The prices are too high for hobbyists


Shapr3D is definitely one of the slickest and most user friendly CAD programs out there. It’s got great potential. And with iPad, macOS, and Windows support, it’s surely possible it will be a smashing success.

However, there’s one big problem. The pricing strategy is crazy and severely punishes excited users that would want to purchase this platform. I understand that $60 a month is popular with Autodesk Fusion 360, at least. But Fusion 360 offers a free version for hobbyists that does way more than the $30 a month plan of Shapr3D. Does anyone realize this absolutely limits your customer base?

I want the iPadOS innovations and the macOS optimizations but I simply cannot wrap my head around this concept. Shapr3D has the potential to be a market disruptor but it seems the people in charge would rather follow the status quo and lock their app behind a extremely high paywall for the sake of greed.

To put it simply, you have frustrated this user that can’t even afford your app to a point where they sign up on a form to complain about it. There’s nothing else I can do. And from a quick search on this forum, it seems most posts like this have been hidden.

Here’s a tip. Fix your pricing. It’s way too expensive and poor value. And you’re going to ruin your own tool before it even has a dedicated community.

By the way, I’m totally fine with buying software. But $10 or even $15 a month would be markedly better than what we have now. Besides, non commercial licenses exist. It’s pretty standard in this industry.

I want to use your software, so why won’t you let me?


You make some good points, but what you fail to realize is that Autodesk’s customer base is orders of magnitude larger than Shapr’s. More customers means you can charge less and still stay in business. I don’t have any historical data, but I’d be willing to bet that no hobbyist could afford the first Autodesk app when it was released. Pricing, when you don’t have a large customer base, is a fragile compromise between value to the customer and revenue for the company.

I bought in when there were only free and paid tiers and $240 a year was a bitter pill to swallow. However, I believe enough in the app and the company to know it’ll be a good investment, especially with the grandfathering policy they have in place. I’ll be retiring soon from my software engineering career and hope to put Shapr to good use for side money in retirement.


I was just thinking along similar lines; it does feel like slow progress and that more could be invested in augmenting the development team.

But that’s feelings - and they’re not always logical. @TheBum I think you’re quite right about the funds available to the Shapr team in comparison with a behemoth like autodesk. Also about the lateral thinking that has gone into the Shapr product. On balance I set my feelings aside and remember that I can already use Shapr for paying work; work that doesn’t really feel like work. And it’s imperative that if @Istvan_CEO_Shapr3D decides to add to the dev team, we don’t want the quality to suffer because of poor logic in the coding or round the boardroom table. Smaller often leads to better quality. Slow grown leads to better longevity.

So despite my illogical impatience, I will also be continuing to support the Shapr project as long as I can afford it.

I have to agree also with @Zenith22 with regards the pricing structure. For someone like me that uses it for the occasional weekly 3D print, £27 per month is way too expensive. This is definitely the best, most user friendly design tool I have used so full credit to the team for this.

It’s a bit of a catch 22 situation for them, they need to obviously continually develop and support this and don’t have the market penetration of other tools out there so need to cover these costs BUT a slightly lower price (I would be happy with the £12-15 per month price point) would mean it would be more attractive to the hobbyist and surely generate more interest? It would be interesting to hear from the team with their views on this

I am in full agreement here. I am a SketchUp trainer (and the voice behind SketchUp’s previous Toolbar videos), and I also teach a course on ZBrush for jewelry design. I was also a Systems Engineer and tech trainer for Apple. I am also developing a course to teach CAD to glass artists using inexpensive FDM printers.

When I first found Shapr3D, I played a little with it, and was really excited about the app. I accidentally subscribed and when my account was hit for $240, I was shocked. I had NO IDEA the program was that expensive. However, before I canceled my subscription, I got a chance to play with it, and LOVED IT.

And being in a position to sell Shapr3D to others, and to demo it to others who WANT to use it, I can tell you that not one person I’ve shown it to has been able to justify the price. I have one student who purchased it before she signed up for my course, but she will likely not continue the subscription because it’s just too expensive.

Having had years of experience with other CAD programs, I have never seen anything like this. Yes, for the folks who got caught up in AutoCAD’s obscene pricing, this probably seems like a bargain. And over time, we’ve been conditioned to increasing pricing for apps, and everybody HATES Adobe for what they’ve done to their pricing, and we’re all starting to look for alternatives. The problem is that most of us WANT to pay something for the software to support Shapr3D, but there is a point where you just can’t justify the price.

