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Thingiverse

Difficulty: Easy  Type: Customize, remix and inspire
Platforms: Web  Cost: Free

Go to Thingiverse

Join the largest 3D printing design community and browse for 3D printable files that you can download, remix, and customize.

If you’re just getting started with 3D printing, then Thingiverse is a great place to begin. There are hundreds of thousands of 3D models on Thingiverse that you can explore, as well as a vibrant community of over half a million registered users.

Thingiverse is full of models that you can download for 3D printing, but that is only the beginning. Get inspiration by looking at what other designers are making, or make new models by combining two existing designs, adding an existing design to one of your own, or using the Customizer. Upload your own 3D designs so that the community can like, print, and remix them, or show off your skills by entering a Thingiverse Challenge.

You can also interact with the Thingiverse community by following other users, liking and collecting Things that you are interested in, participating in discussions within Groups, and communicating directly with other users through Messaging.

Jumpstart

Get started right away: Log in to Thingiverse and do a search for “customizable.” Choose a model you like, press “Open in Customizer," and modify the design to fit your needs.

ThingsThings Designed with Thingiverse

Thingiverse Mashups by mathgrrl Jul 6, 2015

Thingiverse Mash-ups

Thing 1 + Thing 2 = Mash-up! Combine two or more Things to make something even more amazing, strange, and wonderful. The entire universe of Thingiverse is your Katamari ball; roll up all the Things...

Thingiverse Remixes by mathgrrl Jul 6, 2015

Thingiverse Remixes

Take a great Thing and make it better. Each of these designs is a modification of a previously published Thing that improves or iterates on the original design. See further by standing on the shoulders of giants!

Thingiverse OpenSCAD Customizers by mathgrrl Aug 15, 2015

Thingiverse Customizers

These are some of the best Customizers on Thingiverse. Customizer models on Thingiverse are generated from OpenSCAD code. Use the Customizers to create your own custom versions of each model, or click "View Source" to view the OpenSCAD code.

ThingsGetting Started with Thingiverse

Joining Thingiverse

Thingiverse is free and open everyone regardless of whether or not they have a MakerBot Replicator 3D Printer. To use the full functionality of Thingiverse you’ll need to create a free MakerBot/Thingiverse account.

Sign Up

Website: Thingiverse is available online through any web browser at thingiverse.com

Apps: You can use most features of Thingiverse through the iOS Thingiverse app the Android Thingiverse app, or the MakerBot Desktop App.

Logging in: You don’t need an account to view or download Things, but if you want to like, follow, collect, customize, upload, or use Groups and Messaging, then you’ll need to be signed in with a free MakerBot Thingiverse account. From thingiverse.com, click on “Sign In / Join” to get started.


Things and Makes

Thingiverse is a community of makers that share and download Things for 3D printing, and post Makes to show off those Things they have 3D printed. Nearly a million Things have been uploaded to Thingiverse.

Searching Makes

Finding designs: From the top of the main Thingiverse page you can see Featured Designs and Collections. To find more designs, check out the Explore tab to view Things, Customizable Things, Categories, and Collections, or just use the Search field to find exactly what you’re looking for. Or browse through some excellent curated content with glitchpudding’s Collection of Collections.

Downloading designs: Once you locate a Thing you want, press “Download This Thing!” to see a list of the files that are available. Filetypes STL and OBJ are intended for 3D printing.

Identifying printable Things: Some 3D models can look pretty on a computer screen but difficult to print in real life. Look at the gallery photographs of a Thing to see if the designer has actually 3D printed the Thing. Makes of a Thing also provide evidence that other people have had success 3D printing the design.

Posting Makes: After you print a model from Thingiverse, take a photo of your printed model and upload it as a Make with information about your 3D printer and its settings. Posting a Make is a nice way to thank the designer, and the information you provide can help other people print the model in the future.

Licensing: When a Thingiverse user posts a Thing, they retain full ownership and control of the design. They can choose from a variety of Creative Commons licenses. Most designers choose to license their designs under Attribution-ShareAlike, which means that others may copy, redistribute, and remix a design for any purpose, provided that they give proper attribution and use similar licensing on any derivative designs.


