3D Printing Silver is Back

We are VERY excited to announce the return of Solid Silver to Shapeways with a better price and the same amazing quality.

Due to requests from the Shapeways community we trialled Silver late last year and saw some truly awesome items in the Shapeways Shops, especially in the jewelry section.  After the trial we looked at the products, process and price, taking all that we have learned and applying it to our new, permanent offering of silver on Shapeways.

The Price and Delivery Time

With our new production partner we have managed to reduce the price!

$40 for the first cm3, then $20 per cm3 for additional volume, with a minimum cost of $40

We will also be offering an additional Silver Glossy post process for $10 per item.

Delivery time will be 15 business days

Material and Process

As before, we’re using Sterling silver which is 92.5% pure silver. The models are created using the lost-wax casting process using a high-resolution 3D Wax print of your design. After printing the model is cleaned and optionally manually polished (we call this Silver Glossy). Please note that only well-reachable surfaces can be polished!

Design Rules

The design rules for silver will evolve as we learn from your items but as a starting point below are our initial rules, keep an eye on design rules for silver for the most current rules as the blog will not be updated:

  • Wall min: .6 mm
  • Detail min: .3 mm
  • Max height: 30 mm for smaller items (like rings), 20 mm for bigger items (like bracelets)
  • Max length & width: 150 mm x 150 mm
  • You can expect accuracy of +/- 25 microns
  • Note: To start, we are not allowing any multiple, movable or interlocking parts.
  • Embossing: max 1:1 height to width ratio — height of the embossed detail may not be higher than the wall of the detail
  • Engraving: max 1:1 depth to width ratio –  depth of the engraved detail may not be greater than the wall of the engraved detail.
  • Distance between holes must be greater than .6 mm.Hollow parts need openings so we can get out the support material, and so we can insert casting plaster
  • For hollow parts, If you have one hole, opening needs to be greater than 4 mm in diameter, If you have multiple holes, it must be greater than 2 mm in diameter.
  • Ring shank needs to be 1 mm thick to avoid deformation when wearing. Since silver is a weaker material, ring shank that are too thin may deform or even break.
  • Prongs for holding stones cannot be too long without a beam connecting them. This connecting beam is to prevent the wax from breaking away. Also, with thin and long prongs, the product will not to be able to hold big stones.

Ordering new objects in Silver
When ordering a new model you can now select Silver as an available material. For Shop Owners, we have added Silver to all the models in the Jewelry category, all products that are currently available in metal, all items that were previously available in silver, and all items currently not in a shop; then we will set the mark up to be the equal as the currently highest marked up material for each product. If you previously had silver for your product, the markup this time around will be the same as your previous silver markup.

Let us know what you think? Is the pricing structure clear? Would it be better if we said $20 cm3 with a $20 start up cost? What will you make first?


  1. Anonymous

    How hot is this?!

    What should I order first?

  2. todd blatt


    I’m about to place my first orders =)

  3. pete

    Hey guys let us know what you think! We are very excited about this!!

  4. todd blatt

    My first order is in…

    I wish I could have some bulk benefit. allowing some sort of multple part order. If I order 5 rings of 2cc each, it’s a lot. There should be something that would bring that price down for higher qty orders.

    Also, let me come interview =)

  5. nancyliang

    I’m so happy to see everybody so excited! I’m looking forward to seeing more pictures of your designs in silver. I have to go freshen up my Google Sketch Up “skills” and design more stuff too.

  6. Robert Carlsen

    I’m very happy to see silver back!!
    I have a question,though. The way I’m reading the rules, I can’t submit multiples in one file; so, if I want to make a pair of earrings, in silver,I have to order each separately so the minimum cost of a pair of earrings will be $80…correct?
    If that’s the case…is there any way to change that? $80 (before markup) is pretty high for simple earrings

    1. Glenn Slingsby

      Yes, we need to get that clarified: What does “multiple parts” mean?


