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Free 3d Models July 2022

When it comes to 3D modeling, designers have practically no limitations while transferring their vivid imaginations into the digital realm. Be it a monstrous video game character primed for a boss fight, a promising new product rendered to perfection, or a magnificent architectural model — there is an endless amount of exciting 3D creations out there.

But not everyone is capable of translating their ideas into a digital reality. Thankfully, there’s a wide selection of websites, 3D archives, and content repositories that help creatives source ready-made 3D models for use in video games, animation, graphic design, 3D printing, and more.

Here, we’ve listed a wealth of repositories with a good selection of free 3D models. Some of these websites are also marketplaces that allow users to upload and sell their 3D models. So, if you’re a 3D modeler in need of a revenue source, you’ll find a fine selection of platforms for showcasing your work here, too.

Remember, not every 3D model you find on this list is suitable for every application. We’ve added short descriptions with some details about each website so you can get an idea of what they’re offering, and maybe where they have shortcomings. Do also keep in mind that licensing for 3D designs can vary not just site-to-site but also model-to-model. Be sure to check the license before using someone else’s artwork to make sure you have permission.

Model Mania
Free STL/3D Printer Files & Models: Best Sites in 2022

Since this is a large list, we’ve separated the repositories first into categories by the ideal application for their models and then listed them by order of popularity (measured via similarweb.com). Mind that there is plenty of overlap, but we’ve made sure to list suitable websites appearing elsewhere in this article below each category’s table.

If you don’t know which free 3D models are suitable for your application, or want a few more neat options, please read the addendum.

If you’re familiar with the 3D printing world you’ve probably visited some or all of these websites at one point or another. They’re chock-full of creative models optimized for 3D printing.

Keep in mind that you can 3D print just about any 3D model you find online, but it’s best if the files are properly optimized; the websites in this category all host files that are. Where we specify “3D Printing” as a model type elsewhere on this list, the repositories also provide 3D printing-optimized models in an easily navigable way.

Site Model Type(s) Free or Paid? Models Available
Thingiverse 3D Printing Free 5,261,132+
Cults 3D Printing Both 475,000+
Instructables 3D Printing Free N/A
Printables 3D Printing Free 189,058+
MyMiniFactory 3D Printing Both 210,080+
Thangs 3D Printing Free 14,203,505+
Pinshape 3D Printing Both 109,985+
YouMagine 3D Printing Free 19,000+

Also see: CGTraderRenderHub3DexportSketchfab, and GrabCAD.

Thingiverse:

  • SiteThingiverse
  • Model Types3D Printing
  • Free or Paid?Free
  • Models Available5,261,132+

Thingiverse is a repository operated by 3D printer manufacturer MakerBot that hosts a wide range of dedicated makers who upload free 3D models for 3D printing in varying categories and complexities. It’s the most popular repository for free 3D models in the 3D printing community and has been for a long time. If you’re looking for cool things to 3D print, there’s no better place to start.

It’s worth noting, there has been some controversy revolving around Thingiverse in the past. In 2021 the website was under fire for a 32 GB data breach, and before that opportunists used the website’s comments section to have users unwittingly mine cryptocurrency. Both incidences caused droves of users to swear off the repository.

  • Highlights: The de facto home of free 3D models for 3D printing.

Visit: www.Thingiverse.com

Cults:

  • SiteCults
  • Model Types3D Printing
  • Free or Paid?Both
  • Models Available475,000+

Cults is a fast-growing repository and marketplace where you can find and download high-quality 3D models to print. The website claims to have been the first independent marketplace of its kind when it was founded in 2014, which makes it all the more impressive given that it’s been run by just three people ever since.

The site’s name also hides a playful twist — read backward you get the name St. Luc, patron saint of the arts. Wordplay aside, the platform prides itself on quality and originality.

  • Highlights: Curated collections, an active marketplace where you can sell your 3D models.

Visit: https://Cults3d.com/en

Instructables:

  • SiteInstructables
  • Model Types3D Printing
  • Free or Paid?Free
  • Models AvailableN/A

Instructables is more than just a free 3D model repository, it’s a fantastic community portal where users can share their DIY projects. This community tends to focus on larger projects, often involving electronics and programming. But don’t be intimidated! Whatever your skill level in these complementary areas, there are enough projects here that you’re sure to find something fun and interesting you’re ready to dive into now.

