Assume, you are tasked with an urgent 3D printing assignment and you are not prepared for it. Then what will you do? Obviously, you will head to the online sources and be ready to pay a huge amount. But don’t need to do that, you can visit the world’s largest 3D printing communities and access printable designs free of cost. Thingiverse is one of them but not only, but I am also mentioning the best Thingiverse alternatives so that you can explore unlimited printing designs.
Let’s understand first, what is Thingiverse? Thingiverse is a free website that provides free 3D printing designs. These drawings/designs are printable and licensed under the creative commons license. It means anyone across the world can easily access all these 3D printing and use his/her printing. Millions of users donate their self-made printings, you can download them easily, you can like, comment, give tips to the provider (good deeds). But full dependency on single sources is always precarious, that’s why I am listing alternatives to Thingiverse.
11 Best Thingiverse Alternative
MyMiniFactory is an open-source, independent 3D printing platform, and the best Thingiverse alternative. You just need to create an account with sign-up and interact with 15000 creators worldwide. You can access free printing designs free of cost and with a little or affordable fee. It depends upon the designer if he/she likes to earn some little cash for their designs. Overall, it is the best combination of intuitive user interface and community of designers and you can see the incredible collaboration of users and designers.
What I like most about MyMiniFactory is its testing feature that provides the best and reliable designs that too are free. It does not allow uploading of designs until its testing algorithm software checks and passes every design. From 2018 onwards, MyMiniFactory launched its e-shop platform that lets the designers earn money from their designs. And all these features frame it as the best alternative to Thingiverse.
Also Read: Best Procreate Alternative Apps
Do not go with the name, cult is one of the prominent Thingiverse alternatives. This platform comprises more than 80K members and across a half-million premium 3D designs that are growing continuously. Cult is considered as an all-in-one 3D printing platform that is not only a hub of printing designs but also it offers a huge number of printing accessories. The accessories include filament, masking tape, digital caliper, pliers, etc.
Cult’s digital library has a huge collection of free, paid, and open-source designs that you can download easily or buy at a minimum price. It also runs a discount campaign for premium 3D designs and printer accessories, also you can win them free of cost. Moreover, users can also purchase On-Demand models.
CGTrader, as the name implies, is an online trading platform that lets users buy and purchase 3D designs. It offers users to turn their 2D designs into 3D designs irrespective of the type of design. CGTrader is a pool of more than one million free and paid 3D designs and models. Moreover, if you need any specific design then you can take the help of the community by just dropping your 2D design and a responsible designer will get your job done (with minimal charge).
To make navigation easy, it will offer a drop-down subheading menu that includes different categories like gaming, movies, animation, and 3D printing. The unique feature offered by CGTrader is ‘Loyalty Trader Discount ‘. This feature envisaged motivating users to buy more as you buy more, more will be a discount available.
3DExport is the best Thingiverse alternative and also an excellent competitor with a massive collection of more than 200000 3D designs. 3DExport is prominently known for its educational designs like physics, mathematics, astronomy, engineering, and the automotive industry. Users can go for free as well as paid designs and designers can set their price. For designers, 3DExport allowed them to take over up to 85% of their selling price and the rest for website maintenance.
If users are not able to get their desired 3D model or design then 3DExport offers the user design to designers and lets the work be done. The unique feature makes 3DExport unique with its tutorial and guide feature. This exclusive feature is very useful for students and learners. This tutorial furnishes a stepwise detailed guide to make printing designs. These tutorials are accessible at any time, multiple times without any restrictions.
When we are talking about the Thingiverse alternative then it is an injustice to not include Pinshape. It is a big marketplace for those who want to showcase their designs and sell them. Pinshape offers various filters for easy navigation based on popularity, free designs, and maximum price designs. It also offers 3D printer reviews, so that visitors can find suitable printers for 3D printing. Another interesting feature offered by Pinshape is its educational hub which has a huge collection of hardware and software tutorials. These tutorials help to learn a variety of 3D printing methods and tricks.
