World’s Largest 3D Design Community

Thingiverse Reaches 1 Million Uploads, 200 Million Downloads

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MakerBot Thingiverse reached a landmark last week with one million uploads and two hundred million downloads on its platform.

One Million Uploads

Now, by far the world’s largest 3D design community, it has become an important gateway for 3D printing worldwide.

The website was begun in 2008 exclusively for the maker community. However, it has now grown into a dependable source for hundreds of thousands worldwide from professional engineers to teachers and designers, the site attracts a range of different people every day.

Nadav Goshen, president of MakerBot, said to MarketWatch: “We believe that the impact Thingiverse has had on 3D printing and 3D design in its seven years is tremendous. Thingiverse has helped popularize 3D printing by creating a vibrant community and making it easy to discover, make and share 3D designs. It has become the go-to place on the Internet for anyone interested in 3D design and 3D printing. We are excited to see what people come up with next.”

How Did Thingiverse Start?

That‘s the way Thingiverse looked like when it started out in 2008 (image: Wayback Machine)
That‘s the way Thingiverse looked like when it started out in 2008 (image: Wayback Machine)

In a Brooklyn based hacker space, MakerBot founded Thingiverse as there was no other place on the internet where you could share physical objects.

To begin with, most of the users of Thingiverse were small-scale manufacturers, engineers or people who owned a 3D printer.

To give some perspective to the achievement of 1 million uploads – during the site’s first six months, there was an average upload of between 30 and 40 designs per week. Today, Thingiverse boasts more than 2 million active monthly users and 1.7 million downloads per month.

The site now also hosts a number of competitions such as the Assistive Technology and Fall STEAM Challenges, which encourage community members to create designs through collaborations across the globe.

Other achievements of the site include the 2013 introduction of Thingiverse Customizer, which allows Thingiverse users to easily customize existing 3D designs.

The aim of Customizer was to make 3D design more accessible for those who aren’t familiar with professional 3D design software and inadvertently it opened the door for even more collaboration among users.

To celebrate one million uploads, MakerBot is giving away 10 large popular prints from Thingiverse. If you fancy your chances then you can easily enter online.

What are your experiences of Thingiverse? Are you impressed by this recent success?