Shapeways Content Policy and Notice Takedown Procedure

Last updated February 24, 2021.

For archived versions of this policy click here.

Our goal is to let the Shapeways community be as free as possible in sharing their creativity with others. We want to be an inspiring place, and a free flow of ideas, designs, and conversation is an essential element of this. So is striving to be nice, civil and helpful. In light of that, we have a few common sense rules that we ask you to keep in mind. These especially relate to copyrights and keeping Shapeways appropriate for a general audience.

Users of the Shapeways Service are responsible for making sure their content complies with this Content Policy.

As specified in our Terms & Conditions, we expect that the creator of a 3D design hold the copyrights to the content. Hence, please only upload your own original work, work that is freely available through a Creative Commons license, or work that does not infringe on the rights of another copyright holder. Users who repeatedly violate the rights of others are subject to the Shapeways repeat infringer policy and may have their access to Shapeways revoked.

On the Shapeways portal you can let other people see your work by making a model "display to the public” and you can "offer for sale to others". None of these settings will mean that any rights you have to this model will be transferred to the people viewing or ordering your model.

Be nice! This sounds simple but lots of mistakes happen when people ignore this simple rule. We would like everyone to make whatever they like, as 3D printing is a technology that enables innovation and the possibility to make completely new things is unlimited. However, we do take copyright seriously and are legally obliged to respond to any copyright infringement notices we receive.

Please do not infringe other people's intellectual property rights. (Intellectual property rights means copyright, patent, registered design, design right, trade mark or trade secret.)

We live in a culture of re-mix, re-use, and mashup but a good rule of thumb here is that if a person does not clearly give you the right to use their design, invention, logo, text, slogan etc. then you do not have the right to use it. If you do obtain work through a permissive license, please comply with the terms of that license. For example, if you are relying on a Creative Commons attribution license, please always give the originator of the material credit for their work. Please familiarize yourself with the details of fair use if you are planning to rely on fair use to make of works created by others.


Shapeways is a home for all kinds of personal expression, and we try to be a home for a number of different communities. However, the range of expression allowed on Shapeways does have limits. We also recognize that not all content is welcomed by all communities.

Our content policy serves at least two purposes. First, it attempts to clarify the types of models that we will not print. Second, it attempts to balance the abilities of our community to express itself with the interests of members of the Shapeways community who would prefer to avoid models that may not be appropriate for all audiences.

While all of our guidelines are designed to be comprehensive, we do reserve the right to refuse to print models even if they are not addressed by these guidelines.

If you are unsure if a model may violate any feature of our content policy, we invite you to contact our Trust and Safety team at You do not need to send in a final model — it can be a work in process or even just an idea. That email will open up a discussion designed to give you a decision from us on how the model will sit with our content policy. In the event that we can't give you a final answer because the idea isn't quite finished, we'll give you the guidelines that we will use to evaluate the model when it is done.

Finally, if you have a content-related concern about a specific model that someone else has posted in a Shapeways shop, we encourage you to report it using the “report abuse” flag at the bottom of every model page or to email the Trust and Safety team directly at

Things That are Prohibited on Shapeways

Prohibited items on Shapeways generally fall into two categories: weapons and obscenity. While no list can be comprehensive, the following do's and don't should help you understand our rules.

Weapons Do's

  1. Shapeways does produce external accessories for guns and gun games (airsoft, paintball) that do not reproduce core functions. These include scopes, mounts, mono/bi/tripods, grips that do not integrate magazine wells, etc.
  2. Shapeways does produce cosplay-type guns that cannot be reasonably confused with real life firearms.
  3. Shapeways does produce knives, swords, and other weapons (subject to the laws regulating local users).
  4. Shapeways does produce prop/cosplay knives and swords that might otherwise be prohibited by these rules if they are dull by design.
  5. Shapeways does produce tools.

Weapons Don'ts

  1. Shapeways does not produce guns, realistic gun replicas, or gun games (airsoft, paintball). This includes parts that make up guns or could be assembled into guns or realistic gun replicas (including grips with integrated magazine wells). It also includes parts whose manufacture is specifically regulated such as silencers/suppressors. Parts are anything that are required for the gun to load and fire a projectile safely. Gun replicas longer than 10cm are likely to be flagged for additional review. Shapeways does not produce conversion kit parts for guns, gun replicas, or gun games.
  2. Shapeways does not produce magazines for guns, gun replicas, or gun games.
  3. Shapeways does not produce disguised blades (i.e. swords hidden in canes), switchblades (including hidden blades), gravity knives, or undetectable knives as defined by NY S4202.
  4. Shapeways does not produce metal swords longer than 50 cm.
  5. Shapeways does not produce throwing stars in metal.
  6. Shapeways does not produce brass knuckles/knuckledusters.

