Anyone can buy, install and switch on a 3D printer without any prior designing skill but what happens next? Well, you need some ideas to get on with the journey of 3D printing, don’t you? Not everyone could have enough knowledge to come up with perfect intricate designs to 3D print their dreams.
Therefore, this is when the sites providing free 3D STL printer files show up. And do you know what the best part is? You can get some intriguing 3D printer files on the online repositories of these websites for FREE! But before we familiarize you with them, let us see what 3d print files are…
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- 1 Instructables
- 2 Thingiverse
- 3 PrusaPrinters
- 4 MyMiniFactory
- 5 CGTrader
- 6 PinShape
- 7 TurboSquid
- 8 3DExport
- 9 YouMagine
- 10 NIH 3D Print Exchange
- 11 Threeding
- 12 Free3D
- 13 GrabCAD
- 14 Cults3D
- 15 SketchFab
- 16 3DFindIT
- 17 3DShook
- 18 Zortrax Library
- 19 Libre3D
- 20 Fab365
- 21 NASA 3D Resources
- 22 Redpah
- 23 Yeggi
- 24 STLFinder
- 25 Thangs
What Are 3D Printer Files?
Abbreviated as STL; Standard Triangle Language, Stereolithography or, Standard Tessellation Language is the name of a file format; that describes the surface geometry of a three-dimensional object. These 3D printing files do not represent the texture, color, or any other model attributes of the file.
3D Printer files are created using Computer-Aided Design (CAD) Programs, with “.STL” as their file extension. These files encode the surface geometry of the 3D models by a process known as tessellation. Tessellation is a process in which the surface of the 3D model is tilled together without letting it overlap or leave any gap.
3D Printer files mainly use binary encoding or ASCII encoding for the information storage of each model. Due to its compactness, you will find 3d print files using binary encoding more as compared to ASCII encoding.
The 3D Printer files are widely used for:
Hopping On To the Free STL File Repositories
Once you have your 3D printer, all that’s left is the material, 3D blueprints, and your passion!
The 3D blueprints that come in STL file formats can be availed for free from the following sites on the internet:
What could be more fun than having the opportunity to build, explore and share things on the same platform? Being one of the best 3D printer file sites, Instructables can be thought of as a community for professionals and hobbyists who use it to flaunt their creations on the portal.
Launched in August 2005 by Eric Wilhelm and Saul Griffith and currently owned by Autodesk, members on this site can also upload slideshows and videos that may be depicting a project they have not documented yet. They may even have the option to submit their queries related to a specific design.
The designers are very helpful, and they generously reply to all those queries separately. Apart from this, special-themed monthly contests also take place to add fun to the community stream. You can team up with the members to build a variety of newer projects through step-by-step collaboration and teamwork.
Instructables, as the name implies, do not only provide the option to download the 3D printer files but also provide tutorials and instructions related to 3D designing.
Founded by Zach Smith as a companion site to the MakerBot Industries, Thingiverse is another website dedicated to sharing user-created digital design files. Since it is not a niche-based community, you can almost find everything on this platform.
Having tons of options to choose from, Thingiverse has become extremely popular among 3D printer professionals for its amazing STL file repositories. This website primarily provides open-source and free designs that are licensed under GNU licenses showing this website as explicitly legit.
The contributors can even choose a user license type for sharing the designs that they build. You can browse across 1.6 million+ designs and make your way through to find the perfect design for your 3D product.
The users can also like, comment, and describe their designs, giving way to shared innovation and strong interaction. By posting your design, you can also be able to see how the other users decide to remix, print, or use them.
On PrusaPrinters, you will be able to heat your 3D printer with tremendous seasonal 3D designs; some of them being paid while the others being completely free.
Based in Prague, Czech Republic, Prusa Research is a 3D printing company founded by Josef Prusa in 2012 who was one of the core RepRap developers. His website, PrusaPrinters is highly renowned for its 24/7 customer support with e-mail and live chat in many languages.
