One thing I’ve really enjoyed about putting CONTAINER together has been the chance to explore new processes and manufacturing techniques and I’d never done any 3D printing before, so I was excited when James sent over his idea.
It seems to me that knowing a lot about conventional printing provides very little useful grounding for 3D printing and I felt like I was venturing into the unknown. I found a lovely chap called Nick Allen at 3DPrint.UK who explained that, unlike conventional print, there is no price advantage for quantity and that pricing is calculated purely on either the overall volume or the mass of the item.
Nick provided the prototype and was generous enough to admit that his equipment was probably not able to match the industrial scale of Shapeways in The Netherlands and helped me get it produced by them since they offer no interpersonal customer service at all—like trying to get something made by PayPal.
As some indicator of how rapidly 3D print technology is advancing, the price halved from when the first sample was produced to the actual production quantity.