3D Models to 3D Print for Free
When it comes to 3D printing, it is probably well known that there are a lot of open source 3D models available on the internet for free. Thingiverse is probably the biggest one out of all of them currently. Thingiverse currently has over a million models available on their platform. There’s so much to choose from, you might even get overwhelmed. Even though Thingiverse has a wealth of models to choose from, the servers are very slow and it takes forever to load just the pictures to preview what the models look like before downloading.
Where can I find Models to 3D Print?
Over the recent years a lot of other platforms have risen to the challenge and offered the same services as Thingiverse with different features on their platform.
Here’s a list of some of the platforms:
and tons more.
NASA is probably the most interesting library of all, most of their models are based on topics you hear on the news when they announce breakthroughs in their space exploration.
For example I hope you heard of the Curiosity Rover!
Or the very first item that was 3D printed in space!
Different platforms have different features on their platform trying to stand out from the crowd. Like MyMiniFactory has a verification process where models that are submitted into their system go through verification process before being published.
YouMagine’s blog seems like it hasn’t been updated in awhile, but I’m not sure about the status of their library of 3D models. I do know Printrbot’s designs are all on YouMagine! Like ALL OF THEM. The whole printer and every printer they came out with. However Printrbot is famous for being all metal print for a really affordable price, so I’m not how useful it is to have access to their design unless you can fabricate metal.
TinkerCad has a lot of interesting models available on their gallery page. TinkerCAD’s online CAD tool is very easy to use! The software is very similar to 123D or Fusion 360. 123D use to be my go to software to design hardware components because it was very easy to use to design parts with exact measurements, however after AutoDesk bought them, they discontinued it. Even their lesson tutorials teaching you how to use the CAD software is very interactive and user-friendly. They take you step by step build process and teach you how to build a simple model while giving you tips on how to use their UI.
Bubble Pins is the name of the site you’re currently reading, which has a section up at the top, named “Models” that contain a selection of free 3D models available. Currently I have a lot of cute Teddy Bears available, please check it out and I hope you enjoy.
There are also free models available and there are premium models offered on some of the sites for a decent price.
Taking Things to the Next Level, Blender
If you wanted to design your own models or take it to the next level while keeping the budget low, Blender is probably your best option. It is free 3D creation software. It is a beast!
It can do the following:
create 3D models
motion tracking on videos
you can script procedural noise, automate tasks, or just about modify anything within the scripting tool (or even take it further and rewrite parts of the software through C++ dll’s)
animation / rigging
motion capture (but requires the actual motion capture hardware)
physical simulation (wind, water, particles, destruction, you name it)
The list goes on. Blender is a beast! If you want to take things to the next level, this is probably a good place to start, because Blender can deliver high quality results comparable to other commercial software, but Blender is free, completely open source.