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Archives and other sources of 3D files

Searching for Files

DEFCAD Formerly hosting an array of potentially lethal files, from rifle and pistol accessories to ammo and grenades, the site has been recast as meta-search engine for 3D models. As of October, 2013 the site was still in alpha trials and only indexing Thingiverse files.

Princeton 3D Models Search Engine Allows searching for 3D polygonal models in most popular formats. The site now also indexes models in 3D Studio, AutoCad DXF, Lightwave LWO and Wavefront OBJ formats. The user can draw out the shape being sought on a sketchpad. The sketchpad is used to draw front, side, and top views to provide the search engine with a 3-dimensional idea of the shape being sought.

STL Finder (Spain) Allows searching for 3D files across a wide swath of deep databases, including Thingiverse and many others. Works very well and quite versatile.

Yeggi A search engine for printable 3D models. Combines models gathered from many of the sites on this list into one database. Works well, but the vast majority of models are from Thingiverse.

Yobi3D A search engine for 3D models. The site offers a fast way to search across many of the sites listed here and returns results in a uniform way making comparison easier.


3D File Repositories

180 Wrapped Tubes Herbert Edelsbrunner's site offers a collection of 180 mathematical models produced by sampling and wrapping point sets on tubes. The surfaces are triangulated 2-manifolds and available as stl files.

3D ArcheoLab (Italy) The 3D VirtualMuseum includes about 100 downloadable and 3D printable models from four museums and cultural sites in the central Italian regions of Umbria and Emilia Romagna. The collection was introduced in 2015 and is expected to grow over time.

3D CAD Browser A 3D CAD model exchange system where you can download 3D models and upload your models in exchange. More than 5,000 models available in major file formats such as .3DS, .DXF, .DWG, .OBJ, .LWO, .IGES. Requires annual paid registration.

3D ContentCentral Free models of 3D parts and assemblies, 2D blocks, and macros for CAD users. A large library of user- and supplier-contributed models.

3D File Market (UK) This April, 2014 start-up has a limited number of models available, but most are free and some are quite good. According to the site, what makes it unique is that all models have been tested for printability. Another key element is the use of Authentise's streaming technology to provide IP protection for file owners.

3D Printing Model Offers a number of categories of 3D-printable models such as art, house accessories, jewelry, gaming, etc. Prices range from a few dollars into the hundreds and some very nice artwork can be had at very reasonable prices.

3D Burrito Based in Sweden, the site offers a place to buy and sell files for 3D printing. The company describes itself as "Thingiverse with a commercial angle." At the moment it appears that some files are free and there also is some interesting work there.

3D Share Offers free and paid models for 3D printing. The paid models are very inexpensive.

3DAGOGO The unique aspect of this site is that all files have been proven to be possible to print. This is in contrast to many sites, where files can be in a fairly atrocious state and give plenty of trouble. Categories include art, fashion, gadgets, games/toys, home, jewelry, education, etc. Both paid and free content is available. This site offers about 350 free models in about 20 categories. The emphasis is on characters, toy weapons and architectural items such as furniture. Offers a largely architetectural selection of free models, including furniture and appliances.

3Docean A wide variety of 3D content, some quite reasonably priced although nothing for free. The categories are especially well-populated for architectural and furnishing items. One interesting little feature is that the number of previous sales for an item are shown. Most of the two to three thousand models on the site don't seem to have resulted in a sale. offers detailed 3d models in .max, .3ds and .obj formats. categories include technology, architecture, household, vehicles and the site has an especially wide selection of furniture. New, detailed models added weekly. Can create custom models to client requirements and also offers several free samples. Provides an archive of human anatomy and biological models. There doesn't appear to be any free content, but some of the simpler models are fairly affordable.

