I got my second pylon from a 3D printer back today. I thought I would take a few pictures and then give my impressions of the comparative quality and value of the "prints". I will eventually gather all of this information into a single page one all my items come in. Now onto the comparison.
We can see that when placed together they initially appear identical other than their color. I'm still sad about the dimensional mistake on the powerfields, but the angle is correct and both pylons match it exactly.
The greenish pylon is from Ponoko and uses their Durable Fine Plastic. The white pylon is from Sculpteo and uses their Detail Resin. Both of these materials are resins extruded from a print head that are then cured with UV light.
Both are fairly expensive, with the green pylon costing about $19 and the white pylon costing about $25. You might think that I would recommend Ponoko over Sculpteo at this point, but if you look at the below picture, the channels between panels appear larger on the green pylon. They are, and while this might actually make me more likely to try casting the green pylon, it is clear to me that Sculpteo's additional cost does result in a higher quality and more accurate reproduction of the .stl file submitted. Also on the back of the pylon at the sharp curving edge, you can see a bit of flash on the green pylon that is not present on the white pylon.
It's still pretty cool that my idea that became a sculpture then a 3d file is now a printable object that I have held in my hand. You can have one too if you want. Here is the white pylon, and here is the green one. I am trying less expensive materials, so stay tuned if these prices are too steep for you.