Best Sites for Downloading printable files
Check out our list of the best sites to download free STL files, 3D printer files, 3D print models, and 3D printing designs in other file formats.
Some of these sites also include storefronts for selling 3D printing designs. So, if you’re a 3D modeler and fancy making some spare cash, these are perfect platforms for showcasing your work.
To rank the 3D model repositories, we use an equation accounting for the total number of 3D printable models on a site. Determined by some sneaky Googly magic plus a little tie-breaker juice from the site’s popularity (as reported on Amazon’s Alexa Traffic Rank), this ranking should give a fair estimation of a site’s usefulness as a source for printable models.
If we have missed your favorite site for free STL file downloads, please let us know in the comments and we’ll check them out for future updates.
|Site||Type||Free/Paid||3D Printable Models|
|NIH 3D Print Exchange||Repository||Free||★★|
|XYZprinting 3D Gallery||Marketplace||Free, Paid||★★|
|Dremel Lesson Plans||Repository||Free||n/a|
|Yeggi||Search Engine||Free, Paid||n/a|
|STLFinder||Search Engine||Free, Paid||n/a|
|Thangs||Search Engine||Free, Paid||n/a|
|3DFindIt||Search Engine||Free, Paid||n/a|
The single biggest content repository for 3D printer models on the internet is Thingiverse. The website has been online since 2008 and has amassed more than 1.8 million free STL files, leaving the competition far behind. It is operated by MakerBot Industries, the creators of the Method and Sketch series of 3D printers. As a creator, you upload models you want to share with the community for free – there’s no option to monetize your creations.
The site hosts a vast community of dedicated makers offering free STL files to download in varying categories and complexity. Once you are logged in, you can share tagged 3D printer models in a personal collection. Although it’s a go-to source for free 3D printing files, Thingiverse struggled with technical issues and even a major user data breach.
Download 3D printer files at: Thingiverse
Operating out of France, Cults is a growing community and 3D printer file marketplace where makers can share or sell their STL files. The standard of Cults’ 475,000-plus 3D printer models is usually high, with the equally impressive presentation a big draw. According to the company, 238,000 items are free downloads.
Users can follow their favorite designers or get instant updates when a new creation is posted. Cults also offer curated collections based on popular big-name brands (for example, IKEA hacks, toys, video games, or bike accessories). A neat touch: the website supports English, French, Spanish, and German languages. Please beware that the site heavily relies on animated gifs, so loading times can sometimes be quite slow.
Download 3D printer files at: Cults3D
CGTrader is a marketplace to buy and sell 3D designs. Not just limited to CAD files, however, the site also offers a selection of free 3D printer files to download for production on any 3D printer. Of the staggering 1.4 million+ 3D models available, roughly 257,000 models are marked as 3D printable. Many of them are freely available for download following the creation of an account with the site.
Download 3D printer files at: CGTrader
MyMiniFactory is a community space and repository for some 150,000 3D printer files, with a strong emphasis on gaming, role-playing, and geek culture. It has close ties with iMakr, an online store that sells 3D printers and accessories.
The site offers free and paid 3D printer files made by professional designers, with a guarantee that they’ve been quality tested. They also provide challenges to 3D designers regularly, and host an extensive collection of free STL files with a cultural heritage theme called “Scan the World”. Since 2018, creators can promote their work and earn revenue from their talents in MyMiniFactory’s premium store.
Download 3D printer files at: MyMiniFactory
One of the oldest websites to feature on this list, TurboSquid, is easy to navigate and offers more than 1,024,000 free and premium 3D models. Geared more toward digital content creation than 3D printing (think AR, VR, or games), there is still a limited selection of free 3D printable models on offer at TurboSquid. Being able to filter by file type helps in finding them – tick the STL checkbox to show the more than 77,000 3D printable designs.
Download 3D printer files at: TurboSquid
With its iconic Prusa i3 design, Prusa Research defined a new standard for FDM 3D printers. Covering all bases, the company also offers their own open-source software – PrusaSlicer, own filament – Prusament, great documentation, a database of Prusa users … and a free, and well-sorted file repository.
This newcomer to the repository scene was launched in 2019 and is growing rapidly in size while still maintaining a high-quality standard. Its free models, of which there are now more than 77,000, can be downloaded as STL files. They are usable on all FDM machines.
Download 3D printer files at: PrusaPrinters
Pinshape, bought by 3D printer manufacturer Formlabs in 2016, describes itself as a 3D marketplace “connecting makers and designers.” You can find plenty of free STL files to download in the more than 82,000 designs, but it also functions as a platform to buy and sell premium 3D printer models.
This is an interesting place if you’re looking for free STL files for toys and games, miniatures, jewelry and fashion, home appliances, gadgets, people and creatures, and art.
Download 3D printer files at: Pinshape
YouMagine is a community website and file repository founded by Ultimaker co-founders.
Although the maker-centric file repository hasn’t seen many changes in the last years, it still has its fans. YouMagine has some solidly designed items for every FDM machine. You can browse through more than 19,000 free 3D printer models and some interesting handpicked collections.
Download 3D printer files at: YouMagine
Aimed at professional designers and 3D artists, 3DExport is a marketplace for premium 3D models. Besides generic and low-poly 3D models, 3DExport offers a decent selection of more than 33,300 3D printable designs. 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.
Download 3D printer files at: 3DExport
The NIH 3D Print Exchange is a fantastic and popular resource for the science community. It’s a platform for sharing, distributing, and downloading 3D printer files that are scientifically accurate or medically applicable.
