Why there is no plan for hobbyists or students

Why there is no plan for hobbyists or students

Students are free, with proof of current registration


Hi @misiek303 , for students and educators Shapr3D is completely free:

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Still, there needs to be a plan that works for hobbyists. Even a $14.99 a month would work better, but the big problem with the $239 rate is that it’s dependent on paying for the whole year, and many hobbyists can’t afford that. So it’s $29.99 a month unless you pay the annual rate, which technically brings it down to $19.99.

I’ve suggested this in the past as well. How about a $9.99 version that gives you the option to export a certain number of high-poly printable files per month…maybe 5? Or have a lower-price version and allow users to purchase “tokens” for prints. Maybe $1.99 an export (look at some of the stock photo sites for an example…you might purchase a package of tokens for $49.99; low-res photos might take one token, high res photos might cost two tokens)?

Not everyone needs to print, but the free version’s 3D exports are unusable for most printing. But $239 is still a hard pill to swallow for a whole lot of potential users. This is a FANTASTIC piece of software, and I’d love to see it in the hands of more people.


I suppose this is a serious question. If the program was $1 a year, would 250 times more people buy it? I dunno, I’m not an economist, and I have no idea how that might translate to a digital economy.

Even if it was to be reduced in price, I’m locked in at 250 a year, so I might see no benefit…

I like the way the program is developing, and how it keeps pace with user requests for better ux and features. I can’t imagine that development could progress without a consistent revenue stream, and these people are taking a gamble with this, so they get to decide how they keep a committed workforce delivering an improved product every two weeks.

I see a lot of value in this as it is already, and I expect more to come. There are a lot of things I can’t afford as a hobbyist, but I count myself lucky to be able to afford this at less than a dollar a day. It would be great if it could be less money, and I understand that I’m coming from #firstworldproblems, but I get a lot of value from this and I think the pricing is fair.

However, if anyone tried to experiment with multiplying the user base 250 times by dropping the price to a dollar, I wouldn’t complain. I just think that the people who would buy in at the first month might balk at the need to actually learn how to use it.

When I was in college, back around 1992, I worked at the University of Texas on-campus computer store. I learned an important lesson. We sold Microsoft Word for $68, although Microsoft Office out in the real world was well over $300. Microsoft saw the need to break out the most-used part of Office and make it affordable for students. Because it was so reasonably priced, EVERY student added it to their computer purchase. Microsoft had terrible problems with people pirating their software outside of academia, but when priced correctly, people were more than happy to fork out the cash.

I am proud to say that in my lifetime, I’ve never pirated software. My parents were software developers for Apple back in the 1970s and 80s, so I grew up believing that it’s important to compensate developers for their work.

But over the years, I worked for Apple as a sales/systems engineer in higher education, I worked in sales, and obtained an MBA focusing in marketing and customer loyalty. One thing that popped up throughout my career is pricing. Years ago, in the beginning, Apple sold Final Cut Pro for thousands of dollars; now it’s $299, and many more people are using it.

I also do training on CAD, mostly focusing on ZBrush, but also SketchUp. When I first found Shapr3D, I was completely blown away. I’ve recommended it to students who would like to use it with ZBrush, but every time I hear the same pushback…they can’t justify the price. So as much as I try to “sell” Shapr3D to these artists, I have not been successful. All of my students have iPads, they are all aware of Shapr3D, they all want to use it, and not one of them has subscribed.

They are more than willing to pay for the software, but are exhausted by the “subscription model” that has become so prevalent. They don’t even mind the subscription if it were priced lower…most cannot afford to do one annual payment, although the annual payment brings it a little more in line with what they can afford. I’ve made the suggestion in the past to lower the monthly cost to $19.99, even as a test to see if more people subscribe.

I know I personally might use the program heavily for a few weeks, then I might not touch it for a couple months. I finally did break down and get the annual plan, and I justify it by saying that I’m supporting the developer, and that it funds development (although the missing one-way scale feature makes me frustrated that I’m “doing my part” but in several years that feature has not been added).

But I wholeheartedly believe that if the prices were adjusted on the lower end, there would be a whole new market open up…3D printers have dropped in price, and there are many more makers out there who are potential customers. Decent 3D exports are a necessity for that group. And when those people start paying, and funding more development, we all win. Just my two cents’.


We hear you and I understand that our price does not work for the hobby use case. We thrive for making Shapr3D as accessible as possible. While we would love to make Shapr3D even more accessible, so far we haven’t found a way to go even lower with our price.

