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Developments in 3D printing, which used to be extremely expensive and only in reach of heavy industry, are putting the technology in the hands of the public and small businesses. HP aims to deliver a 3D printer later this year, and manufacturers catering to hobbyists are starting to push out products.
If those machines are still too expensive — mainstream models can cost around £10,000 — then there are several companies that will print out 3D models of a design submitted online.
One of these online 3D printing service providers, Shapeways, announced that it has received $5m (£3.2m) in funding and has moved its headquarters from Eindhoven in the Netherlands to New York. The service, which is two-year-old spinoff of Royal Philips Electronics's Lifestyle Incubator, lets people put together their own designs, which they upload for Shapeways to print out and ship.
Photo credit: Shapeways