3DShook Describes itself as the Netflix of 3D Printing. For US$8.33 a month you get access, and you can also get a 2 day pass for US$5 or so, permitting you unlimited downloads of their currently somewhat limited content at its introduction in April, 2015. While more stylish and better than much free material, users will have to decide if it's worth the freight. Offers a many files without charge, and has numerous categories of files for sale. Has especially good coverage for aircraft models.

Anatomics Pty. Ltd. Offers sample medical and anatomic files. This architecture portal simply offers another way into See below.

Archive3D Archive3D offers literally thousands of free models with a heavy emphasis on needs of the architect, such as home furnishings, site improvements, etc. An enormous archive of designer furnishings is included. Several other categories are available, as well, such as aircraft, people, etc.

Artficial Unchained Offers a series of fine art and classical sculptural files from museums and private collections that can either be downloaded and printed by users for free, or for a price have them professionally 3D printed. Selections are somewhat limited at the introduction of the service in April, 2015, but the collection is intended to grow substantially.

Autodesk 123D A web-site with thousands of detailed 3D models in categories such as cars, aircraft, architecture and interiors, furniture, earth, plants and human characters. Most content is paid and in formats which can be converted to STL.

Avalon Public three dimensional files archive.

Dr. Gill Barequet's Home Page Professor Barequet of the Faculty of Computer Science of The Technion (Israel) has a collection of human organ models and terrains in polygonal slice format.

Bld3r A model repository that stores content for you, or allows you to link to your content on other sites such as Thingiverse. It also acts somewhat as a community linking to articles, tutorials and other pertinent information concerning 3D printing. All content is free.

Body Replicas A subsidiary of Javelin 3D, this site is dedicated to MRI/CT Data Reconstructions. From human skulls to complete spinal reconstructions. Online ordering and electronic downloads available.

Cadyou A wiki for CAD files. It provides a library of 2D and 3D models that anyone can contribute, improve or edit. The site is especially strong for architecture- and design-related files.

CGTrader An exchange for a wide range of 3D models in numerous categories. Thousands of models are offered at moderate prices and there are a few free samples scattered about, as well. The site also allows users to bid on the price of a model and authors to either accept or reject a bid.

Clemson University Follow the link to Clemson's FTP site. 3D Systems' consumer creation community. Introduced in January, 2012, the site has moderately expensive models, 2D photographs, and additively-products, (some outrageously priced), for sale. The ultimate intent is to build a Thingiverse-like site that offers creators a slice of the economic pie rather than being completely open-source.

Cuboyo Selling printable files from $1 on up.

Cults (France) There is both free and paid content available. One advantage for sellers is that they keep 80% of the price of the file.

Cyberware Human body files. Sample files are available in PLY format, but can be converted with a translator available on the site.

DAZ 3D Numerous designers offering a wide range of three-dimensional models, or detailed features such as hair. The site is an especially good source for human models for gaming, but also has good sets of transportation and object models. (Spain) A large selection of three-dimensional files in many categories, with a good number offered at no charge.

Digimation Offers high-quality, technically accurate 3D models in OBJ format. The company's model libraries contain more than 30,000 objects. Doesn't offer free content. A general 3D portal with listings for numerous free and paid file sources.

Flash Fire Designs Offers more than 250 models in a variety of formats in such categories as: animals, architecture & urban, characters & humans, food & kitchenware, furniture & household, gems & jewelry, geography, plants, space & electronics, sports, terrain, transportation & road signs, weapons & tools. A free sample model is also available.

Forme It A UK site that offers high-resolution scans of items in the real world. The collection is broken into three categories: Reference, Classic and Modern. Reference includes objects from urban and natural environments, including shells, crystals and insects. Classic is includes items like cups suitable for transformation into customised designs. Modern includes specific works ready for 3D printing.

Georgia Tech Follow the link to Georgia Tech's FTP site.

Google 3D Warehouse Offers numerous models. Most are architectural or historical in nature based on Google Earth.

