Help support TMP

"Shapeways Epic Fail" Topic

8 Posts

All members in good standing are free to post here. Opinions expressed here are solely those of the posters, and have not been cleared with nor are they endorsed by The Miniatures Page.

For more information, see the TMP FAQ.

Back to the Hobby Industry Message Board

Back to the Consumer Affairs Message Board

Back to the 3D Printing Message Board

Areas of Interest


996 hits since 15 May 2019
©1994-2019 Bill Armintrout
Comments or corrections?

ScoutJock15 May 2019 7:18 a.m. PST

I was looking on shapeways for some scenic items and found three items I wanted. Submitted my order and within two days received a message saying we can't make two of these and will refund your money in 7-10 days. The other item will be printed and shipped in about three weeks. I received a message today saying they can't make this item either and will refund your money in 7-10 days, and to contact the designer.

What kind of company puts items up for sale on their site they don't know whether they can actually provide? If there was more money involved I would file a deceptive practices complaint with the AG.

Interestingly enough, the designer emailed me and basically said the shapeways people were morons and that he would be happy to provide a quote for casting my items in resin.

No more of my money for these clowns.

cfielitz15 May 2019 8:55 a.m. PST

I've had similar issues with Shapeways and it seems that its not the designer's fault. In fact, there was one model where it had been successfully printed previously, but then was deemed unprintable even though there was no change in design or type of print material.

ScoutJock15 May 2019 9:25 a.m. PST

My suspicion is that it is not printable (at the cost) quotted on the website.

TGerritsen Supporting Member of TMP15 May 2019 1:20 p.m. PST

The reason for this is that they are a provider of prints of files created by individual craftsmen. Their tools will point out to you problematic areas for printing, but the creator can override this and provide the file anyway. Blame the creator for not knowing what they are doing. Shapeways probably looked over the file, maybe even tried to print it, but couldn't. They could be more draconian about what is printable but Small detailed items can be iffy. Sometimes they are printable, sometimes they are not. They err on the side of trying. They refunded you the money after giving it a shot. I have no dog in the hunt, but I do make 3D prints and know that it is both art and science and still not perfect.

Aotrs Commander15 May 2019 2:34 p.m. PST


Interestingly enough, the designer emailed me and basically said the shapeways people were morons and that he would be happy to provide a quote for casting my items in resin.

That's fracking hilarious, since I have said almost the exact same thing, word-for-word to MY customers, with the exception of providing a quote for off my home printer.

If it wasn't for the fact they are now regularly starting to bounce models that printed perfectly fine previously.

The latest one of which today has me REALLY angry allow me to share with you all the reason my customer's order of my Leopard 2A6 bounced:

(Hre is the picture of the actual model, which I (well, UchCha technically) owns not a great picture, but the point stands.)

(Ignore the mine rollers at the front, they're a different model.)

Thank you for your patience. After checking with our production team, although there wasn't a specific area of the model that was the highlight for this rejection, the main issue should be resolved by thickening your model throughout.

The model is simply unable to support itself in the current thickness due to the overall geometry of the model. This is why it was rejected for weak geometry rather than thin walls since your model technically meets the guidelines.

Which is a complete bovine-excrement non-answer. They either have printed the model and thus know where it went wrong, or the HAVEN'T printed the model and are simply guessing.

And it's not like I don't have over 500 models at Shapeways, of which a good half are similiar 144th models done to the same specs.

This is the first time I've had a bounce where they couldn't even be arsed to tell me what the problem area is. It's bad enough when they bounce a model that printed before, doing so and trying to fob me off with a non-answer is BEYOND the line.

Shapeways since that new CEO took over, Shapeway's poor customer service has just gotten worse and worse. (Notable that after that first time he tried to bovine excrement the community with that web meeting that turned out to basically be him doing a marketing presentation that no-one was interested in, they haven't tried that again.)

All I can say is that it is increasingly likely that Shapeways IS going to go out of business, as they increasing raise their prices and provide worse and worse service, given that home printers are already equal and even exceeding what they can do; and at some point, their only advantage of accessibilty is not going to be enough.

And THIS is why I had to make a Facebook page for the Shipyards finally, because it means that I don't HAVE to be beholden to them at the point (one feels approaching ever faster) they become actually inviable.

Thresher01 Supporting Member of TMP15 May 2019 6:11 p.m. PST

Yea, their prices are pretty high for even very small stuff, and crazy for larger products.

surdu2005 Sponsoring Member of TMP16 May 2019 1:17 a.m. PST

I have had only positive experiences with Shapeways.

Aotrs Commander16 May 2019 8:37 a.m. PST


Good for you and I genuinely hope, for your sake, you continue to do so, because I would LIKE my and everyone else's customers to have a postive experience.


I did hear back and it appears that they are going forward with the printing now and, incidently, explained that actually, no, they WERE only guessing it would fail. (Apparently, if they THINK it might not print less than 80% of the time, they reject it. Not, it *actually* failed 20% of the time (which I might have some sympathy with), but if they *think* it might.)

*shakes head in disbelief*

Sorry, Shapeways chaps, guessing is no good, because I can't magically read your mind to find out why you THINK might make it fail to fix that, can I? (Especially since you outright say "well, somethimes things that meet our guidelines and final checks fail…") If you're gonna bounce a model, you need to explictly tell the designer how and where, otherwise how can we possibly fix it?

(Edit: good job I check these things, some daft cross-posting thing occurred…!)

Sorry - only verified members can post on the forums.