Low-poly 3D models are hugely popular with 3D printing hobbyists. There's plenty to choose from, and here's a list of the best places to find 3D printable low-poly 3D models.
Before we start with the list for the best low-poly 3D model sources, let’s take a look at what low-poly actually means.
“Poly” comes from the word polygon. A polygon is a 2D shape made out of straight lines and angles. When multiple polygons are placed together, it’s possible to create a recognizable 3D shape.
Back in the day, when computer components such as graphics cards weren’t all that great, video games characters had that low-poly look. Nowadays, the hardware is so powerful that it can display realistic looking characters, but back then, low-poly was the way to go.
Still, polygons are an essential part of every 3D model. The more polygons there are, the smoother the model’s surface is. The word “low” in the low-poly name means that there is a small amount of polygons present, making the model look “rough”.
Low-poly models are hugely popular within the 3D printing community. Enjoy our list of the best low poly 3D models sources, and try printing them on your own!
Thingiverse is a Makerbot owned online platform where anyone can share their 3D models. It’s the world’s biggest, and most popular.
As you’d expect, Thingiverse offers a huge amount of 3D models, low poly being no exception. Simply type in “low poly” in the search bar, and that will reveal a plethora of free models for you to download.
The user interface is simple but powerful. It’s easy to navigate and explore available 3D models, meaning even kids can easily use Thingiverse and find their desired 3D model.
As we already said, there are tons of low-poly models available to choose from on Thingiverse, but there’s one collection we’d like to point out. It’s called Low-Poly Pokemon. Kids love them, but so do adults.
Cults is yet another great online platform for sharing and downloading 3D models. It’s clean and modern user interface is nice to interact with, and naturally, there are plenty of low-poly models to choose from.
Some of the models are free, and some are purchased. When compared with Thingiverse, Cults features more purchased models. However, the prices are still reasonable.
Feel free to check out what great low-poly models Cults has to offer.
As you’d expect, MyMiniFactory is very similar to Thingiverse and Cults. It’s a platform for sharing and downloading 3D models.
It’s easy to quickly find what you’re looking for since MyMiniFactory’s main menu features many popular categories. A simple search for “low poly” reveals a handful of them available to download. What sets MyMiniFactory (and Thingiverse) apart from Cults, for example, is the ability to tip the designer.
Both MyMinifactory and Thingiverse feature more free designs, but then give the users the ability to later tip the designer. This is great since most people would rather give a tip if the model turns out great, instead of paying for a model that later may show its weaknesses.
Pinshape is another great source for low-poly 3D printable designs. if you type in “low poly” in Pinshape’s search bar, plenty of low-poly 3D models will pop up. If you were searching for low-poly 3D models on sites like Thingiverse before you came to Pinshape, you’ll notice there are lots of models you’ve probably seen on Thingiverse.
The reason for this is that active members of 3D model sites usually upload their creations across many different sites. Every site, with Pinshape being no exception, features a lot of familiar designs. However, there also is at least a few unique models for each site.
Feature image source: Pinshape
License: The text of "Low-Poly 3D Models – 4 Best Sources" by All3DP is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
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