Home-printing is growing bigger with every passing day: Anyone with a couple of thousands of euros to spend can buy a decent 3D printing machine capable of printing anything from toys to spare parts for your weapon.
Now to add up to the list of stuff you can get 3D printed from the comfort of your living room, Finnish startup Versoteq has launched a £3000 kickstarter campaign to create 3D printed lampshades called PicShade.
Now before you start playing around too much with your imagination, it’s essential to clear out that the lampshades themselves can only have two shapes: conical and cylindrical (though if the campaign succeeds more shapes can follow). The 3D printing comes to play as the shade’s customizable surface design, which can be any chosen image or picture: In a way, it’s pretty much like turning a favourite family picture into a lampshade.
Anyway, should the campaign succeed/exceed its goal of £3000, ideally you could go to Versoteq’s online generator; upload a picture from your files; choose the shade’s shape and finally receive the 3D printable PLY file, which you can then print yourself, but since not everyone owns a 3D printer (a great majority I’d say), you can alternatively pay a bit more to have Versoteq 3D print the shade for you.
In all honesty, the shade didn’t blow my mind away. It looks a bit cheap, and the price seems over the top considering that the design can be hard to notice (unless you know what you’re looking for).
Currently the earlybird PicShade goes for £40, whereas £55 would be the normal price. And that’s for the low quality stuff.
High quality earlybird PicShades will toll your wallet for £140, with the normal price being £155. Designing a PicShade with help from award-winning Finnish industrial designer Markus Ahola will cost you no less than £800.
But all of the above mentioned prices only concern you if you’re not, in fact, the happy owner of a 3D printer. Should this not be the case, generating a file from which you can print the shade yourself will cost you only £15 (or £5 for a shade glorifying the German world cup victory), plus the costs of the materials used.
Don’t get me wrong. I really think 3D printing is something absolutely awesome and I don’t think crowdfunding 3D printing related products/services is bad either. But if you have to pay £140 (plus shipping costs) for a lamp with customized shades, I think it would be better to wait until production costs will decrease to a more reasonable level.
Currently, the PicShade kickstarter campaign has rounded close to £600 of £3000 goal and will go on until the 5th of September this year. The funds will be used to finalize the required software; produce and export the products themselves.
On top of lampshades, Versoteq offers its customers customized 3D printed tags, coins and signs.
The PicShade light bulb base and fitting is E27, which means that standard bulbs can be used as replacements. The Table version of the lamp has a light bulb base of E14. For hanging lamps, you can also choose an RGB-light for an additional cost of £25.