Many of us lack time to model 3D printer patterns and models but still wish to find high-quality 3D printer files to 3D print at home. Gambody has compiled a list of the best websites with free STL files for 3D printing and incredible designs available for a fee.
With many cheap desktop 3D printers for hobbyists, 3D printing sites also keep growing yearly. Enthusiasts, professional artists and fans of 3D modelling share for free and sell their 3D printable models. Among various 3D printer designs (free .stl files), you can find office supplies, phone accessories, home stuff, children’s playthings, educational toys, jewellery pieces, cosplay items and stunning figurines from your beloved video games, comics and movies.
The mission of the best 3D printer sites, marketplaces and repositories is to bring 3D printing plans closer to consumers by offering an extensive selection of free STL files for 3D printing at home.
Read also: Incredible 3D Printed Helmet Designs You Will Love to Make
3D Printer Files
Most popular and affordable desktop 3D printers support STL files. Some also work with OBJ files. But due to the popularity of .stl 3D printer files, Gambody is to list the best 3D printing websites with the most common type.
3D STL files are native to the stereolithography CAD software. They are saved in a unique file format known as “Standard Triangle (or Tessellation) Language” and serve manufacturing (assisted by computers), rapid prototyping and 3D printing. STL models don’t represent any colours or textures as other CAD files. But they describe the 3D object’s triangulated surface geometry and contain no scale details (they are arbitrary units).
Free STL Files for 3D Printing
The internet hosts several types of 3D printing sites:
- Free STL sharing;
- Those that sell and allow other users to sell their 3D print files;
- Search platforms that crawl the designs hosted by the first two types.
In most cases, the free 3D printer files offer simple, amateur 3D printable models for everyday and household use. 3D printer models on marketplaces with a fee are mainly high-quality, error-free and complex projects.
Advantages of Free 3D Models for Printing
STL files, which you can download for free, offer many advantages, especially to new users:
- Enthusiasts can download an unlimited number of free 3D STL files for 3D printing to make numerous projects;
- Beginners can practice and improve their design skills by creating free STL files for others to use;
- Beginners and pros can communicate, share the same hobby, photos of 3D printable models, advertise services to other community members, and get significant exposure on the web.
Pros of 3D Printer STL Files Available for a Fee
3D printing websites that offer 3D printer projects download links for a fee also have many advantages:
- As your skills improve, you can enjoy 3D printing high-quality, error-free 3D print models with numerous details;
- You can sell your detailed 3D print STL files to let others work on a professional object (you can earn some money to support your hobby);
- You will love the impressive likeness of many 3D printer projects to the prototypes and spend many happy moments adorning your 3D prints.
List of 3D Printing Sites
- Thingiverse – repository with free 3D printer files;
- MyMiniFactory – a marketplace with fee/paid STL files;
- CGTrader – a marketplace that offers free/paid 3D printing STL files;
- Gambody – a marketplace with paid and some free .stl files;
- Cults – a marketplace with paid and free STL files for 3D printing;
- Pinshape – a marketplace with free and paid 3D printable models;
- PrusaPrinters – repository with free 3D models for printing;
- TurboSquid – repository offering paid/free STL files;
- 3DExport – a marketplace with paid/free .stl files;
- YouMagine – 3D printer designs free repository;
- More 3D printing websites: Free3D, 3DShook, NASA, GrabCAD Library, Fab365, STLFinder, Redpah, Dremel Lesson Plans, 3DFindIt.
Thingiverse Free 3D Printer Files
The famous and most extensive repository Thingiverse hosts a big community of 3D printing enthusiasts worldwide who offer free 3D printing files to all interested sides.
The platform has existed since 2008 and encourages everyone who has some or no 3D design experience to join the fun of designing cool things. It is owned by MakerBot Industries (it stands behind Sketch and Method 3D printers). The website enables sharing of over 1.8 million STL files for free.
Every creator of 3D printer projects can join the community and offer free STL files for 3D printing. Thingiverse is a great place for beginners, although it gives no options to monetize what you make.
MyMiniFactory STL File Download
This marketplace is another popular place among 3D printer sites. It offers paid and free STL models. Since MyMiniFactory has over 150,000 STL files, it can provide a wide variety of projects to users who love making figurines, accessories, household items, etc.
Unlike Thingiverse, MyMiniFactory allows creators to earn some revenue through the premium store. But ordinary users can still find various models for 3D printing for free.
CGTrader Paid and Free 3D Files
You might know this marketplace even if you don’t have a 3D printer. CGTrader offers many paid/free 3D files in various formats, not just CAD, .obj or .stl files, but also 3D models that are not prepared or designed for 3D printing.
But suppose your 3D printer plans for this year include purchasing a desktop machine. In that case, you will find over 200,000 3D files of figurines, masks, cosplay costumes, accessories and other 3D printable models.
The great news is that the number of free 3D print models is significant. But if you aim for a more detailed project, it is best to look at the paid STL files. Creators who sell their designs can earn from 70% to 90% royalties (depending on the reputation and engagement level).
