Shapeways Bumps into Ponoko

By on January 2nd, 2009 in blog

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Shapeways, the European-based 3D print service that is working very hard to make it easy for laymen to produce 3D objects, is stepping into Ponoko’s territory.

Ponoko is a repository of 3D models and designs that you can manufacture on demand. Ponoko also allows you to sell prints made from your plans to anyone perusing the site. But in January, Shapeways is opening up “Shapeways Shops”. It will permit Shapeways users to not only upload their designs and print them, but also:

With the Shops you can make money by selling models of your Shapeways designs. You design, we do the production, shipping, billing and customer service.

According to their press release, here are the “key points”:

  • Shapeways offers an online platform for 3D creatives to show and sell original designs to a worldwide audience.
  • Shop owners can price the self-created items with original mark up to be sold within Shops.
  • Artists and designers keep the copyright rights to designs / products.
  • Shapeways assumes full responsibility for production, orders, shipping and customer service enabling designers to focus on the imagination and creation of original products.
  • Shapeways accepts most file formats of 3D modeling software including .STL, .X3D, colada, and VRML which make uploading a design easy and efficient.
  • Users and potential buyers can browse through designs easily through categorized objects they can enter the shop via the models or via the shop gallery.
  • Shop owners have the ability to promote the personalized shop and 3D designs on the Shapeways landing page as well as display feedback and comments through the Shapeways Shops platform.

This sounds a bit like Ponoko’s model, doesn’t it? There is a private beta program for the shop available for signup now.

Competition is a wonderful thing.

Via Shapeways

By Kerry Stevenson

Kerry Stevenson, aka "General Fabb" has written over 8,000 stories on 3D printing at Fabbaloo since he launched the venture in 2007, with an intention to promote and grow the incredible technology of 3D printing across the world. So far, it seems to be working!

1 comment

  1. Competition, definitely. It's not quite as competitive when looked at in the light of non 3D users. One main thing you didn't mention is that Ponoko is laser cutting, though 3D objects can be imagined out of 2D pieces. Their matieral selection is much better and more colorful, but I have yet to use them. If you know some Photoshop or Illustrator it's an easy process.

    Shapeways is primarily for the 3D artist. The learning curve is greater in my opinion. I have so far printed one piece out and it turned out really well. In addition to the whole 3D thing one point up for Shapeways is that they include the shipping in the price of each piece, so you don't have to worry about being hit with a bunch of fees at checkout. Ponoko hits you with a $10 "handling fee" whatever that is, in addition to any shipping costs.

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