Now, Make It Faster

Great news! Thanks to the ongoing hard work of our production teams, we’re announcing updates that will make 3D printing more accessible — by delivering your prints faster. We’ve significantly reduced print production times for a dozen Shapeways materials. From the time you order to the time we ship, our turnaround times for the materials below are now shorter than ever:

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These updates are part of our continuing commitment to reducing lead times. How do we do it? We innovate in manufacturing, processing, and shipping. Whether it’s by testing new materials and processes (shaving seven days off high definition acrylate), investing in updated machinery (halving lead times for two materials), or improving manufacturing efficiency (getting cast metals to you faster), we’re always working to enhance production quality and speed.

Now is the perfect time to get started on that project you’ve been dreaming of. Whatever you’re making, print it today in one of our faster-than-ever materials.

We’re always working hard to improve your Shapeways experience. Make sure to let us know in the comments what you’d like to see in 2017.

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  1. Andrew Thompson

    Yeah.. doesn’t seem much point in decreasing the time to shipping when it takes (checks watch) around 40 days for the product to get from NY to Sydney.

    Any chance you’ll be opening a closer printing facility in the near future? Heck, it only took 4 days to get a product from Shanghai to Sydney.

    1. Pete


      40 days from NY to Sydney?
      We have UPS option to have it shipped in around 5? Also it typically ships from NL.

      We are working on improving situation for Australia! Hang in there.

    2. Peter Weijmarshausen

      OK – I should think before posting…

      We ship to Australia from NYC. You have choice of USPS and UPS.
      UPS tends to be more expensive, but faster.

      Second part still stands: We are working on improving situation for Australia! Hang in there. :)

  2. John Haddock

    Two longstanding issues need improvement in 2017.
    1) Provide a folder structure for designs.
    I have over 200 designs that I have ordered from Shapeways but there is no way to order them or sort them except by the date they were submitted. The designs represent about six different categories, so a simple folder structure would let me pick a folder (category) and then search just the 30 or so relevant designs, not 200.
    2) Allow orders to be put on hold while manual check issues are resolved.
    By definition, manual checks are often unanticipated; either by your automatic checks or by the designer. Kicking out just one product in an order of several, and forcing a re-order with its additional shipping costs, is extremely frustrating. Please give us the option of putting the whole order on hold while we redesign the rejected part (sometimes it’s only a matter of a few minutes of CAD work) and then continuing with the order process.

    1. mkroeker

      For 2) there is already the shipping option “combine with previous order” in the cart to avoid the additional shipping cost

    2. Tomer Emmar

      This! I have been wanting for so long! I’ver been using Shapeways for quite some time now. I use it for freelance work, for my business, and for personal use. The folder system has been on my wishlist for quite some time now because the current organizational file structure is a disaster.

  3. Claudio

    I lose a lot of time with manual error checking,
    Sometimes I think, an expert could make that verification much faster,
    And even when one is going to charge them to work,
    Why not be able to do it yourself?
    , Instead of giving a single answer, such as:
    “… your model has the flu or is angry …” (?)
    “Sometimes it seems basic Chinese for a beginner”
    I do not like the tutorials, clarifying the errors, in a 3D model.
    I think there should be something simpler to explain how to correct a 3D
    Yo pierdo bastante tiempo con la verificacion manual de errores,
    a veces creo, un experto podria hacer esa verificacion mucho mas rapido,
    y aun cuando uno va a encargarselos a uds el trabajo, ^
    porque no poder hacerlo uds mismos ?
    , en vez de dar una respuesta solo,como :
    “…su modelo tiene gripe o esta enojado …” (?)
    “a veces parece chino basico para un principiante ”
    NO me parecen buenos los tutoriales,aclarando los errores, en un modelo 3D.
    Creo que deberia haber algo mas simple para explicar como corregir un 3D

  4. Ralph Conway

    Yep! This afternoon (6th) I recieved my Falcon 5 feet cone, which I ordered on 1st of january. Including two days of shipping this is amazing fast! Next to this the item looks fantastic (visit my shop, pictures will follow next wednesday)! I know this is the regular case with shapeways. But I am astonished about how great the print looks anyway. ignoring the two day delivery time it was completely done within 4 days!

    Thanx to you all at shapeways. You are running an excellent company!

    Ralph (Conny)

    1. Andrew Simon Thomas

      Thanks Ralph, glad you got it quickly and enjoyed it! Please share photos of the painted version!

