Check out our 2019 collection of the 33 best sites and search engines to download free STL files and 3D printer models in other 3D printable file formats.
Below, you’ll find a selection of the best 3D printing websites, model repositories, marketplaces and websites that offer free 3D printer models to download. Each lets you browse a large choice of 3D printing designs to print at home.
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 and selling it.
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, and counting for 95%), plus a little tie-breaker juice from the site’s popularity (Alexa Traffic Rank, counting for 5%).
If we have missed your favorite site for free STL file downloads, please let us know in the comments, and we’ll add them in a future update.
|Site||Type||Free/Paid||#3D Printable Models|
|XYZprinting 3D Gallery||Marketplace||Free, Paid||★★|
|NIH 3D Print Exchange||Repository||Free||★★|
|3DShook||Subscription Service||Free, Paid||★★|
|Dremel Lesson Plans||Repository||Free||n/a|
|Yeggi||Search Engine||Free, Paid||n/a|
|STLFinder||Search Engine||Free, Paid||n/a|
The single biggest content repository for 3D printer models on the internet is Thingiverse – the offer roughly 1 million STL files, leaving the competition far behind. The website is operated by MakerBot Industries, the creators of the Replicator series of 3D printers. The site is well established and mature, with a huge 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.
Download 3D printer files at: Thingiverse
CGTrader is a marketplace to buy and sell 3D designs. They’re not just limited to CAD files, however; the site also offers a nice selection of free 3D printer files to download which can be fabricated on any 3D printer. Of the staggering 740,000+ 3D models available, a vast number are 3D printable and can be downloaded after creating a free account with the site.
Download 3D printer files at: CGTrader
MyMiniFactory is a community and repository for some 50,000+ 3D printer files, with a strong emphasis on gaming and geek culture. It has close ties with iMakr, an online store that sells 3D printers and accessories. The site offers 3D printer files made by professional designers, with a guarantee that they’ve been quality tested. They also offer challenges to 3D designers on a regular basis, and host a large collection of free STL files with a cultural heritage theme called “Scan the World”.
Recently, a premium store offering became available, where creators can promote their work and earn revenue from their talents.
Download 3D printer files at: MyMiniFactory
Based in France, Cults is a community and 3D printer file marketplace where makers can share or sell their STL files. The standard of Cults’ 40,000+ free 3D printer models is usually high, with the equally impressive presentation a big draw. Users can follow their favorite designers or get instant updates when a new creation is posted. They also offer curated collections based on popular big-name brands (i.e. IKEA hacks, Lego parts, GoPro or drones accessories). A neat touch: the website supports English, French and Spanish languages.
Download 3D printer files at: Cults3D
Pinshape is a great-looking website that describes itself as a “3D marketplace full of high-quality designs”. That means you can find plenty of free STL files to download, but it also functions as a platform to buy and sell premium 3D printer models. This is the place if you’re looking for free STL files for toys and games, miniatures, home appliances, gadgets, and art. The community blog is an excellent read, too.
Download 3D printer files at: Pinshape
YouMagine is a community website operated by Ultimaker, the open source 3D printer company, where users can upload and share 3D printer models. Started in 2013, the site has some solidly designed items, and the free STL files you can download will work on any fused filament fabrication (FFF) machine. You can browse through more than 16,000 free 3D printer models and interesting handpicked collections.
Download 3D printer files at: YouMagine
Aimed at professional designers and 3D artists, 3DExport is a marketplace for premium 3D printer models that can be bought and sold. Besides generic and low-poly 3D models, 3DExport offers a decent selection of almost 10,000 designs to fabricate. 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
Taiwanese manufacturer XYZprinting has a dedicated 3D 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 — about 8,000 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 both stereolithography (SLA) and dual-extrusion 3D printing.
Download 3D printer files at: XYZprinting 3D Gallery
Free3D is a good entry point if you are looking for royalty-free 3D models you can use in CAD or 3D and game design. Alongside an extensive collection of over 60,000 models, the website also maintains a small collection of free STL files that are tagged as 3D printable. From the looks of it, not every item in the section is going to easily 3D printable with an FDM 3D printer, but there are some gems to be found.
Download 3D printer files at: Free3D
The NIH 3D Print Exchange is a fantastic and popular resource for the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) community; a platform for sharing, distributing and downloading 3D printer files that are scientifically accurate or medically applicable. Collections include roughly 6,500 free STL files for prostheses, neuroscience, a “heart library,” and a “molecule of the month.”
Download 3D printer files at: NIH 3D Print Exchange
The business model for 3DShook is a subscription service for those who want a steady stream of quality 3D printer files. Package deals range from $10-$50, as well as monthly, educational, yearly and commercial subscriptions for STL files. The 3D printer models are uniformly excellent, and to convince before you take out a subscription, they have a trial gallery of free STL files to download. One of the most overlooked sites for great 3D printer files.
Download 3D printer files at: 3DShook
The mission statement of GrabCAD is to “help mechanical engineers build great products faster”. The site offers tools that help users collaborate in the development of their designs, and a 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 modelling muscles. Be warned though: Although tagged as 3D printable, not every model actually will print.
Besides free STL files, the site offers the free 3D printing software GrabCAD Workbench and GrabCAD Print.