The Thingiverse Community

You can do a lot more than just download files on Thingiverse. When you are logged in to Thingiverse, you can participate in group discussions, send messages, collect your favorite 3D designs, and catch up on what’s new.

Thingiverse Groups

Like and Follow: You can teach Thingiverse what you like best, by pressing Like, Watch, or Collect on a Thing page, or Follow from a User Profile page. Updates of Things you like and new content from Users that you follow will appear in your Dashboard feed.

Your Dashboard: Click Dashboard from the top of the Thingiverse page to see your personal feed. In addition to posts about content and users that you follow, you’ll see a post every time someone likes, collects, or comments on one of your own Things. The more you create, make, follow, and like, the more you’ll see in your Dashboard feed.

Groups: There are hundreds of discussion forums that you can join at the Thingiverse Groups page. Ask and answer questions, or just read and learn from the conversations. Or start your own group for what you love to talk about.

Messaging: You can access your Messages from the drop-down menu in the upper right of the Thingiverse page. Communicate with other Thingiverse users privately and directly, and see all of your Messages in one place.

ThingsGoing Further with Thingiverse

Thingiverse Customizer

Customizer allows designers to create 3D models that other users can easily personalize. Customizable models allow the user to control the style, features, and details of the design.

Customizer

Finding Customizable designs: Some Things on Thingiverse have customizable features such as size, shape, pattern, and text that you can modify. Customizable models let you be the designer, even if you’re new to 3D printing. To find customizable Things, choose Customizable Things from the Explore tab, or type tag:customizable in the Search box.

Working with a Customizable design: Once you’ve found a customizable Thing, press the Open in Customizer button to open the Customizer app. Change the values and parameters on the left side of the screen, and watch the model get updated on the right. When you’re done just press Create Thing to generate your final design.

Creating your own Customizable design: All of the Customizer designs on Thingiverse were created with OpenSCAD code. To see the code for any customizable Thing, just click View Source from the Customizer app. To learn how to create your own Customizable designs, read the Customizer Documentation page.


Creating your Own Designs

If you've designed your own models for 3D printing, come to Thingiverse to upload and share these designs with the community. Your design can then be downloaded, remixed, and collected by other users, and you may see Makes of your model 3D printed all over the world.

Add a Thing

Remixes and Mashups: You can use Thingiverse as a design toolbox by downloading interesting models and remixing them into new designs, or incorporating them into models of your own. STL files downloaded from Thingiverse can be imported into most 3D design programs including Tinkercad, Sculptris, and OpenSCAD.

Creating designs from scratch: Of course you can also start fresh from your own imagination and create a brand new 3D model to print and share. Any design program that can export STL files can be used to create 3D printable content.

Uploading designs: When you’re ready to upload your own design to Thingiverse, select Upload a Thing! from the Create menu at the top of the site. Drag in your STL and image files, and then fill out title, description, and other information to complete your Thing. When you’re ready, click Publish to make your Thing visible to the entire community.

How to make your Things more popular: Want your Thing to have more “likes”? Add photos of your design after printing, provide instructions for print settings, describe how you made your object, and tell your story with style. You can even add a video in your photo Gallery, by uploading the video to YouTube and then including a link to your video anywhere in your Thing description. Share it on Twitter and mention @Thingiverse; you might be retweeted.


Thingiverse Challenges

Thingiverse hosts periodic 3D design Challenges that are open to the entire community. Prizes often include MakerBot Replicators and filament. Whatever your skill level, you’re welcome to enter.

Thingiverse Challenges

Finding open Challenges: Select Challenges from the Explore tab to get to the list of Thingiverse Challenges. Current Challenges will be listed at the top, together with their deadlines. Depending on the Challenge, your design could win you a 3D printer.

Entering: Most Challenges require you to upload a 3D model to Thingiverse and label your model with the designated tag for that Challenge before the deadline. To increase your chances of winning, include photos or videos of your printed 3D model.

STEAM Challenge series: If you’re into Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, or Mathematics, look for the Thingiversity STEAM Challenges. This ongoing series of Challenges will flex your 3D printed muscles whether you’re in school or geeking out on your own.

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