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HelpFrequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

About Shapeways
Placing an Order
First To Try Products
Processing Your Order and Payment
Shipping Info
Existing Orders
Shapeways & Businesses Working Together

About Shapeways

What is Shapeways?

Shapeways is the world's leading 3D Printing marketplace and community. We enable anyone to make, buy, and sell products with 3D Printing. Learn more about how it works!

Who designs these products?

All Shapeways products are designed by our community members some of whom offer freelance design services. Please see 'I have an idea can you design it for me?' below.

How are these products made?

We use industrial size 3D Printers to create your products, often in combination with post-processing, like dyeing and polishing.

How does 3D printing work?

3D Printing takes digital files and turns them into physical products. It is often referred to as additive manufacturing, as the product is built up layer by layer in the material of your choosing. 3D Printing refers to several different processes that are applied based on the specific material type, including the most popular, selective laser sintering.

Where are your production facilities located?

We have two Factories of the Future, one in Long Island City, N.Y., and another in Eindhoven, the Netherlands. We also work with best-in-class manufacturing partners around the world.

We try to produce locally to ensure you get your order in a timely manner, at the lowest possible cost, and with a minimal carbon footprint.

What does a Factory of the Future look like?

Our Factories of the Future have been likened to Willy Wonka's factory sans candy with same sense of joy and amazement fueled by innovation. They house 3D Printers that bring to life thousands of ideas daily. Our factories are run by the most talented and passionate team around.

I have an idea - can you design it for me?

Shapeways doesn't offer design services, but our community is full of experienced designers! Check out our featured designers section, or post your request in our 3D modeler needed forum. You'll typically get a number of replies within a day.

I have a 3D printer(s) - can I offer it for use by Shapeways?

To offer the best and most affordable 3D printing options and to get it to you fastest, we work with partners all over the world. As we explore expanding our Global Partner Network to include more and more materials, 3D printers and partners, we would love to hear from you. Fill out the Global Partner Network Interest Form to tell us about yourself and your 3D printer(s) and we will get in touch if there is an opportunity to collaborate.

I have another question: How can I contact Shapeways?

We're happy to help! Please use our Contact page to find someone who can help you.

Placing an Order

Which payment options can I use?

Credit Card

Orders shipping to the United States or Canada can be paid for by using American Express, Discover, JCB, MasterCard, or VISA. Orders shipping to all other countries can be paid for by using American Express, MasterCard, or VISA.


Orders may be paid for via PayPal as long as PayPal is available in your country. Check PayPal to see where it is available. You may pay via PayPal in either USD or EUR, depending on the destination country of your order.

Please refer to PayPal for payment limits, countries that accept PayPal, disputes, and other terms.

Bank Transfer

Orders can be paid for via wire (i.e., bank-to-bank transfer). When selecting Bank Transfer as the payment method during check-out, you will receive specific wiring instructions depending on the destination country of your order. Be sure to include your customer and invoice number.

Customers should plan for an additional 2-5 days of payment processing time on top of the standard Shapeways order timeline, as Shapeways will only begin production after payment has been received in full.

Please be aware that you may incur additional bank service, transfer, or other fees when paying with bank transfer.

How do I apply Shapeways promo codes, gift cards, or store credit?

You can add promo codes, gift cards, and store credit during checkout. Simply apply the codes to see your new estimated total.

If store credit covers your entire order, then your credit card, PayPal, or bank transfer will not be charged. To check your credits, visit the My Credits page.

Which currencies are available to me?

Payments can only be processed in USD or EUR, based on your shipping country. For customers who are reviewing invoices, please note that invoices will also reflect your payment currency.

Your bank or credit card issuer may apply additional currency fees to your payment.

You can view prices in different currencies (including USD, EUR, GBP, AUD, or CAD) by visiting the site footer. Prices are approximate and are converted from USD using a monthly exchange rate that changes on the 1st of every month.

What happens after I place an order?

After you place an order, our 3D printing experts will manually review every item to make sure we can manufacture it successfully. Once it is deemed to be viable for printing, we manufacture products using the most advanced 3D printing technology available. Then, we inspect the quality of each product, carefully package it, and send it your way.

Given the complex nature of converting digital files into physical products, every now and then we catch designs that are too fragile to create.

First To Try Products

What is First To Try?

If a product is in First To Try it means it has not gone through our printers before, and is a way for shoppers to distinguish items that have been printed and tested from those that have not.

If a product has been printed in some materials, the First To Try label will only show up on materials it has not been printed in. This means one product could have the label under Steel but not White Versatile Plastic.

We think it's important to communicate to shoppers that products that have not been printed before carry small risks, and if there are kinks or the product does not print we will refund the customer's money.

Learn more about Product Development at Shapeways or How to Use First To Try.

How can a model be First To Try if it has pictures?

A model with pictures can still be in First To Try if the 3D model used to create the product was changed after being printed. While these updates are usually in response to customer feedback and make the product more functional, they can't be moved out of First To Try until they have gone through our printers.

