This isn’t necessarily specific to Blender, but I mention it because it’s the program I’m using to create my models.
In a previous article, I wrote about trying to have my sword model 3D printed at Shapeways.com. Long story short they would not do so because the model in question was a weapon and it was against Dutch law to reproduce a weapon.
Ok that sucks but I can be cool with that, especially since there was nothing to be done about it.
Moving on, I was browsing the Blender sites when I found this posting:
The company is called i.materialise, and they are a very similar company to Shapeways. They take your submitted .STL file (exported from your 3D modeling program of choice) and they create it in whichever available material you choose. Costs depend on the size of your model and the material you decide to order it made out of.
Well, I thought this could be a place to get my sword made. I wasn’t able to determine exactly where in the world i.materialise is located from their website, but I did look on the parent website (http://www.materialise.com/) and they seem to be located in Belgium, but I could be wrong.
My main concern was regarding any applicable laws in their country which would prevent my sword being made, as happened in Denmark.
I sent an email off to the company, and a woman replied back to me within a few hours. I explained to her that my model was a sword and was previously rejected by Shapeways. I even sent her a render of the sword so she could see it.
They asked to see the model itself, so I generated another .STL file and emailed it to her.
Unfortunately, she responded with bad news. It was against company policy to produce such a model as this one. I’m not sure if it was also against the law or not, but that put an end to it, either way.
So that’s strike two for me. Again, it’s a real shame since I’d like to see this thing in physical form. I think the only way I may be able to do this is to model up a figure holding the sword in such a way that the model can’t be used to injure someone. Who knows.
I’m going to keep my eye open for another 3D printing company, maybe if there’s one here in the States somewhere. Still, if you have a non-weapon model that you’d like to get 3D printed. I would give i.materialise or Shapeways a try.