I spoke to Jon Bryant at Formlabs. He said that any questions to contact him at jon [at] formlabs [dot] com or phone: 617.932.5227 ext766
This in a way acts as a lead-in to Shapeways FUD. Shapeways charges $3.49 cm3 for FUD (Frosted Ultra Detail). The 1 liter of resin from Formlabs costs $149 .. which works out to $0.15 cm3. While there may be a difference in resin cost between what Shapeways and Formalabs use I suspect that the major cost difference is the print time is figured into the Shapeways charge.
Formlabs says that 77 of the chess pieces could be printed from one bottle of resin. That works out to 1000 cm3/77 or each chess piece having a volume of 13 cm3. At $.015 per cm3 for the resin then each chess piece would cost you $2. That same volume at Shapeways would be 13 x $3.49 or $45.37 .. not counting the $5 handling charge and approximate $5 shipping.
I haven’t sawn, beaten, stomped or otherwise tried to kill the chess piece. Just holding it in my hands it appears to be solid, strong and durable. It (the resin) is described as “like ABS”. Jon mentioned that if you go to the community forum there is the usual ‘formeze discussions’ .. that some have electroplated the plastic (yes .. ABS can be electroplated) to increase the strength of parts.
Is it worth $3299 to you? Donno. Would it be useful in Model Railroading / Military Modeling in creating your own parts? Sure.
|The sample came to me nicely packaged as you see here. It is a rook that would I think make any chess player happy to have (well .. unless they were of the *cough* .. elite such as from Hollywood or Washington D.C.|
|Looks pretty darn good. There is some layering evident next to my thumb and just above where the base necks down to the spiral trunk. Remember this was printed at the 100 micron layer. Obviously, printing at 50 microns would reduce that layering by half and printing at 25 microns by a quarter .. of course the printing time would increase proportionally.|
|A view from the top and we can see the helical stairs spiraling down into the body of the tower and the lettering nicely done on top.|