If you want to start 3D printing and need some inspiration, these five websites are filled with great ideas and free, ready-made models to download. If you haven’t already, register for the Creative Space Challenge on our Beanstack site to complete the Creative Space Basics and 3D Printer training to start 3D printing at the Library.
- On Thingiverse, you can search and browse thousands of free 3D models, some highly practical and some just fun. You can easily download them without setting up an account, and some Thingiverse users include suggestions for modifications and instructions for slicing the model for the best printing results.
- Thangs is a fast-growing platform for sharing 3D models, which means it has an expanding selection of free 3D models. Once you set up an account, you can download files to print, and some Thangs users also share tips for printing their designs.
- Printables was created by Josef Prusa, the CEO of one of the largest 3D printing manufacturers in the world. They have their searchable library of models, and they also run contests to collect designs for specific objects, such as sealable boxes, sharpie modifications, and knife storage.
- While some files on Cults 3D require payment to download, they have filters to search for only free and high-quality 3D models. Plus, they have sections on their website for useful objects, flexible objects, and print-in-place objects that move as soon as you pry them off the build plate to help you find the perfect object to print.
- Yeggi is like a metasearch engine for 3D models. You can browse or search popular models, and Yeggi will generate results from websites like Thingiverse, Cults 3D, and My Mini Factory. Some models found through Yeggi may cost a small download fee, but you can still find many creative models for free.
Of course, once you discover what you like to 3D print, Tinkercad is not only an excellent resource for drawing your own models, but you can also browse what others have created on their platform for more ideas.