Do you want to hold you CAD models in your hand? I mean, physically?
This is already possible for several years and known as rapid prototyping, 3D prototyping or direct digital manufacturing. And the price of these 3D printers is getting down. Still it’s something fascinating. I had the opportunity to see the whole process live at the Hannover Fair. Starting with the design in NX and then just using the regular printing capability to launch the HP printer driver. After some additional calculations the printer starts working. A few hours later you can already hold the part in your hands.
Take a look at this video to see the whole process in action.
Our partner alphacam in Germany is a vendor for the new HP DesignJet 3D Printer. This printer is based on the FDM (Fused Deposition Modeling) technology from Stratasys and currently sold only in Germany. But there is an even easier way to get your 3D CAD models as physical parts: go to www.teilefabrik.de (German), provide your CAD models as STL files and alphacam will print it for you and send it directly to your office.