  5. tina

    Hi I am looking to have a replica of a shoe made we are a tv show in brooklyn
    Please call my cell 917 902 4741

  6. jchrome

    I applaud Shapeways for getting faster in all that they do. But I’m really chomping at the bit for when the HP JetFusion printer comes out… BTW WHEN IS THAT HAPPENING????

    1. Andrew Simon Thomas

      We’re excited for it too, more info is coming…

    2. mkroeker

      I’m off to register :-)

  7. Sonic_Sun

    Speed is not important.
    But accuracy.
    I prefer better cleaned goods.
    and for the employees, it is not easier …. faster faster faster.
    Which means if I want to keep the price stable I must work faster with the same number of employees.
    Speed is not importebt …..

    1. Andrew Simon Thomas

      Not necessarily, we’re been making these improvements under the philosophy of 5S and Lean Manufacturing techniques – and asking employees to work or longer or harder isn’t a long-term way to improve. Rather, we’ve got new machines, and we innovate in manufacturing, processing, and shipping.

    2. Peter Weijmarshausen

      Thanks Andrew. Allow me to put it a bit more concise:

      Lean focuses on quality of your process. Making sure you remove waste of motion, rework, inventory etc. The benefit of that approach is that as a result of the focus on quality of the process, the quality of the product improves, the costs go down and the lead-time becomes more predictable first and over time shorter.

  8. Desmond

    I’m impressed, I must say. Seldom do I encounter a blog that’s both educative and amusing,
    and let me tell you, you’ve hit the nail on the head.
    The issue is something that too few people are speaking intelligently about.
    Now i’m very happy I found this in my hunt for something concerning this.

  9. JBM Models

    I believe that this is a common practice at Shapeways now. They are striving for quantity not quality. Let’s speed up the print time but decrease the details in the printing process. I have noticed this for quite some time now. I can sometimes get my items printed and shipped quickly but they don’t print correctly and sometimes are all messed up.

    And the failure rate here lately has been asinine. Constantly getting kick backs of models that printed fine earlier. I am willing to bet all this is based on the quicker process to make their money faster.

    1. Andrew Simon Thomas

      Hey JPM: Thanks for your feedback. You brought up a few different points here so let me break them down in the order you’ve presented them.

      For speed of printing- the actual speed of the machine is one of the few aspects we don’t change. Rather, we’ve invested in new machinery, increasing capacity, while improving the efficiency of other processes (planning, post-processing queueing etc).

      With regards to quality, I understand that you had an issue an order recently and are working with our service team to get it fixed. ( I also see that your newest order is going well! YAY!) In all cases when issues arise we are more than happy to work with you to get them resolved.

      The last point you mentioned regarding failure rate is something we’re working to improve as well. Thanks for your patience.

  10. Lori

    YES! I noticed a big difference in speed already! This is great news for 2017!! I am hoping quality-checks aren’t sacrificed of course, but so far so good! My last order looks perfect :)

  11. Jeff

    We are looking to outsource a fairly straight forward item in varying designs. We’ve experimented on our own but now realize that producing in volume (we’ve currently cataloged 20+ designs & are looking to produce 25 units of each, approximately 500 units) in a reasonable time frame, is not visible. All our items will be produced in PLA, and must consistently achieve a final edge detail of .40mm. Is this something your company can help with?

    1. James Nance

      Hey Jeff,

      Thanks for reaching out with your question! This is certainly something we could help with as long as you have the necessary 3D files to upload to our site.

      You can read about our PLA options and guidelines here:

      Our PLA pieces are printed using a 0.4 mm diameter nozzle, 1.75 mm diameter filament, 0.2 mm layer height and 10% infill.

  12. Jodi

    Superb blog! Do you have any hints for aspiring writers?

    I’m planning to start my own blog soon but I’m a little lost on everything.
    Would you suggest starting with a free platform like
    Wordpress or go for a paid option? There are so
    many choices out there that I’m totally confused .. Any suggestions?
    Many thanks!

    1. Angela Linneman Post author

      Thanks, Jodi! I would recommend WordPress or Squarespace.

  13. Mark

    Thank you for the accelerated production times, as well as the rush option (for small WSF models). I’m using Shapeways for prototyping, and anything that speeds up iteration cycle times is a boon. Keep up the great pioneering work @Shapeways!

  14. Walt Pretorius

    Full colour plastic – the Holy Grail… Some details on the progress towards this material would be great, even if it just tells us that things are still progressing and we have to wait longer.

Comments are closed.