Gambody Paid and Free 3D Models for Printing
Gambody is a niche-focused marketplace with highly-detailed and error-free 3D printer models you can make yourself at home. It specializes in selling high-profile .stl files of video/computer game content.
Every model is unique, which means that Gambody’s contributing designers model game-, movie- and comic-inspired figurines, but with their approach and view to every particular project. Most STL download links are available for a fee, but there are also beautiful and impressive free STL files for 3D printing.
The effortless and intuitive Gambody website navigation and the shopping experience will amaze you. The 3D printable models are grouped by categories, and STL file download links are available instantly after you place an order. Each model has a description, providing information about the size, filament consumption, and detailed 3D printing recommendation.
The latter will enable you to print every model bought from the marketplace without any errors, in the best quality, as long as you keep to the printing details.
You can easily create an account and start uploading your 3D printable models as a seller. However, your STL files will pass a rigorous checking because the quality is Gambody’s Priority No. 1. Gambody sets itself apart from other 3D printing websites by a considerable advantage – providing high-poly 3D model files less than 100Mb.
Royalty rate: Every exclusive seller (i.e. the seller sells his 3D print models only via Gambody.com) receives from 50% to 80% royalties for every sold item. Non-exclusive authors get 35% royalties. There is a royalty scheme on the marketplace that every 3D modeller can discover.
Read also: How to Export STL Files and Prepare for 3D Printing
Cults .STL Files
When looking for 3D printing files, you can visit Cults. This France-operating marketplace offers 3D printer designs for free and a fee, so you can choose what to download.
Being one of the biggest 3D printer websites, Cults now offers nearly 500,000 paid and free 3D printable models with STL download links. It is easy to follow your favourite designers and their 3D printer patterns, stay updated about new releases and choose your comfortable language of communication from English, German, Spanish and French.
Pinshape 3D Printer Designs Free and Paid
Another great source with STL files for 3D printing is Pinshape. Its community is multiplying. The website has many .obj and .stl files to download at no cost or for a fee.
Designers searching for well-known 3D printing websites to sell their patterns and projects can try Pinshape, which Formlabs purchased in 2016. This 3D marketplace is positioned as “connecting makers and designers.” You can find plenty of 3D printer models free links to make toys, miniatures, jewellery, home appliances, gadgets, creatures, and art.
Printables 3D Models for Printing
Fans of free 3D prints and a wide variety of 3D STL files with Prusa 3D printers can enjoy using the company’s repository Printables created in 2019. Prusa Research, based in the Czech Republic, is well-known for producing not only FDM 3D printers but also developing PrusaSlicer and making Prusament (filament).
The thousands of STL files on the PrusaPrinters (Printables) website get more and more new creations year after year, and the excellent standards of the repository make it attractive to users from across the world.
TurboSquid STL Download
You will find over a million 3D printer files on TurboSquid, one of the oldest 3D printing sites on the web.
While the number of free 3D models for printing is limited, you can still find some projects to make at no cost. Still, this site aims to create digital content like VR, AR, games.
If you are looking for STL files, filter the projects by file type (there is an STL checkbox), and you will get a view of all available 3D models for printing.
3DExport 3D Print Models
Here is another STL file 3D printing source called 3DExport. It offers 3D printable models designed by professionals and skilled 3D artists who sell their projects at cost.
Among over 30,000 models, you will find low-poly, generic and premium 3D printing files to download. Choose what you like and start creating new Christmas ornaments, jewellery pieces and other designs. By the way, some of these STL 3D printing links are free.
YouMagine 3D Files
Among open-source 3D printing websites, YouMagine stands out by offering only free STL files for 3D printing. It has way fewer designs than Thingiverse, but it also connects enthusiasts who wish to practice making projects without spending much money.
The site has over 19,000 3D printable models and various types of files, including CAD and 3D files. Using this source, you can download STL to make paddles, joysticks, toys, constructor pieces and other valuable things.
Free3D Free STL Files
Free3D is also on the list of 3D printing websites that offer OBJ, MAX, BLENDER, STL files and other formats with a royalty-free license. This community has grown to over 400,000 premium 3D models for your design projects and about 7,000 STL you can print using your 3D printer.
Please note that many of the STL files you will find on this website might not be prepared for instant 3D printing. It may require a while to adjust them and prepare yourself.
GrabCAD Library to 3D Print Models for Free
Visit GrabCAD to find a library of 3D printable models and create new 3D printer plans for this year. Like several other free 3D printing sites, this source has a friendly community of enthusiasts who share the same hobby.
The website shares STL files and tutorials to help newbies answer questions, and experienced users post their advice. The GrabCAD’s mission is to “help mechanical engineers build great products faster”. Ensure to check the model and be ready to prepare it for 3D printing yourself because, among 5 million 3D designs, there are only several thousand projects created for a 3D printer.