Featured on the project pages are tutorials and instructions detailing how to build each creation. Plus, most of the designers are helpful enough to answer questions submitted by the public.

  • Highlights: Extensive tutorials, guides, and online classes for creations beyond 3D printing with an active and helpful community.

Visit: www.Instructables.com

Printables:

  • SitePrintables
  • Model Types3D Printing
  • Free or Paid?Free
  • Models Available189,058+

Printables, formerly Prusa Printers, is a relatively new repository from Prusa Research, and is often considered a contemporary answer to Thingiverse. Like Thingiverse, Prusa Printers hosts only free files — all optimized for 3D printing. It’s a well-maintained website with a large focus on its community. The site runners organize regular contests, list important events in the 3D printing community, host groups for 3D printing enthusiasts to communicate beyond file comment sections, and a forum for conversations not exclusive to groups.

Prusa Printers is somewhat unique for allowing users to upload pre-sliced G-code to its website. It should be said though, this is a controversial feature. Some makers have warned against the dangers of using G-code from unknown sources as bad actors could badly damage your hardware or worse.

  • Highlights: Large community with many ways to communicate, regular contests, pre-sliced G-code for Prusa 3D printers.

Visit: www.Printables.com

MyMiniFactory:

  • SiteMyMiniFactory
  • Model Types3D Printing
  • Free or Paid?Both
  • Models Available210,080+

MyMiniFactory is a community and repository for 3D printing files. The site is largely focused on tabletop-gaming figures, but it offers models from a wide range of categories.

The repository is also a marketplace, so it offers a mix of free and paid models — many of which are made by professional designers. Uniquely, MyMiniFactory guarantees file quality. Uploaded prints run through a software check and are test printed by the community before being published. What’s more, the website also offers a subscription service, lets designers set up their own stores, and hosts interesting challenges for 3D modelers.

  • Highlights: Quality assurance, subscription service, and designer-specific stores. Mostly focused on tabletop figures.

Visit: www.MyMiniFactory.com

Thangs:

  • SiteThangs
  • Model Types3D Printing, Animation, Gaming, Graphic Design
  • Free or Paid?Free
  • Models Available14,203,505+

At first glance, Thangs looks like just another 3D model repository, but it has a few little tricks up its sleeve. Thanks to a sophisticated search engine, you can search for geometrically related 3D models. It also serves as a workspace for collaborative projects, hosting private invitation-only files for remote collaboration. Models you’re working on display a to-do task list and version history below an interactive 3D viewer.

Though Thangs does host files itself, and so is a repository, it’s also a 3D model search engine. Entering a term in its search function will crawl not just Thang’s database, but also that of Thingiverse and other popular repositories.

  • Features: Repository and search engine with geometric-related search and collaboration features.

Visit: www.Thangs.com

Pinshape:

  • SitePinshape
  • Model Types3D Printing
  • Free or Paid?Both
  • Models Available109,985+

With a mission statement to “make 3D printing simple and fun”, Pinshape places emphasis on high-quality 3D designs and an easily navigable platform. Run by 3D printer manufacturer Formlabs, it’s an open marketplace stuffed with paid and free 3D models focused on 3D printing.

Pinshape includes an education section with some helpful guides created by its staff and by Formlabs, but it’s been largely left to gather dust. Most articles are dated before 2018. Still, a small community remains so it’s worth checking out!

  • Highlights: Featured designs and 3D designers.

Visit: https://Pinshape.com

YouMagine:

  • SiteYouMagine
  • Model Types3D Printing
  • Free or Paid?Free
  • Models Available19,000+

Back in 2015, 3D printer manufacturer Ultimaker was still a consumer brand and one of its co-founders launched the file repository YouMagine. Intended as a resource to share open-source models for community iteration, the website has a unique “issues” section akin to GitHub so designers can get user feedback in a structured way. Similar to “remixes” on other repositories, each model also shows “derivatives”, so other designers can take over and create new versions while giving credit to the original.

More involved projects, like OpenBionics’ Brunel Hand, a fully printable prosthetic hand designed to improve the lives of amputees, are where this website truly shines but it’s also good for finding quick and fun models to 3D print.

  • Highlights: Issue tracking for in-progress models.

Visit: www.YouMagine.com

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