you can positively identify a tag electronically and wirelessly. If the tag is attached to an object, you’ve identified that specific object.
The big idea here is to stick a NFC tag on your 3D print, thus enabling such digital identification to take place. Of course, you’ll need a special reader and controls system, but you knew that already.
The Shapeways NFC service is provided by partner company Flomio, who print your STL 3D model and place the NFC chip on it for a nominal price.
We suspect the best use of this technique would be to create custom security fobs, perhaps in shapes unique to the service. Imagine a cartoony key that’s actually a digital key.