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Best Sites to Download Free STL Files [Free 3D Models for 3D Printers]

Are you looking for quality STL files for your 3D printer? Well, you came to the right place. The internet has various 3D models but getting the one that suits you best is not easy.

To make it easier for you, I have reviewed the six best websites you can use to download free STL files for your 3D printer. They include files that you can use to design a wide range of materials, from jewelry to engineering projects.

1- Thingiverse

This is one of the popular storage websites for STL files. If you’ve been 3D Printing for some time, you must have hit on this name.

If you are interested in STL files, Thingiverse has got a lot in store for you. It mainly focuses on launching fun representations to 3D print. Moreover, the 3D printing community acknowledges Thingiverse.

It is a free website, and amazingly, you can still upload your self-made designs and utilize other files to 3D print. What is best, the site isn’t a niche-based community. Thus, you will find everything on this site, which is the main reason for having many followers.

Features

Downloading the STL files is free on this site. You can search using categories and keywords, making it fast and easy to use.

Furthermore, individuals can share their designs across the internet, and you can also upload and download stuff from the site.

Pros

  • It offers over 2.8 million STL files you can select from
  • It’s free to use
  • Easy to use and intuitive
  • Members are active
  • Supports 19 types of files

Cons

  • Has intrusive ads
  • The site lags in loading

Verdict: if you are always looking for the most recent designs, Thinsverse will suit you best because the community is still active; thus, new models are always available.

You may also interested in Best 3D printers for Miniatures

2- PinShape

PinShape provides both premium and free STL files for your 3D printing necessity. This site has a Pinterest-like style making it easy to explore the 3D models‘ database.

This website contains models that support file formats OBJ and STL and has all the information about attribution and licensing right before you.

Further, PinShape is unique in its offerings and the simplicity of editing it. Through PinShape, you become a part of 70,000+ designers and makers.

Additionally, this website allows you to upload STL files for free and earn a large amount if you sell renders. The site holds contests to engage members of its community.

Features

This site has high-quality STL files, and it offers both paid and free downloads. The site has over 70,000 designers and makers, and it provides a platform you can make money by selling STL modes.

Pros

  • It provides all information about downloads.
  • It has lots of study materials.
  • It has an efficient search-box easy and faster searches.
  • Has a large community with whom you can interact.

Cons

  • You are limited to a variety of modes since some are under a paywall.
  • It is limited to STL and OBJ only.
  • It lacks a customizer tool.

Verdict: if you are thinking of making money from your designs, this is a perfect site.

3- Cults3D

Cult 3D is a France website with free STL files you can download; it offers you an intuitive interface. Cults 3D is amongst the fastest growing communities of professionals and designers. It has more than 160,000 3D printer designs.

You can utilize its effective search-box to navigate using keywords or to sort it with tags and categories. Are you having trouble finding one? Cults 3D provides an immediate need for the creation of a 3D model plan in a flash.

It is available in French, English, and Spanish, thus increasing the website’s footfall. You can find its 3D STL files storage via the search box or using the random and collections sections.

Every listing on this website provides you with the information on the description, licensing details, photos, and format. What makes it unique, it has an option where you can edit the 3D designs before downloading them.

Furthermore, there is a tab with which you can contact the designers. Besides, you can print your 3D designs and STL files with 80% royalty.

Features

This site has High-quality model designs and has both paid and free models. The designers and makers in the community are active, and there are various contents to engage members.

You can also learn modes with blogs, and you can publish your designed model and earn when you sell.

Pros 

  • You can request for a 3Dmodel.
  • It has a large number of users with whom you can interact.
  • You can search by keywords, tags, and category for easy navigation on the site.

Cons

  • Has expensive premium models

Verdict: This site is efficient to use since you can navigate easily, and it has high-quality model designs.

4- CGTrader

This website provides a simple to use interface. There is a search-box found on the homepage, which allows you to navigate by keywords.

The portal contains different designs. Some you can download for free, and for some, you’ll have to pay. Besides 3D printer STL files, you can download scripts and plugins to boost your 3D designs further.

Every 3D design is of professional quality, thus making your cash worth it. There’s a large community of designers uploading their plans to create their portfolio. As a 3D model creator, you can also carry out the same.

CGTrader also offers a freelancing platform that allows users to look for projects and be employed. Moreover, it has a feature that enables you to sell 3D designs of up to 80% royalty.

Features

This site has over 1 million models and 292K models, which you can print. Also, the platform allows you to sell the 3D models you design.

You can navigate the site using keywords, categories, and tags. There are forums and tutorials you can engage in, and enterprise services are also available.

It’s also a freelancing platform.

Pros

  • It supports different file formats.
  • This site has over 292,440 STL files, thus having access to lots of files.
  • It offers you a free account.
  • It provides you royalty-free use.

Cons

  • The premium models can go over $500

Verdict: If you are interested in 3D models relating to AR or VR blueprints, or computer graphics, you can visit this site suits you best.

Read also: Best 3D Printers Under $200 in 2021

5- Free3D

Free3D contains 3D designs that include 3D printer files and 3D designs for animation, with the ready-made 3D software modeling tools like Maya and Cinema 4D for specific applications.

The designs are classified, and it’s simple to search. Users can show off their plans for free on this site without bothering about promotion costs. Also, there is a voting system, where there is a ranking of designers based on the votes their designs get when people download them.

That promotes healthy competition among the creators. And allowing them to display their best work every time.

So, expect quality models from Free3D. You can find free designs for animals, architecture vehicles, vehicles, and many more.

Features

Free3D contains over 400K 3D STL files. It is simple to use yet has an impressive UI. Also, there is a powerful search box, and this site supports all main 3D modeling file formats and features.

Pros

  • It has a variety of 3D models, over 400,00.
  • Easy to use through sorting by types, categories, paid and free.
  • The site supports various file formats.
  • It supports multiple languages.

Cons

  • It has few free models.
  • Over 90% of the models require payment before use.
  • Not all its models are STL.

Verdict: if you intend to use a free site to download STL files, this isn’t the best site for you since a large percentage needs you to pay to use them. Otherwise, it’s a perfect site for professional 3D designers who want to spend more for the best designs.

6- STLFinder

It is a search engine you can use to search for STL files for your 3D printer. The site navigates across the web and gives you results with both paid and free models. Based on your choice, download and utilize it on your 3D printer.

Like Thingiverse, STLFinder’s database has over 2million 3D designs you can get. It’s powerful and straightforward to navigate on the platform. Also, you can always download the free STL files straight away.

The fantastic thing about the site is that you find the right, simple to use, and like Google, it has a minimalistic interface. Key in your keyword, filter it by free or paid, and it’ll provide you with hundreds of STL files.

Features

This website has a great search engine for models. It has no ads and fluff, and you can search for anything.

Pros

  • It is efficient to use.
  • Contain over two million STL files.
  • It has both paid and free models. 

Cons

  • Some models are expensive.

Verdict: For quick navigation and an unlimited number of file access, both paid and free STL models, I recommend this site.

Conclusion

The above comprehensive list is the best site you can use to acquire your desired STL files for your 3D printing project. Other alternatives you can select from include polar cloud, MyMiniFactory, and Sketchfab.

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