You have reasonable people saying the same thing…$10-15 a month is a fair price for the medium plan. And not the $240 a year game to get the price down…charge by the month. Most people who would use your software might be able to afford the $20 a month, but coughing up $240 at once to avoid the $30 a month is a hard pill to swallow. And yes, you’re generous with the educational pricing, but you know what happens when those kids get out of school? THEY CAN’T AFFORD THE SOFTWARE and will seek alternatives.

You have a group of dedicated users who WANT TO HELP YOU SUCCEED. This software is truly groundbreaking. But if we, as your “sales force,” can’t make the sale for you, you should at least listen to the feedback we’re giving you. That feedback says we can’t convince ANYONE to subscribe because they can’t afford it or justify it.

At the very least, stop holding STL files hostage. This software is useless to a hobbyist unless they can export a PRINTABLE file. And the low-quality file is simply not printable.

Another possibility or workaround for the price…offer a service where somebody could upload a Shapr3D model and download the STL file. Maybe you buy a 20-pack of tokens that can be applied to on-demand, web-based STL generation. I have packages I’ve purchased on sites for music or photos…you can buy things on the site with these tokens, and you buy them in packages of 10, 25, 50, or whatever.

You’ve got to have something more affordable. You WILL make it up in volume if you get the pricing right, but you are turning away potential customers who may never come back. @Istvan_CEO_Shapr3D, please, please, please listen to our advice.


What we offer for the price of a few coffees/month is quite incredible and unique. Multiple platforms (iPad, mac and soon Windows), Parasolid based solid modeling, various export import formats, augmented reality, new features every 2 weeks, and so on. Considering that we are the fastest growing CAD company in the last 30 years, I believe that our users agree. Check out Fusion 360 and TinkerCAD for example, both are completely free, SketchUp also has a free version.


“For a few coffees a month” I can’t believe you just said that. Did you even read what @CurlyBee said? Your response is gross. What everyone has said in this forum is 100% true. You literally made a hobbyist software that hobbyists cannot afford. $30 a month / $360 a year is no small price for someone (like myself) who is just enjoying your software on my iPad creating chess pieces, soap containers, drink coasters, and toys for my kids. I don’t want this to be free, I want to pay, and if you lowered the price you’d have wayyyy more people signing up thus increasing your revenue (since I know that is of the upmost importance to you) and the community (least important it seems). You should step down.


Your product is incredible and I understand you want to make money from it.

But the truth is, you aren’t listening.

It’s like you’re living in an alternate universe where Shapr3D is used in professional engineering scenarios at major companies for all CAD work. We both know this isn’t happening right now.

This tool is useful as a fun and user friendly tool to mark up designs from other software and to introduce hobbyists to CAD modeling in an intuitive way. Up until a few months ago, it didn’t even exist on the desktop. You can’t begin to argue it’s worth the same price as actual CAD packages.

And that’s where we are now. All of us here, your users, or “would be” users, telling you that this software is essentially impossible for us to use despite this app being tailor made for hobbyists and beginners. It exudes Apple charm and lacks the Apple democratization. What you’ve built here is a wall. And you’re keeping your customers out.

Companies like Serif and Pixelmator as well as numerous other Mac software companies offer extremely affordable solutions that are built off native Apple technologies and offer competitive pricing that puts the big guys to shame. Pixelmator is a one time purchase. And you bet their forums aren’t full of price complaints. They too offer their app for the price of a few coffees, and you’ll find some of the most dedicated and inspired developers actively responding and asking what the users what they want. They democratize technology and inspire their users. I would do anything for that company at this point. They’re great people.

And you. What you do is tell me to go off and use other software. That tells me you don’t care. So fine. I won’t be your user. I will never touch Shapr3D ever again. We’ll see how far you get without customers.

And I’m going to take a guess here and say you aren’t a terrible person. Just that you’ve signed away your freedom of pricing to this app for some very expensive parametric modeling software from the “big guys”. Let me tell you right now. That’s part of the problem. Instead of innovating you made this app the status quo. Are you really as disruptive as you say if you’re just making a new UI over ParaSolid with some Apple AR features? Hmm…


Dear Adam, you have every right to state your dislike at the pricing from your own perspective. But please don’t speak for “all of us.” I’ve had, and still own other programs. Shapr3D is by far the best value from my perspective.

