It's a made-to-order business — an item isn't manufactured by Shapeways until an order for it comes in. The designer gets the money marked up from the cost of manufacturing, minus a 3.5% fee that goes to Shapeways.
The website, which was launched in 2008, has featured items by 30,000 people.
"There is a group that really wants to know about 3-D printing and how it works, but there is also even a bigger group that just wants the end result," Weijmarshausen said. "In the end it doesn't really matter to the end user how we make it. It only matters that they can get their custom product."