Category Archives: New Features

Browse Shapeways in Local Currencies

Today, we introduced a new feature that will make the Shapeways shopping experience better on a more global scale. Until now, shoppers could only see prices in USD and EUR. Starting today, shoppers will be able to browse the marketplace in USD, EUR, AUD, GBP and CAD.


When you visit the site, you’ll now have an option in the footer to change settings and view prices in different currencies.


It’s important to note that all payments will still be processed in USD or EUR (that depends on your shipping country, and we’ll let you know in checkout). The only difference will be the price you see when viewing your products.

In addition, shop owners can access a price preview of their products in these currencies on the Selling page. This will give a glimpse of what your customers will see when they visit your shops.

Happy browsing!

New Solution for Shop Owners to Manage Images

Yesterday we made an improvement to how you can manage an important aspect of your Shapeways Shop: Images! We are aware that there have been some discrepancies with product images for the past few months, and this fix should address some of those issues. For the last few months, we’ve been getting feedback from the community that you’d like to be able to set the order of the images on your product page. We’ve listened to that feedback and are excited to share that today you’ll have full control over how images are prioritized on your product pages, product box and carousel.

Our new image management interface for Shop Owners to have greater control over how their images are displayed on the product page.
View from Model Edit page: Images prioritized as 1, 2 and 3.


View from Product Page: Default image 1 is first image, and images labeled 2 and 3 are second and third in carousel. 

Currently, you have the ability to set a default image for your default material of your product.  With our new release, you can not only set the default image for your default material, but also order the photos in your carousel in the product page. Additionally, if you have multiple images for a product in a particular material whether or not it’s your default material, you can now prioritize which image we show when a customer is looking at that specific material. Here’s how:

The first thing to know about the new image table is that the order of the photos in this table will be the order of the photos in your product’s image carousel on your product page. To move an image up or down in priority, simply change the priority number to the desired rank, and your photo will move up or down in the table. This means your #1 priority image is going to be the first image in the image carousel on the product page. Your #2 priority image is going to be the second image shown in the image carousel and so on and so forth.

Second, you now have control over not only the default image of your default material, but also the default image for all other materials.

View from Model Edit page: Control the default image for your default material and non-default material alike while setting the order of the images displayed in the image carousel on your product page.

View from Product Page: Image labeled 2 is Blue Strong & Flexible (non-default material) but is default photo when Blue Strong & Flexible material swatch is chosen (as opposed to image labeled 4 above).

The default image for your default material is the most important image of your product, as it is the photo shoppers will see while browsing the marketplace and when landing on your product page unless they have selected a specific material while browsing. So how do you set the default image for your default material? It will be the highest priority image in the image table tagged with your default material. So that you always know what your default material is when looking at your image table, we’ve labeled all images tagged with your default material with a ‘Default Material’ label. We’ve also labeled your highest priority image tagged with the default material as ‘Default Material – Default Image’ so it is always clear what your default image for your default material is.

So what happens when a customer searches for your product in a specific material or clicks on a material swatch on the product page? How do we know which image to show? You now additionally control the default image for all materials, not just the default material. The default image for a non-default material acts exactly the same way where it’s the highest priority image in the image table tagged with that material. For example, if the shopper selects your gold swatch on the product page (and silver is your default material), we will start at the top of your priority list, and go down the list until we find the first image that is tagged with the material ‘gold.’

This means if you have multiple pictures of your product in any material, make sure to prioritize your favorite photo of your product in that material above the other photos in that material so it will be the default image for that material.

While we’ve recently removed Not For Sale items from the marketplace, they do still remain available on your designer profile page. If you have a public product that is marked Not For Sale, the image shoppers will see on the product page will be your highest priority image in your image table. This is all to say that products marked Not For Sale appear the exact same way as products that are available for sale.


View of Not For Sale: Image prioritization settings are saved

So in sum, you will now have control over: 1) the order in which your images are displayed in the image carousel on the product page, 2) the default image for your default material, 3) the default image for each non-default material, and 4) the image shown when your product is not for sale.

We appreciate your ongoing patience while we are working to fix open issues concerning images on the site. Because of the learned complexity of open image issues, we are releasing features that address open issues today. As always, thanks for all the feedback, and we hope this helps!