Obscenity Do's

  1. Shapeways does give designers who run afoul of the obscenity policy a chance to explain their models on artistic and/or expressive grounds.
  2. Shapeways does strive to be transparent about how it interprets art and expression.

Obscenity Don'ts

  1. Shapeways does not print models that embrace sexual violence.
  2. Shapeways does not print models that focus on genitalia without a larger context or commentary.
  3. Shapeways does not print models designed to denigrate living beings.
  4. Shapeways does not print models that represent or endorse hate speech.
  5. Shapeways does not print models that depict minors in a sexual manner.
  6. Shapeways does not print models that depict sexual acts.

Things That are Allowed on Shapeways if Properly Tagged

There are some types of models that we welcome on Shapeways, but are not appropriate for all audiences. Our mature content tagging rules are designed to balance the interests of designers and members of the community who would prefer not to see mature content. Properly identifying mature content allows you to continue to share it on Shapeways while also allowing users who prefer not to see mature content to avoid it.

By default, mature content will only show up in searches for users who have opted into viewing mature content. Direct links to mature content will work for all users. Similarly, any user viewing your shop will be able to see all of the content in your shop.

You can set a model in your shop to "mature" by checking the box on its "discoverability" page.

Identifying Mature Content

What qualifies as mature content can be tricky, and no list can ever be inclusive. However, mature content includes:

  1. Non-medical or scientific depictions of genitalia
  2. Sexual activity or content, including highly sexualized models and sexualized nudity
  3. Profane language
  4. Graphic violence
  5. Items associated with sexual wellness, such as dildos, plugs, chastity belts, etc.
  6. Sexualized or graphically violent product photos for otherwise non-mature models

Using Mature Imagery to Advertise Non-Mature Content

We recognize that sometimes our designers use mature images to advertise content that would otherwise not be considered mature. For example, an image of a ring might include a semi-nude model or an image of a prop might depict graphic violence. If you decide to use mature imagery to advertise models that would otherwise be acceptable for a general audience, you must still tag your model as mature.

What if I have questions?

These are general rules that may be hard to apply to any specific situation. We encourage you to reach out to if you are unclear how these rules might apply to you.

Commenting and Posting on the Forum

We reserve the right to remove comments and posts we deem inappropriate for our site. In cases of repeated misconduct, Shapeways reserves the right to close a user account and/or ban a user completely. Racism, prejudice, or hate speech in any shape or form will not ever be tolerated by us. The rules governing behavior on the forum can be found here.

When commenting on someone's model please try to be kind and constructive. Hours and hours of work could have gone into a design. A good comment will honor that effort. A good comment should make a person smile, encourage them, allow them to learn something or allow them to improve their work.

We know that everyone has a bad day once in a while. Some of us might be tempted to take this out on others. This is childish, grow up. We take a dim view of trolls and negativity in general. This is not to say that Shapeways should be a place where people only say, "you are awesome", "no you are awesomer", "no you are awesomest" to each other. There should be room for criticism but it should always be constructive.

Notice and Takedown

In order to cooperate with and protect intellectual property rights owners, we implemented the following notice take down system. In case you find content on the Shapeways website which you think is inappropriate, might infringe your intellectual property right, or does not comply with our content policy, please notify us, making sure to include the information listed below.

Further, in case a 3D model subject to a takedown request has already been printed, we retain the right to destroy it, provided it is still in our possession, and cancel your order in accordance with the terms indicated in the Shapeways Terms and Conditions under section "Order". In such cases we might require you to indemnify us for our damages as set forth in the Shapeways Terms and Conditions under section "Indemnification".

With regard to non-published 3D designs (see section "Intellectual Property Rights" in the Shapeways Terms and Conditions), we retain the right to review and refuse any order when it does not comply with this Content Policy.

In addition, Shapeways has adopted the following general policy toward copyright infringement in accordance with the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. The address of the Designated Agent to Receive Notification of Claimed Infringement ("Designated Agent") is listed at the end of this policy.

