Madox has done the impossible - building a real Stargate in less than two hours! Heh, it's not a *real* Stargate, but it is a true 3D object you can hold in your hand. And the iris does open and close, mostly.
What's this all about? Engineer Madox observed the recent 66% off materials cost at Shapeways, and thought he'd give 3D printing a test. But his objective was design-to-reality speed, which is the grand concept of 3D printing and personal manufacturing. His project was to duplicate the Stargate Iris.
By using a free 3D Parametric Modeling program (Alibre), he was able to whip up the model in no time. However, he had issues uploading the STL file to Shapeways, as apparently there were compatibility problems. After some fiddling, importing and exporting, he was able to create a STL file suitable for Shapeways acceptance. Finally, he says:
Result? Concept, Design, Upload, Ordered all within 2 hours!
Delivery time, well, that's another matter.
Thought: this might be a popular item if offered for sale on 3D marketing services like Ponoko.