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The other day I was reading through the consumerist RSS Feeds and came across Shapeways.com and immediately thought about the days when I wanted to put a computer in my VW Passat. I thought about how much this could have helped me back then.
I did a few searches and didn't find any references to this site but who knows maybe there are.
Basically you can can design something using Google Sketchup (Free) and submit it to shapeways.com and they will print it out and ship it to you. Looks like you can even get the parts made from stainless steel.
Anyway, check it out maybe it will help someone.
My OLD 2001 Mitsubishi Eclipse GT:
"The Project That Never Ended, until it did"
next project? subaru brz
i was looking into this to get some of my models printed, my old roomate did a couple back in the day but they ran him $350+ iirc
it may be cheaper to find someone or place with a cnc router for more basic stuff. another option is www.emachineshop.com i think the cost with them is setup, you can make copies relatively inexpensively
You could just buy the printer for 1300 bucks at MakerBot. It is an open source printer.
Yeah - buy a $1300 printer for a couple of one off jobs... I don't think so. Guess it is epoxy, putty, and wood for me...
That is cool. But its limited to printing small objects. Would be nice if it was just a little bigger.
Sketchup is great for box models. If its going to have smooth or complex contours you're going to need some plugins. Smustard makes a "subdivide and smooth" plugin that would get you there.
Also, just cause you have a modeller doesn't mean the 3d printed product will be any better then hand made. In order for your model for printing to be useful you'd have to make some incredibly accurate measurements of the area surrounding your build so that you can model it before modeling your addition. And really, no matter how many measurements you take its you're model of the surround will not be good enough to make run-off's from (unless of course its the boxiest car one could think of... many a Voltswagon Thing).
This doesn't mean it can't be done. It just mean's your going to have to wip out the 3D scanner.
You could buy one for a mere 3K or DIY one for the cost of a laser level (assuming you already have a computer and web cam).