    2. todd blatt

      I’m pretty sure that they don’t want us/wont let us making two of something in one file, and that yes, a set of earrings will cost $80 minimum. That’s why I want to have some sort of bulk feature built in. The pricing is great for nice rings and bracelets though. I think it was too hard before at $48/cc and $30 min to create something profitable.

    3. nancyliang

      Given the handling cost per item (cleaning, polishing, etc.) a pair of earring is actually a lot of work–hence the per piece startup cost. Earrings would have to be split up. I know it’s a bother, we have plans to make it easier for people to group items together and offer them as a product set or as a collection.

      I think after a few months when we better understand the market and demand, we’ll have more food for thought on pricing models. Right now, there are still a lot of unknowns. In the meanwhile, please do chop up the earring files and send them separately.


    4. Paul King

      damn… my chainmaille dice bag won’t work in silver then ;)

    5. Christina Westbrook

      That’s a shame, I hope it’s worked out soon. However, for those of you with a dremel, jewelers saw, or something similar, I’d say just make a pair of earrings (or your entire set of pieces) connect by a small but sturdy surface area, then separate them yourself. It would save you money and not be extra work for the producers. That’s my plan at the moment.

    6. Duann

      Great idea!!

      Connect them together then snap and clean up yourself..

  7. Paul King

    Looks great!

    Any news on EU hallmarking?

    1. nancyliang

      I hope to have some news on this topic within the week!

    2. nancyliang

      Hey Paul, I’m going to reply to you directly with this issue and if there’s anything official make a post about it.

  8. Gentle Medusa

    This is really exciting, but I’d really like to know:

    a) what kind of printer the wax patterns are made on, so I can get some idea of how fine the detail will be.

    b) is it possible to get them without being finished? I much prefer to do the finishing myself.

  9. Stijn van der Linden

    Good to have Silver back, but something about the new markups is not right it says :

    *then we will set the mark up to be the equal as the currently highest marked up material for each product.*

    For most of my models Silver now has the LOWEST mark-up added.

    Furthermore, many of my models with moving parts are suddenly available in silver..

    1. Stijn van der Linden

      Btw, I corrected the markups myself by hand now, so can’t link to examples, but as far as I could see, it was consistently the lowest markup for all models that had silver added.

    2. nancyliang

      Very strange. I forwarded your comment to our dev team to look into. The queries should add the highest markup, not the lowest.

    3. nancyliang

      Hey Stijn, did you change your markups between last Oct and today? We set all items that had silver back in our Oct 2010 promotion to their original mark ups. I talked to our developers here and that’s what they think may have happened.

    4. Stijn van der Linden

      Hi Nancy, since you introduced the mark-up per material last January, most of the mark-ups have indeed been updated, seems logical with this highly requested feature.

      But since most products had silver added by default back then, I had no way of influencing the markup for silver when it was not available, until now that is.
      I’m pretty sure though, that also new models uploaded after the Oct silver had the wrong mark-up set.

      Anyway, would it be possible for future material changes or introductions, to do this behind the scenes first?
      So we the shop-owners can update our products with the new settings and such, before they are released to the public?
      (so to show new materials in the material matrix and edit product pages, but not for show/sale to public yet)

    5. nancyliang

      That is a great idea, we’ll find a way to give you guys a preview next time around so you can adjust before it goes live.

  10. Spongeinside

    =D I SO want some of my designs in silver.. but it’s kinda expensive.. I would love one of my paper plane pendants in silver =D

  11. pingo

    This is awesome and why I joined Shapeways in the first place.

    However, I can’t seen to put the material on any on my designs.. Something about EU?

    Looking forward to ordering all of my designs in silver!

    1. nancyliang

      That’s odd, I haven’t had that problem. Can you please send me a screenshot of the error, and let me know what operating system & browser you are using? nancy (at) shapeways (dot) com. Thanks!

  12. Shapeways Blog

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  13. janiscortese

    Okay, so you guys do something cool and great and awesome and other complimentary adjectives, and the first thing I do is ask about something else. :-D

    Any chance of vermeil being offered — silver heavy-plated with gold?

  14. Shapeways Blog

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