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Guestblog Tom Kurke: Attacking the 3D Printing Hype Cycle

In ten years we will 3D print our houses and have at least one 3D Printer at home. We all hear these stories, but what should we believe? Tom Kurke, COO of Geomagic, gives his view on the 3D printing hype.

No offense to Gartner, but I believe they’ve gotten it wrong in their assessments of 3D printing and 3D scanners in their ‘Hype Cycle‘ info graphics. Gartner concludes that both 3D printing and scanning are 5-10 years away from their ‘plateau of productivity.’ While it is certainly debatable when mass customization and the concept of a personal factory will be unlocked by the democratization of 3D capture and production technologies – these tools are being used productively, now, in a wide range of businesses.

It’s easy for a research analyst, writer, blogger, industry pundit or other predictor of ominous events to throw cold water on innovation and creativity. But the question remains, how does hype transition to a market- and game-changing shift that impacts the way people li

Newsflash: High detailed stainless steel (HS) has entered the building!

It’s all in the details. With high detailed stainless steel (HS), you can go wild with your designs. We tested the materials for a few weeks now and it looks pretty stunning. You can situate the material between silver and titanium. It’s pretty much as strong as titanium, but more shiny and mostly less expensive. Towards silver it’s less shiny but stronger. So if you’re looking for alternatives with a very high detailed standard: this could be the one!


For weeks we were (and are) excited to finally tell you the news and give you, as a designer, more -detailed- options. Wim, even did a test on rust: he put a high detailed stainless steel design in a bath with salt and no marks of rust are visible. We can’t wait to discover what you’ll design with this material!

We’re still waiting to put HS on our material page: we will let you try, play and test the material until the end of the year and see whether the material is worth to have its own place on our material page. We

London calling: visit i.materialise at the 3D Printshow

Only ten more days to go and the 3D Printshow in London will start off  for the first time. We, the i.materialise-team will be present so come and check us out at our booth or join one of our workshops.

The Brewery in London is getting ready for their first 3D Printing event ever. From the 19th until the 21st of October the days will be filled with workshops, seminars and live 3D printing shows.
Come check out our booth (K21): we will show you a selection of designs made by designers of our community such as the 3D printed retro Bioscope, designed by Jon Stam & Simon de Bakker and of course  Josh Henry’s amphibious ‘Ula Miami Concept Car’ will be making its European debut at our booth! Also, be sure to check out Iris van Herpen’s dress from the Escapism collection- 3D printed at Materialise.

Need a workout? No problem. We have two on offer on Saturday 20th of October:

  • Workshop with Tinkercad (15:00-16:00) to introduce you to their easy to use 3D web application. W

Looking for a good 3D modeler? Find one on our Forum!

You have some great ideas in your head to 3D print, but you don’t know how to design in 3D? No problem, with our 3D modeling service on the forum you can easily find a qualified 3D modeler.

Now that 3D printing is getting bigger and becoming mainstream, more and more people want to design 3D printable objects. Of course, not everyone has the set of skills to do that. So we reserved a special place on the forum with a list of qualified designers to help you out. Check out the 3D modeler service to find a 3D modeler yourself. We already checked 2 designers and put their services online.

Are you a designer yourself that wants to offer your services? Check out our application form and fill it in. We will check your portfolio and 3D modeling skills before you can become a listed designer like Dot San or Visualize-to.

Note that i.materialise is not liable for any transactions taking place between users. Therefor we won’t have a ranking system for listed designers. In case of com

Luigi Vaghi and Miel Wellens win our Urban Nomad contest!

We saw many nice entries, but of course only one per category can win. After the votes of Flanders DC and our team were counted we selected the best entries . Miel Wellens and Luigi Vaghi are the winners of the challenge! 