Over 41,000 free models are available on this site, which can be downloaded as 3D Printer files and are especially usable on all FDM 3D printers. Here as well, you can be able to engage with the community, provide tech support, showcase your printer’s capability, offer on-demand printing, read recent articles and, much more.
Are you a professional 3D printer expert having a desire to be a part of a high-end designer community?
Well then, welcome to MyMiniFactory where you can interact with some highly professional Designer experts and demand an STL file of your own choice if you are unable to find the one that fits your search.
Such a case is pretty rare as rummaging among thousands of tested models by 120+ professionals will surely get you to your desired model.
MyMiniFactory is working to create the largest printing ecosystem where designers could share both, paid or free designs with other users. MyMiniFactory has recently started its android app too, with which you can download over 70,000 premium or free 3D printable file models. These files are created by highly talented designers so that you can easily browse, choose, download and, print at home.
For 3D models related to computer graphics, AR/VR blueprints, entertainment, gaming and, 3D printing. You can try exploring CGTrader where you can find free as well as paid 3D models’ STL files.
It also allows you to download certain plug-ins and scripts for further enhancing your 3D model. Along with state-of-the-art service, CGTraders allows you to hire the designer of your choice.
The 3D models provided there, are of high quality and the details of each model are quite stringent; answering all the queries of the buyer or downloader.
Backed by a strong community of professional 3D designers, CGTrader is the world’s largest 3D model marketplace for licensable stock along with custom 3D models. It provides all types of AR and 3D visualization solutions making it a strong platform for e-commerce.
Owned by a renowned 3D printer manufacturer FormLabs, PinShape is another wondrous site that provides free as well as premium 3D Printer files to download.
It was founded in 2013 by Lucas Matheson, Nick Schwinghamer, and Andre Yanes to help designers showcase their exquisite digital designs but unfortunately, the company closed, and the website was later acquired by FormLabs in 2016.
PinShape offers you to sell or share your designs on its alluring platform and, become a part of its glorious community of 70,000+ designers and makers all over the world.
This website also helps you learn more about 3D printing including the basics, to get you started. Pinshape provides sophisticated 3D Printer files of miniatures, jewelry, home appliances, games, toys, and, art.
Being one of the fastest-growing 3D STL file repositories, TurboSquid provides the best architectural models of gaming and graphics. One great feature about this website that distinguishes it from the rest, is the quality control tool called CheckMate.
This tool helps in evaluating every 3D model in terms of its scaling, resolution and, a multitude of other factors. TurboSquid is also famous for its security measures including the indemnification of up to $1,000,000 available on the 3D model purchases.
It even has an excellent user support program that is there to help whenever there is a problem with any purchase. Here too, you can download a free or a paid STL file and share yours with others. You can even sell your file for a preferred rate on this platform.
The model types on this website include 3D models, 3DS Max Models, Maya Models, Cinema 4D Models, Blender Models, FBX Models, OBJ Models, Unity Models, Unreal Models, Animated Models, Rigged Models and, Low Poly models.
The 3D models provided on this website are based on STEMCELL 3D Models and, Kraken Models, which provide consistent content and high-quality results. Note that all the models are not 3D printable.
Launched in 2004, 3DExport is not just a website providing 3D Printer files to download it is even a learning platform that provides over 290 tutorials related to 3D, VFX, Game Development and, CAD for free. Having 500,000+ members, 3DExport is another thriving website on the internet.
Other than the 3DsMax and low poly 3D models, 3DExport puts forward a decent selection of more than 28, 000 3D printable designs.
If you filter your search, you will be able to find a small collection of 3D printer’s STL files having a greater emphasis on ornaments and jewelry. 3DExport is very famous for providing high-quality 3D content where designers can buy or sell their work and, enjoy a legitimate experience throughout their purchases.