Collections include roughly 11,000 free STL files for scientific objects, a “heart library”, and a “molecule of the month”. It also houses a section for 3D printable low-cost prosthetics and Covid-related 3D models.
Download 3D printer files at: NIH 3D Print Exchange
GrabCAD wants to “help mechanical engineers build great products faster”. The site offers tools that help users collaborate in the development of their 5,000,000 designs, and a small portion of that includes 3D printer models. Not necessarily the first port of call for a wide selection of everyday printables, GrabCAD is still handy for complex parts from designers and engineers flexing their modeling muscles. Be warned though: Although 10,000 models are tagged as 3D printable, not all of them actually will print.
Besides free STL files, the site offers the free 3D printing software GrabCAD Workbench and the professional 3D printing service GrabCAD Print.
Download 3D printer files at: GrabCAD
Threeding is an online marketplace for paid and free 3D printer models. The platform enables individuals and businesses to buy, sell, or just exchange any 3D printing designs. There are over 8,800 STL files to download. The site also offers a 3D printing service, so that you can have your 3D printer models fabricated and shipped to you.
Download 3D printer files at: Threeding
Free3D is a good entry point if you are looking for royalty-free 3D models you can use in animation or game design. Alongside an extensive collection of more than 418,000 premium models, the website also maintains a small collection of (7,300+) STL files that are tagged as 3D printable. From the looks of it, not every item in the section is going to easily 3D print with an FDM 3D printer, but there are some gems to be found.
Download 3D printer files at: Free3D
The business model for 3DShook is that of a subscription service for those who want a steady stream of quality 3D printer files. Individual models range from $1 to $5, package deals range from $25 to $50, and there’s the option for monthly, educational, yearly, and commercial subscriptions for STL files. Most of its 6,000 or so 3D printable models are excellent, and to convince you before you take out a subscription, they offer a small trial gallery of free STL files to download. Unfortunately, there aren’t too many new models added to the service anymore.
Download 3D printer files at: 3DShook
Redpah is a 3D printing design store offering a mixture of paid and free 3D printer models for makers and designers. The repository features more than 4,900 premium and free 3D printer files to download. A nice feature is the ability to sort 3D printing designs based on the work of popular designers.
Download 3D printer files at: Redpah
Taiwanese 3D printer manufacturer XYZprinting has a dedicated gallery of free STL files to download. There’s no digital rights management that we could find, but you have to first register with the site to access the 3D printer models. The majority of items here – some 1,900+ models altogether – do not appear to have been printed, given the preponderance of renderings over photos of physical objects.
But it’s reassuring to see that they have dedicated repositories for stereolithography (SLA), dual-extrusion, and also color 3D printing.
Download 3D printer files at: XYZprinting 3D Gallery
In a previous incarnation, the Zortrax library of free STL files was integrated into their Z-Suite software, and therefore only available to owners of Zortrax 3D printers. The company has split the library from the software and made it openly available online. That means anyone can browse and download free STL files, and fabricate them on any FDM machine. It’s a canny move, too. Most of the 1,800+ 3D printer models are optimized for ABS filament; makers who wouldn’t ordinarily use the material might be tempted to give it a try.
Download 3D printer files at: Zortrax Library
Fab365 is a product marketplace for 3D printer files. Registered users can buy, sell, and download models to make at home on their 3D printers. These premium designs are grouped in themes like gadgets, art, home, and architecture, and there’s a dash of sophistication and humor about them. Most of what’s on offer are paid designs, but a small selection of 3D printer files is available for free.
Download 3D printer files at: Fab365
The site looks gray and boring as moon dust, but don’t let that fool you. This is a fun repository of 348 3D printer models created by none other than NASA. Their STL files are made available for free for educational purposes so that you can fabricate landmark objects in the history of space exploration like the Apollo landing sites, the Curiosity Rover, comets, or the Hubble Space Telescope.
Download 3D printer files at: NASA 3D Resources
US manufacturer Dremel has a curated portal of lesson plans to complement their Idea Builder line of 3D printers. Based on the pretext that the Idea Builder can only 3D print in PLA filament, this selection of 3D printer files is optimized for a frustration-free experience. The free STL files are ideal for classroom printing and are accompanied by education material for teachers. Please be advised the curriculum is only available after registering.
Download 3D printer files at: Dremel Lesson Plans
Instructables is a fantastic and vivid community portal where users can share their DIY projects, including things made with the help of 3D printing. Featured on the project pages are the tutorials and instructions on how to build each creation, together with the 3D printer files to download where relevant. Plus, most of the designers are helpful enough to answer questions submitted by the public.
Download 3D printer files at: Instructables
STL search engines don’t host the models they are displaying, but for the sake of completion, we have added the most important and popular STL search engines to this list.
Yeggi is a search engine that crawls popular 3D printing websites for 3D printer models. You can also access popular searches to get an idea of trends the community is currently interested in. The user interface isn’t going to win prizes anytime soon, but it’s an incredibly effective tool for finding free STL files. There’s also a section for the newest free 3D printer files.
Download 3D printer files at: Yeggi
The name is pretty self-explanatory, right? STLFinder is another search engine for 3D printer files that will crawl the internet, bringing up results for free STL files and 3D printer models. You can also create an account to bookmark your favorite 3D printer files for future reference. After logging in, you can search through the millions of 3D printer models it has indexed.
Download 3D printer files at: STLFinder
Thangs may look like just another 3D model search engine, but it has some nice tricks up its sleeve. Thanks to a sophisticated search algorithm, you can find geometrically related 3D models. With just a click of the mouse, any object can be rendered in a chosen position. And finally, you can also invite friends and collaborators to work together on projects.