- Motto: "Freedom is the right to KNEEL BEFORE ZOD!"
I have ordered from Shapeways quite a few times from several different designers (but always TF parts) and while design quality differs from designer to designer the product is 3D printed from whatever material you order it in. Different levels of plastic in black, white or translucent or even metal or glass in some cases. Sometimes there can be a little rough bits but that's the bonding medium and comes right off with barely any effort at all. If something out right shattered on someone, there could be two reasons:
1) Design flaw. Most of the people who create these are amateurs (ie: fans who want X to have a new Y) and didn't take certain stresses into account. Never order just based on design, always look to see if there are images of the finished piece.
2) The person who ordered it went with the cheapest material possible. If the designer suggests the harder plastic they did it for a reason. Saving a couple bucks by only paying for the cheaper stuff is throwing away the money you did spend. Sharp details also don't come out perfect in the softer plastics so if what you ordered doesn't look as good as the one the designer made, there's your answer, fish-bulb.
As for the guy who made the P/CP head in the link (Calloway75), I've personally ordered his Pyro head, Roadbuster head and neck and the Wreckers gun 04 all of them where perfect. I've ordered in both the translucent and sturdy white plastics. My only complaint was the Wreckers gun was bigger that I expected. I was getting it for a Deluxe figure but it was sized for a Voyager. The gun itself was flawless. If he ever puts his Motormaster head for Cybertron Optimus for order, I'm getting one of them too.
Shapeways is awesome. They allow any of us to be a third party designer. The problem is they let any of us be a third party designer. Forewarned is forearmed.
...and knowing is half the battle!