Having access to a 3D printer is a rather exciting privilege. Whether you just got your hands on it or are a 3D printing veteran, free 3D printing models are always welcome. Designing a 3D model from scratch requires time and skills that you may not have.
There are many websites and libraries where you can download free 3D models, but not all 3D models are 3D printable. Below you will find the four best websites to download free 3D printer files.
Thingiverse is the ultimate 3D printing library. This website is all about 3D printers, and most 3D models are downloaded as STL files that can be easily 3D printed. Each model comes with a 3D preview, images of the printed product and print settings.
Thingiverse allows users to post photos of their creations, and creators can remix other 3D files and create new designs. You can browse the different brands posted by users to find the best print settings for a file or for inspiration.
A major point that makes Thingiverse the most popular 3D printing library among makers is that it is completely free. Every file you see on Thingiverse is free to download and use. On the other hand, if you are a creator, you cannot monetize your models on Thingiverse.
Although you don’t have to pay any money to use the free 3D models on these websites, that doesn’t mean they’re not copyrighted. Do your research before using these files in commercial projects!
MyMiniFactory is a 3D printing community and library where you can find thousands of free and paid 3D models to download. MyMiniFactory has a strong focus on role-playing games, such as D&D. Most of the models you will find here are structures and figures designed for tabletop games.
If you like printing tabletop figures, you must have noticed by now that they look significantly better when printed in multiple colors. Learn how to bring more life to your prints by creating two-color prints.
MyMiniFactory has many community elements. Creators can write their stories in Community Stories, and they can enter design and print contests to win prizes. The site also hosts an ambitious project called Scan The World, the aim of which is to offer free art and heritage sculptures as 3D printable files. So far, this project has listed 17,000 objects that you can download for free.
Cults is another 3D repository and community where you can download 3D models and print them. The site has both free and paid models, and if you’re a maker, you can monetize your 3D model on Cults.
If you take a look at Cults, you will realize that it is more oriented towards aesthetic and decorative models, rather than functional ones. Cults offers a wide range of jewelry, art and fashion designs. If you’re looking to make your own 3D printed jewelry, this is a great place to browse and download patterns.
Cults also runs 3D printing contests where you can design a model according to given guidelines to win a prize.
TurboSquid is a huge marketplace for 3D models. While some of these models are designed to be 3D printed, most are not. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t print them with a little adjustment.
TurboSquid contains paid and free professional 3D models. You can find extremely detailed and realistic models available on the site, such as vehicle models, people and animals.
You can find 3D printable models by searching for STL models. There are approximately 80,000 STL models available on TurboSquid, which was acquired by Shutterstock in 2021.
From bytes to the real world
3D printing is an awesome technology that lets you take 3D creations out of your computer and into the real world. With a 3D printer, you can print any STL model, and you can get these STL models from the websites mentioned in this article.
Although you have to pay to download some models from these websites, there is still a good variety and quantity of free 3D models available. All you have to do is find the model you like the most, and get to printing!
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