11 Best Online 3D Printing Services 2023
At 3DSourced we’ve covered everything 3D printing and 3D since 2017. Our team has interviewed the most innovative 3D printing experts, tested and reviewed more than 20 of the most popular 3D printers and 3D scanners to give our honest recommendations, and written more than 500 3D printing guides over the last 5 years.
Online 3D printing services have emerged as an amazing solution for projects that extend beyond the capabilities of standard desktop 3D printers.
Yet, not all 3D printing services are created equal, and the challenge lies in identifying the right one for your specific needs.
The ideal online 3D printing service offers a variety of materials to choose from, competitive pricing, and can handle your required batch size while ensuring swift turnaround times.
I recommend Sculpteo as the best high-standard 3D printing service in Europe and North America overall. If you’re looking for a service that will allow you to monetise your designs too, Shapeways is the top choice.
In our upcoming ranking, I’ll share my hands-on experience with the best online 3D printing services of 2023, helping you pinpoint the service that best fits your needs.
- The Best Online 3D Printing Services
- Sculpteo: Best for Quick, High-Quality 3D Printing in Europe and North America
- Shapeways: Best for Designers Looking to Sell Their 3D Designs
- Xometry: Top Choice for Diverse Service Options and Cutting-Edge Technology
- Protolabs: Ideal for Those Needing a Balance of 3D Printing and Traditional Manufacturing
- i.materialise: Perfect for Designers Seeking a Comprehensive Range of 3D Printing Technologies
- MakeXYZ: The Go-To Service for Localized, Community-Sourced 3D Printing
- Treatstock: Optimal for Complete Manufacturing Solutions and Vendor Variety
- Kraftwurx: Pioneering 3D Printing Services and Designer Empowerment
- 3D Systems On Demand Manufacturing: Versatile Industrial 3D Printing Solutions
- Stratasys Direct: Large-Scale, Multi-Sector 3D Printing Services
- 3DPRINTUK: SLS 3D Printing Service for UK and Europe
- Choose an Online 3D Printing Service
The Best Online 3D Printing Services
Sculpteo: Best for Quick, High-Quality 3D Printing in Europe and North America
- Benchy Test Cost: From $14.03
- Part Delivery: 4 – 14 working days
- Company Based: France
- Established: 2009
- 3D Printing Technologies Offered: CLIP/DLS, MJF, SLS, Binder Jetting, DMLS/SLM, PolyJet, lost wax casting, FDM
Established in 2009 in France, Sculpteo specializes in cloud-based 3D printing and additive manufacturing. With additional offices in San Francisco, they offer a diverse range of technologies including Carbon 3D’s CLIP (DLS), SLS, Binder Jetting, DMLS, PolyJet, and more.
Their online 3D printing service caters to various materials such as PA11 & PA12 varieties, resins, aluminium, steel, bronze, silver, brass, among others.
Sculpteo is an optimal choice for individuals in Europe and North America seeking high-standard, quick 3D printing services for their models.
Shapeways: Best for Designers Looking to Sell Their 3D Designs
- Benchy Test Cost: From $16.27
- Part Delivery: 3 – 10 business days
- Company Based: Holland / USA
- Established: 2007
- 3D Printing Technologies Offered: SLA, SLS, DMLS, FDM, PolyJet, Binder Jetting
A frontrunner in online 3D printing, Shapeways was initiated in 2007 by Peter Weijmarshausen and currently operates out of New York. More than a standalone service, it’s a 3D printing marketplace, enabling designers to earn revenue by selling their 3D designs.
Shapeways stands out for its breadth of 3D printing technologies and materials. With an array of technologies including SLA, SLS, DMLS, FDM, PolyJet, and Binder Jetting, you can print your designs in materials ranging from standard PLA and ABS to metals like steel, bronze, silver, gold, aluminium, brass, and even unique options like sandstone or porcelain.
Xometry: Top Choice for Diverse Service Options and Cutting-Edge Technology
- Benchy Test Cost: From $20.61
- Part Delivery: 5 – 10 business days
- Company Based: USA
- Established: 2014
- 3D Printing Technologies Offered: FDM, SLA, SLS, DMLS, MJF, DLS/CLIP, PolyJet
Founded in 2014, Xometry has made strides in the 3D printing industry, notably as one of the first to incorporate advanced processes such as HP’s MultiJet Fusion and Carbon’s DLS / CLIP technologies.
