When I covered new start up company, 3Distributed, back in August there were hints of more, as then undisclosed, things to come. Andy Shepherd-Waring has been to touch to say that one of those things is ready to go live.
The guys at 3Distributed have launched a custom 3D printed lithophane service, an increasingly popular application of the tech, via their new website lithophane.me. The premise for this service is the belief, as Andy tells me, that this is “a great way of giving non-geeks a taste of 3D printing.”
It’s an easy to use site, simple and straightforward in it’s offering — simply select which size of lithophane you want, pay for it and then submit your photograph. The size options are small or 5×5 cm (£7.99), medium or 10×10 cm (£25), large or 15×15 cm (£45) or, enormous for £60. This is actually 20×20 cm. There is also a premium option that produces the lithophanes at a much higher resolution using the laser sintering 3D printing process and nylon material. But this starts at £25 for the 5×5 print size.
I can’t vouch for the quality of the standard prints, which are printed on 3Distributed’s in house fleet of RepRap machines — but I will be able to in the next couple of weeks or so! I’ve just ordered one.
The other thing I noticed is that the guys have this line on their website: “To our knowledge we are the only people in the world the offer this service.” This may need adjusting as and when the Topografics brand I reported on at the end of last week, comes on line. Great minds think alike I guess, and at the same time!