Quick And Dirty Review: Frosted Extreme Detail is good stuff. Not great, but good. Order with confidence, even the little fiddly bits, for unique tabletop parts.
For those of you who don't know, I went into a joint venture with Rebel Minis to offer custom, one-off, and as-yet unreleased parts through Shapeways. It's called Rebel Minis Digital Direct.
Here's the link http://www.shapeways.com/shops/rebelminisdigitaldirect
The parts cost more than mass-produced stuff, to be sure, but if you need to have a certain part before anyone else, it's the right thing for you.
The initial offerings weren't that great. The material selections were not high resolution, so anything you ordered was grainy and steppy.
Shapeways has now introduced a new material, called Frosted Extreme Detail, that reminds me of what we were doing, professionally, before the advent of widespread Perfactory prints.
They are akin to high-resolution Objet 3d prints. A tiny bit grainy and steppy in spots, but overall, not bad. You can see what I mean in the photos below....
RUMV Turret with Jackhammer Cannon, one of the mainstay weapons in the Earth Defense Forces armored corps. Link Here.
15mm scale Rifle Squad weapons sprue. A pair of Titan Marines are shown for reference, as well as an older 15mm scale M1 turret.
Overall, I like the new Frosted Extreme Detail material. It's consumer grade, not professional, but the quality is a strong. The cost is more, but these are more of a premium offering. If you want unique tabletop pieces, order with confidence.
Edit to add: While Shapeways is making progress on offering mass-market detailed 3d printing, if you are looking for mold-worthy prints, I would still recommend my friends at Moddler.com or VisionProto.com
Yes, they will cost more, but it's worth it for professional-quality prints from the same guys that do Hollyword SFX prototypes and medical devices, yet will still rent time on their machines to small fries like myself.
Make sure you pay extra for post-production clean-up, too. ;)
Edit to add (again): Roman, our first customer from the Shapeways store, graciously gave us permission to reblog two custom hovertanks that he made using parts from Rebel Minis Digital Direct.