This is a selection of the best websites and content repositories offering free STL files for 3D printing. Each lets you browse a selection of 3D models and download them for your own use. And they’re absolutely free.
Pinshape is a 3D community marketplace stuffed to the brim with free STL files. Users can download or stream 3D printable objects and models, and the site makes it easy to find and successfully print quality 3D designs. They are neutral in terms of hardware support, and have community features like ‘prints’, that allow users to upload print settings & photos of models to help you print better models.
Perhaps the single biggest content repository on this list, Thingiverse is a website operated by MakerBot Industries, the creators of the popular Replicator series of 3D printers. The site is well established and mature, with a huge community of dedicated makers uploading free STL files of varying categories and complexity. If you’re looking for cool things to print, this is a very good place to start.
Yeggi is another dedicated search engine that will crawl through major 3D printing websites for files that are compatible with 3D printers. You can also look up some of the popular searches to get an idea what the community is currently interested in. The user interface isn’t going to win prizes any-time soon, but it’s an effective tool for finding stuff fast.
“Just create and sell.” That’s the premise of 3Dagogo, a platform to buy and sell 3D models for 3d printing. But a fair number of them are offered for free download, and are verified by the site for print quality. There’s a revolution happening in personalised fabrication and commerce, and 3Dagogo is just one of many examples on this list.
Describing itself as a social network for 3D Printing, Bld3r is a thriving community of makers who upload and share their creations. Users can up-vote the best models, so popular designs quickly rise to the top and gain better exposure. The site features items that are hosted directly on Bld3r and other platforms too, like Thingiverse and YouMagine.
Based in France, Cults is a community and marketplace where makers can share or sell their designs. The standard of STL files available here are very high, and users can follow their favorite designers or get instant updates when a new creation is posted. The name of the site, Cults, is St. Luc — the patron saint of painters — spelt backwards. Also a neat touch, the website supports both English and French languages.