10 Websites to Find Free Models for 3D Printing
Are you а 3D printing enthusiast? The Internet is full of sites that offer free 3D models ready for printing. This article provides а list of websites that you can use to search and download models for free in STL format and print them with a 3D printer.
“One of the brightest examples of the development of technology is 3D printers. Ten years ago, there was only one way to get a plastic plate: a long chain of stores, warehouses, suppliers, and intermediaries led to a giant factory (most likely in China) engaged in the production of plastic cutlery. Now, suppose you have a 3D printer. In that case, the whole long chain becomes unnecessary - you can print plates, forks, or whatever you desire in your kitchen, buying only the material.” - John Crawford, CEO of Adsy guest posting service.
The provided resources for downloading or buying 3D models for printing are divided into the following three categories:
● Search engines (Yeggi and similar) - they do not contain files on their servers, but they allow you to find the right model on many web resources by given keywords;
● Depositories - they do store 3D models (free or paid);
● Marketplaces - those are places where you can buy files in the STL format
For the most part, there is no point in overpaying for the 3D model you will find online, as most users are willing to share their files at affordable prices or even for free. On top of their uses for 3D printing, some of the platforms listed below and the models provided by them can serve as valuable sources of information for you to study to improve your skills. We are planning to create our own library with a license for the free use of photos and 3D models - says Connor Ellington, CEO of photoretouchingservices.net.
We hope that you will be able to find what you are looking for.
#1 Cults 3D
Cults 3D website is one of the largest platforms for purchasing and downloading 3D models, that on top of being a great source of resources for 3D printing, can serve as a platform to develop your skills. You can learn from others about new products, discuss different models and modeling techniques, as well as ask for feedback about your work.
You can download more than a thousand models in the STL format for free in just a few clicks. Conveniently, you can find pictures of models and their three-dimensional images as well as videos. Those options allow you to get a vision of a final result - an object printed on a 3D printer. Among the most popular models, you can find holders for smartphones, accessories, models of cars and buildings, and home decorations, but with just a bit of digging, you will find just about everything.
MyMiniFactory website is a depository of 3D models managed by the iMakr online store, which sells 3D printers and their accessories. It also has one of the largest 3D printer stores in Central London. The site contains 3D models designed by professionals, and each of the stored models was checked for quality. With this resource, you get a chance to foster your creative side and order your very own customized printable models.
#3 STL Finder
STL Finder is a valuable resource, particularly for those interested in 3D models of radio-controlled vehicles, aerial vehicles, and robotics. There are many free STL files available for download for anyone - students, amateurs, and professionals.
Pinshape is an extensive online catalog of 3D models, which contains about 13,000 files in STL format. Some of the models are paid for, but most of them are available for free. The feature that sets this site apart from others is its user-friendly interface. Each model available on this platform is described in great detail, and users can share their opinions by leaving comments and vote models up or down. This website allows you to search for 3D models with a convenient system of filters, sell your models, as well as join the community to meet like-minded 3D printing professionals and hobbyists.
Yeggi is not just a website with 3D models for 3D printing, but a very convenient search engine. You can enter any topic in the search bar, such as cars, buildings, accessories, and you will find hundreds or even thousands of premium or free models in the popular format for each topic. The project has existed since 2013, but even after a few years, there are no analogs of this search engine for three-dimensional printable models. Conveniently, you can sort the search results by different parameters, including date of addition, size, popularity, and correspondence to the specified keyword. The catalog is continually expanding: nowadays, it includes more than 2,5 million STL-files and counting.
Repables is a very convenient repository with a large number of 3D models on offer. The site’s basic design allows users to easily place files on it for public access, as well as download models they would like to use. This resource contains many small, simple 3D models, along with a rich selection of everyday items for building on 3D printers. Moreover, this platform also offers many accessories related to 3D printing.
Shapetizer is a digital market where users share and sell their designs suitable for 3D printing. Most of the STL format files are available at low prices, but there are also free options. It is a great bargain, giving the high quality of most models and the website’s modern minimalistic interface. On this resource, you can even find works of famous designers and buy them at a significant discount or get for free - if you get lucky. The project was launched in 2015, and since then, it has been one of the most significant among professional developers of 3D models.
Threeding is a project founded in 2013 by a group of designers. Fans of 3D printing have created a website where all interested users can add their models for 3D printing. Similar to the resources mentioned earlier, there are free and fee-based files that you can download in a few clicks.
Many users commend a convenient filter system on the site, which makes it easier to find the desired files by categories, topics, dates of addition, cost, and other criteria. For example, you can type "Batmobile" in the search bar, add the required filters to narrow down the results to the best-fitting option from dozens of others added since 2013. You can share files with other users, leave comments, and even order a 3D print. It is a full-fledged community of 3D printing enthusiasts.
GrabCAD claims to be the largest online community of professionals and amateurs connected by a common interest in 3D design. Users share design tips and experience from 3D printing projects, upload and download CAD models using a convenient system of filters, and get access to a vast database of study materials.
The resource offers several 3D printing software applications to save time and improve printing workflow. A large database of books, blogs, tutorials, etc. enhances professional improvement and allows staying up to date within this area.
To access the database and download from it, you will need authorization. Upon signing up, you get access to the databases and will be able to find something interesting and valuable.
One of their software, GrabCAD print, allows you to print from professional CAD formats, sparing you the trouble to convert and fix STL files.
#10 3D Warehouse
3D Warehouse is a website with a base of architectural, design, and large-scale models. All of the designs that you will find there, were created using the popular 3D modeling software SketchUp. The site allows you to sort the database to find models for 3D-printing. It is necessary to check the 'Only Show Printable Models' checkbox in the extended search form. You can optimize most of the models for printing via the 3DPrintCloud.
Naturally, you can always customize your designs before 3D printing or design them from scratch in suitable software. One of such programs is SelfCAD.
SelfCAD is an online 3D modeling application that you can use to create, edit, and export your designs. It's an all-in-one modeling solution you won't want to part with once you use it, as it will provide you with all the tools needed for design from start to finish.
On top of that, SelfCAD has an in-built Slicer that will allow you to prepare your designs for 3D printing by generating the G-Code for it. You can start your Free Trial for the software to test all of its tools and features with no limits.
This review lists a variety of websites you can turn to in search of printable 3D models, as well as in search of educational resources to improve your modeling and designing skills in a company of like-minded enthusiasts. There are other online resources that are not on this list, of course. However, those here will serve you as a starting point for discovering new 3D printing resources.
Do you have any questions about the article? Have any thoughts that you'd like to share with others? Do you think something should be added or changed? Take part in the discussion in the thread dedicated to this article by clicking on the button down below!
Haven't tried SelfCAD yet? Register now, and try it out for free!