The idea of creating a personal 3D item sound appealing, however the expense and the required design skills has kept it out of reach of most consumers. 3D printing has gotten cheaper over the last couple of years, however, even the MakerBot Thing-O-Matic a kit you can build yourself is over a $1,000. Which means they are not quite yet ready for the consumer market. However solutions to these problems starting to show up in the market. One such solution appeared this week in Las Vegas.
At CES 2012 Sculpteo a French based 3D printing company introduced an app for the iPhone and iPad. The app allows customers to create personal objects. You take a picture person in profile. You then choose the model from the collection that you want to co-design. The collection includes such objects as vases, mugs and other objects. You then order and pay for the design. Sculpteo prices run from $50.00 up to $450. Sculpteo then prints it up for you as a 3D object. The default printing material is ceramic, but you can choose different materials and colors. I expect overtime the process will get better, there will be more design choices and the prices will drop also. The 3D market for the consumer is just in its infancy, it can only get better. I’d be interested if anyone has used the app, and how they liked the product they received back.