Now sure if this is the first, and if fact I would be surprised if it was, but here is a cool service called Shapeways that not only lets you create your own 3D models, but you can buy and sell models as well.  This is pretty good. If I’m going to go through the trouble to create a 3d model, I’m going to want to see if other people will want it as well. Whats really impressive here is the number of materials.  Clearly I have not been keeping up, did not know a consumer level service could support so many materials. I have to guess they have spend  a good deal of their round A money on it. 🙂  I posted the materials list and prices at the end of this post.

CEO Peter Weijmarshausen said last year that the plan was to create a number of these manufacturing hubs in key spots around the county to not only save on shipping but allow better response time and community connection. Sounds good, but its the marketplace that really interests me. I can see this becoming the real popular part of the service.  Sure its cool to know you can create your own things, but how many people out there have a copy of 3DStudioMax much less know how to use it to create CAM level quality models?  Not many I would guess.  Even more so, I used to create CAM level models and I have a hard time imagining I’m going to do this.  But this does not matter.  All you need is few really good designers to populate the store and your there. Or better, I could take a 3D model download it, tweak a few things and then sent it to print.

Check out this video below..

Need to create a personal gift? How about a custom container where you type the words?


Materials comparison sheet

  • Shapeways offers several production and material options for printing and is continually working on adding new ones.
  • Please note: the pricing is based on the actual amount of material used in your final object.
  • The size of the bounding box, complexity of the model or amount of support material are not relevant for the price.
  • There are no extra shipping costs, shipping is included in the price and we ship worldwide.
  • Each material has its own properties and price – use the table below to select the right material for your project:
  • Check out our materials sample kit


Name Image
(click to enlarge)
Production method Color Strength Minimum detail Minimum wall thickness Maximum size
(H x W x D)
Heat resistance Price per cm³
Alumide Alumide SLS Grey with speckles Moderate 0.4 mm 1.5 mm 31x23x18cm 172 ºF $1.99
$1.50 startup costs
Ceramics Ceramics 3D Printing + Glazing Shiny White
+ High Gloss White & Black**
Brittle 2 mm 3 mm 23x15x9cm 1000 ºC $0.18/cm2 surface area
Milky White Matte Glass Milky White Matte Glass Glass 3D printing Milky White
+ High Gloss White & Black**
Brittle 0.2 mm 3 mm 7.5×7.5×7.5cm 500 ºF $5.99
$5.00 startup costs
Full Color Sandstone full color sandstone Zcorp Full color
+ Sandstone
Delicate 1.0 mm 3 mm 25x38x20cm 140 ºF $0.99
$1.50 startup costs
White, Strong & Flexible 

(see special rulesfor larger WSF designs)
white_strong_flexible SLS Bright White + Black*
Highest 0.2 mm 0.7 mm 70x38x58cm for white 

23x18x31cm for other colors

80/176 ºF $1.50
$1.50 startup costs
Transparent Detail transparent detail Objet Semi-
Moderate 0.2 mm 1 mm 49x39x20cm 48/118.4 ºF $2.77
White Detail white detail Objet White Moderate 0.2 mm 1 mm 49x39x20cm 48/118.4 ºF $2.89
Black Detail grey_robust Objet Black Moderate 0.2 mm 1 mm 49x39x20cm 47/116.6 ºF $2.90
Frosted Detail & Frosted Ultra Detail frosted_detail Multijet Modeling (MJM) Frosty Moderate to Strong 0.2mm (FD), 0.1mm (FUD) 0.5mm (FD), 0.3mm (FUD) 298x185x203mm (FD), 127x178x152mm (FUD) softens at 80 ºC $2.89/cm3 (FD), $4.39/cm3 (FUD)
Stainless Steel stainless steel Metal 3D printing Steel
+ Gold Plated & Bronze***
Highest 1.0 mm 3 mm 100x45x25cm 831/1527.8 ºF $10.00**
Silver grey_robust 3D Wax Printing + Casting Silver High .3 mm .6 mm**** 15x15x3cm**** 850 ºC $40 flat fee for first cm3, $20/cm3 after first cm3. $10 for high gloss finish.
Grey Robust grey_robust FDM Grey High 2 mm 1 mm 25x25x30cm 127/260 ºF $2.50

* The price per dyed model is $4 (ex sales tax) start up costs and $1.99 ($1.78 for Night Black) (ex sales tax) per cubic centimeter of material you use for your model.
** High Gloss White and High Gloss Black are $5 start up cost + $6.99cm³
*** For prices of Gold Plated and Antique Bronze please refer to the relevant material page.
**** Dependent on the design, for more information see Silver Design Rules

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