Etsy now integrates with 3D printing marketplace Shapeways, a top manufacturer and marketplace for 3D printed goods for small businesses. Shapeways offers over 40 materials and finishes and has offices in both the Netherlands and New York.
Greg Kress, CEO of Shapeways, said in a statement about the deal, “Small business owners are already juggling multiple hats, and we are excited to help make Etsy Shop owners’ lives easier by enabling them to seamlessly grow their businesses and helping current Shapeways’ customers not currently on the platform expand their customer base by offering a new place for them to sell their designs.”
In August 2017 Etsy approved its first print-on-demand dropshipping app and since then several others have been added allowing sellers to design artwork for t-shirts, leggings, phone cases, hats, posters, bags, aprons, towels, and more that is uploaded to a third party service. When a customer makes a purchase from the seller’s Etsy shop, the third party prints the product and ships it out on behalf of the seller, taking a cut of the sale price. With the Shapeways integration sellers can now have 3D printed products printed and dropshipped.
Etsy paved the way for integrating print-on-demand dropshipping services in 2013 when the marketplace clarified that “handmade” meant authorship, responsibility, and transparency, meaning that sellers could employ production partners as long as they were disclosed.
Etsy seller Ola Shekhtman of Cityscape Rings has been using Shapeways for several years to 3D print her intricate jewelry designs depicting the skylines of cities all over the world. “When I finished my first 3D model, I did some research to see where I could produce it,” Shekhtman, who is originally from Russia but now lives in New York City, says. “Shapeways was always the first name that popped up. I signed up easily, uploaded my model, checked the price, chose a material, made a simple payment and received a perfect quality product in the specified time.”
Saint Petersburg ring by Cityscape Rings. Printed by Shapeways.
For Shekhtman, 3D printing allows her endless creative freedom. “Because Shapeways’ 3D technology is able to capture and render incredibly fine details, I never have to hold back in what I design,” she says. “So many jewelers are amazed by the details of my Cityscape rings. Customers adore the miniature columns and statues that I’m able to build into each piece. It’s tricky to carve out windows and yet 3D printing makes it easy.”
Moscow ring by Cityscape Rings. Printed by Shapeways.
A number of years ago she purchased a 3D printer in order to produce the rings herself but sold it three months later. “Since I’m the owner of my business and its only employee, I play a lot of roles. I’m the designer, I’m the 24/7 customer service, I’m the marketing and PR specialist, as well as the accountant, analyst, and planner. I’m happy to have Shapeways handle the manufacturing, that way I can at least get some sleep,” she says.
Shekhtman is excited about the Etsy Shapeways integration. “The Etsy E-commerce integration is magic! Now I’m able to place an order without a single click. I have more time free to work on new ideas.”