Shapr3D doesn't integrate into Windows very well

I just started using Shapr3D and I really like the interface, its the most intuitive CAD SW I’ve used.

However, it is not very convenient for organization.

First, it doesn’t seem to allow me to make a desktop icon. I like to organize my apps on the desktop by type and I can only put it in the apps menu or the taskbar, but no desktop icon. I’ve never run across a program in Windows with this limitation. This is more of an annoyance because every other app allows this.

The second thing that is a problem is that project files are stored with the program buried in some unknown location on my hard drive. I organize my projects together such that I will have all the file types, pictures, CAD, CAM, etc. together in the same directory. I do not want my 3D models seperated from everything else in some obscure place. I also want them all together in the same place on a shared drive so I can access the same copy from everywhere, and also ensure I have a solid backup plan.

Exporting files frequently is not a good option as it is very inconvenient.

I can’t speak for other platforms, but nobody does this in Windows. There should be a standard Save, and Save As feature just like all other windows programs. If I would have noticed this limitation sooner, I wouldn’t have bought a license.

Shapr3D is what is called a Universal Windows App. It’s the most modern framework Microsoft offers and has many benefits around ease of install & upgrades, stability and security. But despite it being around for half a decade, Windows still handles it a bit strange, and desktop shortcuts is one of these strange quirks. For some reason, the right-hand context menu indeed does not offer a “Create shortcut” option for such apps. But you can still add a desktop shortcut for it by dragging and dropping the app icon from the Start menu to the desktop:

Regarding file locations: I hear your concerns, and we plan to address those soon – though I can’t commit to an exact timeline right now. The main challenge is that marrying the two worlds we both want to support (seamless, don’t-need-to-think-about-it backup and sync between devices, and file-based workflows) is an immense technical and UX challenge, and to make sure our users can immediately benefit from the advantages of both desktop and mobile devices, we started with automated sync. But we’re not stopping there.

Just one follow-up question to this: would you also want to back up the CAD files created in Shapr3D together with everything else, even though Shapr3D offers free, unlimited cloud backup if you turn Sync on, or the problem is more about having a way to quickly access CAD files in the same directory hierarchy?


Unlimited Cloud storage. Thanks Peter, until I read your post I didn’t know we had that with Shapr3D.

Ha, thats funny. I tried to drag it to the desktop from the taskbar and it didn’t work, so I didn’t bother trying from the start menu :-). I just did it and that did indeed work.

I’m glad to hear you are going to be adding a normal save/saveas/open capability. I almost thought I wasted $300 on a licence. I will go ahead and invest in the time to become more proficient in the meantime since this is coming. I think this will be a big deal for a lot of CNC folks like me who have to manage files for a lot of apps for a given project, and access them on a shared file system between design and cnc computers, so I’m hoping the wait isn’t too long :slight_smile:

You really do have a much better interface than most CAD programs. I generally use Vectric Vcarve for my CAD and CAM, but sometimes I need a real 3D model to import (Vectric is really 2D until the toolpaths are generated, with the exception of when you import a 3D model), and every other CAD program just makes me want to shoot myself because they are so hard to learn if you don’t use them every day. I feel like Shapr3D is a good addition to go with Vectric users since they are both very easy to use and compliment each other well.

On the cloud storage question, I think you need both. There are a lot of people who like cloud storage, and I can see why. However, I’m an old guy (relatively) and I have been burned by remote storage enough over the last 30 years that I just don’t like or trust it. I like my files on my machine where I know exactly where they are and can manage multiple access and backups myself. Things just work better for me that way :-).

Well, just to be precise, it’s unlimited for Shapr3D designs, it’s not a generic cloud storage platform for all of your files :slight_smile: You can read more about the functionality here:

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Got it, thanks for the detailed explanation. Watch out for the updates here, we’ll let you know when we ship the feature (and I might reach out to you personally for further questions as we advance with planning).

Thank you.

@Peter_Gy Yes I understood that Peter, thanks :slightly_smiling_face:

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Desktop icons are slowly fading into the sunset aren’t they? They should be.

