A few days ago my uncle got a brand spankin' new, fully assembled Thing-O-Matic 3D printer in the mail. There's a few kinks right now, and we haven't quite printed anything perfectly yet, but we should have it up and running soon enough. The detail of the prints is quite nice, I believe it prints in 1 mm increments. It prints in ABS, and is very similar to the Shapeways Grey Robust printer quality. I am unfortunately not sure of what the minimum wall thickness is, but I think it can handle around 1mm on small parts. (EDIT: Just checked Shapeways, and Grey Robust has a 1mm min. thickness. I'm putting that constraint on files.)
So, that being said, I have pretty much as much access to this printer as I please. I know many of you probably have unprinted designs you would like to see come to life, and if the file is simple enough I'd be willing to do that.At this time, I will not be selling/distributing any puzzles, including your own designs.
There are a lot of details that need to be worked out first. However, in the future I am hoping to offer some sort of prototyping service exclusive to TP. The puzzle I print from your file would, more or less, become part of my personal collection. If you allowed me to use some of your files, of course, you would end up being first priority on any kind of future 3d printing sales.
If you want to send me a file, contact me through PM here on TP. I'm looking mostly for puzzles that are not too simple and not too complex, so I can see what this printer is capable of for myself. I already know it won't be suitable for a 17x17, but it might be for, say, a master skewb, or something like that. Even when/if this printer is running perfect, don't expect a perfect puzzle; this isn't a $75,000 SLS Printer.
I'm only looking for established designers here. You don't have to be putting out a puzzle a week like Oskar, but I'm not going to print an unfilletted 3x3 that someone with no experience made in SketchUp. I'd suggest having at least one successful puzzle print.
So, to summarize: Send me a file and I'll tell you if I think it's good to print. I will eventually, hopefully print something of it that is of acceptable quality. I'm not doing any sales right now, but I will hopefully be able to offer you one copy of your puzzle some time in the future for a low price (lower than shapeways prices.)
Again, there's a lot of ifs and this is still in a very, very early stage. I hope something will come out of this which will allow me and other members of TP to print their puzzles at a low price.
I'm not here to steal anyone's designs and I won't make any unauthorized distributions of your files. Perhaps in the future full sized runs of puzzles could be possible, but that would be for the designer to decide.
Feel free to ask any questions at all you might have about this.
Thank you in advance!