There comes a time where you have all the knowledge and resources for your 3D-printing activities, but no time when it comes to designing or redesigning your STL models. Luckily you can download free STL models from a variety of great sites. Most are free while others offer their work – for a price. Others even have the option to order the model to be printed and then get it sent straight to you. Below is some of our best sites that we use to find free STL models, enjoy!
With a trusted name like Autodesk, you can’t really go wrong with this site. The site is brilliantly laid out and the free models are really easy to find. The site isn’t just about the models, though, as it features a whole set of other useful tools and apps that you may find useful for your 3D printing needs. As it’s a popular the site the community is great and the detailed information that comes with each model is also very handy. I definitely recommend you add this site to your bookmark list today.
Even though it is one of the smallest sites on the list, Cubehero does provide some interesting additions to your model arsenal. The site allows you to connect with other 3D-printing enthusiasts via the Designers tab, which is really impressive as you can easily see some of the site’s popular users and what they have uploaded. I also love the Design tab, which is a type of wishlist, letting you submit an idea that you would like a model of or you can view ideas that have already been resolved. This feature is a great addition and the site itself is just really clean and easy to use, so we recommend you give it a try today.
GrabCAD is not your typical place to just download free STL 3D models for printing. It has many CAD models, many of which are also available in STL format. You can download 3D models in other formats and also try to convert them in STL for 3D printing, but you may experience trouble with more complex ones. The Resource area is great, giving you access to tutorials, case studies, and even helpful e-books. It also features the useful GrabCAD Workbench tool, It’s a very popular site with many interesting models and resources available so do check the website out soon.
Once owned by Google, SketchUP 3D Warehouse is the go-to place for all your 3D model needs. With hundreds of models to choose from and an immersive community, it’s truly a useful site. The site has also just released a handy feature that gives users the option to have the SketchUp models they upload automatically converted to STL. We tested it out and it works like a charm. SketchUP 3D Warehouse is great, and now with over 2.7 million models available on the site, we are sure you’ll be coming back for more soon.
Operated by the popular Makerbot, one of the leaders in 3D printers, Thingiverse provides access to a huge variety of 3D models as well as a knowledgeable community. I really love this site, and chances are you already know about it too. Here you can find many 3D models that you can download for free in STL format, and new models are added daily. The only drawback, though, is not all the models are available in STL format, therefore not fully optimized for 3D printing (some editing may be needed). This doesn’t happen often, though, and the site is definitely worth a visit. There’s an app too, perfect if you’re on the go and want an easier way of viewing all the models available.
Don’t be put off by this pages clean UI and high prices on the homepage. The site is managed by iMakr, so you don’t have to worry about the lack of quality models that the site has to offer. And by quality, I mean quality. All the objects are curated, meaning that “every object uploaded on MyMiniFactorry has been test-printed on desktop 3D printers” – MyMiniFactory. Simply type “free” in the search box and you’ll get instant access to some rather impressive designs. At the time of this article they are also hosting a support free competition, so we recommend you give it a visit soon.
Finally, we have Youmagine. It’s similar to
Turbosquid Thingiverse, in that it’s also owned by Ultimaker. Although it’s not as big as its predecessor, some models have been moved here. New models don’t arrive all the time, as the site is more community focused, but we can see that Youmagine definitely has some great potential.
In the end though I really enjoy that there are sites like this where you don’t have to spend large amounts of money to try out your much-loved hobby. Even though not all of these models are designed for 3D printers, some editing can make them suitable for your printer. Don’t forget that you can also use our NEXT 1.0 if you’d like to customize your filament for these models. If you are unsure on the correct method of doing this conversion, we recommend you first do some research on some 3D-printing blogs before you start. It will save you a lot of time as well as money in the end.
Edit: We’ve been testing out the YouWant3D site and it’s great, very easy to use. If you have any other sites that I haven’t mentioned, let me know!
Edit: Just learned about Yobi3D, another simple yet easy-to-use site. You just need to type in the search box what you are looking for, nice.