The forums at Shapeways are a vast land of information. Adhere to this map and your travels will be less grueling on your path to 3D printing enlightenment! Today, Michael, and half-decade dedicated Shapie and our forum moderator leads the way.
For you newcomers, go to the Introduction section. Here, you can share with others what you plan to do with Shapeways and learn how community members can help you.
Once introduced, there are several paths you can go down: If you don’t wish to delve into the land of 3D modeling yourself, you can find an experienced Shapeways member in the 3D Modeler for Hire section.
If you have trouble finding someone with the required skills, post in the 3D Modeler Needed section with the requirements you’re seeking. We may even have a Co-Creator ready to help you make exactly what you’re looking for. (If you have a problem with your Co-Creator, let us know in the Co-Creator Feedback section.)
If you intend to create your own models, but don’t have the necessary skills to create them yet, you should traverse the 3D Applications, 3D Design, and 3D Printing sections for helpful hints on where to start. Other points of interest should be the FAQ and Tutorial sections of the site.
Once you’ve acquired your design skills but need more guidance for your design, head to the Work In Progress section. Here, you’ll get insight and assistance in making your designs more attractive to customers and getting them ready for production.
If the mighty task of ordering and shipping gives you trouble, head to the Buying section for further guidance.
There are several helpful sections for sharing and further personalizing your products. Once you have your item in your hand, be sure to share your awesome creation in the It Arrived section. Is your product so awesomely awesome that the world should know of its existence? Post it in the Feature This! section, and tell us what makes it so grand.
And if you want to add to your model, check the Post Production Techniques section for ways that others have enhanced their products.
Once you have your method for creation, link your item to a post that you create in the Instructions section, detailing how to finalize your printed product.
Looking to sell on Shapeways or have any questions or issues with Shapeways Shops? Head to the Shapeways Shops section and make your voice heard.
Find something wrong with the site, or have a suggestion to make it more awesome? Let us know in either the Bug Reporting section or the Suggestions section. (Always look to see if someone else had the same awesome idea or problem before you.)
When you feel that you’ve outgrown the massive world of Shapeways design and shops, we still have more help for you. With the Shapeways API you can go above and beyond, and with the help of the Shapeways API section, we can help you get there.
As you travel the forums, pay close attention to the final 2 sections: Official announcements are where we, Shapeways, inform you, the community, of Shapeways goings on. And finally, in the General Discussion area, you and other community members are free to discuss anything related to 3D design and printing.
And of course, if you ever have any questions that weren’t answered here, or just want to say hello, feel free to drop me an email here.
Here's Michael showing off some Community Bling at Maker Faire NYC! How are you liking the Challenge so far!? Let us know in the comments.