Well, at least we thought Shapeways had created a new gold-plated brass edible material when we saw the photo in their announcement for it. 🙂
Here’s the real scoop on it and some other photos where the model isn’t trying to eat the model.
Gold Plated Brass is a rich, highly polished material that’s perfect for jewelry and precious objects. The base is solid brass, and the gold plating gives it a smooth, beautiful finish.
Gold Plated Brass models are fabricated using a complex five-step process. First, the model is printed in a wax using a specialized, high-resolution 3D printer. It is then put in a container where liquid plaster is poured in around it. Once the plaster sets, the wax is melted out in a furnace, and the remaining plaster becomes the mold. Molten brass is poured into this mold and allowed to harden. The plaster is broken away, and the brass piece is cleaned and polished. Finally, this piece is electroplated with a thin layer of nickel for durability and an outer layer of high quality 24K gold. The result is a smooth gloss finish comparable to a solid gold item.
It available now but only for a one month trial through August 25th. Check out their material overview page if you’re interested.