Hold your own 3D model in your hand!

Create a model with your favorite software, upload it at shapeways.com, choose the most suitable material and order your own 3D model!
10 working days later hold your
own model in your hand!

Create a model

  • You can create a model in almost any 3D modeling or CAD software.
    You can find an overview of all supported software here.
  • Designing for 3D Printing is a bit different from regular 3D design.
    Check out these guidelines and you'll be on your way before you know it!
  • The number of polygons in your model needs to be less than 1,000,000.
    Your mesh needs to be watertight.
    Your models need to be manifold.
    The normals in your model have to point in the right direction.

  • Export your work to an STL, Collada or X3D file.
    If the software that you use does not support any of these file formats you can use.
    AccuTrans3D or Meshlab to covert files to these formats.
    There is a tutorial available about Converting with AccuTrans3D and Meshlab.
  • We also have a 3D parts database where you can download files for 3D printing.
    These files are 3D printing parts that you can use for free.
    The files currently in the database have all been tested and printed by us and all "print for sure".

Upload your model

  • Go to the 'Upload' button in the blue bar on our homepage and follow the steps.
    You can upload STL, VRML, Collada & X3D files to Shapeways.
  • You can choose to show your model to others in the gallery, or keep it private so that no one can see it.
  • Your design will remain your property, you simply grant us a license to print your
    model when you order it. You can also let others order your model if you want.
  • Once your model has been uploaded you will receive an email telling you this.
    You can then see the model on your mydesigns page.
    After that you can see how much it will cost in all our materials.

Choose a material

  • We have a large variety of materials available for you to print your model in.
  • We try to amaze you with new materials over and over again.
  • We’ll keep you updated if you sign up for our newsletter (see preferences at the right).
  • Each material has its own unique properties and features.
    However each material also has its own limitations and specifications like minimum wall-thickness and details. It might be wise to check our materials page before you start modeling.


  • Go to your my design page, click on the model you want to order.
    10 to 21 working days later you have your model in one of our great materials at home.

More about Shapeways and 3D printing

Want to upload now? Start here

Need some inspiration?

Most frequent questions

Problems uploading?
Non manifold problems?
All FAQs

Relevant links

I need more help

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We do our best to make Shapeways the service YOU want. If there's anything you think we should add or improve, please leave your feedback in our forum.