Sculpteo provides an online 3D printing service for consumers and businesses. It allows users to produce a real touchable object from a 3D file. Layer after layer of a special material is built up until the object becomes a tangible reality, such as a vase, a cup, or the artistic outline of a skull, as seen at this year’s CES 2012.

3D printing from a smartphone image can create an artistic or utilitarian product

Multiple 3D file formats are supported ? obj, 3ds, stl and skp. Images from a smartphone or tablet are transformed by Sculpteo?s 3D printing Cloud Engine into viable objects. Although the technology is sophisticated, it is made simple by the Apps? step by step guidance. A photo you take on a smartphone is transformed into a 3D image which can then be printed using a specialized ceramic material instead of ink.

Sculpteo creates actual objects from 3D images

Sculpteo has solicited designers such as Jean-Louis Frechin to create designs that users of the Sculpteo App can customize and manipulate incorporating their own images. The company expects retailers will want to create their own designs. Printing takes place in the Sculpteo 3D printing facilities. Although located in France, Sculpteo will deliver the finished product to your factory or your customer in Europe or the US. Sculpteo claims that mass customization well be simple, concrete, and affordable from manufacturing through distribution. Affordable starts with the free download of Sculpteo from the App Store.