How can I sell my 3D models online

The best sites for 3D designs and 3D models

Posted by Laura Kapitza on Apr 24, 2018 |

Would you like to try out 3D printing, but don't have the time or knowledge to create a 3D design? Then platforms for 3D printing can help you out. Thousands of designers and users meet on 3D printing sites to share or sell their 3D models. It's the convenient way to enjoy 3D printing without having to create the 3D design yourself.

There are several types of websites where you can find 3D designs and even 3D print them right away. On the platforms of 3D printing service providers, like Sculpteo, you can buy 3D models and have them 3D printed straight away. ProfessionalDesigner can create printable 3D designs for you using various CAD programs (Meshlab, Blender, etc.). Also offer Design-experienced users their 3D models on various platforms, some of them free of charge.

The various download pages for 3D designs and 3D models can be roughly divided into two categories:

1. 3D print pages for 3D models

These pages are not only particularly interesting for FDM users, but also for people who are generally interested in 3D printing. You can download 3D printable files for free or at an additional cost. In addition, a 3D printing service is usually available to have your 3D design printed directly. Here is a selection of 3D printing pages for 3D models:

2. File sharing for 3D models

These download sites offer 3D models free of charge, as they are licensed under the Creative Commons license and are therefore accessible to everyone. The 3D designs can be purchased at no extra charge, but you must respect the provider's special copyrights, which may differ depending on the 3D model. In general, the file sharing sites do not offer a 3D printing service. The most popular exchanges for free download are:

Sculpteo market place

Sculpteo offers an overview of designers and a variety of 3D designs on its marketplace. From mechanical components to decorative sculptures or jewelry, you can download the desired 3D models for an additional charge. You can also open your own shop for free to sell your 3D designs to the growing Sculpteo community. By the way, thanks to our gift vouchers, you can also give others from your family and friends a taste of 3D printing.

Pinshape

This platform has a user friendly interface as well as a rapidly growing community. Every week a budding 3D print designer is introduced as well as special 3D models that will provide you with inspiration for your next 3D print. There is also a Learning centerwhich has informative guides on 3D design and 3D printing. There are also several 3D printing competitionswhere you can put your design skills to the test.

As a seller you have the option to set a fixed price for each of your 3D designs. The website will automatically calculate the final price (usually Pinshape adds 30% commission for itself).

CGTrader

CGTrader is characterized by two special features: On the one hand, there is one Job Market, on which jobs for freelance 3D designers can be offered. This is how you can find a designer for your 3D printing idea. Second, you can choose from the 3D designs and 3D prints of the CGTrader community get inspired.

As a seller you can register for free on the platform and offer your 3D designs. With every purchase you can receive up to 80% of the license fee (the rest goes to CGTRader).

MyMiniFactory

This website is based on the same model as Pinshape and offers special functions that can also be found on CGTrader. For example, MyMiniFactory Ideas is an ideas platform where you can test your design ideas before you start 3D modeling. You can then hire a designer for a predetermined price to convert your idea into a 3D model. If you are still learning how to design 3D files, MMF TV will be able to help where you can find many streaming channels from designers to give you tips on 3D design and printing.

As a seller you determine the amount of the commission yourself. MyMiniFactory does not charge any usage fees.

Amazon

Amazon is currently offering a platform for 3D printing to make additive manufacturing accessible to Amazon customers. The order is sent directly to various 3D printing services such as Sculpteo. The only downside is that you can't download and edit 3D designs.

As a seller accept Amazon's terms, which are similar to those of Sculpteo Marketplace. As a provider, you benefit from a large internet presence and you receive a license fee every time your 3D design is ordered.

Thingiverse

Thingiverse is arguably the largest swap forum for 3D models. The website has over two million members and the user interface is easy to use. The website is managed by the FDM printer brand Makerbot and is based on the idea of ​​exchanging open source files for 3D printing. Nowadays the website relies on offering printable 3D designs with a Creative Commons license that allows you to freely use or modify the 3D files.
As a seller you can offer your 3D designs for download free of charge, but users can leave a so-called tip for your work.

