If you've ever felt a 3D-printed object? They're typically made of hard, brittle plastic, and tend to be delecate. Now Shapeways is introducing a new, squishy 3D printing material called Elasto Plastic that's more like a soft, pliable piece of rubber than stiff ABS plastic.
Shapeways says this incredible new material can be used to fabricate everything from springs, gaskets, or netting, to more fabric-like 3D prints. Meanwhile, we've got a couple of extra ideas in mind. 3D-printed Crocs, anyone?
There are, however, a couple of caveats to this particular laser-sintered material: It needs to be printed at a layer height of 0.4 millimeters, which is relatively thick compared to what typical plastic extrusion can do, and Shapeways says it's "not so good for very small things."
Shapeways currently offers the squishy material as an experimental material, which means you can only use it to create prints of objects you've uploaded, for a six-week trial that runs until July 9. You can upload own designs for squishable objects right now; 3D prints cost $1.75 per square centimeter.