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Introducing: The Shapeways Bridge

August 8, 2017 by ShapeDiver

We are excited to introduce the “ShapeDiver – Shapeways Bridge”: an integration of the world-famous 3D printing marketplace into our platform. In a few clicks, users will be able to configure 3D models on a ShapeDiver viewer, either directly on our website or while embedded in any other, and seamlessly order the finished product as 3D-printed objects via Shapeways. This is a bridge between your parametric designs and the whole world.

What is Shapeways?

Shapeways is the platform that defined the 3D Printing industry.  In here designers can upload their 3D models for other people to browse and eventually order as 3D printed objects in the material of their choice. Since its creation, Shapeways has helped sell and 3D print millions of designs, from jewelry to various types of accessories, miniatures, figurines, toys and even drones!

In order to allow a greater level of customization, Shapeways implemented the Creator Apps, which allows end users to modify and create some personalized 3D printed objects. Each Creator App focuses on a specific object that can be customized through its own interface. 

It often starts with a 2D pattern (see this great custom ring creator) and other times it requires an advanced web application, like the famous Cell Cycle developed by the n-e-r-v-o-u-s Design Studio.

Why did we develop this?

More and more Grasshopper designers are using our platform (sign up, it’s free!) to showcase their parametric designs on the web or even to create full-blown eCommerce platforms where customers can personalize the products before purchasing them.

While the “Creator Apps” is a step in the right direction, at ShapeDiver we wanted more. Our main goal is to make it easy for designers around the world to create their own full 3D product configurators, so we decided to develop a tool that could take this a step forward.

The ShapeDiver-Shapeways Bridge was conceived as the fastest, most efficient way for designers to bring their products to the market. We know that setting up a Web Shop and a supply chain puts the bar too high for many designers out there who don’t have the resources to start a new venture, hence this integration made a lot of sense to us.

How can you use this Shapeways Bridge?

For now we’re opening a limited Beta testing phase with 10 of our current ShapeDiver users, so if you’re interested make sure to send us a message via the blue “CONTACT US” button on the top of this page. (Update: Beta period is over.)

If you’re one of the lucky Beta testers, there’s only two steps needed before you can bring your parametric designs to a worldwide market:

Step 1: 

– While designing your Grasshopper model use the new Shapeways components available in our plugin to connect to your Shapeways account. With them you’ll set up materials, prices and more.

Step 2: 

– Upload your .gh file to your ShapeDiver account.

That’s it! The Shapeways Export component magically creates a button in the ShapeDiver parameter menu that transfers a compatible 3D object to your Shapeways account. Now anyone interacting with your design can use it to export their currently displayed model to your Shapeways store and order it!

Here’s our first public Beta example using this Bridge (if you are on a mobile device, please tilt your phone):

Once we finish all the needed tests with our Beta users we'll notify via all our channels that the component is now fully available via our ShapeDiver plugin for Grasshopper(Update: it's available now! Contact us if you're interested in using this feature for your business.)


We hope this new feature will open up many new possibilities for all the entrepreneur parametric designers that have been waiting for a way to present and sell their creations in all their complexity.

Have any ideas? Suggestions? Leave a comment down below or head to our Forums where our Team will be more than happy to help.

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