Thanks to our guest blogger at Elecrow for this post
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Looking for a free STL file to 3D print? These are the best websites where you can download free STL files for 3D printing.
This is a selection of the best websites and content repositories offering 3D print files. Each lets you browse a large selection of printable models and download STL files for your own use. And they’re absolutely free. They won’t cost you a penny. Oh, did we mention that they’re free?
Bonus: Some of these sites also include store-fronts for selling custom 3D print files. So, if you’re a 3D modeling enthusiast and fancy making some spare cash, these are perfect platforms for showcasing your work and selling it.
Have we missed any of your favorite sites? Let us know in the comments, and we’ll add them in a future update.
Free STL Files Download Site #1: Pinshape
Pinshape is a 3D community marketplace stuffed to the brim with free STL files. Users can download or stream 3D print files, and the site makes it easy to find and successfully print quality 3D designs. They are neutral in terms of hardware support and have community features like ‘prints’, that allow users to upload print settings & photos of models to help you fabricate better models.
Free STL Files Download Site #2: Thingiverse
Perhaps the single biggest content repository on this list, Thingiverse is a website operated by MakerBot Industries, the creators of the popular Replicator series of 3D printers. The site is well established and mature, with a huge community of dedicated makers uploading free STL files to download of varying categories and complexity. If you’re looking for cool things to print, this is a very good place to start.
Free STL Files Download Site #3: YouMagine
YouMagine is a community website operated by Ultimaker, the open source 3D printer company, where users can upload and share 3D print files. Started in 2013, the site has some solidly designed items, and the models will work on any 3D printer.
Free STL Files Download Site #4: My Mini Factory
My Mini Factory is a community and repository for 3D print files and has close ties with iMakr, an online store that sells 3D printers and accessories. The site offers 3D printing models designed by professionals, and all designs are tested for quality. You can also log a request for specific 3D printing models that their designers will create and then share.
Free STL Files Download Site #5: GrabCAD
The mission statement of GrabCAD is to “help mechanical engineers build great products faster”. The site offers tools that help users collaborate with their 3d printing models. But for the typical 3D printing enthusiast (like YOU), the best part of the site is their large library of 3D print files (free STL files and other 3D printing file formats) created by a community of over a million engineers.
Free STL Files Download Site #6: Autodesk 123D
Software company Autodesk has a dizzying array of computer aided design (CAD) and 3D modeling tools, aimed at both professionals and amateurs. Autodesk also has a portal where users can upload their 3D print files and share them with other users. Many STL files can be downloaded for free, but because the emphasis is on 3D modeling, they’re not verified as printable. Proceed with caution!
Free STL Files Download Site #7: Bld3r
Describing itself as a social network for 3D Printing, Bld3r is a thriving community of makers who upload and share their 3D print files. Users can upvote the best 3D printing models, so popular designs quickly rise to the top and gain better exposure. The site features items that are hosted directly on Bld3r and other platforms too, like Thingiverse and YouMagine.
Free STL Files Download Site #8: Instructables
Instructables is a fantastic community portal where users can share their DIY projects, including things made with a 3D printer. Featured on the project pages are the tutorials and instructions on how to build each creation, together with the 3D print files where relevant. Plus, most of the designers are helpful enough to answer questions submitted by the public.
Free STL Files Download Site #9: Cults
Based in France, Cults is a community and marketplace where makers can share or sell their designs. The standard in free STL files to download are very high, and users can follow their favorite designers or get instant updates when a new creation is posted. The name of the site is St. Luc — the patron saint of painters — spelled backward. Also a neat touch, the website supports both English and French languages.
Free STL Files Download Site #10: RascomRas
RascomRas is a Spanish-language website that allows users to upload and share 3D print files. It’s pretty basic, but it has full support for the RepRap open source 3D printer project, which means it’s a good place to find free STL files of components for “self-replicating” 3D printer projects.
Free STL Files Download Site #11: Repables
Repables is a very simple repository to download free STL files for 3D printing. There aren’t any newfangled community features here, just a barebones website that allows users to upload the 3D print files they want to share, and download STL files they want to print. The site contains a lot of small, simple 3D printing models, with a nice selection of everyday items and replacement parts for open source printers.
Free STL Files Download Site #12: CGTrader
CGTrader is another marketplace to buy and sell 3D print files. They’re not just limited to STL files, but that’s what we’re here for, and the site offers a nice selection of free 3D printing models that can be fabricated on any 3D printer.
Free STL Files Download Site #13: Yeggi
Yeggi is a dedicated search engine that will crawl through many 3D printing websites for 3D print files. You can also look up some of the popular searches to get an idea of trends the community is currently interested in. The user interface isn’t going to win prizes any-time soon, but it’s an effective tool for finding free STL files fast.
Free STL Files Download Site #14: 3Dagogo
“Just create and sell.” That’s the premise of 3Dagogo, a platform to buy and sell 3D print files. But a fair number of them are offered for free and are verified by the site for print quality. There’s a revolution happening in personalized fabrication and commerce, and 3Dagogo is just one of many examples on this list.
Free STL Files Download Site #15: STLFinder
The name is pretty self-explanatory, right? STLFinder another simple search engine that will crawl the Web in search of free STL files, looking through many websites for 3D print files. You can also create an account to bookmark your favorites for future reference.
Free STL Files Download Site #16: Threeding
Threeding is an online marketplace for free and paid 3D print files. Their platform allows individuals and businesses to buy, sell or just exchange any 3D model that’s suitable for 3D printing. It also has a 3D printing service, so that you can have your models fabricated and shipped to you at the click of a button.
Free STL Files Download Site #17: 3DShook
The business model for 3DShook is a subscription service for users who want a steady stream of quality 3D print files. Package deals ranging from $10-$50, as well as monthly, educational, yearly and commercial subscriptions. The designs are uniformly excellent, and to convince before you take out a subscription they have a trial gallery of free 3D print files to download.
Free STL Files Download Site #18: 3D Warehouse
If you’re looking for architecture, product design, or scale models, 3D Warehouse specializes in hosting anything that was created with the popular 3D modeling software SketchUp. You can filter their database for free STL files for 3D printing by searching for ‘STL’ and selecting ‘Only Show Printable Models’ in their advanced search function.
Free STL Files Download Site #19: Sketchfab
Sketchfab is a great source of user-generated 3D models, with an emphasis on character design and sculpture. Their 3D print files are only a sub-category of a larger collection, and most of them are OBJ files and some are free STL files (the difference is that OBJ format contains color information), but if you’re looking for something unusual then this is the place.
Free STL Files Download Site #20: 3DExport
Aimed at professional designers and 3D artists, 3DExport is a marketplace for premium 3D print files that can be bought and sold. But you can also filter your search to find a small collection of free STL files for 3D printing, with an emphasis on jewelry and ornaments.