Using Thingiverse to Find a 3D Model

Thingiverse is an online community of users who make, modify, and share 3D models for others to download and print. Most models are licensed under Creative Commons, usually meaning that anyone can use or modify them. This is a fantastic resource if you’re looking for ideas, models to manipulate, or just some cool objects to print!

This tutorial will show you how to navigate Thingiverse, and find a 3D model.

To begin, go to Thingiverse.com.

The front page will show you featured models, featured collections of models, and recently made things that you can click on to learn more about.

Thingiverse Featured

Up at the top of the page is a navigation bar where you can search for models and explore different categories and objects.

Thingiverse Search

Simply enter your desired search term into the search box and press enter on the keyboard or click on Explore to find more options.

Explore Menu

When exploring the different models, Thingiverse will show them to you in a grid displaying the model name, creator and time it was uploaded. Additionally, it will show the number of times viewed, loved and commented on.

You will also have sort options up at the top of the list.

Grid View

When you find a model that you like, simply click on that model to get more information about it and be taken to where you can download the print files.

Print Details

Here, you can view pictures of the print and model, a summary of the object and the recommended Print Settings for that particular thing.

Toward the bottom of the page, there will also be license information for that print. While most models on Thingiverse are licensed under Creative Commons, it’s always a good idea to check. You can click on the license to find out more about it.

License Details

Once you’ve decided that you’d like to download this model, click on the big Download This Thing! button located to the right of the pictures.

Download Button

To see a list of included files in this download – or to download files individually if there are multiple – click on the Thing Files section right beneath the images of the model, to get a more detailed view of the print files. Clicking on the individual names will download them separately.

Note: When downloading files, .stl and .obj are both proven to work with the MakerBot desktop software. Since Thingiverse is an open community, you may encounter other types of files. These may work, too but .stl and .obj files are typically preferred.

Thing Files

Once you’ve downloaded your files from Thingiverse, you are now ready to import them into a CAD program for modification – or directly into the MakerBot desktop software!

To submit your print to the Maker Commons, please convert your print to a .makerbot file. For detailed instructions on how to do so, please see our tutorial.