Download 3D printer files at: GrabCAD
Threeding is an online marketplace for paid and free 3D printer models. Their platform allows individuals and businesses to buy, sell or just exchange any 3D printing designs. There are over 4,000 STL files to download. It also has a 3D printing service, so that you can have your 3D printer models fabricated and shipped to you at the click of a button.
Download 3D printer files at: Threeding
Redpah is a 3D printing design store offering a mixture of paid and free 3D printer models for makers and designers. The repository features over 1,200 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
In a previous incarnation, the Zortrax library of free STL files was integrated into their Z-Suite software, so it was only available to owners of Zortrax 3D printers. The company has now 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 850+ 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
Repables is a very simple repository to download some 600 free STL files for 3D printing. There aren’t any newfangled community features here, just a barebones website that allows users to upload the 3D printer files they want to share and distribute. The site contains a lot of small, simple designs, with a nice selection of everyday items and replacement parts for open source printers.
Download 3D printer files at: Repables
“Just create and sell.” That’s the premise of 3Dagogo, a platform to buy and sell 3D printer models. But a fair number of 3D printer files are offered for free and are verified by the site for print quality.
Download 3D printer files at: 3Dagogo
This is the place to go if you’re a devout supporter of the open source 3D printing movement. Why? Because, none other than the inventor of the RepRap Project, Adrian Bowyer, sits on the board of directors. Libre3D is a dedicated resource for 3D printing help with over 300 free STL files to download and much more.
Download 3D printer files at: Libre3D
The site looks gray and boring, but don’t let that fool you. This is a very exciting repository of 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 11 landing site, the Curiosity Rover, or the Hubble Space Telescope.
Download 3D printer files at: NASA 3D Resources
This content repository is unique because it features the work of a single designer. Zheng3 is a prolific character in the maker scene, and the vast majority of his 3D printer models are either funny or useful (and sometimes both). Check out his Robber Rex or Penny Balista for original examples.
Download 3D printer files at: The Forge
STLHive is a good-looking site with an emphasis on 3D printer models for radio-controlled cars, drones, and robotics. There are plenty of free STL files to download and resources for students, hobbyists, and inventors, plus a nifty feature where you can request an object to be designed for a nominal fee.
Download 3D printer files at: STLHive
Instructables is a fantastic and vivid community portal where users can share their DIY projects, including things made for 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
If you’re looking for architecture, product design, or scale models, 3D Warehouse specializes in hosting anything that was created with the popular 3D modeling software SketchUp. You can filter their database for around 1,600 free STL files for 3D printing selecting ‘Only Show Printable Models’ in their advanced search function.
Download 3D printer files at: 3D Warehouse
Over 1 million creators upload their 3D models on Sketchfab. It is a great source of user-generated 3D designs, with an emphasis on character design and sculpture for use in VR, AR and gaming applications. Their downloadable 3D printer models are only a smaller sub-category of a much larger collection, and these are available as either free STL files or OBJ files (the difference is that OBJ format contains color information for advanced printing). If you’re looking for something unusual, then this is the place.
Download 3D printer files at: Sketchfab
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 great to be printed in classrooms, and they are also accompanied by education material for teachers.
Download 3D printer files at: Dremel Lesson Plans
The Polar Cloud is an online social platform for free STL files and 3D printer models. The point of difference is that these models have been optimized for the Polar3D printer, a machine which fabricates objects using Polar coordinates instead of Cartesian. There’s also a strong emphasis on education and collaboration, which regular challenges to stimulate engagement and ambassadors to show you how it’s done.
Download 3D printer files at: Polar Cloud
FAB365 is 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 together 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
This site is a quirky little project operating at the outer fringes of science-fiction fandom. They specialize in articulated toys and models, with pop culture motifs like monsters and robots. The quality of the designs themselves are excellent; while the majority of them you will have to buy, there is a downloads area with free STL files to download and “try before you buy”. We especially recommend the Graphica Ghost as a fun project.
Download 3D printer files at: 3DKitbash
Rinkak is a Japanese 3D printing marketplace — though the site can also be navigated in English — that offers 3D printer models together with a professional 3D printing service. They have some impressive partnerships with brands like Minecraft and Toyota, too, which results in interesting STL files you can 3D print. Although most of the offerings are premium, once registered you can also search through a small selection of free STL files to download.
Download 3D printer files at: Rinkak
Shapetizer is a 3D printing marketplace for the Chinese market, offering 3D printer models in most categories from jewelry to video games. Full functionality is limited to registered users, but once you’re in, there’s a good mix of paid and free STL files to download. They also offer streaming of 3D printer files, so the 3D printer models can be prepped and sent to your machine without downloading anything.
Download 3D printer files at: Shapetizer
RascomRas is a Spanish-language website that allows users to upload and share 3D printer models. It’s pretty basic, but it has full support for the RepRap open source project, which means it’s a good place to download free STL files of components for “self-replicating” 3D printers. Go here if you need 3D printer files to build your own 3D printer.
Download 3D printer files at: RascomRas
STL search engines don‘t host the models they are displaying – but for the sake of completion, we have added two of the most important and popular STL search engines to this list.
Yeggi is a dedicated search engine that will crawl through many 3D printing websites for 3D printer models. You can also look up some of the 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 effective tool for finding free STL files for 3D printing fast. There’s also a section for new and popular 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 indexed.
Download 3D printer files at: stlfinder.com
Lead image credit: Cults
License: The text of "33 Best Sites for Free STL Files & 3D Printer Models in 2019" by All3DP is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
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