This is a version of a post that originally appeared on the Shapeways blog.


Today, we’re rolling out a series of updates to the policies that govern what happens here at Shapeways. There are some smaller, incremental changes discussed towards the bottom of this post, but the biggest update is to our content policy. Specifically, today we are fully rolling out mature content tagging for shop owners and visitors to the Shapeways marketplace.

Shapeways strives to be a home for a diverse range of creative communities.  While we have a strict content policy governing what can and cannot be printed on Shapeways, that policy is designed to allow as broad a range of expression in our community as possible. However, we also recognize that not every community on Shapeways wants to be exposed to every type of content that we allow on Shapeways.

That is why we are announcing the mature content policy. Unlike our other traditional content policy (which is also still in place), the mature content policy does not describe things that are prohibited from Shapeways. Instead, it is a set of guidelines designed to make mature content accessible to communities in search of it and avoidable for communities who seek to avoid it.

Starting today, you can opt into seeing mature content in your profile by clicking here and clicking on the “show mature audience content” box.

Once you have opted in, you will also be able to filter searches specifically for mature content.

If you have not opted into seeing mature content, you will not see it in search results or in product categories. However, you will still see mature content if you visit a shop that is home to mature content or if you follow a direct link to a mature model.

Shop owners should tag their models using the instructions here.

Mature content will be identified based on a “mature” tag added to the model by the designer. Generally speaking, mature content includes the types of NSFW objects that you would expect.   You can learn more about the specific rules by looking at our updated content policy page and scrolling down to “Things That are Allowed on Shapeways if Properly Tagged”.

If you come across a model that has failed to be properly tagged as mature, please flag it using the “report abuse” button at the bottom of every listing in a Shapeways shop. All reports are reviewed by our Trust and Safety team.

Like all of our content-related policies, we recognize that establishing clear rules governing all possible types of expression can be complicated. That’s why we look forward to receiving your feedback on the rules today, as well as going forward. If you have specific concerns, I invite you to raise them in the comments below. If you have questions about a specific model you have designed, I encourage you to send them to the same content-precheck@shapeways.com address that we maintain for other content policy questions. Regardless of your level of interest in mature content, we hope that this new policy will make it easier to find what you’re looking for here on Shapeways.

Other Policy Updates

While mature tagging is the biggest policy update, we are taking this opportunity to update our other policies as well. Below is a quick summary of those changes. Remember that you can always compare the current policy to the archived versions available at the top of each policy page.

Content Policy

In addition to mature tagging, we updated the following:

  • Made explicit mention of the repeat infringer policy we have had in place for a number of years
  • Clarified that, while most gun grips are allowed under our weapons rules, gun grips that integrate magazine wells qualify as functional parts of a firearm and are therefore prohibited
  • Provided a link to the rules governing behavior on the forum
  • Replaced a reference to forum “flamers” with a reference to “trolls” due to a sensitivity to the multiple meanings of the term “flamers”

Privacy Statement

We made a small addition to “Information We Collect” and “Information You Make Available” sections in order to clarify that the contents of your user profile may change over time as you add information and we add fields.

Shop Owner Terms and Conditions

In addition to a handful of typos and spacing errors, we updated the following:

  • Added an explicit reference to the obligation to comply with the new mature content tagging policy
  • Reserved the right to modify shop listings ourselves (for example, to add mature content tags if appropriate) in order to bring them into compliance with the rules
  • Clarified that all sales in a shop are governed by the standard Shapeways terms
  • Made it explicit that the right you grant to us to use images and prints of models listed in shops is sublicensable to third parties we are relying on to prepare marketing materials for us. For example, we can have a third party print fliers with images of models in a shop instead of having to print the fliers ourselves.

General Terms and Conditions

We made the following changes:

  • We clarified that our gift card refund policy could be changed where required by law.
  • We updated the warranty language to fully incorporate the terms of the Money Back Guarantee.
  • We strengthened our prohibitions against automated traffic dumping.
  • We explicitly extended indemnifications to our vendors and shop owners who make customizable models available in their shop.
  • We clarified that the general terms cannot be unilaterally amended by an order form.

As noted above, you can always refer to the archived versions of these policies if you want to see the changes specifically. If you have thoughts, concerns, or questions, I encourage you to raise them in the comments below.

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