Here I introduce you to free and partly also paid STL sources for 3D printing models and templates and also show you what is possible and maybe give you some good ideas.
3D Printer Templates Table Sources
No time? Then quickly and easily click through our list for STL sources:
|2||Cults3D||Datenbank||Kostenlos / €€€||Klick|
|4||MyMiniFactory||Datenbank||Kostenlos / €€€||Klick|
|8||PARTcommunity||Datenbank / Community||Kostenlos||Klick|
|9||pinshape||Datenbank||Kostenlos / €€€||Klick|
|10||Shapetizer||Datenbank||Kostenlos / €€€||Klick|
|11||threeding||Datenbank||Kostenlos / €€€||Klick|
|14||STL Finder||Suchmaschine||Kostenlos / €€€||Klick|
|15||yeggi||Suchmaschine||Kostenlos / €€€||Klick|
|16||GrabCAD||Datenbank / Community||Kostenlos / €€€||Klick|
|17||cgtrader||Datenbank / Community||Kostenlos||Klick|
|18||Free3D||Datenbank||Kostenlos / €€€||Klick|
|20||redpah||Datenbank / Community||Kostenlos / €€€||Klick|
|21||turbosquid||Datenbank||Kostenlos / €€€||Klick|
Listing of sources with details
Thingiverse – The most popular source for 3D printer templates
Thingiverse is probably known by almost every 3D printing enthusiast. I myself use Thingiverse regularly and due to the large number of members, there is always something cool to print. However, every now and then you can see protests from designers who don't want the rights to their own designs to pass to thingiverse. The bottom line is that you have to decide for yourself – if you have your own designs – whether you want to hand over the rights to the designs to the company behind Thingiverse – MakerBot Industries. On the one hand, you'll probably have a lot of downloads and on the other hand, however, a bitter aftertaste when uploading the data. Decide for yourself, but for downloads this site is definitely up there.
Cults3D – French provider with support option for designers
Cults, or Cults3D, is a site from France that features free models as well as ones that can be purchased from the respective designers. Currently this site is available in French and English and is always worth a visit. Allez les prints!
Instructables – Source for 3D Printer Templates & Inspiration
Instructables is actually THE DIY site par excellence. Now under the Autodesk umbrella, this site has grown tremendously in recent years. Here you will find not only models, but mostly also a nice 3D printing and assembly instructions to it. Furthermore, recipes, instructions for building furniture, etc. can be found. Instructables is very well attended, which is why there is discussion under almost every “Instructable”. For beginners, therefore, particularly suitable to clarify open questions.
MyMiniFactory – Paid as well as free print templates
On MyMiniFactory you can find 3D models designed and tested by designers. Often you can find models on some websites, but no photos of the “proof-of-concept”. Thus, the user is asked to prove the printability of the models. This is not the case here and is therefore also beginner-friendly. The selection is comparatively manageable, but in addition to the German language, the associated community is a way to acquire knowledge.
PrusaPrinters – Not only an STL source
Prusa Research is increasingly becoming a full-service provider in the 3D printing segment. In addition to the well-known printers Original Prusa i3 MK3S and Prusa Mini, they now also offer filament under the name Prusament. For some time now they have been working on their own community for print templates: PrusaPrinters. The special feature here is that, in addition to the familiar STL files and other model formats, users can also upload the Gcodes they use themselves as print files. Here, of course, the Prusa printers are in the foreground, but especially for beginners these files could be very helpful.
PARTcommunity – 3D printing models from international community
A community with over 370,000 registered users and nearly 9200 user generated models, PARTCommunity only landed on my radar in 2018. You can share your models with the community there, post the print settings for them, and network with other users. The network is international and offers you innovative ideas from all over the world. You also have the possibility to exchange important PDF files like manuals. This makes it a very lively community.
Pinshape – Free Models & Sales Portal for Designers
Almost disappeared from the scene, but saved at the last moment by Formlabs: Pinshape. Pinshape is a marketplace where designers can offer their models. You can find models for a few dollars as well as free ones. After the rescue, Pinshape is experiencing a renaissance and should be on stable footing with a company like Formlabs behind it.
YouMagine – Another well-known STL source with a lot of heart
What Thingiverse is to MakerBot, YouMagine is to Ultimaker. YM is smaller than Thingiverse, but still worth a visit. Above all, the designers who turned their backs on Thingiverse in light of the problems with the transfer of rights have found a new home here. For the Ultimaker series, there are a lot of models to be found here and the community is a sworn community. Go there and join in!
Shapetizer for free and paid STL files
Shapetizer is a marketplace for 3D print templates and was founded in 2015. While the end customer can print models directly here and have them delivered, there is also the option to download certain free STL files. Or even just streaming others. Right. Like Amazon Prime, you can “borrow” 3D models here to print once. The data is then sent over the Internet to your Internet-enabled 3D printer. For designers, this is certainly a good protection of their work.
threeding-one marketplace with a large amount of 3D models
threeding is another marketplace for 3D printed models. Here, in addition to free STL files, paid models are also offered. If you don't have your own 3D printer yet, you can also order a print online here and it will be delivered to your home.
3D Warehouse Sketchups 3D Templates Database
If you've ever worked with Sketchup, you'll know 3D Warehouse. Sketchup is in fact the operator of this huge database of various models for 3D printers and also for other purposes such as normal modeling.
STL Finder-A search engine for STL files
STL Finder is also a search engine for STL files. You enter your search term and the STL Finder searches the net for you. The results can sometimes be overwhelming and difficult to manage due to their sheer volume.
Yeggi – Great search engine as STL source
Another search engine is Yeggi. Yeggi has been around since 2013 and you have access to over 2.2 million STL files, almost 90% of which include free 3D printing templates. Many of the sites shown here are searchable through Yeggi, so you can quickly get an idea of whether you can download your idea directly or if you'd rather design it yourself.
GrabCAD-Huge community with many services
GrabCAD calls itself “the largest online community for engineers, designers, makers and students of STEM subjects – worldwide.” With over 5 million members, it's hard to prove otherwise. Due to these different target groups, other formats can be found in addition to free STL files. In addition, there is also the possibility here to offer your own designs for sale or to purchase them from other designers. If you can't find something on other sites, it's a good idea to take a look here.
cgtrader community around 3D models
cgtrader is a large online community where you can find templates for 3D printers as well as 3D templates for, for example, augmented reality or virtual reality applications. Besides free models you can also find paid 3D models for your 3D printing projects. Link: cgtrader
Free3D-Not only free STL files available
Although the name is Free3D, there are now also paid models offered here, whose usage rights you can buy. Free3D addresses not only 3D printing enthusiasts, but also people who make 3D animations, for example.
XYZPrinting database for 3D models
Besides Makerbot with thingiverse and Ultimaker with youmagine, another 3D printer manufacturer offers a database for 3D templates and ideas for 3D printers: XYZPrinting. Currently there are only free models in the “Gallery”. However, the system seems to be prepared for paid models as well.
redpah-A red elephant offers many 3D models
redpah is a community for 3D printing enthusiasts and people who are into DIY. You have the possibility to offer your own files for free or for a fee and also to download STL files from other designers. Or to acquire the rights of use.
turbosquid – Paid but high quality 3D models
If all the other sources of artwork didn't give you the result you were looking for and you're now desperate, you should give turbosquid a try. Here professionals offer their models. Yes, you will have to pay for them, but you will find a lot of models that are not available on the other portals.