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We’re not trying to be difficult on this issue, and I’m glad to see an acknowledgement of the challenge. We love the program and want to help spread the word. :heart:

I’ve suggested the possibility of a combination of the free version and the ability to purchase tokens or pay for a individual high-res 3D downloads. The biggest problem is the low-quality 3D download. People who are hobbyists are not just creating 3D to look at it on the screen…they’re creating a CAD model to print or export.

Make it an in-app purchase. I justify buying little apps on the app store because “it’s about the same price as a cup of coffee.” A $0.99 or $1.99 export is a no brainer for most people. Maybe you purchase a “package” that is $14.99 for 10 downloads.

Most hobbyists are not using the app daily. You might create something, print or export several versions, then not do anything for a couple months. Or parents of kids exploring CAD who might be into something else next month. A pay-as-you-go model might work well for those folks.


Hi, as we’d truly like to make Shapr3D as accessible as possible, we thoroughly analysed all the options we have, but we have not found a solution so far. We keep looking at this from time to time, and if we find any way to make it work, then we will.


I second everything that curlybee has mentioned. I’ve made similar suggestions in the past.

If it were $100’ish per year like it used to be years ago, I’d be willing to subscribe - assuming that it had high quality exports or unlimited designs. Another option would be to allow unlimited design with a flat $9.99 charge to unlock the design for full export functionality.

Unfortunately, probably not going to happen - I can’t justify the price and just use other apps that get the job done - they just aren’t as pleasant to use.


I tried to post earlier but was told that they have had lots of messages on this subject. I recently did a YouTube video on Shapr3D, I love the product but my number 1 comment was that the price was too high and they would rather use another popular software (no name mentioned) that has a very expensive model but is available, for free, to makers. I do not expect to get shapr3d and am more than willing to pay for it but the $29 is very expensive, especially in South Africa where the current exchange rate is over 17 to 1, so it gets very expensive.

I like some of the comments where you get charged to do an export and that would be great for me as I do maybe 1 or 2 models, then do not touch the software for months.

I truly love this software and it is far superior to to not named package above in ease of use. I suppose I will eventually buckle and pay the monthly fee but I know that a lot of makers out there will not.

Hopefully a solution is found and then I will be doing another video on this :wink:


I still run into the same feedback. I had finally signed up for a subscription, but I also saw that what used to be $239 a year is now up to $299 a year. Yes, the software is wonderful, but there needs to be a mid range price option for makers.

As a CAD trainer, I would love to promote the software with instructional videos. However, the people who are my target market cannot justify the price (I have thousands and thousands of views on my SketchUp tutorials on YouTube…but I much prefer using Shapr3D for models that I will be 3D printing.)

I have also reached out to Shapr3D to find out how to make the types of videos they use in the beginning tutorials because I would like to make content, but was told that this is a proprietary system. I really wish they would make this available to content developers.


@CurlyBee. Good for you offering to make tutorials. I’d also volunteer to do that if it was possible.


I believe that the economies of scale are there. The hobbyist/makers (casual users) could become a significant revenue stream for Shapr3D. I also think that by tapping that market they could create more presence and brand recognition.

If they fear that a hobbyist subscription would undermine their main product they could differentiate the versions by limiting the exports formats or removing some advance features, etc.

Every youtube video from makers and professional love the software. The pricing is always the issue. I like the video from DraftID. He makes some good points.


Give https://cuttle.xyz a try.

Oh geez… This topic has 2 years… I just got a 3d print and wanted to try to build something for myself. Finally I’ve found a decent ipad software to create and test some things… But i can only export low quality models. It’s not unusable, but removes a lot my purpose of even taking my time creating something pretty.
And while I’m not sure what to do, so it’s not something i will create frequently, the pro annual price is just too expensive to justify the whole price for me.
So while i do like the app, i feel being pushed to go use another one, like fusion or onshape.
I think a reasonable subs could be awesome, or at least a limited amount of pro exports… And i don’t even care about all the other features…
Such a pity that it’s a great app but push consumers away… Sigh…

Chiming in to say that I’m intending on dropping my subscription this month after being a paying customer for quite some time.

I just can’t justify paying a subscription for an app that runs entirely locally anymore, especially at the current rate. If Shapr3D had a traditional “buy the current version” setup I would do so in a heartbeat but that seems to be a pipe dream with software today.

I really, really like this product. At half the cost I would keep my sub even though I hate the idea of all software being a subscription model, but I sometimes go a month or two without needing to model anything and a recurring payment is too much to swallow.