Procedure for Reporting Copyright Infringement

If you believe that material or content residing on or accessible through the Shapeways Website infringes a copyright, we encourage you to first contact the uploader directly through the model page. Many disputes have been resolved through friendly conversations between creators. While strongly recommended, we do not require you to contact the uploader prior to submitting this takedown request and will honor requests that were not preceded by an attempt to contact the uploader.

If contacting the uploader fails to resolve your concern, or if you prefer not to contact the uploader, please send a notice of copyright infringement containing the following information to the Designated Agent listed below. Upon receipt of the notice, we will work expeditiously to disable access to the model on our site. We cannot comply with a notice unless it contains all of the information below.

Filing a takedown notice against a model is a formal legal action that can have consequences both for the person filing the notice and the person receiving the notice. We strongly encourage you to research the law and/or consult an attorney to fully and accurately understand your rights before filing a formal takedown request.

Pursuant to Section 512 (c)(3)(A) of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, a takedown request must include all of the following:

  1. A physical or electronic signature of a person authorized to act on behalf of the owner of the copyright that has been allegedly infringed;
  2. Identification of works or materials being infringed;
  3. Identification of the material that is claimed to be infringing including information regarding the location of the infringing materials that the copyright owner seeks to have removed, with sufficient detail so that Shapeways is capable of finding and verifying its existence (in most cases this will be the URL of the product page);
  4. Contact information about the notifier including address, telephone number and, if available, e-mail address;
  5. A statement that the notifier has a good faith belief that the material is not authorized by the copyright owner, its agent, or the law; and
  6. A statement made under penalty of perjury that the information provided in the notification is accurate and the notifying party is authorized to make the complaint on behalf of the copyright owner.

Please contact the Designated Agent to Receive Notification of Claimed Infringement for Company:

Contact DMCA Agent by email or at
Shapeways HQ
228 Park Ave S, PMB 15839
New York, NY 10003-1502

When removing content from the site, Shapeways will make reasonable attempts to inform the user of the notice for removal, the reason for the removal, and may provide the user with a copy of the notice with the notifying party’s contact information redacted. Shapeways will endeavor to remove the content in a timely manner. We take our users’ privacy seriously and will not give out a user’s details unless legally obliged to do so with a court order.

Removal of Allegedly Infringing Content

Once proper notification of copyright infringement is received by the Designated Agent, Shapeways may remove or disable access to such content. If Shapeways removes or disables access to content in response to an infringement notice, Shapeways will make reasonable attempts to notify the user that Shapeways has removed or disabled access to the content.

Procedure to Supply a Copyright Counter-Notice to the Designated Agent:

We will notify you if one of your models has been taken down as a result of a takedown request. If you feel that the takedown request was improper, you can submit a counter-notice requesting that the model be returned to the site.

As with the original takedown notice, filing a counter notice is a formal legal action. It can have consequences both for the person filing the notice and the person receiving the notice. We strongly encourage you to do your research and/or consult an attorney to fully and accurately understand your rights before filing a formal counter notice request.

If you believe that your content does not infringe any copyrights, you must send a counter-notice, pursuant to Sections 512(g)(2) and (3) of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. Please do not re-list or reactivate the content yourself.

The counter-notice must contain all of the following information listed below.

  1. Your physical or electronic signature;
  2. Identification of the content that has been removed or to which access has been disabled and the location at which the content appeared before it was removed or disabled;
  3. A statement, under penalty of perjury, that the you have a good faith belief that the content was removed or disabled as a result of mistake or misidentification of the content;
  4. Your name, address, telephone number, and, if available, e-mail address and a statement that you consent to the jurisdiction of the Federal Court for the judicial district in which your address is located, or if your address is located outside the United States, for any judicial district in which Shapeways is located, and that you will accept service of process from the person who provided notification under Section 512 (c)(1)(C) of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act or an agent of such person.

If a counter-notice is received by the Designated Agent, Shapeways may send a copy of the counter-notice to the original complaining party informing that person that Shapeways may replace the removed content or cease disabling it in 10 business days. Unless the copyright or intellectual property owner files an action seeking a court order against the user, the removed content may be replaced or access to it restored in 10 to 14 business days after receipt of the counter-notice, at Shapeways’ discretion.

Please contact Shapeways’ Designated Agent to submit Notifications of Claimed Infringement and Copyright Counter-Notices at the following address:

Contact DMCA Agent by email or at
Shapeways HQ
228 Park Ave S, PMB 15839
New York, NY 10003-1502

If you have any other questions please feel free to send us a message.



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