Introducing Improved Product Discovery

Today, we are proud to announce that we are further improving the way shoppers can discover great products on Shapeways. With improved sort capabilities, we’re offering a better way for shoppers to travel through our vast catalog and find products of interest.


From the beginning,  Shapeways has allowed users to upload a 3D model and see it become a 3D print. This was the beginning of a new technology and a new community. As the community grew, so did the number of products coming out of our printers. This new library of products meant 3D printing was no longer just for those with modeling experience, but a place to create, buy and/or sell 3D printed products. Two years ago, with this in mind, we introduced a new way to discover and purchase products on Shapeways.

With the introduction of a marketplace, our community was quick to respond to the initiative and opportunity to be able to sell their products on the same platform they were able to create them on. They began filling up categories with iPhone cases, jewelry, drone accessories, miniatures and much more. We now have nearly 25,000 shops with thousands of products for public sale on Shapeways, and as these numbers continue to grow we will continue to improve upon our marketplace.

Today we are integrating a lot of the functionality people are familiar with when it comes to browsing an online marketplace in order to make it easier to shop. We are taking steps to ease browsing with tag filters, shop by material, and more.


These new features also translate over to your mobile devices. We’ve taken more steps to make our site responsive and customers are able to browse and shop on any device.


Here are some of the core upgrades of the new Shapeways Marketplace experience:

Ubiquitous category, price, material, customizable and Beta filters

  • Want to know what’s new in your favorite category and material combination? Or customizable products in a specific subcategory and in a specific material? We have you covered with the available facets on the left pane of any Marketplace view.

In-material product pictures or digital renders displayed in the results when using a material filter

  • Wondering how to easily compare products? Enable a material filter and watch the displayed results update with photos or digital renders in the specified material.

Narrow results with a tag

  • Looking for all Miniatures tagged at scale 1:144? Activate a tag filter to your view and the displayed results will reflect your choice.

Improved merchandising

  • This allows the Merchandising Team at Shapeways to better curate products on additional dimensions, such as subcategory, tag, material, featured products, shops, co-creator apps and more. This means more opportunities for shop owners to be featured in new places across the marketplace.

So what’s next? As with all major feature releases, we will be closely monitoring how the new marketplace is adopted and used. That data and feedback will be used to tweak things where needed, and we look forward to continuing to improve the experience. All of us here at Shapeways are inspired by the creations of our community. We strive to showcase them to the public in the best ways possible and we believe this new marketplace experience improves the discoverability of those creations.

Introducing Our Coolest Material Yet – Moon Dust!

Last year, 3D printers took off to print in space. Now, Shapeways is incredibly thrilled to announce that we’ve added the most innovative material to our portfolio yet – moon dust. Our engineers obtained samples from our friends at NASA  and developed a unique method for leveraging our current SLS printers to 3D print with this groundbreaking material.

moon dust 2

Moon dust surprisingly shares many of the same properties as the nylon powder we use in our SLS printers, so the design guidelines are the same. The finished product, though, has an extraordinary characteristic: a silver shimmer that only appears when held under moonlight. In daylight or under indoor lighting, moon dust products will have the same coloration as the color that we see the moon – a nice light gray with some white gradation. When held under moonlight, however, moon dust products have a beautiful, sparkly quality to them. Imagine how you will wow your family and friends with a smart phone case or bow tie that sparkles under moonlight, like the ones our community member created below!

Stay tuned for more details on our moon dust material, which we’ll open up to the public on the date of the next full moon. In the meantime use #ShapewaysMoonDust to let us know what you will design with this exciting new 3D printing material.

Happy creating!


Share your Shapeways products anywhere with our new Product Widget

The Shapeways widget is an easy way to share your Shop and favorite products outside of Shapeways. We are excited to add a brand new embeddable widget to showcase a single product, as well as an update to our existing Shop Section & Favorites Widget.

Embeddable widgets are a tool for sharing products outside of Shapeways and are a great way to grow your shop’s presence online and drive more traffic to your shop on Shapeways. You can use them to showcase your shop and designs on your own website, or to share products that you love on forums or other sites that you are involved in. Pretty much any site that allows you to add your own custom html is ripe for sharing your Shapeways products!