The name sounds weird but 3Dagogo is the best alternative to Thingiverse especially if you are a beginner. It offers a wide collection of 3D printings that are available for free and paid. 3Dagogo claims that it secures the rights and infringement of rights of both buyer and seller. If any user/buyer purchases any 3D model and design specific to any printer but later finds that the design is not compatible with the printer then he/she asks for a refund.
3Dagogo holds the amount and if any issue arises then it provides a full refund within 14 days. This feature makes this platform reliable as well as profound for those who are truly passionate about 3D drawings. And designers are also safeguarded from the infringement of design rights. If you have any specific requirements or may need any help with designing, you can get free instant support from members.
YouMagine may not be the best Thingiverse alternative but I include it due to its simplicity and easy navigation. It has a well-designed interface and decent filter features to easily get your 3D design. But what is disappointing is the number of 3D models and designs. YouMagine is the smallest platform that I mentioned here but whatever the designs are available, have outstanding quality.
If you prefer only quality then you should give it a try. Its user-friendly interface makes it best for beginners and never disappoints you. When I talk about the communication and interaction between the members then it again disappoints. YouMagine doesn’t have any forum and so meager interaction opportunities, you can not implore any issue you encountering with your designs. I again remind you, if you are a beginner then you should give it a try.
Treatstock is not only an alternative to Thingiverse but also envisaged some advanced features and professionalism. It offers professional 3D designs along with CNC machining designs. It has a large assortment of free and paid 3D designs that you can handily browse. Earlier I talked about the websites that renovate your 2D models or designs to 3D designs. But Treatstock is one step ahead of all of them as it provides you with printed designs. Interesting? Of course, it is.
If you don’t have any printer then just upload your 2D, 3D design, or only your idea, Treatstock delivers you the 3D printed design. Moreover, if you have a printer then you can also sell your own printed 3D models and designs. You can even set up your e-shop (or say portfolio) on Treatstock and easily sell your 3D designs. Overall, it is the best platform for both sellers and buyers.
9. Prusa Printers
Prusa printers is a completely free printing platform that is beyond 3D printing. Pursa printers are not limited to only 3D models, when I visited their website, I found an advanced level of filtering which I didn’t find elsewhere. Prusa printing categorized(filter) their designs by printer model, nozzle used in a printer, filament quantity, and printing time. These filters take you to the exact design that you are searching for. This filtering system saves you considerable time as you don’t have to glare at various models. You can take help, comments, share knowledge and guide with its forum and community section that render it the best Thingiverse alternative.
Yeggi is solely dedicated to 3D models and 3D designs. Its large database contains more than 1 million 3D printable designs and is added continuously. Yeggi popularly offers two categories; most searched and clicked categories and recently indexed categories. Its automatic algorithm adds approximately a thousand 3D printing models daily which is the highest among us, we discussed so far.
What makes it the largest database for 3D designs? Yeggi doesn’t have its own 3D models and designs, it collects and shares the best designs available on different platforms like MyMiniFactory, Cult, Pinshape, and many more. It means if you just need a 3D printing design without wasting your time on irrelevant discussions then you should head to this website for sure, you will get all your designs here.
The practical approach and 3D models make it different from others. Libre3D has a relatively small number of designs but whatever is available is in a very detailed explanation. Every design available is described as where it is used, the original parts are also uploaded on the website along with 3D models. This is the best thing I noticed on Libre3D which could be the best guide for beginners. When you select any design it explores all the related designs like software used in particular, designer of model, infill rate, printer used, and many more. You can also upload your 3D designs and showcase your talent or may help users (good deeds).
3D printing has gained huge traction since the last decade when every industry or company started implementing 3D models. To grab the opportunities, a large number of designers also stepped into this market. But some users love 3D modeling but they don’t have the resources to convert 2D designs to 3D designs or also a large number of users can not afford the printers. Then the Thingiverse and the Thingiverse alternatives appear as Savor for these types of users.
Even if you are running out of time or have any urgent 3D model/design assignment then you can take these Free websites. I always believed that dependency on a single source is hazardous. So, I had mentioned the best Thingiverse alternative which has similar features like Thingiverse and some are better than that. You don’t have to pay a single penny to use these websites until you require premium or highly professional designs.