Xometry offers the most extensive variety of 3D printing services compared to other companies we surveyed, supplemented by additional offerings like injection molding and CNC services.
Their use of Carbon’s innovative 3D printers underscores their commitment to staying at the forefront of technological advancement.
Protolabs: Ideal for Those Needing a Balance of 3D Printing and Traditional Manufacturing
- Benchy Test Cost: From $47.21
- Part Delivery: 4 – 10 working days
- Company Based: USA
- Established: 1999
- 3D Printing Technologies Offered: SLA, SLS, DMLS, MJF, PolyJet
Protolabs, founded by Larry Lukis in 1999, boasts a rich manufacturing history. Originally established to provide low-cost injection molding and CNC machining, the company expanded its portfolio to include 3D printing services in 2014.
Protolabs provides a variety of 3D printing technologies such as SLA, SLS, DMLS, MJF, and PolyJet, accommodating needs for plastic, resin, and metal 3D printed parts.
i.materialise: Perfect for Designers Seeking a Comprehensive Range of 3D Printing Technologies
- Benchy Test Cost: From $18.08
- Part Delivery: Approximately 7 working days
- Company Based: Belgium
- Established: 1990
- 3D Printing Technologies Offered: SLA, SLS, FDM, MJF, PolyJet, Lost Wax Casting, metal 3D printing
I.materialise is a 3D printing marketplace rooted in Belgium, bringing to the table over 25 years of experience in the industry. Comparable to Shapeways, it allows 3D designers to list, sell their designs, and earn a share of the sales revenue.
i.materialise also offers an online 3D printing service. Users can upload their model, select their preferred material, and pay for their 3D model to be printed and delivered.
You can opt for materials ranging from standard plastics like ABS and PLA to a variety of resins, polyamide, metals like bronze, silver, gold, titanium, steel, brass, and even rubber for your 3D printed model.
MakeXYZ: The Go-To Service for Localized, Community-Sourced 3D Printing
- Benchy Test Cost: From $29.20
- Part Delivery: Within 1 – 4 days
- Company Based: USA
- Established: 1990
- 3D Printing Technologies Offered: Depends on local users, predominantly FDM, SLA, SLS, and PolyJet vendors
MakeXYZ operates as an online 3D printing service and marketplace, fostering a sense of community among makers. MakeXYZ allows desktop 3D printer owners to register and sell their services. Anyone with a 3D printer can earn revenue through MakeXYZ by offering their 3D printing services.
MakeXYZ doesn’t directly print your model; instead, it connects you with a reliable printer. Their software provides a quote based on factors such as size, technology, and material, facilitating transactions between buyers and sellers.
Although MakeXYZ doesn’t own any 3D printers, they list FDM, SLA, SLS, and PolyJet printers on their site. These are predominantly located in the UK and USA and offer a range of materials including PLA, ABS, Nylon, TPU, and resins.
Treatstock: Optimal for Complete Manufacturing Solutions and Vendor Variety
- Benchy Test Cost: Approximately $17 (depending on location)
- Part Delivery: Around 10 working days (depending on supplier)
- Company Based: USA
- Established: 2016
- 3D Printing Technologies Offered: Depends on the manufacturer
Treatstock operates as a platform that enables anyone, from individual enthusiasts to full-scale 3D printing factories, to start a business and provide 3D printing services.
Customers seeking 3D printed parts can browse and compare a wide variety of vendors, evaluating technology, material options, and pricing to select the best fit. Besides 3D printing, Treatstock offers additional services such as CNC machining and laser cutting.
Treatstock also offers comprehensive manufacturing solutions, including the services of 3D designers for creating or modifying 3D CAD files, or even purchasing pre-existing 3D models.
Kraftwurx: Pioneering 3D Printing Services and Designer Empowerment
- Founded: 2004
- Company based: USA
- 3D printing technologies offered: Depends on material chosen
Kraftwurx is an online 3D printing marketplace and service similar to Shapeways in that it allows budding 3D designers to publish their 3D printer models online for others to buy in their chosen material.
This Texas-based company has over fifteen years 3D printing experience, having pioneered their Digital Factory service along with their goals of minimizing waste and empowering designers and engineers all around the world.
