Best Thingiverse Alternatives for 3D Printing

3D printing has become a fad these days and one partner that 3D has that has become popular as well is Thingiverse. Thingiverse is a website which allows finding free, open-sourced 3D printing files. Relying on one source for information could be very risky and not wise and there are some that would feel that Thingiverse does not suit them.  If you are one of them, do not fret and worry as there are other websites that are similar to Thingiverse. Through this article, we shall feature and list the best Thingiverse Alternatives that would help you get inspired with your 3D printing sprint.

Though it is helpful to create 3D models using CAD, not everyone has the skill nor the time to sit down and do some drafts. 

What is Thingiverse?

Owned by Makerbot, Thingiverse comes with numerous- thousands even of open-source, community submitted projects. Through this website, you will be able to find different 3D printing projects. You will also be able to find different types of woodworking and craft projects. Through Thingiverse, you will be able to create 3D models, submit your own project and allow others to alter and make your design more creative. 

Best Alternatives to Thingiverse for 3D Printing 


Pinshape is owned by a 3D printer manufacturer, Formlabs. They have about 70,000 makers and designers who shared their designs. Through Pinshape, you will be able to download free and premium 3D printer designs, learn more about 3D printing and even sell your own designs. Pinshape even has contests, ambassador program, forums and blogs. If you wish to join a 3D printing community, Pinshape is your best bet. 


This platform is a bit complex. It has CAD models, components and free designs. This site is more for the hardcore CAD fanatics. If you have a complex design or looking for one, GrabCAD is your perfect buddy. In this platform, you would find more experienced and more complex and better quality models. 


This site is a community of Ultimaker customers and projects come together. They are usually the ones who use Ultimaker printer for their 3D projects. In this site, you will be able to find about 16,000 designs. The goal that this site is for its community to collaborate, adapt, remix and share 3D printing and CAD files. To use this site, all you have to do is create an account, upload your design and you are good to go. YouMagine allows you to add multiple designs to collections. The only downside of this site is that they do not offer any 3D printing or CAD tutorials. 


MyMiniFactory is unique in terms of it not being owned by any 3D printer manufacturer. Yes, it is 100% independent. This means they are being run by people who are not trying to market or sell any 3D printer brand. This platform started in 2013 and they offer handpicked 3D designs which were tested in sold models. Currently, MyMiniFactory plans to improve printability and give incentives to businesses for them to be able to increase their sales. Their goal and values are sustainability, purposefulness, inclusiveness and freedom. 


Cults3D was created by three French guys – Hugo, Pierre and Sunny. Cults3D is the first independent 3D files platform where you could find both free and premium 3D printing files for download. Through this platform, you will be able to interact with other users through the site’s social networking features. 

Cult has about 85,000 3D printing designs and about 8000 3D printing designers. They have about a network of 800,000 3D printer fans. Hence, if you are looking for history, a lot of members and amazing designs, what are you waiting for visit cults3D and enjoy!


This site is well-known for being multifaceted which provides tools for CNC machining and 3D printing. What is more amazing about this site is if you do not own a 3D printer, all you need to do is upload your file and they will professionally manufacture it for you.  Another feature you will find in this site is that you could offer your own services. You, yourself could be a manufacturer through Treatstock. Hence, if you have a 3D printer, you could print for other people, sell manufacturing services and even set up your own shop. 

How to find STL Files with Search Engines

All of us must have experienced looking at 3D printing sites looking for specific design or for an STL file. However, no matter how long and how hard we search through these sites, there is nothing you could find that is close to what you are trying to find. Fortunately, there are numerous STL search engines which you could try. You do not even need to join a community nor do you need to wait for Thingiverse to load. Here is a list of STL engines which you could check and try. 

Lastly, you could also check McMaster-Carr for CAD files which they have in every file format. 


So what are you going to print today? We hope through this article, you were able to explore different options for 3D printer and STL files. So what are you waiting for? Check them out and let us know what you think of them. 

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