Imagine being able to just download a file somewhere and then get it 3D printed, without having to go through any hassle to produce the 3D model.
Sounds too good to be true?
Well, you can do it. In fact, there are a lot of websites out there which allows you to do so.
In this article, we will be sharing our top five preferred websites for sourcing for 3D printable models. (And you can get most of them for free!)
We will not walk-through the websites in this article. If you are interested, you can check out a sample walk-through in this article.
These five websites are arranged randomly, not based on any ranking. This is because all of them has their own unique features.
Thingiverse is currently the single biggest repository for 3D printing models on the internet. The website is operated by the Makerbot Industries, which is also a 3D printer manufacturer. At the time of posting this article, they have close to 1.4 million designs on their website.
The designs are uploaded by a huge community of 3D printing enthusiasts and makers for free, allowing you to download them for free. Addition to that, you do not even to need create and account to download these files.
You can also choose to tip the designers by giving them a small amount of fee for their effort. This is not needed for everyone and you can still download it for free. But think about the contributions they made to allow everyone to easily download the files for free, they worth far more than the tips (who knows, the tips might encourage them to upload more files).
YouMagine is a website operated by Ultimaker, also a company which makes 3D printers. They are also the one who made the open source, free slicer software, Cura.
The designs are also uploaded by a huge community of 3D printing enthusiasts and makers for free. You can download the 3D printable models without creating an account.
According to their homepage, they currently have over 15,000 designs ready to print. Sounds small compared to Thingiverse? Don’t let that trick you, 15,000 is still a lot of designs available for you to search for.
MyMiniFactory is slightly different from Thingiverse and YouMagine, as MyMiniFactory is more of a marketplace than a repository. In other words, the designs consists of both free and paid models, you will need to pay for some of the files.
At the time of posting, they have more than 60,000 designs (includes free and paid designs). And yes, you don’t need to create an account to download the free files.
Something interesting about MyMiniFactory is the challenges/competitions held. If you are a 3D designer, you could consider visiting this site and participate in their competitions, which are created on a regular basis.
I believe you guessed it, most of the time, the prizes for the competitions are 3D printers. Sounds interesting? Click on the picture to check out their website.
Cults is similar to MyMiniFactory, it is more of a marketplace than a repository. You will find both free and paid models in Cults.
They have also recently started contest for 3D designers to participate, and yes, most of the prizes are 3D printers or 3D printing related.
Something to take note on Cults, you need to create an account and log in before you can download any files. Slightly more tedious but worth doing if you found your model in this website.
Although not something too important, this website supports English, French and Spanish languages.
Last but not least, is pinshape. Also a marketplace where both free and paid designs can be found.
Their website consists of several interesting sections such as contests, forums, blogs, guides, 3D printer reviews and even an education section which consists of curated blogs specifically for education sectors.
A great place to visit to learn more about 3D printing.
Similar to Cults, you are required to create an account and log in to download the 3D printable files.
Still reading? Great, we have a bonus for you.
Prusaprinters is a repository for 3D printable files launched quite recently, and at the time of posting, the website is still at BETA stage.
Despite that, the website is great. This website is operated by Prusa Research, a famous 3D printer manufacturer company based in Prague, Czech Republic. 3D printers from Prusa Research are all open source (both hardware and software), allowing everyone to have access to all the details of the hardware and software (and firmware) of their 3D printers.
There are lots of great success stories we would like to share about the CEO of Prusa Research, Josef Prusa, on revolutionizing the 3D printing technology. But we will keep that for later.
Now back to prusaprinters, since it is still new, the number of designs available at the time of posting this article is around 1360. But as the website grows, we are seeing great potential and may be one of our go to websites soon.
This website also has forums, blogs and even their e-shop to purchase their 3D printers, filaments, spare parts, etc. Did we mention you do not need to create an account to download the files? Yup, just visit the site and download the files.
Special Features of Prusaprinters
Speaking about their printers, you could actually make more use of their website if you purchased their 3D printer.
First of all, there is a series of filters to be applied based on your printer type, material type, nozzle size, print time and model mass. Allowing you to find 3D printable models which specifically fit your needs.
Secondly, they claimed to be the first repository to have user print files (g-code files). Model files are files usually in the format of STL, which needs to be sliced in slicer software to generate the print file (g-code file) before sending the print file (g-code file) to the 3D printer.
If you wish to know more about the 3D printing process from STL files and slice to g-code files, check out our blog on 3D Printing Process.
Most websites for 3D printable model only consists of model files (STL files) because different 3D printers needs to be sliced differently. Therefore, restricting the ability to provide a universal print file (g-code file).
However, if you own one of their printers by purchasing from their e-shop, you can find specific print files (g-code files) tailored to your specific type of Prusa’s 3D printer, and directly print the model using the print file (g-code file) uploaded!
So you do not need to slice the model after downloading the model file (STL file), and instead download the print file (g-code file) straight and get the model printed, if you purchased one of their printers.
Last but not least, there is a world map (under the “world” tab) which shows the approximate location for owners of Prusa’s 3D printer who registered a prusaprinters account. This makes it easy to determine possible 3D printing enthusiasts around you and form a community around it. That is amazing!
These are the websites consists of 3D printable models which we think are a good start to find your desired model.
They are all great websites, and it is hard for us to say which is better. Basically if you cannot find a model on one of the websites, just switch to the next website.
We hope this article has helped you to find your desired model to 3D print, and allow you to be ready to get into the game of 3D printing.
We wish you happy 3D printing!
Did we miss out any websites for 3D printable models? Let us know in the comments below.