YouMagine may be expressed as the best platform for open source print files and designs that you can simply browse, download, and 3D print. Just like many other websites described above, YouMagine too is a community for those who love to design, remix, share, flaunt, learn, and 3D print their designs together.
Martijn Elserman, Siert Wijnia, and Erik de Bruijn; being the founders of Ultimaker, the veteran 3D printer manufacturer and, this tremendous website, welcome you to a whole new community where you can browse from 18,000+ free 3D printer models that are capable of being printed out from almost every single FDM machine.
The recent Covid-19 design trends, professionally curated by Erik De Bruijn, are also available on this marketplace. These designs may include the extended face shield, mask filters and, handsfree push door adapters.
NIH 3D Print Exchange
NIH 3D Print Exchange, abbreviated as “3DPX”, is an online portal housing biomedical 3D models for the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) community. It provides medically applicable and scientifically accurate 3D printer files, which can either be shared, downloaded or, distributed.
“EyeWire” relates its recent collections to the COVID-19 response, Outbreak, Prosthetics curated by “e-NABLE”, RCSB MOM, Heart Library sponsored by “Jump Simulation” and, Neuroscience.
The website includes 10,400+ STL files that can be printed out as 3D models for the bioscience community. The NIH staff submit their 3D files through a self-service model in which the submission is carried out through software called CataystEX, which is available on the NIH computers.
Threeding.com is another fast-growing marketplace and file-sharing website for 63,000+ free as well as paid 3D printing files and models. This site has over 9,900 STL files to download.
Here businesses and individuals can exchange, share, buy or sell different 3D models. One can 3D print their ancient artifacts for a home museum with Threeding.com.
It may be expressed as one of the strongest contenders in the 3D content realm. The media says that Threeding can escort synthetic animal parts, such as horns, antlers, and tusks, into the mainstream.
Threeding.com was launched by a group of students from the Bulgarian National Academy of Arts in 2013, which quickly gained popularity among hobbyists, geeks, and designers.
The website works on a model similar to that of eBay. The users have to register themselves with an account, create a store and start selling their products. Uploading products on the website is free but, when it comes to the purchase, Threeding does charge a commission.
One important aspect about this website is that it even provides 3D printing services so that you can have your 3D model fabricated and shipped to your home with just a single click.
Free3D offers you a chance to share your files, instantly download any model you like. TF3DM is the place where you can browse across 15,000+ 3D models along with a small collection of 3d print files, which may be 7,400+.
However, if you are in search of a website where you can get royalty-free 3D models for your CAD or 3D game design, then free3D is the place for you.
The types of models provided by TF3DM include blender models, Cinema 4D models, Lowpoly Models, ObJ models, Rigged models, animated Models, FBX models, Maya Models and, Blender Models.
These models may be of almost everything, including vehicles, architectures, aircraft, characters, electronics, animals, plants, sports, food, weapons, and anatomy.
Free3D allows you to complete your projects in half the time you would have taken to complete them. Of course, not all the models are 3D printable but those, which are, surely do make your day.
GrabCAD is the largest community of engineers, manufacturers, designers and, students. This community includes 9,250,000+ members with whom you can connect and learn from. You can even share your ideas and CAD models on the platform.
This website provides a free CAD library, along with tutorials and challenges to help you learn and become a competitive designer. You can even join certain groups and connect with people having the same motto as you. The best part is that you can get questions answered by experts in an array of industries.
GrabCAD has even designed several softwares for 3D printing and CAD collaboration such as the GrabCAD shop (3D printing shop management software), GrabCAD Print (3D Printing software to simplify Stratasys 3D printing workflow) and, GrabCAD Workbench (CAD collaboration Solution software).
GrabCAD has even released WorkBench that is a free cloud-based collaboration solution helping engineers and their teams to manage, view and, share their CAD files along with maintaining the workflow. This software has added to the significance of the GrabCAD community.
