Home / The best sites to download free STL files, 3D models and 3D printable files for 3d printing

The best sites to download free STL files, 3D models and 3D printable files for 3d printing

The best sites to download free STL files, 3D models and 3D printable files for 3D printing

There are many STL files repositories, 3D model marketplaces, and 3D design search engines available online. Makers needs 3D printable models (preferably in STL format, the most common format in 3D printing) before starting 3D printing. The odds of finding something inspiring on one of these websites are pretty high!

Most of the 3D model repositories in our list are completely or partially free, so no need to spend a lot of money to get amazing 3D models. We created this list of the best websites to download STL files for 3D printers to help users make the most out of their 3D printer and unleash their creativity.

Please see our methodology below the table for more details on how we made this ranking of the best sites to download 3D printable STL files.

The best websites to download 3D printable files and 3D models

WebsitePriceCategoryNumber of 3D models3D printable files
3D WarehouseFreeRepository4,000,000x
GrabCADFreeRepository2,840,000x
STL FinderFree/PaidSearch Engine2,000,000x
SketchfabFreeRepository1,500,000
Yeggi 🏆Free/PaidSearch Engine1,498,000x
Thingiverse 🏆FreeRepository1,068,080x
Yobi3DFree/PaidSearch Engine1,000,000x
IFind3DFree/PaidSearch Engine911,047x
CGTraderFree/PaidMarketplace650,000x
PrintMeASheepFree/PaidSearch Engine100,000x
Free3DFreeRepository48,000
My Mini Factory 🏆FreeRepository45,000x
Pinshape 🏆Free/PaidMarketplace30,000x
Cults. 🏆Free/PaidMarketplace28,000x
TurboSquidFree/PaidMarketplace26,800
CGStudioFree/PaidMarketplace26,172x
FlatPyramidPaidMarketplace15,500x
YouMagine 🏆FreeRepository14,000x
PARTcloud.netFreeRepository8,500
XYZprinting 3D GalleryFree/PaidMarketplace8,270x
3DupndownFree/PaidMarketplace7,800x
3D OrchardFreeRepository6,500x
3DShookPaidMarketplace6,000x
NIH 3D Print ExchangeFreeRepository5,530x
3DExportFree/PaidMarketplace5,450x
Threeding 🏆Free/PaidMarketplace4,750x
RedpahFree/PaidMarketplace3,440x
3DfilemarketFree/PaidMarketplace1149x
TridimensiaFree/PaidSearch Engine1000x
RepablesFreeRepository650x
STLHiveFree/PaidMarketplace490x
3DagogoFree/PaidMarketplace377x
Polar CloudFreeRepository364x
GambodyFree/PaidMarketplace319x
CG Sci-FiFree/PaidMarketplace116
NASA 🔬FreeRepository104x
RinkakFree/PaidMarketplace100x
PileprintFreeRepository90x
3DKitbashPaidMarketplace33x
Zortrax LibraryFreeRepositoryx
3dsha.reFree/PaidMarketplacex
Libre3DFreeRepositoryx
FabblyFree/PaidMarketplacex
InstructablesFreeRepositoryx
Shapetizer 🏆Free/PaidMarketplacex
TinkercadFreeRepositoryx
3DVIAFreeRepository
TrinpyFree/PaidMarketplacex
africanfossils.org 🔬FreeRepositoryx
3D-pocketPaidMarketplacex
Happy3D.frFreeRepositoryx
MakePrintableFreeRepositoryx
This is the list of all the websites offering free STL files, 3D models, 3D designs and 3D printable files. To help you get a rapid understanding of the websites we decided to highlight the number of 3D files (when possible) and identify the 3D models repositories with 3D printable files categories.

How to use our list of the best websites to download free STL files or 3D printable models?

How to use our table of the best sites to download free STL files and 3D models.

A few 3D models. Credit: 3Ders, Thingiverse: model by Cushua, Nerd Approved

Here are some explanations on how to use our list of the best websites to download free 3D models for 3D printers.

Free/paid

  • Free: the 3D file repository is entirely free
  • Free/paid: the STL file marketplace offers a mix of free and paid 3D designs
  • Paid: the 3D models marketplace is an online store where users must pay to download a 3D file

Category

We classify the sites to download STL files in three categories:

  • Repository: a repository is a database regrouping only free 3D models. This category regroups most of the STL files websites.
  • Marketplace: a marketplace is a website containing both paid and free STL files
  • Search engine: 3D model search engines index thousands of 3D files from other websites to save time for users.

