STL is the default file format that is supported by almost all 3D printing software. With the popularity of 3D printing growing day by day, more and more people are looking for free STL files of their favorite 3D printing models.
In this article, we’ll look at some of the best sites for free STL files. These websites have a huge collection of models ranging from D&D minis to full-size car engines. Each website has its own unique set of offerings and there’s something for everyone to find.
A quick explanation
To get the full benefit of this list, it helps to understand the differences between the various websites. We’ve sorted out all the websites in three different categories: Repositories, Marketplaces, and Search Engines.
A repository is a place where you can get a large collection of free STL files. These files are free to download for anyone. Depending upon the particular website, you might need to create an account to download these files. Most of the websites mentioned in this list are repositories.
Marketplaces are websites that let you buy and sell STL files or 3D models. You get access to premium models that you can purchase for a particular fee. Usually, these websites are great places to get premium models and you can even directly request the creator to create a specific model for your needs.
Last, we have included search engines that let you search for a specific model across many sites at once. These websites offer a one-stop solution and take away the hassle of individually searching for the model on different websites.
|Name||Category||Price||# of Models||Website|
|3. 3D Warehouse||Repository||Free||4,000,000||3D Warehouse|
|5. 3DModels.org||Subscription Service||Free/Paid||24,000||3DModels|
|7. Thangs||Search engine||Free||5,881,000||Thangs|
|9. Yeggi||Search engine||Free/Paid||2,992,171||Yeggi|
|12. NIH 3D Print Exchange||Repository||Free||10,993||NIH Library|
|13. Zortrax Library||Repository||Free||Zortrax|
|17. 3D Export||Marketplace||Free/Paid||346,756||3D Export|
|19. PrintMeASheep||Search engine||Free/Paid||100,000||PrintMeASheep|
|21. STL Finder||Search engine||Free/Paid||STL Finder|
|22. 3DFindIt||Search engine||Free||3,862||3DFindIt|
|25. NASA 3D Library||Repository||Free||347||NASA 3D Library|
|26. XYZprinting 3D Gallery||Repository||Free||XYZprinting 3D Gallery|
|27. 3D Shook||Subscription Service||Free/Paid||6,000||3D Shook|
Top Sites to Download STL files in 2023
Thingiverse is amongst the most famous 3D printing file repositories on the internet. It was developed in 2008 as a companion site to MakerBot 3D printers and is to date maintained by MakerBot Industries.
You can find over 2 million free models that are ready to download and 3D print directly on Thingiverse. The Customizer in Thingiverse allows you to customize supported models to suit your requirements. The site, however, is notorious for its sluggish performance and recently suffered a data breach.
PrusaPrinters is a 3D file repository developed and maintained by Prusa3D. This file directory has files in STL, AMF, 3MF, and gcode formats. The gcode files are available only for Prusa 3D printers and you can directly print these files with a compatible Prusa3D printer without having to adjust any of the settings.
The PrusaPrinters models library is fairly new and was launched recently in 2019. Since then, the model database has grown considerably. All models are 3D printable and can be finely tuned towards Prusa printers. The website is aimed at creating a huge community of makers all around the world.
3. 3D Warehouse
3D Warehouse is a 3D model library created as a part of the Sketchup software suite. You can find a variety of architectural, engineering, and interior design-related models listed on the website. To download the models, you do need a 3D warehouse account.
You can view the model in detail in the viewport of the model’s description, along with its other specifications. And even though the models are free to download, they are compatible only with the Sketchup software.
MyMiniFactory is a community-based 3D file repository. It is focused on giving creators a way to create, share, and monetize their creations. The files on MyMiniFactory mostly consist of D&D minis, game props, statues, 3D scans, and artsy stuff.
All the models you find on this website go through a software check before being published. This ensures that they are completely 3D printable. You can also find a database with various large scanned cultural artifacts. MyMiniFactory regularly holds various competitions based on different ideas to foster the community spirit amongst creators.
If you are passionate about cars, you will love 3DModels.org‘s (formerly known as Hum3D) collection of car 3D models. With over 9,500 car models to choose from, you are sure to find the perfect one for your project. From classic cars to modern supercars, there is a 3D model for everyone.
Aside from highly detailed and realistic car 3D models, you can also find close to 15,000 non-car 3D models on the site. Some of these come free, but others have to be paid for.
The website also offers a wide range of customization options, so you can make your 3D model truly unique. And if you can’t find exactly what you’re looking for, the team of experts can help you create a perfect custom model.
YouMagine is the brainchild of Ultimaker co-founders Erik and Martijn. This file-sharing website was launched as a way of providing 3D printer users with a wide variety in designs. Currently, YouMagine features over 18,000 designs that are ready to print.