I’m running WIin11. I hated the Start menu change in the upgrade from Win10 on my Surface pro. I had to buy Stardock Start11 to get my tiles back.

Tiles didn’t make sense to a lot of people. But they are much better in a touch interface.

Cluttered messy desktops…

Isn’t Shapr working on localization for files on Windows version?

I am not sure what you mean by “localization for files” – if you mean translations for the app itself (eg. for the interface to be available in Spanish, French, Chinese etc.) than that’s indeed on our short-term roadmap.

By localization I meant natively storing our files locally on our own hard drive/storage. Yes I understand you can export the files.

They don’t have to be. You have a good point about tiles on a touch interface. However, if you have a 40" 4k screen, you can nicely organize your desktop icons and have enough space to run your apps beside them. I have a couple very frequently used apps on my task bar, then next level on my desktop, and everything else that I don’t need much stays in the start menu.

That said, I have seen many people with a solid array of over 100 icons on their desktop. That almost makes me nauseous looking at it :slight_smile:

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My busy iPad screen…:crazy_face:

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Oh, got it.

Shapr3D already stores the designs locally on the hard drive – they’re are available even if you are offline. They are, however, not exposed directly for the end-user for performance and technical reasons.

As those reasons will always stand, we are very likely to keep the this approach in the future and keep the “master” copy of the design internal to the app, but we are working on ways to make it easier to also integrate with your own local storage methods without having to manually export your designs after every change.

Keeping a hidden copy as a shadow “working” copy is fine if it can’t be stored in memory. However, when the open/save/save-as is added, the master should be the one that was opened. It should periodically (period user configurable) save from the shadow copy to the opened copy, wherever that was. One of the nice things about not having a single master is that if you go down a bad road and everything is messed up and you haven’t saved it yet, you can just close it w/o saving and re-open it. Saving is also a nice way to clear the undo buffer when you want to put it at a known point in your design.

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My only issue thus far is not being able to set it as a default app for

  • .stp
  • .step
  • .dwg

I provide a 3d printing service and most the time I am importing a model into the software with the listed extensions that are downloaded and unzipped into an

  • external drive
  • synced to multiple cloud
    |* platforms
    * drives

to moderate

  • storage
  • organization
  • DLP by utilizing multi-platform archiving on
    |* cloud
    * Local
    |__* External backups

that being said the ability to right click on these extracted model and use ‘open with’ is extremely helpful since I’m in the folder already once the file is extracted, and my archives can be a chore to locate files at times.

Otherwise I have to go into the app, select import, find the file in the archive, search isn’t much help due to most the files are proprietary and I’m unable to allow indexing on the drives.

Aside from that the software is truly intuitive and after trying out many other platforms recently this is the one I went with because how fluid the systems works, easily approachable and doesn’t overkill on the feature sets in the UI, overall 4.8 out of 5

The .2 negativity, is as said previously, only due to the windows inaccessibility nuances that are tolerable in reference to the application as a whole.

As a CAD and 3D Model architect and designer accessibility to local files is of high importance regardless of the convenient features provided. the cloud feature is nice but I still would like to access my local directory for the app to implement my Design system and personal OCD with project organization.

Makes perfect sense. Adding ourselves to this list for all files we can import is on our backlog, we plan to do it quite soon (but I don’t have an exact release number/date for it yet).


Hi Peter,
Do you have any estimate as to when the improved save feature might be available? I stopped using Shapr3D because it is just too cumbersome to keep going back to the same computer to edit and view the project. I have computers in the shop and house, and currenly I can only open a file on the same computer it was created on. It seems this would be a showstopper for anyone with multiple employees or computers in a business or even for many hobbyists. I really like the drawing interface but this limitation turned into a showstopper for me.

Hi @jjneeb , if you install Shapr3D on your computers, and sign in with the same Shapr3D account, your designs will be automatically synced across your computers.

Thanks, I didn’t know that. That is an ok short term solution, but long term I really want a single file on my network so I can store it with all the other CAD files for a project, I know where the backup is, I can share it with others, etc… Do you think standard file storage like most other programs have will be a feature in the near future?