As for 3-D modeling, designers have virtually no restrictions, while transferring their vivid imagination to the digital sphere. Whether it’s a brutal video game character preparing for a boss fight, a promising new product brought to perfection, or a gorgeous architectural model – there’s an endless amount of exciting 3D creations out there.
But not everyone is able to translate their ideas into digital reality. Fortunately, there are a wide range of websites, 3D repositories, and content repositories that help creators find ready-made 3D models for use in video games, animation, graphic design, 3D printing, and more.
Here we have listed a variety of archives with a good selection of free 3D models. Some of these sites are also marketplaces that allow users to upload and sell their 3D models. So if you are a 3rd party modeller in need of revenue stream, you will find a good selection of platforms to showcase your work here too.
Since we’re all 3db, template repositories that focus on 3D printing naturally come first. If you’re familiar with the world of 3D printing, you’ve probably visited some or all of these sites at some point. It’s full of creative models optimized for 3D printing.
Keep in mind that you can 3D print almost any 3D model you find online, but it’s best if the files are properly optimized; Websites in this category are all hosted files. Where we selected “3D printing” as the form type elsewhere in this list, repositories also provide models optimized for 3D printing in an easy-to-navigate manner.
|Site||Model Type(s)||Free or Paid?||Models Available|
|Prusa Printers||3D Printing||Free||102,942+|
Thingiverse is a repository operated by the 3D printer manufacturer MakerBot that hosts a wide range of custom makers who download free 3D forms for 3D printing in different categories and complexities. It’s the most popular repository of free 3D models in the 3D printing community, and has been for a long time. If you’re looking for cool stuff for 3D printing, there’s no better place to start.
It’s worth noting, there has been some controversy surrounding the universe in the past. In 2021, the site was criticized for a 32GB data breach, and before that, opportunists used the site’s comments section to get users to inadvertently mine cryptocurrencies. Both incidents caused large numbers of users to block the repository.
Highlights: The actual home of free 3d printable 3d models.
Instructables is more than just a free 3D model repository, it’s a great community portal where users can share do-it-yourself projects. This community tends to focus on large projects, which often include electronics and programming. But scare! No matter your skill level in these complementary areas, there are enough projects here that you are sure to find something fun, interesting, and ready to dive right into.
The project pages contain tutorials and instructions detailing how to build each build. In addition, most designers are helpful enough to answer questions submitted by the audience.
Highlights: Comprehensive lessons, guides and online classes for creativity beyond 3D printing with an active and helpful community.
Cults is a fast growing data pool and the Sunday place where you can find and download high quality 3D models for printing. The site claims to be the first independent Sunday venue of its kind when it was founded in 2014, and considering it’s only been run by three people since then, it makes the site even more impressive.
The site’s name also hides an amusing touch – the patron saint of art, when reading back, is Saint. Wordplay aside, the platform boasts quality and originality.
Highlights: Selected collections, an active Sunday where you can sell your 3D models.
Minifactory is a community and repository of 3D print files. The site focuses largely on board game characters, but offers models from a wide variety of categories.
The repository is also a marketplace, so it offers a mix of free and paid templates—many of which are made by professional designers. Unique, mini-factory guarantees file quality. Uploaded publications are run through software scanning and are tested by the community before they are published. What’s more, the site also offers a subscription service, lets designers create their own stores, and hosts interesting challenges for 3D designers.
Highlights: Quality assurance, subscription service, and designer stores. Mostly focus on tabletop characters.