There are also instances where a product has been printed in one material and then painted or altered or was printed on an at-home 3D printer. If it hasn't gone through our printers it will be in First To Try.

What is the risk/guarantee of buying a First To Try Item?

First To Try means the product has not gone through our printers prior to purchase, so there is a risk the finished product might look different from the render and the product might not turn out as expected. If shoppers are unsure about any aspect of the product, they can contact the designer for questions.

Our standard return policy applies to all products. For First To Try items, if we are not able to print the product successfully we will refund your money but we cannot guarantee that the designer will fix the model so that it will be printable for future iterations.

Processing Your Order and Payment

When will I be charged?

Credit Card or PayPal

When you place an order we will put an authorization hold on your credit card or PayPal account. We only charge your payment after we have reviewed and accepted your order for production or after 7 calendar days for credit card orders and 3 days for PayPal orders (the longest we can hold the authorization), whichever is sooner. While we expect most items to be reviewed within 7 days, some items may take longer to review.

If your order contains a gift card, we will issue your electronic gift card immediately and charge the full order amount as soon as the order is placed.

If at any point we determine that we cannot manufacture an item in your order, you will not have to pay for it. If we have not yet processed your payment, you will not be charged for the item. If we have already processed your payment, we will issue you a refund.

Bank Transfer

Bank transfers do not go through the same authorization and charge process as credit cards and PayPal. After we receive the full payment from your bank, we will begin reviewing your order. If we determine that we cannot manufacture an item in your order, we will issue you a refund.

What is a payment authorization?

A payment authorization is a pending charge or hold on a payment account. This is not a complete charge, and will typically appear on your bank statement under "Pending Charges". We use payment authorizations with credit cards and PayPal payments to ensure that we will be able to charge your payment successfully after reviewing your order.

If we determine that we cannot manufacture any of the items in your order before your payment has been charged, we will void the authorization. This may appear as a refund or may be deleted from your credit card statement or account. If we cannot manufacture part of your order, we will only charge you for the items we can manufacture.

The maximum time we can hold a payment authorization is 7 calendar days. If we have not finished reviewing the items in your order by this time, we will charge your payment method for the items still being reviewed. If we have already charged your payment and determine later that we cannot manufacture an item in your order, we will issue a refund since the charge can no longer be voided.

What happens if you can't make my product?

Given the complex nature of converting digital files into physical products, every now and then we catch designs that are too fragile to create.

If at any point we determine that we cannot manufacture an item in your order, you will not have to pay for it. If we have not yet processed your payment, you will not be charged for the item. If we have already processed your payment, we will issue you a refund.

How does Shapeways process refunds?

Refunds for credit card, PayPal or bank transfer payments are issued in the original form of payment and will reflect the amount paid. It may take 3-7 business days for the refund to appear in your account. Orders paid with store credit, gift cards, or promotional dollars will be returned in that form.

We may contact you to obtain additional information if necessary. In certain cases where we determine a refund is not appropriate, we may issue store credit.

I used to receive store credit when my items couldn't be made. Can I still get store credit?

If we cannot manufacture items in your order, we believe you should not be responsible for the cost of those items. Based on this philosophy, we no longer issue store credit when items cannot be manufactured and instead either void your payment authorization or issue a refund if you have already been charged for the item(s).

If you have previously-issued store credit in your account, you can continue to use it or you may choose to have it refunded. If you would like to refund these credits to the original method of payment, our Customer Service Team will be happy to process your request.

Shipping Info

What is the delivery time for Shapeways products?

Delivery time for Shapeways orders varies based on the material ordered and the shipping option selected.

Our materials use many different production processes which means that their production times vary. Visit our Materials page to find specific production times for each material. Please take note that we ship all items together, so the product in your order with the longest lead time will determine when your order will ship. You can see the estimated ship date for your order in your shopping cart or on the order status page.

We do our best to get your orders to you as quickly as possible. The listed production times for Shapeways materials take into account the challenges of manufacturing unique and untested designs. This means that many items ship ahead of schedule, though we cannot guarantee it. Unfortunately, some designs may also face delays. We'll provide email alerts to keep you updated on the status of your order, and you can always check your order status page.

Once we've shipped your order, package transit time will depend on the shipping option and destination. All orders ship with a tracking number that you can use to monitor the status of your order in transit.

I need my product faster than the regular delivery time. Can you rush my order?

Customers whose orders ship to the United States or the European Union can pick from several accelerated shipping services. Orders shipping to all other countries use a single shipping service, though we are in the process of expanding our offerings.

We currently offer rush production of our Versatile Plastic. Learn more.

Can I pick up my order at Shapeways Eindhoven or New York / Long Island City?

Yes! In fact, we'd love to meet you. Please contact our Customer Service team to make a pick-up appointment.

What are your shipping options and rates?

