By uploading your 3D model through the model upload page, you'll get instant price for your 3D printed product in various materials. Our system will quickly analyze your model and show you the price in all materials we can use to make it.
How we price our 3D printing materials
We cannot provide the exact formula for competitive reasons, but we have compiled the following guide that outlines the different factors used to price each material.
We will be tweaking our pricing algorithm regularly in the future to best represent the true cost of each material.
- Material Volume - The amount of material needed to 3D print your product.
The volume of your model itself determines the amount of raw material that is used to produce it. Making your model smaller or thinner reduces material cost.
- Machine Space - The amount of space your product takes inside our 3D printers.
Generally speaking, bigger parts cost more. However, occasionally, we can reduce the cost by packing other parts inside of it. These models must be hollow, have cavity openings of at least 40mm, and be strong enough that they don’t break when the inner models are removed.
- Number of parts - The number of parts that need to be handled individually during production.
This matters because each individual part needs to be oriented and planned before printing. We call this step "tray planning." Then it must be cleaned, sorted and packaged. Dyed and polished parts need to go through a few more steps, increasing the cost per part. See our Best Practices for High Part Count Models for more information on reducing the cost of multi-part models.
- Production - Associated production costs including labor; quality control; machine maintenance; general utilities; and other supporting services required to 3D print your product.
- Bounding Box Volume - The dimensions of your product used to determine the space it takes inside our 3D printers
Unlike Machine Volume, Bounding Box Volume is based on the dimensions (L x W x H) of your product, not the amount of space the product takes inside the 3D printer. For example, if your product is a bowl, in some materials, we can plan parts inside the hollow cavity of the bowl. Machine space calculates the amount of space your product takes up, not including the hollow cavity of the bowl. However, for other materials, it is not possible to place other parts inside the bowl. Bounding box calculates the amount of space your product takes up, in this case the total dimensions including the hollow cavity of the bowl.
- Support Volume - The amount of support material required to 3D print your product in Fine Detail Plastic.
Fine Detail Plastic is printed on a build plate, where the print head deposits liquid plastic layer by layer, starting at the bottom. To overcome gravity, the 3D printer surrounds the cured plastic with wax that will support the layers that come above. So every cavity, overhang, and negative angle requires support in wax. That wax gets melted away after the product emerges from the 3D printer.
Most products you can find on Shapeways have been designed and put for sale by individual designers. Sometimes they choose to add a markup for products that they put for sale in order to support their craft. Each time you buy an item that is for sale, you are supporting that individual designer. Not only that, but you have a direct line of communication with the person who made the object of desire, should you have any feedback or questions.
We offer three manufacturing speeds: Priority, Economy, and Rush.
The Priority offering prioritizes parts and ensures delivery within the manufacturing lead times shown on each individual Materials page, while Economy will not be prioritized and will be manufactured when capacity is available.
The Rush option is available for certain materials only. For more information please check out the Rush Manufacturing article.
If you're Rush ordering one of our eligible materials, please note that you will not automatically be opted into one of the expedited shipping options. To ensure you're getting your order when you need it, check out all of our shipping options and estimated delivery times here!
Manufacturing speed is selected during checkout and prices are based on your product(s) material and factory capacity.
We ship products worldwide. You can read more about shipping options and prices on our Shipping Information page.
Depending on your country, customs may charge taxes/import fees when importing and delivering your product.
Our European customers will see VAT and Australian customers will see GST automatically calculated into the prices they see. When placing an order, there is a detailed breakdown of taxes that have been applied.
Additional Tax Information
We will calculate, collect, and remit sales tax for orders shipped to customers in the following state(s):
- New Jersey
- New York
- North Dakota
- Rhode Island
- Washington DC
- North Carolina
- South Carolina
- West Virginia
We will not charge taxes in any region for which you provide valid tax exemption certificates. Please email Customer Service with your documentation. We cannot advise you on how to set up or remit sales taxes. Consult a tax professional for more information.