There are a few big 3D printing services online. Here are some of the 3D printing resources available.
ShapeWays – http://www.shapeways.com
Shapeways is what I consider the best printing service online. They have a wide range of materials that you can print with. Plastics, metal, and rubber. Some very exotic metals even. Their precision is excellent as well. They seem to be the pioneer at the front of the pack. If you need something prototyped, I would go with them. There are other services however that may suit your specific needs better.
Shapeways – Demonstration
Ponoko – https://www.ponoko.com
- 2D printing – https://www.ponoko.com
- 3D printing – http://www.ponoko.com/3d-printing
- Electronics Building – http://www.ponoko.com/make-and-sell/electronics
Ponoko started out only printing things in 2D. This is cool though because it means you could make things out of wood, cardboard, and more. This is different from ShapeWays and sometimes is better for your projects. Ponoko has started doing printing in 3D in 2013 however. Not sure how well their products are yet. We will see.
Ponoko – 3D Printing
Ponoko – Doing a 2D project (no sound)
Sculpteo – http://www.sculpteo.com
Sculpteo does 3D printing like the other companies listed and this one seems to accept a wide variety of 3D formats.
Sculpteo – Demonstration
i.materialise – http://i.materialise.com
i.materialise is another 3D printing service.
i.materialise – 3D Metal Printing
i.materialise – 3D Printing the Nokia Lumia 820’s First Functional Case
MakerBot – http://www.makerbot.com/
You can also get your own 3D printer and print things out of plastic. It isn’t a professional service but still can get pretty precise. There are a few versions. The most recent version has layer resolutions are as follows:
- High – 100 microns (0.0039 in)
- Medium – 270 microns (0.0106 in)
- Low – 340 microns (0.0133 in)
However if you do want something made with a makerbot you can upload a new project by going to http://www.thingiverse.com then clicking create then upload. You will need an account.
MakerBot – Creating Replacement Hands