For a relatively long time now I have been using Shapeways for all of my 3d-printing needs. You may have seen my 3d-Printed Companion Cube Dice not too long ago. I love Shapeways. Not only do they offer inexpensive 3d printing in a variety of materials, you can also open your own “shop” that lets other people buy prints of your models. You can even set commissions on a per-model basis to determine exactly how much you get paid. Finally a simple, straightforward way to get paid for doing something you already enjoy, right? Well I decided to try it out myself.
The process of setting up the shop was simple. On every page of the website is a menu bar that contains, among other things, a drop-down menu of all of your user options. If you do not already have a shop, clicking on the “my shop” option brings you to a page where you can set one up. From there you can enter your shop name, description, icon, banner, and category options to attract customers. You can also change the order that models appear in your gallery and set commissions on a per-object, per-material basis.
Of course, no shop is going to make bank without adequate products. Shapeways kindly fills your shop with all of the models you have set to public so you don’t need to worry about transferring them over. In fact, any model you upload in the future will automatically added to your shop unless privacy is selected. For me, this meant I had to do a bit of fiddling with my models, removing the old objects that were unprintable or below my personal quality standards. For most people, however, you shouldn’t have much extra work to do.
Since I started it, my shop has seen moderate success. I have been able to sell products that I completely design and create myself, without worrying about managing materials or finding ways to manufacture the objects. I am free to be creative and create what I want and I have the opportunity to make money from my models.
You can check out my shop here.