How to find the best 3D printing models | Sculpteo Blog

How to find the best 3D printing models

Posted By Jessica Van Zeijderveld on Mar 7, 2018 | 0 comments

Some people are not Rembrandt when it comes to creating their own 3D models. Sometimes, you might not be able to put the design you have in your mind on paper, or in this case, CAD software. Not only that, you might not have the time or the right resources to create a 3D model. Fortunately, there are professional 3D designers out there who offer up their own 3D models on different kinds of marketplaces. In this blogpost we will inform you on the best professional marketplaces. If you wish to have your own idea put into reality by a designer, you can also make use of Sculpteo Studio. At the end of this blogpost you will find some more information regarding our design service.

What are 3D models?

In order to actually pursue your wishes to create 3D printed products, you need 3D models beforehand. 3D models are created using Computer Aided Design software, better known as CAD. A 3D model itself is in correct terms, a file of a three-dimensional portrayal or simulation of a real-life object. This file contains all the dimensions, numbers and shapes that a 3D printer needs to know.


The structure of a 3D model is made out of polygons which needs to be designed carefully otherwise it could result in deformations. Besides the layers of polygon, a skeleton that holds up the (complex) 3D printing design is created as well. The skeleton specifies the texture and the movement of the model itself. When it comes to shape, a 3D printer needs to know how much material it needs to use. The amount of material used, contributes to the total weight of the final product and the strength of the object’s structure. The numbers inside the file will define the surface area, color use, shadows and of course the dimensions of the skeleton of the object in general.


3D models are created beforehand for other reasons besides printing the actual model itself. Not only are 3D models being used for prototyping but it is also an essential part of certain industries like the video gaming industry (especially for the game designers for the game engines), film industry, aerospace industry and even the fashion industry. These models are crucial for these industries in order to have conceptuals and visuals for entertainment purposes and simulations purposes.



What is an STL file?

The most common downloadable 3D file format that is used for these online 3D models, is STL. STL files and 3D printing go hand in hand because they exist specifically as a file for 3D printing. When downloading an STL file you may find that an STL file can be sub-categorized in two kinds of STL files: OBJ and FBX. FBX makes it easier to transfer files and hold more data but an OBJ file creates a list that defines each polygon’s list of vertices, and texture vertices. If you would like to adjust the 3D model, STL can be opened with many different types of software. Thise file type is also able to be directly printed by 3D printers without having to change the actual file type because they are 3D printer files. So, if you buy your model from a marketplace but you want to customize it a little bit, you can open the STL file in a simple 3D modeling software and work on the file. This way, you still save time and the part will be optimized to perfectly fit your needs. You can download possibly free STL files on our marketplace.

I don’t create 3D models, where can I find ready-made ones?

Excellent question, reader! Some people might not have the resources, knowledge or time to create 3D models. Not every person is able to design a 3D model from scratch or use complex 3D modeling CAD software. Luckily, there are other resources that offer pre-made 3D printable designs for free or for a small fee. Most of these models are offered online by experienced 3D designers. These online 3D models are scattered around different marketplaces on the internet by communities of designers. In this post, a few of these marketplaces will be mentioned. You will find amazing designs offered by the 3D printing community and 3D designers that wish to sell 3D printable models. Complex designs will cost you something as it would have taken a long time by a professional designer to create that model.


The best 3D models marketplaces

The following marketplaces are meant for professional users, with 3D models created by professional designers. These marketplaces offer designs that have been created for a specific industry, field or production process.


Thingiverse is the biggest design and 3D printing community on the internet. Thingiverse’s interface is very user-friendly especially if it’s your first time uploading and downloading a 3D model. All designs on this marketplace are free and encouraged by Thingiverse to be licensed under a Creative Commons license. This results into anyone being allowed to use or alter a design.


Grabcad is a platform mainly used by professional designers, manufacturers and engineers. This marketplace is for buyers that are searching for specific objects or pieces meant for a type of industry or scientific/mechanical field.

CG Trader

CG Trader is one of the biggest marketplaces for you to find a 3D model. Consisting mainly out of professional designers, you can find a lot of models optimized for 3D printing, from engineering parts to specific mechanical components. CG Trader allows the buyer to choose between different file formats.The biggest benefit of this marketplace is that the buyer can easily communicate with the designer of the model if he has any questions.


Turbosquid is a marketplace that actually buys professional models from professional 3D designers. Turbosquid claims to offer high-quality models specifically made for professionals. It will help you to be more creative due to its large library of models. Not all models are not meant for 3D printing, but you can adjust the file to make it printable.