YouMagine

YouMagine is powered by Ultimaker and is based on the same principle as Thingiverse, but the YouMagine community is smaller. Over 14,000 printable 3D designs are offered on this exchange, which you can download for free. YouMagine also offers API documentation that enables different users to work together as a team on a project.
As a seller you can create your 3D designs on YouMagine free offer - based on the Principle of free use the content.

Grabcad

Grapcad is operated by Stratasys and has over 4 million users, most of whom are in the engineering industry. On the free CAD library you can upload and download 3D models for free. With over 800,000 3D designs on offer, you are sure to find the right one! You can also find them on the platform Tutorials as Design competitions to participate.

As a seller you can use Grapcad to create your 3D models free offer - based on the Principle of free use the content.

Yeggi

If you can't decide between file sharing sites for 3D designs, Yeggi can probably help you. The website works like a search engine for 3D models that are suitable for 3D printing. To do this, it collects data from all 3D printing communities and download sites and then offers the 3D models. This makes it a great way to compare the 3D printing sites and find out which one works best for you.

Alternatively, you can use meta search engines. These internet sites collect and prepare 3D files from multiple platforms. So, meta search engines are very useful for comparing different 3D designs at the same time.

Here are a few criteria that will help you choose the right download page for 3D designs:

Number of 3D designs offered: The variety of 3D models on a download page is a useful criterion for identifying the right 3D print page. The more 3D designs there are to choose from, the greater the chance that you will find exactly the 3D model that you are looking for!

Functions: Depending on what you want to use the platform for, it is worth taking a look at the individual functions that the 3D printing site also offers. These can have a positive influence on the way you use 3D printing.

communication: This point is especially important if you are looking for 3D designers or trends related to 3D printing. This criterion takes into account the ease of use of the platform as well as the ease with which you can find a desired 3D model.

category: It is important how good the directory of a download site is for its 3D models, as it allows you to easily find even less familiar categories. A download page with too many 3D designs can make it difficult to find suitable 3D models. In comparison, it will be difficult to search for specific 3D models on a website with a small selection of 3D models.

Free use: It is important to see if the 3D designs are available for free or if you have to pay for the 3D models. Sometimes high-quality 3D designs are available for a small surcharge (approx. 1-2 euros)!

3D printing service: If you do not have your own 3D printer, then this point will be of interest to you. On some download sites you can not only download 3D designs, but also have them printed in 3D!

Print quality test: Since thousands of users can upload various 3D models, many websites do NOT check whether the 3D design is printable. The risk of 3D printing failing would then be yours, costing money and time unnecessarily.

Commission: If you would like to offer your own 3D models, then it is worth checking whether usage fees are incurred when selling your 3D design and, if so, how high these are.

SculpteoPinshapeCGTraderMyMiniFactoryAmazonThingiverseYouMagineGrabcad
Number of designs offered60.000N / A10.00010.000732> 500.0008000880.000
Functions3D printing tools,
customizable 3D designs
Community forums, design competitions, various search filtersJob offers for 3D modeling, design competitions, search for inspirationIdea platform, streaming channel, design competitions, job exchangeVarious shops, object already printed in 3D,
Amazon customer service
Thingiverse Apps,
customizable competitions
(Open) ideasTools for engineers,
open ideas
communicationUnavailableFeatured designers,
Staff picks,
Trends in 3D design
UnavailableStaff picks, a presentation of designer collections every weekCommunication through AmazonProducts are presentedProducts are presentedCommunity
category479 215101433
Free to useNoVaryingVaryingYesNoYesYesYes
3D printing serviceYesNoYesYesVaryingNoNoNo
Print quality testYesYesYesYesYesNoNoYes
commissionPrinting costsDetermined by the designer himself, 30% will be added for Pinshape20-30 %Determined by the designer himselfPrinting costsFree of commissionFree of commissionFree of commission

In summary, we can say that the download pages for 3D designs differ mainly in their functions. We are particularly impressed by the development of Pinshape and its community. We particularly recommend the weekly favorite pieces of the Pinshape employees as well as the instructions for special 3D objects. If you're curious about what you can do with a 3D printer, you can take a look at Pinshape's blog to find inspiring 3D designs for your next 3D print.