New: Product Embeddable Widget

We have a new embeddable widget showcasing a single product. It is simple to find the link to embed a product: a link has been added on the product page for each product.

The embed code for your product underneath the Buy Now button on each product.


You can also find it on the Product Details page for each product that you have.

We have made it easy for you to update the dimensions and remove the Buy Now button to make the widget fit perfectly wherever you want to use it, you can learn more about customizing the new widget in this tutorial.

Updated: Shops & Favorites Widget

We’ve also updated our existing Shop and Favorites Widget to keep it up to date and resolve some issues it had in the past.  If you are new to the shop widget, you can use it to embed a widget of your whole shop or a specific shop section, or your favorites or wishlist. You can learn more about how to set up and use the Shop, Shop Section and Favorites Widgets here.

We are excited to see how you use these new and updated widgets, but we are also eager to add more customization options based on your feedback! Feel free to give us suggestions for future versions in our feedback form here and please share your examples with us in the comments or on Twitter.

Introducing RUSH 2 & 3 Day Production on Shapeways Regular White Strong and Flexible Plastic!


Have you ever wished your 3D prints would arrive faster? That you could order on a Tuesday and receive parts the same week? Today we have some very exciting news for you:

Introducing RUSH 2 & 3 Day Production on Shapeways Regular White Strong and Flexible Plastic!

You’ve convinced us to give it a try. You’re all invited to sign up for our Rush Pilot! Anyone can sign up, and we’ll slowly let users over the coming weeks in accordance with our capacity. You’ll be notified via email when you’re in.

Important Details about 2 & 3 Day Rush:

  • Rush offering is for unpolished White Strong & Flexible only with a bounding box < 150x150x200mm

  • Target Ship Day for North America, Australia, and New Zealand:  Leaves our factory in 3 business days for orders made before 2pm CET / 8am EDT. Orders placed after that time will be counted towards the next business day.

    • i.e. Order placed on Tuesday 7am EDT, parts are shipped end of day Friday. Order placed on Thursday 4pm EDT, parts are shipped EOD following Wednesday.

  • Target Ship Day For All Other Geographies: Leaves our factory in 2 business days for orders made before 2pm CET / 8am EDT. Orders placed after that time will be counted towards the next business day.

    • i.e. Order placed on Tuesday 7am EDT, parts are shipped end of day Thursday. Order placed on Thursday 4pm EDT, parts are shipped EOD following Tuesday.

  • Rush orders are twice the price of regular WSF (pricing may change in the future)

  • You can use the  ‘Print it Anyway’ option along with Rush if you choose.

  • Beta users will have a rush option added to checkout flow. All rush parts will need to placed in a separate shopping cart in order for the rush option to appear.

  • Check the material status page before you order to make sure we have capacity before placing your rush order. This is an experiment, and we physically have a daily-maximum volume capacity for Rush.  While we will always do our best to make it happen, we may not always have room to accommodate your order. If you place an order that we won’t be able to deliver on time, customer service will reach out so you can cancel your order and place it again as regular White Strong & Flexible.

  • To ensure your order arrives as fast as possible, you still need to select Next-Day-Shipping (or fastest available) in your region.

What do you look forward to making faster with RUSH?

Introducing 3D Printed Porcelain & Saying Goodbye to Our Current Ceramics Offering

We’re really excited to share a new, exclusive material at Shapeways: 3D printed porcelain.



3D Printed Porcelain R&D

For the past year and a half, we’ve been exploring new options for ceramics based on the feedback we’ve heard loud and clear from our community. You told us that you want ceramics that are faster, more durable, more functional, and more colorful. This material didn’t exist, but that didn’t stop us. We created an R&D taskforce who have been working hard in our secret lab to develop a new way of 3D printing beautiful, durable porcelain. This is our first major investment in end to end material R&D.

The new 3D printed porcelain is groundbreaking, with quality and detail that mirrors traditional ceramics processes and the design flexibility of 3D printing. Utilizing a castable porcelain body created by Dr. Stuart Uram of Core Cast Ceramics with the support of Albert Pfarr, we developed an innovative process for producing 3D printed porcelain products. By combining the SLS printers that produce our Strong and Flexible Plastic with an innovative porcelain casting process, we can create detailed and durable products that are fired and glazed just like conventional ceramics. Using the best of 3D printing and traditional ceramics, we’re able to create the sort of quality you could only find in high end, handmade porcelain.

