Before we hop into some sites like Thingiverse, let’s know something in brief about Thingiverse. Thingiverse was created by MakerBot, years and years ago and it was the first real 3d printing file repository.
Originally it wasn’t even for 3d printing. You could get laser cutting files and anything you could use to download and then make stuff.
Later, it quickly became known as the go-to place for STL models for 3d printing. These days it’s owned by Stratasys which bought MakerBot and now it’s the biggest by far place to get STL files but its sociability is poor.
It’s almost impossible to find exactly what, just because of the sheer volume of models and the fact that the navigation wasn’t ever improved.
The quality of models is also pretty low as compared to other sites’ models. Which we are going to discuss later in this post. There’s no quality control, everyone can upload just anything. It is hard to tell if the model is suitable for 3d printing or if it works well or not.
That was much about Thingiverse but it’s sad. Anyway, moving on, let’s see some sites like Thingiverse which are a lot more advanced and provide great features and quality models.
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Best Alternative Sites Like Thingiverse
If you’ve been looking for a new design website with a great community and sharp design filters, then these are the alternative websites you need to check out.
- Nikko Industries
- CG Trader.
First of all, my personal favorite is Patreon. With Patreon, you can be there with your most-loved designer and they will be creating files for you every day.
So, if you ever wanted to see how a certain thing is made or also want to share your ideas with the designer then my first choice is Patreon. Offering your followers a monthly membership on Patreon allows you to turn them into active contributors to the content they love.
You provide them with access to exclusive content, a sense of community, and insight into your creative process. You’ll have the flexibility to perform your best work in exchange, as well as the security you’ll need to launch a successful creative career on your own.
Myminifactory, the whole thing is “guaranteed printable”, I don’t know if they still say that. These models are tested. So you’re going to get a much better user experience when you download models from here vs the Russian Roulette of Thingiverse. It’s one of the awesome sites like Thingiverse
Myminifactory has exploded in very little time with so many models available here. What I like is – the models from the scan the world initiative where people go to museums around the world, sites 3d scan things like statues and artifacts and make them available for free to download and print.
It recently expanded off two paid files. This means you can buy models on Myminifactory. If you’re a 3d designer you can upload and pay a certain fee to sell your 3d printed models.
Overall you can find really good models in heaps of different categories. It’s very easy to search and very easy to find interesting categories. Model quality in general is very good.
Another one of the best sites like Thingiverse is YouMagine. It’s somewhat like Thingiverse which is owned by Ultimaker. It’s essentially the same thing, it’s not as big as Thingiverse and the model quality is generally a bit higher.
Few designers use YouMagine exclusively because it’s got such a good sort of open-source following. The creative commons license is very well respected here.
YouMagine has some cool models inside. It’s just not as big as Myminifactory. Not as big as Thingiverse.
In terms of price, I don’t think anything on YouMagine is all free. As I mentioned, the whole idea is open-source designs so you’re not going to pay anything for YouMagine.
If you’re not into that and want a community in which you can share and download files from them then I’d like to introduce you to my second choice: Yeggi offers a remarkable design library and also gives you the options to follow or upload your own designs.
If you want to share your designs with the designer and get feedback from them, you can choose from Yeggi. Yeggi is a Thingiverse alternative that is built to be an easy way for 3D printing enthusiasts to learn how to design and build stuff.
With its focus on tutorials, you can actually learn all the things that are needed in order for you to join the 3D printing revolution! It also boasts a Botshop which helps people find more designs, so they can continue learning more about their current projects.
There are also many successful community members who blog regularly about what they have learned through their experience with this platform.
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If you want to be able to customize your designs then my choice is Pinshape.
Pinshape is a website that offers a cool design library and allows you to customize your design in 3D. It has a quick and great front-end panel interface, plus it has fantastic exterior filters.
Pinshape is another version of Thingiverse. It is used to upload, share, discover and buy 3D designs. There are already thousands of files ready for you to download for free!