NASA 3D Printable Models
Fans of science can visit NASA and find a few hundred 3D printer projects download links on this website. Here, there are many unique things for fans of NASA, such as Apollo landing sites, the brightest asteroid in the Solar System Asteroid Vesta, iron-nickel meteorite piece, Chandra X-ray Observatory and other models.
All these free STL files will let you build remarkable educational projects that reflect the history of exploring distant regions of outer space.
3DShook STL File
A source with STL 3D printing files, 3DShook, offers professional projects and a variety of subscription plans for its users. This place provides about 6,000 models you can download after subscribing.
Besides, this 3D printing website allows new users to test its quality through a trial selection of free .stl files. And although the no-cost gallery is rather small, you can find many projects (doorknobs, home decor pieces, jewellery, phone cases) for $3-$5.
XYZprinting Free 3D Print Files
The XYZprinting website has an extensive gallery with many OBJ, STL files and other formats. Some projects cost money; others cost nothing to download and make.
You can sort all the free STL files by checking the “free” box below all the categories on the left. Then, search through the models to find the 3D printable ones. Please note that many projects are renderings and not something you can 3D print yourself.
Read also: Sanding and Painting 3D Prints: Easy Steps
NIH 3D Print Exchange Free 3D Printing Files
With about 11,000 STL files available for free, NIH 3D Print Exchange becomes an interesting source of projects for users who have a 3D printer.
You can apply many of the objects in science, medicine and education. One of the most scientific 3D printing websites, this source allows you to build a molecule, heart, prosthetics and other things using free and paid STL files.
3Docean 3D STL Files
With over 70,000 CG textures and 3D printable models, 3Docean is Envato’s project. The marketplace lists objects by themes, so you can select what interests you the most and turn it into a physical thing.
All visitors can browse popular, top new, latest items or go to the navigation bar and choose a category. For non-exclusive authors, Envato’s 3Docean project charges a 55% fee of the item price. The charged fee is from 12.5% to 37.5% of the 3D print files price for exclusive authors. Still note that you can mainly download OBJ, Blender, 3ds Max, Zbrush, Maya files and other formats, while the number of STL files is relatively low.
Zortrax Library 3D Printer Files Free
Visit the Zortrax Library to find nearly two thousand useful digital objects to bring to life with your 3D printer. All files are available for free and integrated into the company’s Z-Suite software.
One of the free 3D printing websites, Zortrax offers .dfx, .obj and .stl files for downloading. Using your Zortrax 3D printer and the 3D printable models, you can recreate masks, robots, robotic arms, home decor and other projects. If you work with ABS filament, you will like that most objects have been optimized for this material.
Threeding Files for 3D Printing
We should also add Threeding to the selection of the best 3D printer sites you can explore for STL files. This online platform lets hobbyists and professionals share for free, sell and buy 3D printable models.
The number of available projects (over 8,000) can help you build your 3D printing plans for the whole year. Besides, you can use an external service to 3D print and ship the chosen objects to you, which is excellent for anyone who has no 3D printer at home yet.
Redpah 3D Print Files
Numerous paid and free 3D printing websites like Redpah offer thousands of 3D printer projects to hobbyists. This repository, for example, accounts nearly 5,000 ideas on what to 3D print.
The site offers to sort its 3D printable models by price. So, you can select free STL files or choose premium objects that cost over $20. Also, it is easy to choose what interests you the most by categories, such as household items, DIY, toys, parts, etc.
Fab365 STL Models
The project registered in the Republic of Korea, Fab365, is also part of the selection of 3D printing websites. It contains mainly paid 3D printable models, but it is possible to download a small number of free STL files for 3D printing.
The source offers a wide variety of 3D printing cars, toys, home decor pieces, starship prototypes and other objects. You will find reviews on many projects and can make your plans for the weekend.
3D Printing Plans
You can explore Dremel Lesson Plans and Instructables to search for various 3D printing ideas and DIY guides.
Both sources are not repositories of free STL files or paid projects. Still, they have many detailed guidelines from enthusiasts on making something yourself, often with a 3D printer. Such educational projects can be helpful to students, kids and parents.
3D Printer Projects Download
Besides the best 3D printer sites, the internet has several STL files search engines that display 3D printable models from the top sources. These projects crawl the existing websites and show the things you can make. Still, note that sometimes the model you try to access no longer exists on the original site and thus, you cannot download its STLs.
The most famous crawlers are STLFinder, Yeggi, 3DFindIt and Thangs. For example, on Yeggi, you will see many Gambody 3D printer files.
You can enter your search query through Google or one of these websites to find 3D printer projects download links, and get STL files of a new model to add to your collection. Such sites can save your search time and lead you to one of the best 3D printing websites with paid and free 3D printable models.
The number of marketplaces offering paid 3D print models and free STL files for 3D printing is growing as more people learn to 3D print. Explore all of them thoroughly and choose the one that suits you best. Whether you are a beginner, an experienced 3D designer or want to download free 3D projects or make additional money with your impressive works, there is a website for everyone. Also, you are welcome to join Gambody 3D Printing Community on Facebook to share your experience and get advice from other enthusiasts.