Many of the parts we’ve made on the 3D printer so far have been ones we’ve downloaded, not drawn ourselves. Given the huge number of 3D printer files available online it’s always good idea to check a few sites first to see if someone’s already gone to the trouble to make up a file for the part you want to make so you don’t have to draw it up yourself.
Here are a few of the many sites where you can find files to use with 3D printers. Since the 3D printers we have use .stl files look for that type of file first but it’s possible to convert other solid model file types (like files from Fusion 360 or Solidworks) into .stl files fairly easily.
- Thingverse – I always check here first. Models usually work great on our printer.
- GrabCAD – most models won’t be in .stl format but there are many more engineering-type models here than on Thingverse
- Turbosquid – never used it but appears to have lots of models, lots aren’t free though
- stlfinder – search engine for .stl files, uses above sites plus others
- yeggi – another .stl search engine
Feel free to send me links to other sites you’ve used to find .stl files.