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I used to like Shapeways although they were always kind of expensive especially for small objects because of their "per item" set-up charge. No discount on this fee for printing more than one. I started grouping small objects together on a tree/sprue to bring the cost down to a reasonable level when producing multiple small parts.
Many parts went through and came out perfect... but then a new "error" started appearing indicating that my sprued parts could not be properly printed and that I had to separate them and print them individually.
This is a scam to collect higher fees hidden behind a technical pretense. Objects that had printed without problem before can no longer be printed as the program recognizes multiple items on a sprue and rejects them.
If Shapeway would just drop the per item set-up fee on multiple parts or make it a fixed percentage of the material cost this would not be an issue. But on small parts the main cost is the set up fees and the costs quickly become prohibitive. With this new anti-customer policy I will no longer be using Shapeways.
Horrible!!! Terrible customer service. The process is fine in the beginning until you have a question or problem. If you upload a file, use a coupon, and then they reject your file, you can no longer use the coupon. Even if you do print anyway, just a dumb policy. Plus the prices are outrageous! I can have the same item cast in silver for $2 more than they are charging for plastic. They basically won't work with you at all and are terribly disorganized (as far follow thru and answering questions, they have several people answering the same question and then they don't follow thru on what you ask). If you are considering creating pieces for resale, do yourself a favor and find someone else!!!
Poor customer support, no matter how many emails I sent. Of course, they don't list a phone number. I have lost money and customers. Poor quality material, flexible material was brittle and broke.
Yes I agree, it sometimes takes for ever to get an item processed.
They give you this very far-off date for their scheduled shipping and then go as fast ot as slow as they want.
Just be aware.
It is good for cheap low quality prototyping, but it takes what feels like forever to get your pieces and they always say they are back ordered.Also, poor customer support.
There are lots of places to get things people make, like etsy and even eBay. What Shapeways adds to this is that they have 3d printing capabilities, which lets the inventor upload a pattern and customer can then buy it in different materials. Do a creative outlet where you do not need to stock the items, and the customer can get it how they want it. All that is great.
Actually doing the work and making the pieces is not always easy. The customer does not need to worry about this, but if you are a designer, things like not being able to make working metal hinges and other limits can be problematic. So there are limits, and it is not perfect, but it is a great link between designers and the general market.
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