Everybody who owns a 3D printer or has access to one, at some point, definitely ponders “what to print next”! Designing 3D models from scratch requires some experience and familiarity with 3D design software. One can always choose and easier way and simply download 3D designs! There are a number of sites which curate designs. Here is a list of the 6 best sites to source 3D printer models.
1 – Thingiverse
Thingiverse is a social network for all 3D printing enthusiasts. This site hosts hundreds of thousands of designs which can be downloaded for non-commercial purposes. Along with browsing the site for designs to print, one can also create collections of designs for future use. Other users of the site can even remix existing designs and re-upload them for sharing. The community at Thingiverse eagerly helps other users print their designs with amazingly quick responses and thorough guidance.
2 – 3D Warehouse
3D Warehouse has a huge repository of 3D models. These models are available for downloaded. You’ll then need to convert the downloaded 3D design to .STL file format before printing. This site is an extension to Sketchup software which is used to create 3D Models. This is an excellent place to find near identical models of monuments and buildings from around the world.
3 – Youmagine
Youmagine is from the makers of Ultimaker. The site is known for open source hardware designs. This site has a vibrant community. The designs are neatly sorted throughout various categories. One can also collect designs for later use. This site has a unique page where users can share ideas. From parts of 3D printers to cases for various electronic circuit boards, all kinds of designs are available here.
4 – Turbosquid
Turbosquid hosts high quality 3D models. On Turbosquid one can purchase these 3D models for download. These models are then required to be converted to STL files for printing. Each model comes with full details including number of vertices and polygons. This is very important as higher the number of polygon higher is the complexity involved in printing the model.
5 – Pinshape
Pinshape is very much similar to Thingiverse and 3D warehouse. It allows free sharing of 3D designs along with the option for designers to showcase and sell their designs. The designer community at Pinshape is very active and one can find some wonderful designs on this site. It has features such as the ‘Designer of the month’ and ‘Staff pick’ which highlight the best designs of the site.
6 – Yobi 3D
Yobi 3D is the Google of the 3D world. With so many sites available offering 3D designs, there definitely exists a need for a search engine. Yobi 3D is used to search for 3D designs. The search results include information such as vertices and number of polygons. A unique feature of this site is the rating given to each object in terms of printability as Easy, Medium and Hard. These ratings indicate the level of difficulty in each design.
Designing a 3D models is an exhilarating experience. However, the design process has a learning curve. While you are learning the design process, you can also simply download and print. Enjoy printing!