Introducing Premium Silver 3D Printing to Shapeways

We have just raised the bar for Silver 3D printing at Shapeways with the introduction of Premium Silver.

Premium Silver is our 3D printed Sterling Silver taken to the next level with an incredibly smooth, glossy surface to give your designs a truly professional finish. We will be offering Premium Silver for a six week trial until Tuesday May the 14th, during which we will assess the pricing and design rules. If you love this new finish as much as we already do, we will keep it as a permanent material option on Shapeways.

3D Printed Premium Silver Detail

It is really important to note that we get this amazing finish on the Premium Silver with manual polishing that may result in very fine details being polished away.  If your design has sharp corners these will be polished to a smoother, rounder edge.  If your design has very fine engraving or embossing, these details may be polished out.  As we progress through the trial we will have a better idea exactly what level of detail will succeed and we will update the design rules and guidelines accordingly.

As with other precious metals, the polished surface of silver is soft, so scrapes and scratches are to be expected as a normal part of wear. To minimize damage and ensure your product lasts a lifetime, we recommend storing your jewelry or other Silver products in a soft cloth pouch and away from other products. Avoid exposing the product to household chemicals during cleaning as they can be damaging to the finish. Silver tarnishes with time, use a silver polishing kit to maintain a glossy surface.  


To cover the cost of the manual polishing required to achieve the Premium Silver finish we are launching the trial with a tiered pricing structure for both the handling fee and the material price per cm3.

Handling Fee Per Model:  $45 (up to 1.7 cm3), $78 (1.7 – 3.4 cm3),  Free (above 3.4 cm3)

Price Per cm3: $28 (up to 3.4 cm3),  $75 (above 3.4 cm3)

This means:

1.0 cm3 item will cost $73.00

1.7 cm3 item will cost $92.60

1.8 cm3 item will cost $128.40

3.4 cm3 item wil cost $173.20

3.5 cm3 item will cost $262.50 

We will look at this pricing structure during the period of the trial and may opt to change them based on the model types and feedback we receive. 

Design Rules

The design rules for Premium Sliver for the trial period are basically the same as our existing design rules though we recommend taking a close look at any fine details that may be removed during the finishing process.

The maximum size we can offer Premium Silver is 100 x 100 x 30 mm maximum bounding box 

The minimum size an object must be to be 3D printed in Premium Silver is 2.4 x 2.4 x 0.8 mm 

The minimum possible wall thickness is 0.8 mm but this thickness is not suitable for parts under stress like ring shafts or pendant loops which should be thicker to withstand stress. 

For more details visit the Premium Silver design rules.

Premium Silver detail Shapeways 3D Print

3D printed Premium Silver will be on offer for a six week trial until Tuesday May the 14th at which point we may make changes to the pricing and design rules or we may discontinue if there is not sufficient demand.  We are really excited about this new material option at Shapeways and think it will lift your 3D printed products to a whole new level.  

Let us know what you think!

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    1. Duann

      Glad you like it.
      Looks stunning in real life.

    2. Higonnet

      Not having ever ordering regular silver, it would be helpful to post the same object(s) in regular and premium silver…

  1. maarten

    I would like to see the unfinshed result, that will tell the quality the machine put out……

    1. Duann

      Hey Maarten,
      You can see the quality of the finished products.

  2. Glenn

    Looks really nice. I would no doubt order something for myself in the new silver but for my business of re-selling, where I have to get the item shipped to me, pay import taxes, then ship back out, the price will not be very good for business…

    1. Glenn

      And just to verify that I did some price comparisons: On a small pendant the price went up from $45 to $59… not too bad, but then another model – two thick rings – went from $218 to $686!! Wow. So I’m paying $468 for some extra polishing….

    2. Duann

      Hey Glenn,

      We are aware that the pricing throws up some fairly large discrepancies that we may address after this trial has ended.

    3. RHD

      So at $478 for polishing it’s better to wait to make something until the trial is over then?

    4. Duann

      Hey Glenn,

      Why do you need to send out yourself?