3D Systems On Demand Manufacturing: Versatile Industrial 3D Printing Solutions
- Founded: 1983
- Company based: USA
- 3D printing technologies offered: SLS, SLA, ColorJet, Direct Metal Printing, CNC Machining
3D Systems offers four core services for its industrial audience: rapid prototyping, functional prototyping, low-volume production, and appearance model creation, ensuring companies receive custom parts in a timely manner.
Their portfolio extends to CNC machining, die casting, injection molding, and investment casting patterns.
With a team of over 100 application engineers and the capacity to print parts within 24 hours, they demonstrate their deep expertise in additive manufacturing.
Stratasys Direct: Large-Scale, Multi-Sector 3D Printing Services
- Company based: USA.
- 3D printing technologies offered: FDM, SLA, SLS, MJF, DMLS/SLM, PolyJet.
Not limited to 3D printing, Stratasys Direct also delivers CNC milling and injection molding services. Offering over 20 diverse materials across their technologies, they cater to a wide client base, including the aerospace, medical, and transport sectors.
3DPRINTUK: SLS 3D Printing Service for UK and Europe
- Company based: UK
- 3D printing technologies offered: SLS
Dedicated to excellence in Selective Laser Sintering (SLS), 3DPRINTUK offers high-quality SLS 3D printing services to the UK and Europe, utilizing their state-of-the-art Formiga SLS 3D printers. Unlike many other services that spread their expertise across various technologies, 3DPRINTUK has chosen to specialize and excel in SLS.
Simply upload your STL file go through the product criteria (choosing your color, etc) and get your nylon 3D model delivered to you a few days later. They even offer a healthy student discount for if you’re trying to get a prototype made for a student project!
Choose an Online 3D Printing Service
Which Technologies are Available?
Different online 3D printing service companies offer different options, depending on a variety of factors. Newer, innovative technologies such as CLIP and Multi Jet Fusion (MJF) are becoming increasingly available, whereas FDM and SLS are already offered by most 3D printing services.
Be aware also of whether a service is able to accommodate larger orders, for those with industrial-level needs. Some more bespoke services used to smaller orders may be less effective at dealing with large volume orders.
Choosing a Material
The most suitable material for your part or model depends on the functions you need your part to perform. If it is purely aesthetic to check for shape and design, then standard plastic filaments or polymer resins will suffice, but if you need a metal part for strenuous testing or a tough plastic part, it will cost more.
In the past, options for metal 3D printer parts were limited, often needing DMLS, EBM, or Binder Jetting 3D printers. Now, many services have adopted these technologies for rapid prototyping. For instance, metal 3D printing companies like Stratasys make point of providing affordable metal parts with relatively quick turnaround times.
How Much Will a 3D Printed Part Cost to Make?
This one’s always tough. The answer — and the answer everyone hates to read — is that it depends, on the size of the part, material, and a host of other factors.
Online 3D printing services tend to have a built-in calculator: simply upload your 3D printer model, choose your material and it will calculate the estimated part cost.
For a common benchmark, let’s consider the cost of printing a standard 3DBenchy STL file. According to our research, the most economical service is Sculpteo, offering this service from $14.03.
|3D Printing Service||Cost for a 3D printed “Benchy”|
|Treatstock||$17 (depending on location)|
How Fast Do I Get My Part?
Delivery time varies across different services. Most tend to take between 7 and 14 days as standard, but you can pay more for urgent rapid prototyping and over night delivery. This will end up costing you more than the print itself
In terms of reasonable shipping options, my top pick is MakeXYZ. They ship prints within 1 – 4 days as standard.
|3D Printing Service||Turnaround Time (business days)|
|Sculpteo||4 – 14|
|Shapeways||3 – 10|
|Xometry||5 – 10|
|Protolabs||4 – 10|
|MakeXYZ||1 – 4|
|Treatstock||10 (approx, depending on supplier)|
Do I Need to Find a 3D Printing Service Near Me?
Honestly, not really. Almost all the 3D printing services listed here have production facilities in multiple continents and service customers across Europe, North America, and sometimes other areas. These 3D printer companies have no problem with geographical distance, so there’s no real pressure to pick a local 3D printing service.
Additionally, 3D printing marketplaces like MakeXYZ pair those who need a part printed with local makers who will print it for you — for a small fee. The company itself may not be local, but your part will still be locally printed; the 3D printing marketplace is just the facilitator and middleman.