3D printable files

The sites with an “X” in the “3D printable files” column are either 100% 3D printable files or have an option to filter on 3D printable designs only.

Where can I find free STL files for 3D printers?

For 3D file repositories, size matters. The more 3D printing files, usually the more interesting the database. However, user experience is also an important factor: filters by categories, 3D visualizer, active community, etc. Only a handful of them match those criteria, making the same 3D models appear on a regular basis. Here is a shortlist of the most popular and best free STL files websites with fresh content:  

  • Thingiverse
  • Cults.
  • MyMiniFactory
  • Pinshape

In our table, these 3D model repositories have a trophy ? emoji. All of them are 100% dedicated to 3D printing. They offer a wide choice of downloadable 3D models ready to 3D print, and a good user experience.



The best sites to download free STL files.

Overview of the best websites to download STL files and 3D designs for 3D printing

We are focusing on our favorite 3D-printing-friendly websites. Here is a list of 3D printable file repositories, marketplaces, and search engines that we think are great for 3D printing:
Thingiverse one of the best site to download free printable STL files.

Thingiverse

Thingiverse was launched in 2008 by MakerBot and has grown today into one of the biggest 3D printing communities in the world. Users of all levels can upload, share, and download 3D printable models for free. Thingiverse also organizes 3D design challenges quite often.

Furthermore, this 3D file repository has a very active community interacting in the many discussion groups of the platform. The conversation topics vary from specific 3D printer models, to Star Wars, RepRap, and more.

YouMagine

YouMagine was created in 2013 by Ultimaker and has over 14,000 open source 3D designs. Users may upload, share, and download 3D models. The 3D designs are free and 3D printable on any 3D printer.

The STL file repository features various collections to help users find inspiration and the right 3D design.

YouMagine a repository to download free STL files. Best sites to download free stl files and 3D models.
The pinshape market place, on of the best sites to download free and paid STL files and 3D models.

Pinshape

Pinshape was launched in 2014 and already reports a community of over 70,000 makers. This STL file marketplace offers free and premium (paid) models for 3D printing. Pinshape supports STL and OBJ formats and ZIP files containing STL or OBJ files. Pinshape was acquired by resin 3D printer manufacturer Formlabs in 2016 after announcing they had run out of funds. Close call, for the greater good of the 3D printing community!

Pinshape offers an interesting file streaming option, allowing users to edit, slice and 3D print a 3D model directly from Pinshape without downloading the 3D model file.

Cults.

Cults. is a French 3D printing marketplace launched in 2014. This 3D printer file marketplace is available in English, French and Spanish and offers both free and paid 3D models.

Users can interact with each other, ask questions and save their favorite 3D designs for a later 3D print. Cults. also introduced an on-demand 3D design feature where users can request a custom 3D design, which a professional designer then creates for a fee.

The Cults. Marketplace, one of the best sites to download free TSL files and paid 3D models.
The MyMiniFactory repository. Best sites to download free STL files and 3D models.

MyMiniFactory

MyMiniFactory was launched in 2013 and is an STL files repository entirely dedicated to 3D printable designs. MyMiniFactory, with the help of its community, tests every 3D model– so the platform guarantees that any 3D design in the repository is 100% 3D printable.

The website is available in English, French, Italian, Spanish and German. MyMiniFactory regularly hosts challenges in partnership with 3D printing brands and new technologies companies.

Yeggi

Yeggi is a popular search engine of 3D printable files launched in 2013. Yeggi aggregates models from many 3D communities and marketplaces to offer a large choice of files for 3D printing. Yeggi’s homepage highlights the most searched and clicked 3D models. It is also possible to use some basic filters to narrow the search.

On the Yeggi STL file search engine, users may create an account to save their favorite 3D models and get notifications on new releases.

The Yeggi search engine, one of the best sites to download and find free STL files and 3D models.
The Shapetizer marketplace. One of the best sites to download free STL files.

Shapetizer

Shapetizer is a digital marketplace for STL files and 3D printable models launched in 2015. Designers from all over the world are uploading, sharing and selling their 3D designs on the 3D marketplace. Shapetizer does the manufacturing, shipping, and marketing parts and gives a part of the revenue from the sale to the 3D designer.

Registered users can 3D print models for free or not, depending on the 3D design. To protect designers’ intellectual property on 3D designs, some 3D models are only are available via a streaming option and not for download.