Are you a hobbyist and do you enjoy printing just for fun? Well, then Cults3D is the perfect place for you. Here, you can find some well-defined and vivid miniature models’ STL files that you will be grateful to have.
Again, cults3D is just like Thingiverse where you can have the opportunity to interact with some expert designers and creators. You can find a collection from the simplest to the highly intricate and complex designs on this website.
Almost all the designs are completely free on Cults but, if you are in search of the highest quality file to 3D print, then the portal may charge you a small amount.
Here on Cults3D, you can request STL files on any topic, whether it is your favorite KPOP model or a cute miniature of Groot with his puppy-eyes. All of which are designed by your favorite top-class designers such as Clerx, MaxLab, TOYMAKR3D, VanDragon_DE, 3DZipGuy, or SimonRob.
Who is not interested in sophisticated miniatures and sculptures? The craze for having them will never fade away. Well, if you too are in search of a website providing free STL as well as OBJ file models for them, then SketchFab is the place for you.
You can have the best quality blueprints for your design, which can be downloaded on the spot. The website also has a collection of 3D models for experts. The designs offered here are almost compatible with all 3D printers.
SketchFab is a community of over a million creators and is on the surge of becoming the world’s largest platform to share, publish and discover 3D content. You will be delighted to know that the company behind Fortnite and Unreal Engines is SketchFab and it has recently been acquired by epic games.
3DfindIT contains billions of 3D CAM and BIM models from hundreds of thousands of catalog manufacturers worldwide. It is the visual 3D search engine for 3D component manufacturers.
You can find 3D parts based on their functionality, 3D objects using a parametric Template, 3D components with a parametric text term, or 3D items with the help of a photo or sketch or even by color.
It is considered a vital platform for engineers, architects, planners and, designers. It is specifically aimed at professional or semi-professional users. This search engine is undoubtedly a whole new revolution with surprising new methods to browse your favorite design.
3DShook provides you an opportunity to choose from 40+ categories and to find yourself the perfect gift or 3D model design for your house décor or your friend. You can either get a free file or buy a premium product from this site.
All the products are 100% tested, useful, fully functional and, professionally designed. You can even enjoy the 3Dshook designs through 3D printing services such as a 3DHub. They even provide you with a small trial gallery of free STL files to persuade you to buy a subscription.
3DShook is a subscription-based service that offering weekly, monthly, and yearly memberships to its users. You can even find several nice and free tools created by the team to charm your experience utterly. The founders of 3DShook like to call it the “GiftMaker” as they think of it as a personal manufacturing machine.
All the designs available on 3DShook are printable on consumer-grade 3D printers, which adds to the lust of exploring this website. This site even provides instructions guiding how to use the downloaded file and then print them using a 3D printer.
The Zortrax Library is the collection of such models that are ready-made and have been uploaded by the users of Zortrax printers. Here, you can get free model files and download them along with managing your project in a single place.
Zortrax library is more of an application that helps you complete your projects conveniently and speedily. You can download your preferred model from there and the downloaded model will then instantly get displayed on your Local Files Bookmark.
The application also allows you to re-edit the previous models and touch up their appearances whenever you want. More than 1,100 3D printer models on this website are optimized for ABS filament so that the makers who have not gained familiarity with this filament yet, might want to give it a try.
Zortrax library includes the collection of fashion and accessories, games and cosplay, robotics, Zortrax parts, Household Objects, Medicine, Art and design, aviation, and Architecture.
Are you a strongly dedicated follower of the open-source 3D movement? If yes, the Libre3D must be your second home. That is because the inventor of the RepRap project, Adrian Bowyer is one of the board of directors of this website.
This website offers 480+ free STL files to download and also provides the service of a great SCAD to STL file converter. All the files preferred here are open source and the renderer can be enjoyed from Github making it possible for you to add to the movement.
The South Korean company, Fab365 is a place where users can browse high-quality STL files, download them and print them whenever they like. It is an e-product marketplace for 3D printer files.
