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Golden 3D Prints with Shapeways' Midas Touch

Shapeways is experimenting with another print material, one you've always wanted to have: Gold!
 
They've managed to develop a process where a gold-plating step is added to normal stainless steel 3D printing. The results, as you can see in the image above, are terrific. 
 
The major concern with Gold Printing, is of course the cost. Gold is a lot more expensive than ABS plastic or even stainless steel. So how did Shapeways do? Pretty well, it seems. The gold is only a thin layer and thus not a lot of volume is used during the process. 
 
Shapeways charges USD$5 as a "start up cost", with an additional USD$10 per each cubic centimetre of material after that. This combined stainless-steel + gold material charge must assume typical ratios of gold surface to overall volume. Nevertheless, it's quite a decent price, as it allows you to produce gold jewelry without breaking the bank. The pendant pictured above is priced at only USD$14.50 each, where as rings on their samples page are approximately USD$20 and a bracelet is priced at USD$40.
 

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3D Printers are the New Cranes

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