Threeding

Threeding is an online 3D printing marketplace, founded in 2013, offering free and paid 3D printable models. Users can upload, share or sell and download 3D models. All the 3D designs are classified into categories to help with the research process. In addition, there are filters to refine the search (price, file format, and texture).

Threeding also provides a 3D printing service, so users who don’t have access to a 3D printer may order their favorite 3D models.

The threeding marketplace. One of the best sites to download paid 3D printable models.
NASA and AfricanFosiles.org two of the best sites to download free stl files from fossiles and space related items.

Bonus: nerd corner!

  • NASAoffers a STL file repository from which users can download 3D printable models to make many 3D prints of space-related items such as satellites, planets or spaceships. A must for space geeks 🙂
  • Africanfossils.org ? is a 3D file database where there are many free 3D models of African fossils, from animals to ancient tools.



I am a 3D designer, where can I sell my 3D models or STL files?

Whether it be for 3D design wizards or hobbyists with good 3D modeling skills, many 3D file marketplaces allow users to put their 3D models up for sale. The principle is simple: when a user downloads a 3D model, the designer receives earnings (minus the marketplace’s commission).

Some 3D designers are choosing to share their 3D models for free but in return ask for financial support on collaborative platforms such as Patreon. For example, the designer Agustin Flowalistik offers his 3D designs for free on Cults., Thingiverse, YouMagine, and MyMiniFactory but is seeking support on Patreon.

designers of 3D models are seeking help from different collaborative platforms such as patreon.
The best sites to sell STL files and 3D models.

The best websites and marketplaces to sell 3D models

Our favorite marketplace to sell 3D models is Pinshape, as it has a large and active user community and a very nice interface.

Cults.

  • Commission rate: 20% of the selling price without taxes

Pinshape

  • Commission rate: 30% of the selling price (including VAT)

Threeding

  • Commission rate: the standard commission fee rate is 8.5% of the sale price including VAT, but minimum USD 0.45/ EUR 0.45. However, this commission may be lower for nonprofit organizations such as museums, educational organizations, foundations, private collectors, etc. The commission may be higher if Threeding helps prepare the models in a 3D-printing-friendly format.

What are the most used files format for 3D printing?

STL

The STL format is the most common file format in 3D printing. STL stands for stereolithography and is originally a 3D Systems creation. It is the main 3D file format used for FFF and FDM desktop 3D printers. This format approximates the surfaces of a solid model with triangles: the more triangles, the more accurate the 3D design.

OBJ

OBJ is an open file format that Wavefront’s Advanced Visualizer uses for polygonal of free-form objects. Many design software can export to OBJ and this format is also common in 3D printing.

VRML

VRML stands for “Virtual Reality Modeling Language”. VRML is a 3D digital file format that supports color. Therefore, full-color 3D printers or dual extruder 3D printers may use this format.

AMF

AMF stands for Additive Manufacturing File Format and is becoming more and more standard in 3D printing. AMF supports color. Most of all, it is possible to compress AMF files to about half the size of an STL file.

G-Code

G-Code is a numeric language used to instruct computerized machines, including 3D printers. In the case of 3D printers, the G-Code is the actual file that the 3D printer reads. The G-Code file contains the instructions for the 3D printer to build the object layer by layer (starting point, the direction and the speed of the nozzle etc). It is possible to generate G-Code files from STL files or other formats using a slicer software. Slicing software converts 3D drawings into horizontal layers with instructions for the 3D printer.

How to download an STL file?

Downloading STL files is a very easy process. Here are the steps:

  • Go to a 3D model repository/marketplace (see our list above)
  • Find a 3D design using the filters or the search bar (if there are a lot of “likes” on a 3D design it usually means it’s good)
  • Click on the 3D model and read all the characteristics to make sure that’s the one
  • Click on download

How to open an STL file?

To open an STL file, there are two main options:

  • STL viewer: there are many free ones online, without having to download any software.
  • 3D design software: after downloading the software, it is possible to open an STL file and edit it.
In this article, we focus on STL file repositories, marketplaces, and search engines that are the most compatible with 3D printing. It is our selection (with the trophy emoji) of the best websites to download free STL files for 3D printing.

However, there are many more to choose from in our comprehensive table. There are thousands of excellent 3D printable models on the web!

What are your favorite websites to download STL files? Let us know on Facebook and Twitter!

Bonus

After choosing the right 3D file, it’s time to start 3D printing. To find the perfect match, check out our article of the best 3D printers or use our 3D printer comparison engine.

The best sites to download free STL files. Conclusion an where to find free and paid 3D models.

Model by Print That Thing on Pinshape.