GrabCAD A community of 40,000+ mechanical engineers established to share models and also to both seek and get CAD design work. Free CAD models from small nuts and bolts to engine parts, furniture, weapons, jet-fighters, motorcycles and cars. All models are created by members and are shared for free. The company was purchased by Stratasys in September, 2014.

Grain Grain may be an erroneous idea, but it's pretty well done. It provides files that have been massaged and optimized for specific 3D printers. No tweaking necessary; download and print. There are just a handful of files available as of its inception April, 2013, and the site only currently supports Makerbot's Replicator 1 (ABS or PLA) and 3DSystems' Cube (Version 2, ABS or PLA). However, coming Soon will be the Replicator 2, 3DSystems' CubeX. The Formlabs Form 1 and UP! printers.

George W. Hart Artist George Hart offers numerous interesting mathematically-based scupture files for free that will give your RP machine a work out. He also discusses the underlying geometry in a number of papers available on the site starting at his home page. A blog of on-line tips for designers and bloggers which lists about 60 model sites. Many, if not most, are free. The main emphasis is on architecture, interior design and animation, but there are other listings, as well. Many additional resources are provided by the comments to the blog.

Institut National de Recherche en Informatique et en Automatique (INRIA) A French research institution focusing on computers, control and mathematics. The Gamma project at INRIA is intended to develop automatic mesh generation algorithms and has an enormous repository of 3D files for their researchers to draw from. In addition, a listing is provided of the hundreds of sources of these files. Be forewarned that the copyrights associated with these files vary enormously and the source must be carefully checked before use.

International PARTserver Community Download free 3D CAD models in native and neutral formats. The archive is a compendium of more than 500 manufaturers' digital catalogs and covers most aspects of engineering and technology.

Javelin 3D Offers Body ReplicaTM Collection on CD. It contains 25+ anatomical 3D reconstructions in STL file format, plus QuicktimeTM movies and 2D graphics. The 3D anatomical reconstructions were produced by tissue segmentation of 2D gray-scale image data from computed tomography scans, magnetic resonance image data and output from microscope studies. Also see the company's Body Replicas web-site, described above.

Layer By Layer Similar to Grain, described above, this site provides files optimized for specific 3D printers. Started in June 2013, offerings are still limited and the initial printers supported are MakerBot's Replicator 1, 2, and 2X. The company says they will additional printers will be supported soon. One important aspect of doing things this way is that a designer's source files are not used and therefore protected.

MakerLove Offers files for sex toys that you can 3D print in the comfort and privacy of your own home. It's actually a market ploy to sell the company's bullet vibrators, but what the heck...

MakerShop Much like other sources of files with many offered for free or a solicited donation. Started in June, 2013 the number of items offered at launch was low, but some of the work was very good. The site focuses on designers offering them ways to monetize their work by selling files and 3D printed items. During the beta setting up a shop is free.

Mesh Factory Has transportation, animals, insects, technology, anatomy, architectural and household objects, weapons and more, but not free.

Model Masters Heavy emphasis on transportation, but other things, too. Several file formats and also has a few free items.

Mold3D Offers curated designs from several professional designers. The site is aimed at top design professionals who wish to extend their capabilities into the third dimension by offering courses and a way for them to distribute their creations. Once registered, you can download files in categories such as hobby, home, jewelry, gadgets, toys, models, puzzles & games, fashion, etc. You can also upload files for distibution. The site has hired its own designers, it says, and the files are said to be differentiated from others in that they have actually been successfully printed. Don't see what you want? You can request it, but that may cost you some money. Run by iMakr, a 3D printing store in London, UK.

NASA NASA offers free space-related files of items ranging from a highly-detailed model of the International Space Station to individual hand tools and details like tethers. There are also historical models including the Apollo Lunar Module and Skylab.

Ocnus' Rope Company Offers many free categories of VRML format models with links to numerous other free files. Most models are not very detailed, but could be useful starting points for modifications. (Germany) Offers a large number of free models in many categories, with a good emphasis on engineering-related content. Also has consumer categories and files can be downloaded in many formats.