Here’s what you can expect from 3D printed porcelain, only available at Shapeways:

  • Amazing Colors – From cobalt blue to matte black, 3D Printed Porcelain will be available in classic colors that call upon the porcelain tradition.
  • Durable & Functional – Porcelain is dishwasher, oven, and microwave safe. You can even make baking dishes and pizza stones!
  • Gorgeous Detail – Porcelain enables you to design with very high detail and thin, translucent glazes.
  • Big & Bold – The strength enables thick and larger products, so we’ll be able to help you scale to the whims of your imagination.


Community R&D and Pilot

To start, 3D printed porcelain will be available in a limited pilot with the goal of improving our process and design guidelines. When we are ready to deliver amazing results to the masses, we’ll open this up as a material available for sale to shoppers in our marketplace.

If you are an experienced designer and would like to be considered for the pilot, Sign up here. We’ll start with a small group and expand as we learn more.



What does this mean for the current 3D printed ceramics?

You have probably noticed that ceramics has been plagued with problems for a while. For the last several months, our production partner for ceramics has been operating with significant delays. In order to ensure we set the right expectations, we’ve had to increase lead times from 13 days to 18 days to 22 days over the course of the last year.

At 22 days, our production partner was only shipping at 30% on time, which is simply unacceptable. We increased lead time to 45 days in October to set more accurate expectations, but whether you’re creating products for your business or waiting for a gift, these delays are unacceptable.

Given the uncertainty and delays, we had to make a hard decision and, as of today, will stop offering the current ceramics materials for the foreseeable future. Designers selling in ceramics are in the loop and will be key partners for us in the pilot and future R&D. We’re incredibly disappointed to have to take this step, but you deserve better.

Still reading?
Our goal is to make 3D printing affordable and accessible so that you can make amazing products. Unfortunately, current 3D printed ceramics just didn’t cut it anymore. We’re excited to bring an entirely new material to the design community and more than anything else, we cannot wait to see what you make! Here’s a teaser of porcelain in action:

Shaping the Future of How We Buy: Introducing Beta & First to Try Products

People are demanding more from the products that they spend their hard earned money on. More and more, they are seeking out products created by people they know and trust, made in the cities and towns they call home. In research we did earlier this year, we found that nearly 50% of Americans know someone who is making and selling their own products. From the friend who quit her day job to create beautiful jewelry to someone who wants to make a better bike helmet, there’s no shortage of innovative products being created by independent designers around the world. In large part, they are enabled by the power of the Internet, which has made it even easier for people to sell their own products over the past 20 years.

Product design is also becoming more collaborative. Entrepreneurs are working with their friends and customers to get the support they need throughout the product development process.

Today, we’re excited to officially announce two big additions to Shapeways that we hope will make it easier (and more fun!) for people to create their own products by inviting friends and fans into the creative process.

Now on Shapeways, you’ll see a two new kinds of products: Beta & First to Try.

What’s Beta?

One of the most critical steps in designing a great product is iteration: tweaking a product to perfection by testing and refining the design. You can be a part of the creative process by giving designers feedback when their products are in Beta. Share your thoughts on the design, the aesthetics, the fit, or anything else you think will help make the product even better. There are already over 500 products in Beta on Shapeways — check them out and start collaborating!

Beta products on Shapeways

What’s First to Try?

If you’re the kind of person who can’t wait to get your hands on the latest gadgets, or if you wait in line for movies on opening night, read on.

In the past, you’d have to wait until a product has gone through months or years of development to try it out. With 3D printing, there’s no need to wait. Help bring a product to life by buying it in “First to Try.” These products are in earlier stages of development, so sometimes there are some kinks (no matter how beautiful the render, the laws of physics still exist. In those cases, not to worry, the refund is on us!). Most of the time, though, they’ve been 3D printed in a few of our materials and it’s your chance to try them out in others. Platinum, anyone?

Here at Shapeways, we’re trying to shake up how products are made and by whom. We have makers and designers from all over the world in our community, some of whom are making their first product and others who have been professional product designers for their whole lives. They’re creating everything from jewelry to rocket ships, GoPro accessories to chess sets. It’s your turn to join them.