Just like with Thingiverse, there are many categories that can be searched through. Also, there are special features to help sellers market their products, so people can find out about them easily! It is great for finding the latest stuff that has been created.
3DExport is another well-known rival of Thingiverse. This platform, which was established in 2004, is the industry leader, with over 200,000 distinct designs and over 500,000 members worldwide.
The multiple lessons that walk you through a previously recorded setup step by step are an added benefit. Users may carefully investigate processes and expand their expertise in this way. In this approach, the chances of future successful ventures are increased. The tutorials may be paused and rewound whenever you like.
The numerous instructional projects and tools are of high quality, and they cover a wide range of topics including astronomy, physics, the automobile industry, engineering, mathematics, and biology.
With the help of a drop-down menu, you can filter the results and choose between premium and free 3D designs. Designers are rewarded for staying current in the 3DExport sales model.
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7. Cults3d – Best Sites Like Thingiverse
Cults3d is a french founder 3d file repository where you can find incredibly high-quality models that are free and paid. It’s on #7 in the list of sites like Thingiverse. You can also sell your models on the website or you can buy high-quality files and you can also find very good 3d printable files that are free.
The thing I like about Cults3d is that there is a very high aesthetic level so a lot of models on this site are very well designed in terms of their aesthetics.
They look very good if you’re going to print demo models. A lot of designers find their homes here because they get financial support here.
You’ll find a good mix of free and paid models. In terms of searching, it’s very easy to organize categories here like art, fashion, jewelry, and many more. They also do contests as well which is a great way of bringing lots of new models in.
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The Smithsonian is still active. Unfortunately, the NASA STL repository did slow down significantly after 2015 with only one model a year sometimes but Smithsonian still has heaps of things that you can view and in many cases download and 3d print.
The whole idea behind this is that they can 3d scan incredibly fragile artifacts because the Smithsonian has a lot of artifacts in their possession that allow you to 3d print and share it with people in a way that they can touch and explore.
The cool thing about the Smithsonian models is it has got an STL file for 3d printing which is wrapped and prepared to be 3d printable without any issues. There is no cost to these models, you can download a 3d but their terms are very specific.
They are for non-commercial use but only for personal use and therefore educational purposes. You cannot print and sell them that’s against their terms of service.
The GrabCAD website’s especially user-friendly layout immediately gives away what type of 3D design tool it is. GrabCAD has come a long way since its humble beginnings as a basic community for sharing 3D creations. Meanwhile, it is a platform that professionals and businesses like to use to collaborate on 3D design projects.
GrabCAD isn’t the ideal place to look for your next 3D printing project if you’re a hobby printer. It’s mostly a CAD site with a focus on models that can’t be replicated with a home 3D printer. Models for bicycle frames or high-end sports automobiles, for example. GrabCAD, on the other hand, still has a good collection of 3D printer designs that users may download for free.
The GrabCAD community, on the other hand, is unrivaled in terms of quality. It has not only permitted the platform’s expansion to a professional level, but it also includes professional 3D designers.
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10. CG Trader
The online trading platform CGTrader was created in 2011. Users will be able to buy and sell 3D designs, as well as review 3D designer content in real time.
Customers and online merchants may use CGTrader to transform their 3D designs into 3D content. After then, they may be utilized for augmented reality or other types of presentations. This website has over 950,000 high-quality 3D models available for download for free or for a fee. As a result, you can be certain that every user will discover the perfect model.
It’s worth noting that free designs can also meet a high degree of quality. For purchases denoted by a piggy bank symbol, the complex “Trader Loyalty Discount” feature can be employed. This option is only available to regular customers.
To conclude: these were the best alternatives to Thingiverse. Hopefully, you like this post. Other sites that I have not mentioned that you prefer working with. Let me know down in the comments below and I’ll add it to this blog.
All these sites are really great if you are looking for something related to 3d printing and models and offer really high-quality of 3d models in comparison to Thingiverse. Check out these guys and have fun. Abide by the rules always. Cheers!