For the users that do not have enough experience with 3D modeling, some companies or initiatives offer free or paid 3D models online. In this article, we will review a number of most commonly used websites.
GrabCAD: It is an open engineering platform in which engineers from all over the world shares their 3D designs developed with different modeling tools. Further, the system allows the user to upload its own design; customize an already-developed design or make a request. The requests are published in the home page to allow the help of other people of the community. It is free but requires signing up.
Shapeways 3D Parts Database: This platform also offers different models, with a guarantee that the models shared are perfectly suitable for 3D printing. However, the models on this site are being sold by developers. The system also offers different services like designing your own ring, building a 3D object from a 2D design, etc. You can even hire a designer from the site. It requires signing up.
Thingiverse: The service is provided by the Makerbot community and the models can be downloaded for free. The models are categorized and therefore it may be easier to find a specific design for a part. Also, the site allows rating and tagging the models upon signing up. The user can see the ratings and past applications using the model. Collective consciousness!
- Traceparts: Founded in 1989, Traceparts is one of the well-known and highly established 3D model databases. One can both download free models as well as buy them; furthermore, a modeler can sell its design or just freely distribute it over the platform. Requires signing up.