10 Best Websites to Download Free 3D Printer STL Files and 3D Models

If you have a 3D printer but aren’t sure how to design STL files to print 3D models, you can find these files for free on a number of different sites. There are also sites where you can buy STL files, and you can even order 3D models and have them print them and send them to you. Three-dimensional printing has become so popular that there are a number of options available, so take a look at the 10 best websites where you can download free STl files for your 3D printer. 

10 Best Websites to Download Free STL Files and 3D Models

1. Thingiverse

Thingiverse is a website where users can upload and share files for 3D printing. You can also order printed 3D models from different users on the site. It is free, and it is a great way to find ideas for 3D printing. 

Pros
  • Many files to choose from
  • Great for beginners
  • Printed models are available to order
Cons
  • Site isn’t moderated, so content varies

2. NASA

This site doesn’t have a large number of STL files available, but it does have high-quality STL files for free that allow you to create models that are based on actual objects in space exploration. You can choose the Apollo 11 landing site or the Curiosity Rover, as well as the Hubble Space Telescope. 

Pros
  • Free STL files of actual objects that are part of space exploration history
  • Easy to use and realistic
  • Create rockets, shuttles, and more
Cons
  • Smaller number of free STL files than other sites

3. Cults

Cults is a community where users share and sell 3D printer files, and it is based in France. They have more than 40,000 different models, of which 220,000 are free. You can find designers to follow and look for collections based on your preferences. 

Pros
  • Many different models to choose from
  • Large community for 3D printing
  • More than half of the files are free to download
Cons
  • Loading times can be slow

4. TurboSquid

TurboSquid was one of the first 3D printer websites, and it offers more than a million files and models. Some are free and others are premium. They focus on digital content creation for games, AR, and VR, but there are free printable 3D models, including more than 73,000 STL files.

Pros
  • Old and trusted website
  • More than 72,000 3D printable designs
  • Easy to search by STL file
Cons
  • Many options can make it hard to navigate

5. NIH 3D Print Exchange

If you are looking for scientifically accurate or medically applicable 3D models, this is the best website. They offer models in STL files for your 3D printers, and their models are related to biomedical science. They have close to 10,800 free STl files as well as 3D models related to COVID-19 and other medical phenomena. 

Pros
  • Scientifically accurate
  • Around 10,800 free STL files
  • Covid-related models available
Cons
  • Focus is more on scientific models, so there’s less variety

6. CGTrader

CGTrader is another marketplace that offers both free and paid 3D designs. They have more than 1.3 million 3D models available, and 282,000 are 3D printable. You can get free files for download by creating an account on the marketplace site. 

Pros
  • More that 282,000 3D printable files
  • Sales often available for paid content
  • Wide range of categories to choose from
Cons
  • You need to create an account for free downloads

7. Pinshape

Pinshape is a 3D marketplace that is owned by a 3D printer manufacturer, Formlabs. They connect designers and creators, and there are many free STL files for more than 82,000 different designs. You can also buy and sell 3D printers on this site. 

Pros
  • More than 82,000 designs for free
  • Three-dimensional printers available
  • Featured designers on site
Cons
  • Some say the volume of options can be overwhelming

8. YouMagine

This site is a file repository that was founded by the cofounders of Ultimaker. They have solid designs available and more than 18,000 free 3D printer models. They haven’t changed the site much over the years, but it is still a place to find interesting files to print. 

Pros
  • More than 18,000 free 3D printer models
  • Interesting collections available
  • Site has been around for a while
Cons
  • Site hasn’t seen many changes over the years

9. MyMiniFactory

MyMiniFactory is another community and repository for more than 155,000 3D printer files. They focus on geek culture and gaming, and they have ties to iMakr. You can find both paid and free files that are made by professional designers. They have been tested for quality, and they allow creators to promote their work through the store. 

Pros
  • High-quality 3D printing designs
  • More than 155,000 files
  • Creators can promote their work in the store
Cons
  • Emphasis on gaming and geek culture, so less variety than other sites

10. 3DExport

This site is made for 3D artists and professional designers, and they offer premium 3D models. They also have more than 33,300 designs that are printable. You can filter your search to find free STL files, which are mostly ornaments and jewelry.

Pros
  • More than 33,300 printable designs
  • Easy to search for STl files that are free
  • Attracts professional designers and 3D artists
Cons
  • Free designs are mostly jewelry and ornaments

FAQs

Q: Where can I get free STL files to download for my 3D printer?

A: The sites above offer free STL files that you can download and print on your 3D printer.

Q: What if I don’t have a 3D printer but want a 3D model?

A: You can often find 3D models to order printed for you.

Q: Can I find specific types of models?

A: Sites offer paid content for those looking for something more specific.

Q: Do I need to know anything more to download STL files for free?

A: Most sites are easy to use. You just find your file and click on download to get it on your computer. 

Conclusion

If you have a 3D printer and are looking for designs to print, marketplaces that offer free STl files are a great place to start. 

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