    5. Glenn

      Well, Duann, I get a lot of my work from another site that caters to custom jewellery. I make it and then ship it to the customer, sometimes with post-work done on it, but not always. I try to explain that they can buy the item from my store on Shapeways but it just goes right over some people’s heads… Occasionally I get the message across, though. It’s unfortunate that when a lot of people read “3D Printing” they imemdiately tune out and seem to think “No, I mean I want to buy some REAL jewellery”….

  3. Dario Scapitta

    This is a good news, and would like to put your attention, if possible, on my post that I’ve placed just now on the Forum regarding a test in silver high glossy .
    It will be nice to try out some tests in PREMIUM, however I agree with Glenn that in terms of business it will be expansive, but I will try some price comparisons.

    1. Duann

      Hey Dario, can you include a link to the post so I can read?


    2. Duann

      Hey Dario,

      Michael is right, Premium Silver is hand polished to perfection.

      If they can reach it they will polish it.

  4. Marlon Artis

    Beautiful… I’ve been during a lot of both hand and machine polishing on my silver pieces that I’ve received from Shapeways. I’m glad that this new finish is now being offered.

    Looking forward to growing my business with Shapeways. – Cheers, Marlon from ArtizanWork

  5. Sal

    I might just test this out on my “Cheshire Cat Size 5 1/2”. It has the most finest detail of all my models. Curious to see of the design rules are the same….

    1. Duann

      Cool, please share photos so all can see the finish.

  6. Bobbie

    This is great and I’m happy for the people who will be making use of it but I’m not terribly interested personally. It’s far too expensive. I’d much rather see wood, rubber, full color sandstone with better detail and a polishing option, ceramics with better detail, a gold plating option that doesn’t look like butt, and a come-down in material price/cost. I know that’s a tall order but that’s what I would love to see, as an artist anyway.

    1. Brad Dickason

      Hey Bobbie, we’re absolutely excited about the same materials you are 🙂 Premium Silver is a step in the right direction for Jewelry, but the gold plated finish and an overall higher detail and smoother finish on most of our materials is something we still need to perfect.

  7. Christian Gruber

    The quality is outstanding with perfect details. But the price is outrageous.

  8. David Olson

    Since you are already using the lost wax method to cast your silver, why not offer a cast brass version. The material cost would be much, much lower and designers can have a much more cost efficient material to make fashion jewelry (can also have it gold plated, silver plated, etc)

    1. Glenn

      I agree, David. This is something I would much prefer to see over the Premium Silver. One of Shapeways competitor’s already offers this.

  9. Ludwig

    Can you give an estimate cm3 of the provided examples in the pictures? That way I have an idea about what a ring would cost. Thanks.

  10. JF

    Sorry, noobie here.

    Is this total 3D printing in silver that is then hand polished, or is plastic that is then silver-coated in the 3D printer and then hand-polished?


    1. JF

      Whoops, I think I found my own answer in the design page.

      You make the model in plastic on the 3D printer, then do lost wax process using the plastic model to get to silver, which you then hand polish.

      Please confirm or correct?

    2. Glenn

      Not quite correct. They 3D print the wax model then do the lost wax casting. So, no plastic model at all.

  11. Robin

    Is it not possible to let those of us who are able do the finishing polishing ourselves?

    1. Glenn

      Yes, Robin, you have always been able to do that. There are presently two options (now a third with Premium) – regular silver or Glossy silver; you can polish either to a beautiful shine.

  12. Jerry Ross

    Newbee here! . . .we are looking for opportunities to make 3-D models from line drawings. We have a sterling silver ring business. We need 3-D plastic models for 30 new designs a year. Is there anyone who can do this . . .?

    1. Glenn

      Hi Jerry, try the forums – there are 3D modelers needed and 3D modelers for hire sections where myself and many others are available.

  13. Ron Chmer EDM

    These look stunning. The amount of detail is incredible, I never would’ve thought they could look that good! This is some top notch stuff that I’m going to be looking in on very soon! I’m just blown away by this guys, great post!

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