New Automated Checks for Your Uploads to Shapeways (UPDATE)

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We are always looking for ways to make it easier for you to 3D print anything you want.  We see some truly amazing models uploaded that unfortunately cannot be 3D Printed due to thin wall issues.  We are working to reduce the amount of rejected models after upload, so that you can be more confident your successfully uploaded models are 3D printable with Shapeways.  We already have automated checks to ensure the scale of your model is suitable for each material along with Mesh Medic to repair some issues with files that are not watertight or have reversed normals or other manifold issues.

We are now introducing an automated process to check the wall thickness of your uploads to see what materials they can be successfully 3D printed in. To start we will run the check on White Strong & Flexible related materials (white, polished, black, red, purple) for all new uploads to Shapeways. The model will upload as usual but if the model is deemed to have walls that are too thin you will see a warning when you attempt to purchase the item in your model EDIT page. This is the first phase of introduction of thin wall testing and we will use this against manual checks to test it’s efficacy. In this first phase we will not limit material availability based on automatic thin wall checks, nor will the warning be shown any place apart from the model EDIT page.  

This is our first public test, we have been trialling the process internally with success and now want to start to roll it out to newly uploaded models for WSF family only. Eventually this process should reduce the number of your models that are rejected for 3D printing after being successfully uploaded, reduce lead times and make EVERYONE happier. 

Upload a file now Let us know what you think of our latest automated check?


  1. sgust

    It seems to me that the upload check makes it impossible to update any models which can’t be printed in WSF. I tried to update an existing model created for Frosted ultra detail and got the error “Based upon the size, volume and wallthickness of your product there is no printer available which is able to print your product.” But when I upload it as a new file it passed all tests and just gives me the warning described above for the WSF and similar materials.

    1. Duann

      Hey sgust,

      The upload check does not currently restrict printability based on wall thickness, it only gives a warning in the edit page.

      Can you please email me the model number so we can see what is happening here.

      duann at shapeways dot com


    2. sgust

      I found the problem with my model, I had accidentally deselected all materials on the Edit Page. I selected FUD, made it default and now the upload works again.

  2. alexander.rodgers

    Thanks so much for this. This is an excellent first step to solving a problem I’ve encountered a lot.

    I uploaded a test model that I thought should fail the test: it intentionally has a protruding wall of only 0.2mm. However, I can’t find any warning of the sort described above. Is this correct? Is a wall of 0.2mm printable in WSF, or is the checking system failing to notice the wall?

    1. alexander.rodgers

      As a follow up to this I had a model rejected from an order for a wall of 0.47mm, even though this should have produced the warning discussed in the post. I can’t see any such warning. Very sad, as I’d previously printed the same shape in stainless steel which has a higher minimum wall thickness. Now if I want the ring in question I’d have to pay $US20 shipping for the $US3 product.

    2. Duann

      Hey Alexander, at no point should a stainless steel part with a 0.47mm wall thickness be 3D printed. The part would be incredibly fragile at this size… was this a small detail or a structural component?

    3. Duann

      It should show in the ‘product edit page’ only, unless it was a very small 0.2mm section that may have been read as a detail, not a wall?

    4. alexander.rodgers

      I think from this comment and your other one (2.1.1) that I may be confusing terminology. What’s the difference between a “wall” and a “detail”? I thought a wall was any area of material between empty areas, but I think you mean something more relevant to structure.

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