7 popular free 3D printing design websites

 

For some users, it's not always easy to design a new 3D model for every print job.

Check out the most popular free 3D printing design websites for some ideas to spark your creativity.

 

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3D printers allow a user to print the 3D designs that they imagine, but to do that, the user first needs a computer-designed 3D model.

In this post, let us explore some websites that permit the user to search and find the model that they desire, without actually having to redesign the print.

 

1. Thingiverse  |  Free  |  No registration required (https://www.thingiverse.com)

Thingiverse is the world's largest community of 3D models, and is operated by 3D printer manufacturer 'Makerbot' (recently became 'UltiMaker').

More than 1.6 million of 3D models are being shared for free.

Most of the 3D models are uploaded as an STL file that the user can 3D print right away. A 3D preview, photo of printout, and the creator's descriptions are also provided.

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2. Printables  |  Free  |  No registration required (https://www.printables.com)

Similar to Thingiverse, Printables is a free 3D model community run by the 3D printer manufacturer 'Prusa'. 

Users can download any model they want for free without registration.

Not only are STL files uploaded, but print files such as Gcode are also provided in Printables. 

 

3. Cults  |  Free & Paid  |  Need Registration (https://cults3d.com)

Cults is the world's first created 3D model marketplace that is operated independently.

As it is a marketplace, many 3D models that are sold for a fee, but there are also many free 3D models available for download.

As the name of the site evokes, Cults features many 3D models that reflect cult culture or are for decorative purposes.

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4. MyMiniFactory  |  Free & Paid  |  Need Registration (https://www.myminifactory.com)

MyMiniFactory is a 3D model marketplace that was started in the UK, and is a site specialized in miniatures and figures.

Unlike other 3D model sites, it sells not only digital files, but also printed and real models.

MyMiniFactory especially emphasizes its function as a community, and continues to work to expand the creator ecosystem.

 

5. TurboSquid  |  Free & Paid  |  Need Registration (https://www.turbosquid.com)

TurboSquid is a marketplace for 3D models operated by Shutterstock that sells copyright-free image files.

Unlike other places, TurboSquid sells not only files for 3D printing such as STL or OBJ, but also 3D design model files that can be used in movies, games, and animations.

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6. CGTrader  |  Free & Paid  |  Need Registration (https://www.cgtrader.com)

CGTrader is another marketplace that sells various types of 3D modeling, as well as files for 3D printing.

Many paid and free designs are uploaded. Uniquely, the CGTrader featuring platform function connects freelancers with people who are in need of 3D modeling work.

 

7. Smithsonian  |  Free  |  No registration required (https://3d.si.edu)

Smithsonian is operated by the Smithsonian Foundation, which is famous for its museums.

Smithsonian 3D digitization site offers 3D scanning data of exhibition items from museums, by modeling them with 3D scanners.

The Smithsonian site aims to 3D scan more than 155 million unique artifacts and specimens, which is especially useful for education purposes.

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Thanks to the efforts of many useful sites and creators, users can download and print fancy 3D models without having to design them.

However, one important reminder is that most of these 3D design models are copyrighted by the creator, so commercial use is limited.

Even paid models are sometimes not available for commercial purpose, so the user needs to check the terms of use or the guideline of the site, depending on the purpose of use.

 

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