We offer several different shipping options depending on the destination of your order. See our Shipping Info for prices based on your location.

I have placed two separate orders. Can you combine them into one shipment?

Yes, we can help. If you’ve already placed your second order, contact our Customer Service Team, who can combine your two orders into one shipment.

If you haven’t placed your order yet, you can choose to ship your new order with your latest unshipped order. Learn more here.

Will I have to pay duties and import tax?

We make every effort to minimize additional charges. However, depending on the destination country of your order, duty, tax, and brokerage fees may be assessed upon importation.

To change your shipping country, visit the site footer or change your shipping address in your profile. This may determine whether prices are shown inclusive or exclusive of VAT across our site.

Please see our Shipping Info page for more information.

Can I ship to a country other than my own?

We're working to make it easier for you to send gifts to friends and family across the world. Currently, to guard against online fraud, we require that the country of your Ship To address matches the country of your Bill To address.

Do you ship worldwide?

Yes, with the exception of Russia (sorry, Russian 3D Printing lovers!!). For more information, please visit our Shipping Info page.

Existing orders

How can I check the status of my order?

View the latest status of each product in your order on the My Orders page. Find this page by clicking on your avatar at the top-right of the page and selecting Orders.

How can I change or cancel my order?

All Shapeways products are made-to-order. Once an item goes into production, we can no longer change or cancel it.

If we haven't yet started production on any of the items in your order, you may cancel your entire order by contacting our Customer Service team.

Can I add a product to an existing order?

While you cannot modify an existing order, you can place a new order and ship it together with your latest open order. This option is available as a shipping option in checkout, if your latest order has not shipped yet and if you are shipping to the same address.

By choosing this option, you will not need to pay for shipping on your new order.

Both orders will share the same shipping address, shipping tier, and arrival date. Depending on when you place your new order, the arrival date of your previous order may be impacted.

My product was rejected. After I updated the design, how do I order the product again?

When you’re ready to order your product again, you can place a new order. If your previous order has not shipped yet, you will have the option in checkout to ship this order with your previous one. By choosing this option, you will not need to pay for shipping on your new order.

Both orders will share the same shipping address, shipping tier, and arrival date. Depending on when you place the second order, the arrival date of your previous order may be impacted.

My order arrived, but there's a problem with it.

Oh no! We're truly sorry to hear that. Please get in touch with our Customer Service team and they'll help you out!

Our main goal at Shapeways is to bring amazing products to life with 3D printing. We're 100% committed to your satisfaction, and if for some reason there is an issue with your order, we'll do our best to find a good solution. You can read more about our Return Policy below.

My order is late. What can I do?

Please get in touch with our Customer Service team, they'll take over from there!

What is your return policy?

Our main goal at Shapeways is to bring amazing products to life with 3D printing. We're 100% committed to your satisfaction, and if for some reason there is an issue with your order, we'll do our best to find a good solution.

If you have any issues with your order, please contact our Customer Service Team within 10 days of receiving your product, and they'll be happy to help you. In order for us to resolve your issue as quickly as possible, we ask that you describe the issue in detail and, if possible, provide pictures. This will make it easier for us to help you, and to help us improve the quality of our products.

For quality assurance issues, we will work with you to either manufacture your product again, or provide a refund.

If you're unhappy with a product designed by someone else on Shapeways, we will work with you and the designer to make it right.

For any issues involving platinum, gold, or silver, we may ask you to return the product to us in order to receive a refund or to have it manufactured again. We ask that you first reach out to our Customer Service team with a picture of your print and an explanation of the issue.

We do not provide refunds for products that have been used, altered, or damaged after you've received the shipment. Additionally, we are not able to refund purchases of a "Gift Card" or a "Material Sample Kit Basic (w/ free Gift card)".

I have another question - how can I contact Shapeways?

We're happy to help! Use our Contact Page to find the right person to email.


Do you offer educational discounts?

Yes, we do! All United States students and educators receive a 15% discount off all orders. Just make sure your account is registered with a .edu email address. Log in, and visit our Education page.

If you are a student and do not have a .edu domain email address, you may sign up to be notified once we expand our educational discount program!

Do you offer volume discounts?

Due to the nature of 3D Printing, the price per object does not decrease with larger volumes. As a result, we do not offer volume discounts.

Shapeways & Businesses Working Together

Will you provide a quote for my print?

Definitely! After you upload your model, pricing is automatically calculated, so you can see prices for different material options. For more info, visit the Materials Hub. Or just upload your design to see what the price is.

How can I place a business order in the European Union?

If placing a business order in the EU, indicate your business status when placing your first order. Enter your billing address, check the box labeled: This order is for a registered business in the European Union, then fill out your: business name, chamber of commerce number, and VAT number.

Your request will then be sent to us for verification. Once we've approved your business account, we'll process your order and you can continue to order your products and receive invoices without VAT.

For businesses outside the EU, you can order via our normal checkout process or contact our Customer Service team with specific questions.



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