For years, Thingiverse has been the go-to repository for 3D printing projects and is widely used by 3D printer owners worldwide. However, more and more people are now considering alternatives to this popular platform when looking for a 3d printer model.
This blog post will discuss other alternatives in the market that might be suitable options for 3Dprinting business owners, hobbyists, enthusiasts, or those planning to get their first 3D printer. Read on to get your creative juices flowing as you consider different approaches toward getting your hands on digital design files!
Over the past 18 months, some new alternatives for 3d printer models have appeared; Printables, Creality Cloud, and MakeWithTech. Let’s start with these and then move on to the traditional alternatives.
Best Thingiverse Alternatives
The best Thingiverse substitutes provide users with a more efficient and reliable way to find 3D printing resources. These new options offer better performance and features such as digital file storage, piracy protection, and an improved user experience that make them attractive for all 3D printer owners—from hobbyists to business owners.
Printables are a great option for 3D printing as it offers high-quality 3D models that can be printed with ease. It has an excellent selection of free and paid files and its own app, allowing users to access their large library of 3Dmodels from anywhere. Moreover, Printables also provides tools such as automated file correction and 3D visualization for an optimal printing experience. In addition, Printables also provides tutorials and guidance on how to use its models in your creations.
Creality Cloud is another great alternative to Thingiverse, offering a library of free and paid 3D printer models with a strong focus on fun. They also have recently implemented strict copyright and anti-piracy measures, making it a safe and reliable option.
Creality Cloud also provides 3D printing tools such as file repair, slicing settings, and STL editing, making using a 3D printer easier. It features a rich smartphone APP and a set of online tools, including a Slicer but tends to focus more on Creality printer users. Printables, supported by Prusa, the 3d printer manufacturer, is attempting to do what Makerbots did with Thingiverse and produce a manufacturer-independent directory of 3d printer models.
Printables and Creality Cloud both offer pre-sliced 3d models. While pre-sliced models present an exciting way for users to print 3d models without learning to use a 3d printer slicer, they are not always a good option.
Optimal print quality requires varying slicer settings for the filament selected, your specific 3d printer, and even the temperature and humidity in the room containing your 3d printer. Just like home bakers need to learn how to adjust their ovens for humidity and altitude when cooking a cake, 3d printer users need to learn to adjust slicer settings for their unique environment.
Models by MakeWithTech
MakeWithTech is a growing collection of open-source designs for 3D printing. Instead of collecting static 3d printer models, the MakeWithTech site collects model templates. Users (makers) select a template and customize it via an online dialog. The customized model, unique to each user, is available for download in multiple formats for use in 3d printing or CNC/Laser processing.
Models by MakeWithTech also provide online tools for creating model templates in OpenSCAD. OpenSCAD is a unique Open Source 3ddesign tool branded as "The Programmers Solid 3D CAD Modeller."
The MakeWithTech site provides an online editor, debugging, and preview tool for OpenSCAD creators. Creators can keep their model templates private or share them with the community. Shared model templates are eligible for "tips" from makers customizing the templates and downloading the models.
Models.makewithtech.com is a part of theMakeWithTech family of free and subscription-supported educational resources available to home, educational, and small business users of 3d printers.
Traditional Alternatives to Thingiverse
Apart from the new alternatives discussed above, you can also check out some traditional alternatives to Thingiverse.
3D Hubs is an online marketplace that enables users to find the perfect 3D printer model or service for their needs. It provides access to a wide variety of 3D printers, materials, and services worldwide.
3D hubs also feature a community forum where members can network and ask questions about printing. With 3D Hubs, users can find a 3D printing service that meets their budget and needs.
Shapeways is an online marketplace that allows users to design and print 3D objects from the comfort of their homes. It offers various 3D models in different materials, such as plastic, metal, and ceramic.
Users can also find 3D printing services, custom model designs, and a marketplace to buy and sell 3D prints. Shapeways is a good choice for more customization options in 3D printing compared to Thingiverse.
MyMiniFactory is an online platform that offers free, high-quality 3D printer models. It provides various 3D objects and designs, ranging from robots to furniture pieces. MyMiniFactory offers free professional 3D print designs, searchable or browsable by category.
Sketchfab is an online 3D printing library where users can find, view and download free 3D printer models. It provides access to3D objects from various categories, such as architecture, fashion, and gaming.
This option also features a community forum where members can connect with other 3D printing fans to discuss ideas and projects. Sketchfab is an excellent alternative to Thingiverse for those looking for a wide range of 3D printer models in different categories.
i.materialise is an online marketplace that offers 3D printing services and custom products. It provides access to various materials and technologies to create unique 3D prints. Users can also upload their designs or browse through the various categories to find the perfect item for their needs. i.materialise is ideal for those looking for high-quality, customized 3D printer models.
Pinshape is an online 3D printing platform that offers a wide library of models, designs, and materials. It provides free and premium 3D printer models from categories such as jewelry, home decor, and gadgets.
The platform also hosts contests where users can win prizes for their designs. Pinshape is an excellent alternative to Thingiverse for those who are looking for a wide variety of 3D printer models.
3DExport is an online marketplace that offers 3Dprinting services, custom parts, and materials. It provides a wide selection of 3D models from categories such as toys, gadgets, and furniture. Users can also find tutorials and tips for creating their 3D prints. 3DExport is an ideal alternative to Thingiverse for those looking for more customized 3D printer models and services.
When choosing a Thingiverse alternative, it's important to consider the specific needs of your 3D printing project. Printables, Creality Cloud, and MakeWithTech are all great options for those looking to explore the world of 3D printing. With a wide range of models, materials, and services available on each platform, you can find something that fits your needs no matter what project you're working on.
Before choosing your Thingiverse alternative, be sure to research the offered features, pros, and cons of each service so that you make an informed decision.
We hope this blog post has given you an insight into the different alternatives to Thingiverse and stressed the importance of researching before committing to a particular solution. Good luck on your 3D printing journey!