I received the Shapeways materials sample kit this week. It contains samples of 8 of their 3-D printing materials, in a handy little holder that is also 3-D printed.

Materials included are:

– Full Color Sandstone 
– Grey Robust
– Transparent Detail 
– White Detail 
– Black Detail 
– Alumide
– White Strong and Flexible
– Stainless Steel

I've already ordered models in the white strong and flexible; and white, clear, and black detail materials. But the others are new to me. I'm really excited to try full-color sandstone on some of my models in the future – the colors are bright, and the transition effect is quite nice. The stainless steel has a bit of texture to it. It would be nice for certain objects, but I wouldn't use it for a model that I wanted to look like shiny, smooth stainless steel. Alumide is also interesting it that it looks like an amalgam of materials and is kind of sparkly.

The kit also comes with a materials booklet that describes the materials and their properties and prices per square centimeter, in detail. This is great to have, although it would be nice if it was easier to tell which material sample matches which description.

The kit costs $30, but comes with a $25 Shapeways gift certificate, so really, it's practically free!