YouMagine has lots of curated collections and featured models of some popular subjects. This makes it easy for users to find what they want. The UI of YouMagine is like that of Thingiverse, but feels more modern and streamlined. Overall, it has a great choice of unique designs which make it stand out from the rest of the file-sharing websites.
Thangs is a 3D model search engine with over 5 million indexed models ready to be downloaded and 3D printed. It is free to use and you can share and collaborate your models with the many users on its database.
It uses proprietary deep learning algorithms that make it easier for anyone to find the model based upon its geometric structure. 3D natives compare it to being a Google for 3D models. Indeed, with the powerful search engine and a large database of models, Thangs is a one-stop destination to search for a wide variety of free 3D files.
GrabCAD was founded in 2009 by Hardi Meybaum and was later acquired in 2014 by the 3D printing firm Stratasys. GrabCAD is an online community of engineers, design professionals, and STEM students. To date, GrabCAD has over 7 million users and over 4 million free files available on its database.
GrabCAD’s database consists majorly of engineering models and practical application prototypes. GrabCAD Print, Workbench, Shop are some of the highlighting features that make it stand apart from the rest of file-sharing websites. It is more aimed towards a professional setup of 3D printing workflow.
Yeggi saves you from the hassle of having to search for your favorite 3D designs on different websites. It’s a search engine for 3D models and finds results by scouring through the various online 3D printing marketplaces and communities.
It was first launched in 2013 and since then has become a go-to place to search almost any 3D model. You can find over 2.9 million models from various websites directly on Yeggi. Almost 90% of these models are free to download and 3D print. The search process in itself is simple, but the UI feels slightly outdated in terms of appearance.
Cults3D is a fully independent 3D printing model marketplace. It is popular for the high quality of premium designs that are available on the website. More than just a marketplace, Cults3D is also an online community for makers and designers to gather and share their designs and works with the rest of the world.
Cults3D has over 4.1 million registered makers with over 450 thousand designs on its platform. The Promotions category on Cults provides you with discount coupons which you can later use to get various 3D printing accessories. The focus of Cults 3D is to provide users with quality 3D printable files and to give the designers the credit they deserve for their work.
CGTrader is an online marketplace for 3D printing models similar to Cults3D. However, it has an extensive user base with models including for CG and VR world applications. Currently, it has over 1 million 3D models, with a community of almost 4.8 million users.
CGTrader places itself as a premium marketplace to buy professional-grade 3D models. You can communicate with model designers and hire them right from the platform. The Royalty Structure and the Reputation System make it a more designer-friendly platform while still providing high-quality files to the user.
12. NIH 3D Print Exchange
The NIH Library is a database of accurately modeled, 3D printable biomedical models. The models range from 3D representations of protein structures to scientific instruments. The NIH database was created to share accurate biomedical models and educational material that are verified by field experts.
On the NIH library you can find over 10,000 scientific models to download. You can create and quickly share your models on the website in selected formats without having to process them yourself. It is a great resource for researchers, scientists, students, and 3D printing enthusiasts for some of the best scientific models.
13. Zortrax Library
The Zortrax Library used to be a part of the closed ecosystem for Zortrax 3D printers. Back then, it was limited to only users of Zortrax 3D printers. Now, however, they’ve made it open for anyone who wants to create, share and download 3D files.
The files are available in the popular STL, DFX, and OBJ formats. There’s a lack of unique designs when you compare it to other 3D file-sharing websites, but if you ever need any 3D printed parts for Zortrax 3D printers, this is the place to go.
Pinshape is an online 3D printing file marketplace with a focus on building a 3D printing community. It was founded in 2013 by Lucas Matheson, Nick Schwinghamer, and Andre Yanesand and was later acquired by Formlabs in 2016.
There are seven different categories of models for you to choose from. These include minis, toys, games, gadgets, and more. Pinshape gives the designers the tools and platform they deserve to monetize on their designing skills.
Clara.io is all about creating, modeling, rendering, and downloading 3D models. It works on a freemium business model, meaning you’ll have to pay a certain fee to access premium features. This works great and even for the free trial, you get a lot of unique features.
On Clara, you can create your 3D models, render scenes and download free 3D models in various formats. There are over 100,000 creators on the website and the models available here are of premium quality.
TurboSquid is one of the oldest 3D model-sharing websites. Matt and Andy Wisdom founded TurboSquid in the year 2000. The website currently has a database of over 1 million models and over 2.5 million users.
The models are sorted into different categories and you can find the models based on the particular format you want. A quick search results in over 75,000 3D printable STLmodels, with around 2700 of them being completely free to download and 3D print.
