Two cool news items from 3D Printing community Shapeways: you can now print your designs in glass (which is an industry first), and they’ve released their Blender renderer files under a Creative Commons license.
I reported about the new Blender-based rendering system earlier. The current default scene is very simple: a plain white, slightly reflective floor. If you think you can do better, you can participate in a contest to design a new scene: the winner gets a $150 printing voucher.
To participate, just grab the files (see link below), and design a new scene in Blender 2.49(!). You can do pretty much anything you like, but you have to leave the camera’s position and orientation intact. Also keep the rendering time reasonable as they currently render hundreds if not thousands of models a day.