There is a rather small collection of 3D printer files that are available for free on this website but, most of them are subscription-based and require registration to be bought. Its collections of 3D printer models include cartoon items, military collections and, miniatures.
This website is partnered with Creality, Prusa Research, Fiberlogy, Anet 3D printer, Wham Bam, Tesla Filament, Two Trees, Wild Rose builds, Ev3DM, Noulei Tronxy, Biqu BIGTREETECH and, Inov3D. This website even provides foldable Robotic Models which helps create a new 3D printing culture.
NASA 3D Resources
You must be thinking how clever it is to have the name of a website as such to fool the web surfers but, you must be delighted to know that this website does provide 3D printer files from inside NASA! And the best part is that all these resources are completely free to use and download. Here, you can find a huge collection of 3D models, textures, and images from NASA.
It may seem like a dark, gray website with a very dull interface but, in actuality, this website is heaven for those interested in astronomical sciences and 3D printing at the same time.
You can download the STL files for educational purposes so that you can fabricate the Hubble Scape telescope, Landsat 9, M2020 Model Rover Perseverance, the Curiosity Rover, or even amazing landmarks like the Apollo 11 landing site.
Redpah is a 3D print file marketplace where you can buy premium as well as free STL files having a variety of models such as jewelry, home appliances, miniatures, toys, characters and, much more. Its repository has over 4,800+ STL files to download from.
An amazing feature is the website’s ability to sort the 3D printing designs based on the popular designers’ work. It even offers a strong security mechanism and takes strong action against any illegal activity such as piracy.
Yeggi is an outstanding website where you can find lavish 3D model files filtered out from all over the internet and communities for your 3D printer. It is also called Google for 3D printable models. It has now gathered around 3.1 million 3D models from websites such as Thingiverse, TF3DM, Pinshape, STLfinder, MyMiniFactory, GrabCAD, Cults and, many more.
It even suggests the top 100 3D model files for finding the most trending 3D printables on the internet. Apart from the searches, it even puts forward some witty articles related to 3D printing and, has a quite interactive homepage.
And again, as the name implies, STL finder is a website where you can search for almost any kind of 3D printing STL file and you are going to have it in no time.
Right after you log in, you can browse through millions of 3D model files indexed on the page. If you create an account on this website, you will be able to bookmark your favorite searches for future references.
This website may easily help you get professional 3D models right away for your 3D design project. You can search for a paw patrol mask for your little one, or perhaps you need a necklace design. Well, whatever you want is simply a search away on STLFinder.
Thangs is a 3D community for collaboration and sharing. Here you can get a multitude of options to download 3D printer files and you can download unlimited files secure storage.
This is the only platform or search engine for 3D printers with a geometric searching option. It is the world’s largest 3D model database, which is used for analyzing, searching, and comparing models.
So, this is where we end our list but in actuality, the list goes on. As the world advances and people gain unprecedented interest in 3D printing, the websites that provide 3D print files have not only been thriving, but newer sites are emerging too. This shows that these sites are just the beginning.
Several other websites like 3Dwarehouse, Embodi3D, Cubify, SproutForm, AutoDesk 123D, Repables, CubeHero, Bld3r, Print me a Sheep, CGStudio, Shapeways, XYZ Printing, Tridimensiia,3DaGoGo, 3DKToys, etc. are waiting out there to be visited by you. All of these are suites of CAD and 3D Modeling Tools, communities for people like you and, provide free as well as premium file downloads.
So, what is the wait for? Hop on to any of the above-mentioned websites and begin your 3D printing experience with great zeal and zest. And remember, as we had told you above that when you get your 3D printer, all that is left is the material, 3D blueprints, and your passion! So, show off your passion and flaunt your creations by joining these communities or, enjoy free or premium STL file downloads provided by these websites.
Lastly, good luck with the masterpieces that you are about to discover and build! Make us proud, young lad/lass.