Miel Wellens was really pushing himself to the limit in this challenge; we received four designs and each single one was very popular amongst the jury members. He is the big winner of this competition; he wins his 3D prints ‘Pencilery’ and ‘Paperspin’ in the categories stainless steel and polyamide, besides that we will showcast his design at the festival of creativity. I think these two items need a little explanation. The designer invented a new word, especially for this design, namely: pencilery = pencils + cutlery!
Why this fits in the theme? Wellens: “Even on the road you want to eat with descent forks or knives (instead of the crappy plastic ones), so that’s how I came up with this easy solution. They also fit at the back of pencils, for those creative peop

New: Titanium online pricing and textures in 3D Printlab

We’re happy to anounce to you the following updates on our website: our trial period for titanium is over and you’re now able to see your uploaded 3D design with texture ánd color!

From now on we can serve you with exact online prices and details about the designs on our website . The maximum size we offer is 200 x 250 x 400 mm. The minimum wall thickness for your design has to be at least 0,2 millimeter, the minimum detail size 0,1. Titanium can be great for jewelry because you normally can’t have any allergic reaction from it. And although it’s not the cheapest material to work with, it’s definitely the strongest material you can 3D print.

The second update is about your uploaded 3D designs. Before, when you uploaded your design, you just saw your 3D model in grey, but those days are over: from now on you can see your design in full color!
Next to that:  when you upload a compressed file in the 3D print lab (obj, mtl and images) you can see textures to have a better vie

Share your uploaded 3D design to the world!

Always wanted to show your uploaded 3D design to friends or family? Now you can! Our share function makes it possible for other people to see your uploaded design so you can ask their opinion.

Sometimes, you just need an opinion about your design. You’re not sure about the size, the material and other people may help with that. Now you do these things in one simple click. When you upload your design in our 3D printlab just click on ‘share your model’. You will get a link so you can send it to everyone you want. But be careful: the link only works for thirty days!

Or you want to give other people the possibility to print your design? No problem: click and share! It doesn’t only seem easy: it IS easy. So why don’t you try it yourself?

Keep your creativity going.

For your information: Titanium online pricing is now available!


Take ordinary pictures with your iPhone and turn them into a 3D Model

Autodesk 123D is making 3D printing so much easier in our everyday lives with their new iPhone application. From today on you can create 3D models by taking pictures on your iPhone and uploading it with the app.

It’s always nice to walk around with your iPhone and make pictures of beautiful things you see. You can share it through social media or just show it to your friends. But how cool is it to have the opportunity to actual recreate a design you have seen? Autodesks 123D Catch for iPhone is all about recreating. And the greatest thing about it: it’s completely free!

LeeAnn Manon, Autodesk: “For people with limited 3D printing or 3D modeling experience, 123D Catch is a great way to create and print a realistic model. You can create a capture on your iPhone and then open it in the web app (it’s automatically saved in My Corner). Just use the simple model editing and healing tools to finish it up for printing, and then simply click ‘3D Print it’ to send it through the 123

Transparent resin online pricing and new samplekits: Check it out!

We’ve got some great news for you! We’re happy to say to you our trial period for transparent resin is finally over!

So from now on we can serve you with exact online prices and details about the designs on our website . The maximum size we offer is 2100 x 700 x 800 mm. You can choose the basic finish for your design but we do offer a technical finish.

When you choose a technical finish for your transparent resin model, the support material (which is needed during the printing process) is first removed. Then your model is hardened under UV light and varnish is applied on all surfaces. This varnish is applied to your model to protect it from dust and discoloration. It makes a part transparent. Adding a small amount of paint to the varnish enables bit of color to be added to this transparency.

Besides, we can also paint your transparent model (bye bye transparency). There are 4 types of paint: dead matt, matt, satin, and high gloss. The difference lies in the gloss factor. In ot

Major Tinkercad update: you can now import 2D/3D designs!

Today, the folks at Tinkercad released one of their coolest features ever: the possibility to import existing 2D or 3D designs. Tinkercad is a free 3D design app that runs in the browser by using the latest web technology (web GL). The great thing about it is that you don’t need any previous design expertise. Just open your browser, go to and start creating!


With the release of the import feature, we can’t wait to see all the crazy mash-ups and modifications people will come up with. The only downside for now, is that the STL import is limited to 25 000 triangles. So don’t go crazy just yet.

So how does an imported 3D file look in Tinkercad? Have a look below.

We can’t wait to see what’s coming next…and don’t forget you can still EXPORT your designs to i.materialise for 3D printing.