17. 3D Export
3D Export is a premium 3D printing file sharing marketplace. It was launched in 2004 and currently has almost 346,500 models and over 800 thousand designers. You can find STLs, 3D models, textures, and plugins to use in your CG projects on 3D export.
It has a separate section for low poly models, which have both paid and free models. You can find many tutorials and courses on subjects of 3D modeling, VFX, game development, and CAD modeling. Amongst its other features are file format conversion and a money-back guarantee for purchased models.
On Instructables you can find detailed sets of instructions on how to execute projects. It was started as a lab project in MIT media labs around August 2005. It was then acquired by Autodesk in 2011. Instructables focuses on building a community of makers and designers who love DIY stuff.
It’s more than just a file-sharing website and is a great place for you to explore the cool creative prowess of the maker community. Instructables has over hundreds of thousands of projects with detailed sets of instructions to help you build them on your own.
PrintMeASheep is a 3D file search engine with over 100,000 models indexed for you. There are various categories for you to go through and quickly sort out what you need. The UI of the search engine is simple and easy to use.
The database is huge and once you select a model which you want, you can share and add it to your social media accounts.
Free3D has a huge model repository that primarily consists of CG and VR 3D models. These models are neatly split into Free and Premium sections. The models are also categorized based on their compatibility with particular modeling software. These categories include Blender, Maya, Cinema4D, and 3DS Max-specific models.
Each model has a detailed description, and you also get shown the various specifications of the model. The quality of designs on this website is great and even the premium models are priced at less than $99.00. This website is great for professionals in the creative and game development fields.
21. STL Finder
STL Finder is another 3D printing models search engine. It lets you perform a quick search across all the 3D printing marketplaces and models it has indexed in its database. The UI is easy to use, and you can find the top items searched in the last 24 hours directly on the homepage.
There’s no option to sort models or categorize them. This adds a certain hurdle and can make it difficult to search for exactly what you need.
3DFindIt is a powerful search engine for all kinds of engineering-related 3D models. It has a huge index of models sourced from a wide number of file-sharing websites and manufacturer catalogs. It is a great place for engineers, architects, and purchasers to find models of products for their applications.
You can search models based upon their sketches, color, functionalities, and more. You can search the part by name and later on sort it out based upon the manufacturer of the component. The model viewport lets you view the model in a 3D space and inspect it thoroughly using the various tools on the website.
SketchFab is an online marketplace for everything related to 3D, VR, and AR models. It was started in Paris in 2012 and right now has over 5 million registered users with over 8 million 3D models.
You can view and interact with the 3D models, share your models and embed them on your social media. Sketchfab is a great marketplace for creators to showcase their work and buy and sell their 3D models. Recently it was acquired by the video game manufacturer Epic games.
Orchard is an online 3D design and model sharing platform for creators to create and share their designs. On Orchard, you can create models with their design tools that are built right into the website. You can share these models with the community or keep them private by paying a small fee for privacy.
You can edit any of the models in their library and anyone can view these changes as an Orchard tree. In the end, what you get is a model that is built by taking inputs from the community. This truly illustrates the crowdsourced design philosophy of Orchard.
25. NASA 3D Library
The NASA 3D models library is a collection of 347 different models, 121 of which are 3D printable designs. The models represent the various scans and projects that NASA has carried out over the years. You can find models of moon landing sites, satellites, craters, probes, and much more.
After selecting a model, you can glance through its history and read an interesting story related to it. Some of these models have a detailed set of printing instructions to ease your 3D printing experience. The NASA 3D library is a great place for any space 3D printing enthusiast to download and 3D print outer space models.
26. XYZprinting 3D Gallery
The XYZ printing gallery is a part of the 3D printing world of the XYZ 3D printer manufacturer. The models available here are free to download for anyone, although you do need to create an account to download these models.
The models are neatly sorted out into 10 categories and you can further sort these models based on the file format and 3D printing material. There is a clear lack of comments and community interaction on many of these models. This gives way to doubt on whether some of these models can be 3D printed well or not.
27. 3D Shook
3D Shook is a one-of-a-kind 3D printing models subscription service. It is a file repository and 3D printing service all bundled up into a single package. It is an Israeli startup and was launched in early 2016 as a service to download 3D printable models.
3D Shook has over 1600+ models in 42 different categories and promises that all of its designs are exclusive to its platform. The subscription plans start from as low as $8.33 and you can get a free trial with limited features to test out the service. The 3DShook is a new age concept in the 3D file-sharing ecosystem and is definitely a unique one.
There you go! 27 of the best websites with STL files for 3D printing. You will never be out of 3D printer projects and ideas again. We’d love to hear what you think about this list and if you have anything else to add, feel free to let us know in the comments.