10 Best Places to 3D Print

3D printing is a great way to create something truly personal, bring your awesome ideas to life, or simply replace broken parts or components perfectly. If you’re not sure what ideas you have, here are 10 great resources to help you get inspired or just find what you’d like to print yourself.

You don’t need to have a 3D printer to do 3D printing . There are many ways to access a printer for your own ideas or projects, and even more if you are a true beginner and want to learn the ins and outs of the process. But what if you need a little inspiration for what you can do with 3D printing, whether you buy your own printer or find someone to print for you? Read more.

10. Shapeways

Part marketplace, part knowledge base for awesome designs, Shapeways lets you do three important things: upload and print your own designs, hire someone to design something for you that you’d like to 3D print, or get inspired by many projects. are already available on the site, or find something interesting that you would like to print yourself, print and send to you, or customize according to your needs.

It doesn’t hurt that Shapeways was also your favorite 3D printing service the last time we asked you to list your favorites. The community is huge, the number of projects in their database is huge, and the gallery of inspiring things that other people have done (and are selling) are simply impossible to browse.

9. Thingiverse

Thingiverse is not so much a marketplace (although there is a lot to sell if you link up with other manufacturers) but more of a showroom for all the great designs, plans, and other creations of manufacturers like you – other people interested in 3D printing. … and who has accomplished great things, wants to do great things, or just needs inspiration. Best of all, almost all of the designs on the site are available free and open source to the public through Creative Commons or the GNU GPL. There are even community mobile apps available for iOS and Android .

Go through it all and you’ll see a mix of completed projects, pre-sketched plans, and raw ideas that need some tweaking. Dig a little deeper and you’ll find collections designed to inspire (it’s worth mentioning that Thingiverse is owned by Makerbot Industries ), or browse project categories like video games, hobbies, gadgets, home, and more to see what you can do. If you’re not sure what exactly you can 3D print, you’ll find something in there that will make the gears turn, and if you find something you like, you can download it and print it yourself .

8. Tutorials

Instructables is home to a wide variety of projects, from woodworking and cooking to electronics or 3D printing. It can be tricky to get down to just 3D printing projects, but 3D printed components show up in some of the most unusual places when you look at Instructables. Maybe someone 3D printed part of their jailbroken IKEA camera attachment . Maybe there will be a whole 3D printing competition encouraging manufacturers to submit their own designs and ideas.

Anyway, if you’re looking for awesome 3D printing stuff, or maybe looking for your own DIY projects and would like to 3D print them in, Instructables is a great place to look. We love them, and even if you find bad or poorly executed designs, you will find tons of inspiration.

7. 3DShook

3DShook is a marketplace for items that can be 3D printed at home or anywhere a printer is available. Many patterns and patterns are up for sale and the site has a subscription service where you can print items from their catalog whenever you want. The 3DShook team praises their directory for curating and reviewing, so while other sites have a wide open community and many open source schemes, 3DShook schemes are exclusive, proprietary and only available on them – not to mention the fact that they can print, has been printed and will probably work the way you want.

Of course, this is a double-edged sword. You really have to pay to print something, and all of their schematics come with a price tag, unless they’re in their “trial gallery” of items that you can print yourself. That being said, their catalog is rich and huge, so even if you don’t find what you want them to print, or something you want to download and print, you will find inspiration for your own projects.

6. Pinshape

Pinshape is another gallery of community- created, user-submitted collections of 3D printing designs and schematics, many of which are available for free download and some others are available for a couple of dollars. The site also hosts contests, forums and a huge community of manufacturers both with and without their printers, and they are all ready to share their schemes, ideas and help each other in improving their projects. If you have a design of your own that you would like to share, the service welcomes everyone, and if you want to sell it, well, you can do that too.

The Pinshape community is its biggest asset, so even if you’re just trying to get into 3D printing or want to know what people can do with their own printers, it’s a good site to join and browse, and a great community of fellow creators. You can find out.

5. Werewolf

Focused a little less on “everything” and a little more on “electronics and other complex projects,” Wevolver is primarily a community of creators. The goal of the service is to provide aspiring developers a place where they can share files, receive feedback, and meet people who can inspire and help them bring their ideas to life. Unlike some other sites that are more like marketplaces or just galleries, Wevolver is primarily a community, and secondly an exchange service.

However, most of the projects talked about at Wevolver are slightly more advanced than some of the more hobby-friendly 3D printing projects that other services host here. You’ll find robotics projects, drone building and piloting projects, complex electronics projects and installations, and of course 3D printing all the way from people who have built their own printers or use them to create truly amazing and complex things. … You will find communities around 3D printed robotic prostheses, autonomous robots, custom UAVs, and more.

4. Youmagine

Youmagine offers over 1200 open source 3D printing projects that you can download, customize, and redo to create your own. Like many other services here, individuals and groups (for example, our friends, Adafruit !) Forward your projects on site together with diagrams and instructions, so you can make it their own.

You can also create carefully curated collections of your own favorite prints and designs, so you can create a kind of inspiration board for yourself if you find designs that interest you but can’t do right now. Of course, you can also browse other user collections for even more inspiration – and when you’re ready to print or create your own, you can download the plans and do so, or use those plans to create your own.

3. Cults

Cults are a little more artistic and eccentric than some of the other options here. Their catalog contains diagrams and plans that range from extremely useful to almost abstract, but they are all interesting and amusing. You will find a variety of figurines, toys and hobbies, home decorations and other fun projects, many of which are simply made to admire, while others are sold here or there for a few dollars. There are even jewelry you can print out, tools like camera mounts and door stops, and some other adult items. If you are interested in the more original and interesting side of 3D printing, this service is worth trying.

2. Nearest hacker space or Makerpace

If you’re an aspiring creator at all, you should definitely look for a hacking or production space in your community , check out the perks and tools available to contributors, and sign up if you see what you like. Not only will you have access to the tools you need to bring your ideas to life, you will also instantly join a community of like-minded, local contributors who can (and often will anyway) showcase their own projects, inspire you with their experiences, or help you with your ideas. There is a lot to learn by visiting the website, but you can learn even more by joining a group of people like you.

1. Your local library

If you don’t have a hacking space nearby, chances are your local library has a 3D printer you can try out, and hopefully you have more than a handful of people on staff to help you get started with it.

Check with your local library first to make sure the printer is available and, if there is one, can someone show you how to use it. Some local libraries even run group classes or classes to help people become familiar with 3D printing, design their own items, and sign up for a time to get their printing work done. You can hang out and watch or pick it up, but either way, it’s another great way to join the creator community and create something great and unique.


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