10 September 2008

Mass Customization comes to me

So, yesterday I started talking about Shapeway.com's Light Poems. Today, I go in and make one for myself. Come join in on the fun!

In order to make this Light Poem, I needed some text to cut an paste onto Shapeway's web application. So I took an excerpt from an e-mail I sent to my brother. It reads: "Salt-cured capers are like vinegar-y raisins packed in coarse sea salt. I eat them like candy." Pure poetry if you ask me. so I popped that onto their site and BAM! As soon as I hit done, my poetic words appeared on their model.

So now that I had my prose uploaded, the app made some formatting suggestions so that my structure would be sound. I made the suggested changes and I ended up with something that reads: "SALTCURED CAPERS ARE LIKE VINEGARY RAISINS PACKED IN COARSE SEA SALT AND I EAT THEM LIKE CANDY." Then I selected the font I wanted to use, Gil Sans.

Then I selected the wrapping style my finished Light Poem would have. I selected "rings" over "spiral" because I like straight lines.

Then I selected my material. Because this is still a beta at this point, there is one material available for Light Poems. There will be more materials made available in the coming weeks (and more models). So my Light Poem will be made in a pure white, flexible but strong plastic.

Finally, I saved it and placed my order. Shapeways calculated the price for my Light Poem as I went through their process and they figure the price based on the cubic centimeters of material needed to make my Light Poem. So for this one, I came up with $95.11 and that includes shipping. Pretty slick.

The next product they have coming online a bowl, and you'll be able to make it in virtually any shape you want. Keep an eye on this one kids.

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