Cults 3D

Cults 3D is a marketplace where you can buy anything starting from basic models to highly detailed and complex models. You can find affordable parts as well on this marketplace and they also offer a lot of discounts to their members.


3DShook is a well-organized marketplace that offers many different ranging categories. All of the 3D models are already tested by them. 3DShool uses a subscription system instead of a pay by item structure. You pay for the subscription each month and then you can download all the 3D models that you want.


3Docean is owned by Envato Market, a company that owns different kinds of marketplaces. 3Docean itself is not primarily focused on 3D models or 3D printing in general, but you’re able to find some interesting ideas and models.


Yeggi compares and combines all 3D models from all the marketplaces. During the comparison, it allows you to look at the different databases. Even though Yeggi doesn’t have any original 3D models to offer, you may find it beneficial, to get an overview of the 3D models corresponding to what you are looking for.


MyMiniFactory is a smaller marketplace but it offers a lot of free 3D printable models.


Pinshape is a very user-friendly platform. This marketplace connects designers and buyers. The marketplace itself offers plenty of STL files.


3Dexport is a marketplace that is not specifically focused on 3D printing, but you can find a pretty large 3D printing category. The 3D models are offered in many different file formats.

Sculpteo’s marketplace


Discover our 3D printing marketplace

Sculpteo’s marketplace offers different kinds of categories and subcategories for you to find models for 3D printing. Our marketplace allows users to enjoy 3D printer files in any way they’d like. In these categories you will find amazing product designs.


‘’How can I sell my 3D file?’’ you ask? Selling your own 3D files is also an option on our marketplace. Upload your file onto Sculpteo and then follow the steps on your screen. This is a great way to share your designs with others.


Some examples of what you can find on our Marketplace


If you’re thinking about 3D printing furniture or decorative pieces, you can find neet 3D printable lamp, 3D printed coffee tables or 3D printable wall decoration, created by professional interior designers, in our decorative section. Our 3D printed decoration is subcategorized in Articulated skeleton; Building models; Decoration; Indoor design; Lights and Table art


You can find some mechanical 3D parts in this section. Small parts you might need for your product line or even your production process!

Science & Tech

If you’re leaning more towards scientific or mathematical fields, you can 3D print helpful tools as well. You can find 3D models of objects such as spheres, graphs and even robots in this category. This section is sub categorized in Mathematics; Mechanics; Robots and Tools.


As you can see you will have many options to choose from so you might get stuck on not knowing what to choose. You may find some interesting ideas and concepts on our blog. If you’re not sure about the whole process and you still have questions, don’t be afraid to reach out to us.


Let our designers create a unique 3D model for you!

Like we’ve said in the beginning, sometimes you have this amazing idea for a 3D model in your mind but you don’t have the right skills, resources or time do make it yourself. Here at Sculpteo we have Sculpteo Studio. Sculpteo Studio allows you to engage with our professional 3D designers in order for them to create your desired 3D model.


During your consultation, our designers will help you in any way they can by offering their expertise and experience. Our team can turn any idea into a 3D model, and can also optimize existing 3D designs. We wish to share our expertise with you about industrial design, materials and production processes. Learn how Sculpteo Studio is eager to help you become the next industry leader.


How to repair 3D models

You might stumble onto a 3D model in our marketplace that you would really like to use but it turns out to be corrupted. Don’t fret, you can repair it on our website to turn it into a 3D printable model. Once you upload your 3D file to Sculpteo’s system, our repairing algorithms will instantly analyze and correct your model by itself.

Are you willing to experience it? Just upload your 3D model!

Now, turn your 3D model into a physical object!

Try using our 3D printing service and our advanced 3D printing technology at Sculpteo. We offer reasonable prices and by making use of our marketplace, you can directly 3D print the object straight away from our website! 3D printing your 3D model will allow you to see your object from different perspectives such as a size comparison to other objects in real life. The biggest benefits of 3D printing are reduced labor costs, reduced process steps, a smaller footprint on the environment and not being limited in design. Not only that but with 3D printing you can customize any object for more reasonable prices than when done with regular manufacturing processes.


It is perfectly reasonable to buy a 3D model online. Sometimes you need a 3D model straight away because you might not have the time or resources to make one yourself. Our marketplace is a great quick and handy solution for this and you will save even more time due to the fact that you can directly print your model from our website. We can’t wait for you to see what Sculpteo’s 3D printing community has to offer to for you.


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