Note for all the designers and creators out there!

In the short term, here are a few things you can do to take advantage of these new features:

1. Create Your New Material Renders
For all of the materials that you are offering for sale, you can now create realistic renders of each material. You can pose & generate renders for all of your products, regardless of if they have been printed before. Learn more.

2. Tag Materials in Your Photos
If you have photos for each material you are offering for sale, you can tag them so they show up when shoppers select a material on your product page. Learn more.

3. Explore First to Try & Beta
You can learn more about how you can use these new tools to bring your products to market using 3D printing.

We also shared these features with our community a few weeks ago and got some great feedback, some of which is already implemented in this latest iteration. But it’s not too late to join the discussion! We’re in Beta too :) Sign up for future usability testing here.

Faster 3D Printing in Our Most Popular Materials

We’re always striving to make 3D printing more affordable and to get your products in your hands as fast as possible. So we’re excited to share that today, we’ve reduced lead times globally for Full Color Sandstone! We’re also increasing speed in the Strong and Flexible Family for our European and worldwide customers.

Textured Cuff by Ina

Textured Cuff by Ina

You can see the new ship dates reflected on our Materials page, upon checkout and below in this chart. In order to maximize the reductions we’ve broken the Strong and Flexible family into new sizes. Currently we only have a split between small WSF (<20cm) and large WSF (20cm>), by adding the medium category, we can make all of them faster, and let you get your small parts really fast: in just four days!

Screen Shot 2014-08-05 at 7.09.20 AM

Big thanks to our Supply Chain and Manufacturing teams for making this happen. These new faster speeds and size breakdowns are currently available ONLY for our European and worldwide customers, and we hope to roll them out soon to the USA and Canada. Stay tuned!

Introducing Print Success Rates: Increasing Transparency in the 3D Printing Manufacturing Process

Before we launched Shapeways, 3D Printing was used for prototyping and rarely for finished products. As more and more of your phenomenal designs have emerged from our factories, we’ve been able to show the world that 3D Printing can be used to create real, finished products that people want to buy.

With this shift, we’ve started to think more about what it means to make sure a product is ready for repeated manufacturing so that hundreds of customers can hold it in their hands. We want to do everything in our power to help you design great products, so we’ve continued to roll out tools to help you understand our design guidelines.

It’s not surprising that our next biggest request we hear from you, our community, is that you want more information and transparency about how your products fare in our manufacturing process. What goes right, and importantly, what goes wrong. That information is critical to run your business.

Our Manufacturing Process

Although we constantly push our machines and processes to their limits, we can’t make everything. Often times, we can manufacture a product once, but the second, third, and fourth runs aren’t always as successful as the first attempt. For example, we might find that a product prints properly but gets polishing medium stuck inside it, or a model may only survive the cleaning process one in five times due to how brittle the wires are.

The first indicator to determine if we can manufacture a product is whether or not it meets our design guidelines. We only check a product against our design guidelines the first time it is ordered. You can already see the result of our “Manual Check” on your Model Edit page, which was the first update in a series of improvements to increase transparency.

Once your product has cleared Manual Checks, it goes into Production. This process is different for each material, as each material may use different 3D printers and have different post production. If the product experiences a problem along the way (for example: it breaks during the polishing step), the product enters a “QA Review,” where we assess what to do next: attempt to reprint your product, reach out if it looks like you might want the product as is, or give you feedback on how to improve your design for manufacturing.

Today we’ve launched the second change focused on increasing transparency in manufacturing: we are now displaying  Success Rate for each material on your Model Edit page. Each material your model has been ordered in at least once will have a success rate displayed, allowing you to start seeing how it fares during our manufacturing process.

The Success Rate is calculated as follows:

Number of times product shipped successfully / Number of total production attempts

The Success Rate will also include similar materials that share the same processing steps. For example, if your product is printed successfully in Blue Strong & Flexible Polished, this also registers as a successful print for White Strong & Flexible, as the dyed and polished material uses White Strong & Flexible as a base.

When we encounter a design with a low success rate, we pinpoint printability issues and send an e-mail that has a set of suggestions for how to fix your product.

Note: As you can imagine, the success rate may not be incredibly accurate after one attempt, but will increase in accuracy as more products are manufactured.