For me, it was an opportunity to purchase shapr3d.
These type of softwares “specially portable ones” tend to have an unusual subscription value.
So most of people kind of knew this price hike was inevitable.

I will agree with @Zenith22 in that I feel that the pricing is a little too high for hobbyists. When I discovered the app, I was blown away. The iOS version is excellent and I was eager to learn more and really start delving into it until I discovered the price and the attached limitations to the free version. Unfortunately, I had to put it away simply because of the price because I knew that I would never be able to justify it yet.
My personal opinion would be anywhere between $12-20 or so per month and for that, I expect to be able to export full quality STL files. Think of the small maker at home making the odd thing for themselves and looking for a good CAD software that allows them to do everything your software does. I am not sure what your target market is here but having used Fusion360 for the last 5 or 6 years; it feels as if you are trying to aim for the huge corps and forgetting about getting a small, strong userbase going first. With 3D printing on the rise across the globe and more people looking for an easy way to break into CAD; your app could be perfect to dominate that market instead of trying to compete with the likes of AutoDesk, etc.

I am eager to try the app on Windows however with the requirement for a pressure-sensitive stylus, I am not sure how far I am going to be able to get.

You can use it with mouse&keyboard as well.

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I agree with the current pricing, good pricing will ensure that the excellent products continue to be excellent and provide a better experience for users!
I am a Shapr3D user from Shenzhen, China. Thank you for creating such an awesome product.


mouse and keyboard :joy:

I have to say this is the best exposition of the situation I’ve read so far. Thank you.

The product is great and had huge promise. That’s why I started paying the full whack from the start. The product is still great but the promise has sadly fallen off. In fact I’m not sure if we have had any promises that describe the precise demographic that this app is aimed at. Perhaps it’s not aimed at me at all?

Unfortunately certain key functions are taking a very long time to appear, and the response when an ETA is requested on any such functionality nearly always appears to be high handed. Additionally there is no proper roadmap or list of future functions for us investors to look forward to. We are placing our money on trust and I am beginning to feel it makes me look like a bit of a fool.

After the sudden price hike a few months ago some of us expected a corresponding increase in coding and building activity. But many hoped for functions are still not even publicly planned for development. Are we being asked to understand that having not been promised any of them, what right have we, the credulous, to expect them?

However those of us who are paying for this 3D lucky dip will have a difficult decision to make at the end of the 12 month period since prices rose: “Shall I pay for another year for software that does only a part of what I need, or shall I back out for four or five years until the product (if it does) becomes the one stop 3D shop I need?”

I’ll make my decision later in the year…

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You do know you’re grandfathered in at the price you paid when you first subscribed, right?

Sure do.

But I won’t be able to swap solely to Shapr any time soon for all my drawing needs. I’m estimating several years at this rate, by which time the rules may have changed - and I’d have saved a bit to offset some of the loss of grandfather rights.

The thing is, at this point, I’m not hearing any rumour or feedback that suggests Shapr is heading in a way that would work for me. Once it finally matures I don’t know for example whether it will be purely for 3d printing, whether it will also embrace other sectors of industry in a professional way, or whether it will be overtaken by the Trimble or Autodesk if they produce a tablet version of their products. I believe Trimble are looking at doing a full tablet version of SketchUp for example. (Not so great for printing of course, but very very rapid for sketching and elegant layout drawings)

So I’m going to think about it after a few more months before the sub comes up. I might even extend my self imposed trial for another year if I get a few more jobs involving pattern making. Perhaps there will be a significant update or detailed statement of where Shapr is heading in that time…

I love this app, but this answer is really not acceptable. I am clearly not your target demographic (like most of your users) but I would never use your software if I was your target demographic. It’s clear that your target group can’t justify the price with the lack of professional features and the lack of accommodation for different modelling workflows, you still can’t fillet a corner on a sketch.

£30 per year like Vectornator or your users will drop off as soon as any other cad app for iPad comes out. Have you not noticed how mac users aren’t willing to pay for Shapr3D?

I want to 3d print but can’t due to low quality STLs being unusable, I want to pay but can’t because “a few coffees per month” ($30!) is not justifiable for my workflow. People want to recommend a fun, accessible to everyone (low cost) CAD app for basic designs for 3d printing. Until you get the pricing right, nobody will be able to recommend this beautiful work of art.

Get it fixed. We will all rejoice, knowing we can begin to engage the community with this awesome software you fathered.