Valve Corporation—a company that may or may not make video games anymore—went live recently with an interesting new partnership targeting makers. Most of you should not be surprised that this news had nothing to do with a video game announcement.
The new partnership with Shapeways, a 3D printing services marketplace, gives makers the opportunity to create and sell some of their favorite Steam-powered Valve merchandise.
While you don’t need a 3D printer (Shapeways does that part for you), you do need to have a 3D CAD program. The 3D CAD program is what will give you the ability to model your part and to export it into the appropriate format for a 3D printer to read and print; typically, the best format to export out to is an STL file and most if not all 3D CAD programs allow you to do that.
Shapeways has commented on this being a very non-traditional partnership, but mentions its growing interest—per their mission statement—in enabling the rise of independent content creators. There’s no doubt we’ll start to see some really cool things come out of this newly formed partnership.
As you’ll see below, makers are already pumping out some pretty rad stuff.