Physible Templates (Australia) Offers printable files at fairly low prices in a number of categories such as apparel, household, medical, office, tools and toys. No free content at its inception in October, 2013.

Pinshape Offers a wide range of free and paid content. Designers can upload files and specify a streaming function for printing to protect their source code. A nice feature is the ability to upload detailed results of printing a file including pictures, printer settings, materials used, comments and evaluation.

The Pirate Bay Started in January, 2012 the Physibles category hopes to do for STL files what BitTorrent has done for movies. Uh oh.

Redpah Offers a selection of free and relatively low-cost models in categories such as jewelry, art, household, DIY, hobby, tools, automotive, plumbing, parts, toys, etc.

Repables An open-source public file repository that aims to be free of corporate or commercial influence. Repables is a reaction to sites such as Thingiverse which are sponsored and run by a corporation, and which could result in ownership issues for work which was originally intended to be free to all. Offers a substantial number of models in a wide range of categories free. Also can supply special items for a fee. The site offers scans of many older cars for a small price. This is the place to get a model of a 1949 Studebaker Champion or a 70's Datsun 280Z.

ShapeDo A community-based service that allows users to make original or derivative works and post them for free or profit.

Shapeways This on-line 3D creation community has numerous files available under a Creative Commons license. You must be a community member to download files, however, but that's free.

Sketchfab (US/France) The main thrust of this site is to allow users to publish 3D models on the web which can be embedded in a web page. Over 200,000 models are available in a wide variety of categories. In addition, Sketchfab allows downloading many models, and many of these can be 3D printed. Categories in the download section include models from the British Museum, wonders of the world, art and decoration, gadgets, wearables and fashion, game items, etc. Billed as a Thingiverse replacement, this site from 3D printer maker Solidoodle offers categories such as architecture, education, home and office, science, tech and toys. At its inception in July, 2014 it has just a few files compared to Thingiverse's many thousands - and a long way to go.

The Stanford 3D Scanning Repository Intended to support researchers who do not have access to scanning facilities or dense polygonal models for the development of scanning devices and surface reconstruction algorithms. The archive is intended to make some data and detailed models available to the public. A repository with over two million 2D and 3D resources including textures, tutorials, stock images, and vector images. While nothing is free, prices are moderate. Owned by 3D Systems.

Thingiverse Makerbot's repository of open-source models has thousands of items ready for 3D printing. A large percentage can be viewed as 3D test patterns, but there are many utilitarian and artistic items as well.

ToyFabb (Switzerland) Provides a wide range of playful items including preschool toys, animals, play vehicles, construction, blocks, games and puzzles, action figures and dolls, learning and exploration. Designers are offered a large commission and have control of their files using either an STL download or file streaming to the final customer.

TraceParts Offers a free portal to 100 million CAD models, product datasheets and hundreds of supplier catalogs for design, purchasing, manufacturing or maintenance processes.

TurboSquid A large selection of three-dimensional files in many categories, with a good number offered at no charge.

Ultimate 3D Links This is an extensive directory site which also covers all aspects of 3D applications tutorially. Also has a file archive.

Visible Productions The company provides an extensive library of antomical models based on the National Library of Medicine's Visible Human data sets.

Voovo (Canada) Offers a reverse auction process for 3D printing projects, much in the manner of 3D Hubs. Also has a selection of free and moderately-priced files for sale in many categories.

X-TRUSION (Spain) Offers an array of 3D models in various formats. Emphasis is on human figures and groups of figures.

Youmagine A creation of 3D printer manufacturer Ultimaker, the site is their answer to Makebot's Thingiverse. It may have been created as a preemptory move by Ultimaker. Although open and free at present Thingiverse could change its terms of service to affect competing companies in the future, especially since it's now owned by Stratasys. It's a well done site, but still a shadow of Thingiverse's 100,000+.



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