Shapeways launched the Marketplace in 2008, providing an innovative platform and business model for designers that continues to grow in line with the 3D printing industry. Researchers project ongoing, significant growth for the global 3D printing market, expecting the industry to reach USD $ 76.17 billion by 2030, exhibiting a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 20.8% from 2022 to 2030. Growth is expected due to further reliance in industrial applications like medical, aerospace, and automotive.
The consumer market plays a critical role in the growth of the 3D market too, exemplified by heightened demand. Providing a small business platform for thousands, the Marketplace allows designers to:
- Share innovative 3D models for 3D printing.
- Enjoy a global customer base with access to international shipping.
- Build a business with the potential to scale.
Become a Shapeways Marketplace Shop Owner
Opening a shop at the Shapeways Marketplace is simple, with no requirements to keep inventory on hand.
To set your shop up for success, create :
- A brief summary about your shop and the 3D models you offer.
- Full, clearly-articulated descriptions of each product.
- A robust offering of 3D printing materials and finishes.
- High-quality photographs of your designs, with optimized Image Alt Tags for SEO.
- Title Tags (these appear as the blue links in Google’s search results) featuring relevant keywords pertaining to your shop and 3D models.
- Meta descriptions (these appear as the snippet of text under blue links in search results) that will entice users to click on your shop when they are scrolling through search results.
- Page titles featuring relevant keywords.
- Links to any relevant additional pages on Shapeways.com.
Find more detailed instructions for opening your own Shapeways Marketplace shop here, or proceed directly from your 3D Models page.
Shop for 3D Printed Items at the Marketplace
Like most 3D printing industry pioneers, Shapeways has always been on a mission to offer greater accessibility and affordability for everyone. This includes providing all the tools for our Marketplace to grow. Today, there are hundreds of thousands of 3D printed products available in the following categories:
- Accessories – Explore 3D models like keychains, belts and buckles, items related to music, and countless other products.
- Art – Find a fascinating array of art objects in 3D print, from sculptures to mathematical art.
- Games – This is one of the most popular areas of the Marketplace, featuring objects like dice, toys, board games, and a wide variety of products related to tabletop gaming.
- Home – A “For the Home” section offers unique products for lighting, the dining area, walls, and features a host of other 3D printed accessories.
- Jewelry – Shapeways is famous for 3D printed jewelry, available in a wide range of materials–featuring rings, bracelets, pendants, cufflinks, and much more.
- Miniatures – Designers offer extremely popular 3D models of vehicles, trains, ships, aircraft, and other related items.
- Tech – Marketplace shop owners offer countless items for technology, from drones to airsoft and paintball components. A wide variety of mounts and other accessories are available too.
Learn About Popular 3D Printing Materials at the Marketplace
Access to diverse 3D printing materials plays a large role in innovative success and product quality at Shapeways, whether designers are making automotive parts or crafting fine jewelry to be cast in precious metal. Shapeways is dedicated to translating their ideas into 3D print–as well as helping to provide an infinite supply of unique products at the Marketplace.
Following are some of the most popular materials and options available.
Fine Detail Plastic
This versatile photopolymer offers good detail, high dimensional accuracy, and smooth surfaces. Especially suitable for products requiring good aesthetic quality, Fine Detail Plastic is translucent. Also known as Frosted Detail Plastic or Resin-Based Acrylic Plastic, this material is typically recommended for:
- Tabletop gaming miniatures
- Jewelry prototypes
Nylon 12 [Versatile Plastic]
This 3D printing material is known for its durability, and high ductility–allowing for quality in thinner structures requiring greater flexibility as well as thicker structures requiring rigid form. Nylon 12 [Versatile Plastic] will hold up over the long-term, and in harsh environments. This material is extremely popular due to the number of finishes (and colors) available:
- Natural – A matte standard finish with a slightly rough surface.
- Processed – Some material is polished away to create a smoother surface.
- Premium – An upscale finish, elevating designs with a smooth, glossy surface–and a soft texture.
- Smooth – The smoothest surface option, attained via vapor smoothing. This finish also features a slight shine.
- Colors: Versatile Plastic is naturally white. Shapeways also offers Black, Pink, Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, and Purple.
Designers 3D printing for strength, durability, and lightweight features turn to metal materials like Steel. Made up of a material combination that is 60% steel and 40% bronze, Steel is affordable, strong, and mainly used for tools and accessories, home decor, and smaller industrial consumer goods like bottle openers or gaming dice.
This metal is available in a matte and polished finish, and the following colors:
3D Printed Jewelry in Precious Metals via Wax Casting
Wax casting is a multi-faceted process for creating metal parts that has been in use for thousands of years, requiring expertise and sophisticated tools. At Shapeways, this technique includes 3D printing molds which are injected with molten precious metals to make jewelry.
Following are the precious metal options available at the Shapeways Marketplace:
- Bronze is a Copper-Tin alloy made of 10% Tin and 90% Copper. This material is often used for jewelry with a vintage appearance, featuring a deep red color, marbling, and silver highlights. Bronze is suitable for bracelets, earrings, and cufflinks—all available in natural matte or polished finishes.
- Brass – An alloy made of 15% Zinc, 5% Tin and 80% Copper, Brass is popular for jewelry designs requiring intricate detail. This precious metal is available with a natural matte or polished finish.
- Gold is one of the highest quality precious metals available. Capable of showcasing intricate details, Gold offers a professional, finished look in both 14K and 18K. Finishes include yellow, rose, and white.
- Silver is a high-quality alloy for cufflinks, tie bars, rings, bracelets, and pendants. This metal tends to be more malleable and is always a favorite for jewelry makers. Shapeways offers Silver with the following finishes: natural, polished, fine-detail polished, and antique.
Enjoy the benefits of this advanced technology and a wide range of materials from Shapeways for 3D printing your creations with accuracy, complex detail, and no minimum or limits in terms of mass customization or single part orders. Shapeways has worked with over 1 million customers in 160 countries to 3D print over 21 million parts! Read about case studies, find out more about Shapeways additive manufacturing solutions, and get instant quotes here.