How to find STL files for 3D printing?


In: Knowledge On: Hit: 268

The long-awaited event has arrived - the purchase of a 3D printer. So it's time to start printing. Perhaps you already know what and how to print using a 3D printer or even design 3D prints. However, it is possible that you don't quite know how to go about it or you don't have time for it. In this article, you will learn more about STL files, their uses, and where you can find free repositories of files that you can use on your 3D printer.

How to find STL files for 3D printing?

The long-awaited event has arrived - purchase of a 3D printer. So it's time to start printing. Perhaps you already know what and how to print using a 3D printer or even design 3D prints. However, it is possible that you don't quite know how to go about it or you don't have time for it. In this article, you will learn more about STL files, their uses, and where you can find free repositories of files that you can use on your 3D printer.

What is an STL file for 3D printing?

3D printing STL file stands for Standard Triangle Language or Standard Tessellation Language. STL is one of the most popular file formats for both 3D printing and computer-aided design (CAD). These digital files contain geometric information about the design intended for 3D printing. In STL files, these designs are represented by triangles. Because these triangles share edges, their positions can be determined by a computer or cutting programs to create a complete image that can be 3D printed. The more complex the design, the more triangles are used to represent it. The STL file does not contain any information regarding texture, color or properties such as flexibility or strength - only shape and geometry.

Plik stl

How to use STL files for 3D printing?

Once created or downloaded, STL files are typically exported to the 3D printer's slicer. There, the STL file is converted into a language understandable for 3D printers - "G-code", which provides accurate information about how to print a 3D model or design. It is also possible to download G-code directly from some websites such as Printables. This requires entering settings and configuring the 3D printer before downloading the file.

Also 3D scanners can scan an object and create an STL file from this scan. However, most users, especially beginners, will download STL files from various portals or design their own using appropriate 3D design software, depending on experience and use.

Where to find free STL files for 3D printing?

We can find many websites on the Internet for people looking for STL files. Some of these sites offer STL files for sale, others for free, and still others a combination of both. Here are a few of them:

  • Thingiverse. Perhaps one of the most famous sites, Thingiverse, offers a wide range of STL files - both for sale and free. The user interface is clean and easy to use, and features thousands of user-generated designs and models.
  • Cults. We can find a lot of different STL files here sorted by categories such as architecture, gadgets, games, tools and jewelry. If you're looking for a file for one of these areas, there's a good chance you'll find it on Cults.
  • STLfinder. STLfinder is not as extensive as the other portals on this list, but its simplicity is an advantage. Just type whatever you want to print into the search bar and you'll likely find it easily.
  • Yeggi. Yeggi is similar to STLFinder in that it mainly functions as a search engine for free 3D designs and STL files. However, unlike STLFinder, Yeggi's search is a bit more advanced with filters and other options that allow you to better find exactly what you're looking for.
  • Printables. Formerly known as Prusaprinters, Printables is one of the fastest growing STL file repositories. In addition to thousands of downloads, the site hosts a lot of user-generated content, so we can learn more about topics such as 3D printing materials and 3D projects.
  • Free3D. On this website you will find mainly free STL files intended for hobbyists or slightly less advanced 3D printing users. If you're looking for professional apps, you may have to look elsewhere.

Still haven't found the right STL file? Check out other popular websites that provide them for free: Sketchfab, 3DShook, GrabCAD, Pinshape, NIH 3D Print Exchange, YouImagine, 3DWarehouse.

Do you have any questions? Contact us!

Store information


GLOBAL 3D sp. z o.o.

ul. Rynek 40

48-300 Nysa

+48 790 770 200

biuro@global3d.pl

Contact form