You can already see the success rate via e-mail when your product experiences issues. Today we’re adding the success rate for each material on your Model Edit page, right next to your automated and manual check results.

Using Success Rate

You can use Success Rate to have a higher level of confidence in your product before making it available for sale. For example, if your product has been printed 10 times successfully with a 100% success rate, there is a very good chance that it will move through the manufacturing process smoothly. If, however, you see a 50% or 55% success rate, you may want to reference any e-mails we’ve sent and then have another look at your design, or reach out to Customer Service in advance to address any issues you (and eventually your customers) might face and adjust accordingly.

The Future

This is the second step in becoming more transparent about how we determine whether or not a product can be repeatedly manufactured. As we continue to learn by printing your models and hear your ideas and suggestions, we will continue to invest in tools that give you better visibility into what’s happening with your product throughout the production process. We hope that this will enable you to make even more innovative products using 3D printing.

We’re excited to share your product’s success rate with you and can’t wait to see what you make next.


* Footnote *

Known Issues

While many of our vendors are able to provide us with detailed information on how many times they attempt to print a product before shipping, some can’t. Currently, we don’t have as much visibility into the success rate of the Stainless Steel family as we’d like, so you will see 100% if your model ever shipped successfully, or a 0% if it never did. We are working hard to change this!


Ultra exciting news for Frosted Ultra Detail

We’re happy to announce that, thanks to a recent machine upgrade, the Frosted Ultra Detail (FUD) Plastic bounding box has increased its maximum to 284 x 184 x 203mm, from its previous maximum of 127x178x152mm; a 220% x 3% x 34% increase respectively. This train by our Shapie Customer Service expert Mitchell shows off the new bounding box quite well.


While most FUD products will still ship within six business days, please allow up to 10 for products that are over 70mm in each bounding box dimension.



So, what will you be printing in our new, bigger FUD?

New Faster & Cheaper Shipping Option for US Customers: Introducing USPS First-Class Shipping at $4.99

Posted by in New Features

Our goal at Shapeways is to make 3D printing more accessible and affordable. So we’re excited to share that starting today, customers in the US can now have products delivered by United States Postal Service First-Class for a flat rate of $4.99, with expected transit time of 1-3 business days.

This is a faster, cheaper option that will hopefully make 3D printing even more affordable, whether you’re prototyping or getting a gift for a loved one. USPS also offers some unique benefits, including delivery to PO Boxes or to properties where entrance by private carriers is limited or prohibited. You’ll be able to track your package and gleefully watch as it leaves our NYC factory and make its way to your front door.

From our factory to your door. Image: Shapeways 

Continue reading

Introducing our newest color: Orange

You asked for it, so today we bring you orange! That’s right, all our new colors are World Cup related. Last weeks Green and Yellow launches were for Brazil, the host country* and today we are rolling out Orange, for our Netherlands team ORANJE!

Flowers Bangle by Marmalade Park 

This brings our color palette for our dyed strong and flexible family to a full rainbow, just in time to show our support for Pride Month here in the USA.

Join in the Orange conversation in the forum or let us know your feedback here in the comments. We are trialing this specific shade of orange for four weeks, so let us know your feedback about the shade and we may adjust after the trial.

What will you make with orange? Will it be as good as Van Persie’s goal? What other colors do you want for your team to 3D print in?

Continue reading

New Color Alert: Announcing Shapeways Green and Yellow

Posted by in New Features

Yesterday, we lowered lead times on the majority of our metals and today we are excited to announce the addition of two new nylon colors to our palette, Green and Yellow! Just in time for the world cup in Brazil. It’s the Shapeways GOOOOOAAAAAAALLLLLL to continue to bring you more materials faster and we’re committed to holding our top spot in the 3DP bracket!

Continue reading

Introducing Castable Wax: Our Newest Maker Only Material

We know you’ve been asking for it for a long time and we’re beyond thrilled to announce our next Maker Material: Wax!

From the moment we introduced metals, you asked if we could just ship the castable wax. As of today, you can order the wax of your model, ready for you to cast into any number of metals, either in your studio or at a casting house. Our wax can be cast just like normal investment casting wax, for which there’s a large variety of methods. 

Continue reading