Below you will find a step by step overview of our services.
- Choose your material: The first step is to choose the material(s) you wish to print your model in. You can find links to each of the materials we offer via www.shapeways.com/materials. Click on the thumbnail of a material you are interested in and it will bring you to its material page.
- Material traits and Design guidelines: Next, you will want to review the traits of that material to ensure it is the right choice for your project. We also strongly recommend checking the Design Guidelines tab. The information in this section will help you prepare your model so that it can successfully be printed in that material. Each material will have its own page and will include a description of that material's traits, an explanation of the production process, Frequently Asked Questions, and design guidelines.
- File formats:
- Your 3D model file must be in one of the following formats: DAE, OBJ, STL, X3D, X3DB, X3DV, or WRL
- Models with texture maps must be in one of the following formats: DAE, WRL, X3D, X3DB, X3DV, and their associated texture maps must be: GIF, JPG, or PNG (Upload as a ZIP file containing model file and textures)
- Maximum file size: 64 MB or 1 million polygons
- Upload: Once you have your 3D file, you can upload it via any page on our site by hovering over your avatar on the top right-hand side of our site and clicking the UPLOAD button. You must register your Shapeways account to upload models, otherwise, as a Guest user, you can only order models from our marketplace.
- Model render: After you've uploaded your model, please review the render and the model's dimensions to make sure they are correct. In some cases, if there are problems with your model file, our site's software will try to repair these issues but this could lead to details being removed, holes being filled, etc. If this happens, you can use programs like Netfabb® or Meshmixer to analyze and in some cases repair your model and then re-upload.
- Pricing and Auto-checks: Prices will be generated and displayed for each material option we offer. Our system will also perform auto-checks for certain printability aspects such as wall thickness, loose shells, and bounding box size. You can view the results of these checks by clicking the "Tools" link, choosing "Open in 3D tools" and then selecting your target material on the page that follows.
For large orders, find out if you qualify for bulk pricing.
- Placing an order: When you're ready to place your order, choose the material you wish to print in and add it to your cart. From there you can open your cart and complete the checkout process. You will have a chance to choose manufacturing and shipping speed options before completing your purchase. Manufacturing speeds determine how soon your model(s) will be manufactured whereas shipping speeds will determine how quickly your order will be shipped. The estimated ship date will be displayed before you finalize your purchase.
IMPORTANT: Shapeways orders are made to print. For that reason, we can not cancel or modify your order once it's placed. Please double-check your files and cart before placing your order.
- Manual checks: After you place your order, our engineers will review your model(s) for potential printability issues that our auto-checks cannot account for. If they come across any issues, they will reach out with some options on how to proceed. In rare cases, a model might pass our manual checks but issues may still arise during the production process. If that happens and our engineers determine a redesign is needed, they will reach out with suggestions on how to update your design. If we are ultimately unable to print your model, you will be refunded for that specific model.
IMPORTANT: Each individual model is considered its own separate product. If you order multiple models that are meant to work together, and some of them are flagged but others are in production, we can not cancel the models that have already entered the production stream. One workaround is to upload the individual parts together as one single model file. Most of the materials we offer allow for multiple parts per file. You can check the Design guidelines of your preferred material to see if it is eligible for multi-part models.
- Modifying orders: The only aspect of an order we are able to modify is the shipping address. We are unable to upgrade shipping speeds, change material/color/finish, update model files or include additional items in the order. If you've placed an order but then wish to order more items, you can place a new order and avoid a second shipping fee by combining it into the same shipment as the previous order. This option will appear in your cart under "Shipping Options". Please note that this is irreversible and that the delivery date may be pushed back, as all combined orders must complete production before being shipped.
- Problems with your order: If you receive your print and discover any defects, please follow the steps in this article. Our Customer Service team will then file a complaint with the appropriate department and request a reprint or a refund.