If you are brand new to the 3D modelling space or a seasoned veteran, you will undoubtedly be uploading to 3D websites to promote your designs. These websites and repositories are used by thousands of designers worldwide, helping the community and raising awareness in the industry. Saying that you might be wondering where you should upload your designs too. Don’t worry, I have got you covered. I upload my design weekly to many different 3D modelling websites, Therefore, I will showcase the very best and the worst in adding you to save time and energy in the future.
What to look for in a 3D model websites!
There are many areas to look for in a 3D modelling website. Some of these include:
- Pricing – Can you sell models?
- Commission – Do they take a commission?
- Stability – Does the platform crash?
- Traffic – High Traffic / number of users
- Community – Do creaters and maker talk on the platform?
- Continous Improvement of the Platform
- Rewards & Milestones
All of these areas are in no particular order, they really fall down to you as the designer on what you prioritise the most. Saying that let’s dive into the table below.
I have only recently joined Prusa Printers and their online community, but it has quickly become my favourite platform to use. In detail, It feels like Prusa have taken all of the best bits of a model website and put their very own spin on it, simple uploading, with a fast, stable and reliable website.
Furthermore, Prusa also has a great rewards system for their designers. Obviously, This ensures designs get uploaded with a chance to exchange points for filament and merch, neat!
Additionally, depending on the number of downloads, likes and uploads you will get rewards that you can display on your page. These rewards will show new individuals on your page what your key skills are which is certainly a plus for you.
More info to be found at Prusa Printers: Click Here
My Page at Prusa Printers: Click Here
Cults3D is very similar to Prusa Printers! By all means, It has some areas that Prusa doesn’t have, like offering the opportunity to sell your 3D models to other makers. Having the option to sell and showcase free models really helps designers who want to push for their designs to make an actual business.
They also have simple uploading and navigation, with a fast, stable and reliable website. In addition, I have rarely found the website to crash. However, if it has, it’s been restored a few minutes later which is great.
Another great feature of the website is the competitions they run for designers, there is always the one you can participate in and the prizes are really exciting. The winner usually receives a printer or some filament and merch, for instance.
More info to be found at Cults3d: Click Here
My Page at Cults3d: Click Here
They came into existence last year and have been very successful in that time. I really feel they listen to their community and implement changes to their site as fast as possible. On the positive side, you can see them updating the site in front of your eyes, sometimes. Like Prusa and Cults, they have a simple to use Interface and fast uploading process.
More info to be found at Thangs: Click Here
My Page at Prusa Printers: Click Here
I have been uploading to CG Trader since June of 2021. CG Trader is a place to find the ”right 3D content for your needs, including AR/VR, gaming, advertising, entertainment and 3D printing.” And I do believe that the 3D models on the website are prioritised in that order. It certainly feels more like a place for VR/AR models than for 3D printing.
Your models are ranked and rated based on how much info you provide, the more images, file formats, text, tags etc, the higher the model will be rated. In other words, The higher the model is rated, then the more it will get pushed in front of eyeballs. Only the best for the CG Trader community.
More info to be found at CG Trader: Click Here
My Page at CG Trader: Click Here
Ahh, Thingiverse is the first 3D model website I found on my journey through 3D printing. If you use a 3D printer you have definalty come across this website, it’s probably the biggest online 3D model site in the world, but unfortunately, the praise stops there. For Instance, The website hasn’t progressed at all recently, it crashes a lot is generally buggy and has a really bad User interface if you are uploading models.
Thingiverse don’t really have a community or contests to keep users engaged, that’s is to say, they are just the biggest website by the sheer number of downloads and models. In addition, There is also no option for selling models on the site, which as a designer can be a real turn off. You cant showcase your best work to the biggest market because they don’t allow for a paid service.
That is crazy considering the number of users they get per day.
Why I Upload To Thingiverse
It is important to know that I do upload to Thingiverse. However, it is primarily to sync my designs across to a lot of the other platforms that I engage in. Otherwise, I would have to do multiple uploads. Nevertheless, I have to suffer through their upload process. I am working to find the quickest way to upload to all of the other sites. Therefore, I might not upload to Thingiverse at all in the future. For your information, I already know of some other designers who have stopped completely using the site.
In Conclusion, Thingiverse can be great if you just want to download models to print, but if you are a designer it really is hell!
More info to be found at Thingiverse: Click Here
My Page at Thingiverse: Click Here
In Contrast, Etsy is a little bit different, it’s an online marketplace for everything and anything, not just 3D models. Generally, It is my main platform for fully selling my 3D models, they don’t offer an area to offer free downloads of your 3D models. Therefore, Etsy is more geared towards selling jewellery. It can be a bit tough trying to find out what areas and tags to put for your 3D models. In conclusion, they won’t really line up correctly which could hinder your sales.
Above all, It’s a physical product first platform.
More info to be found at here: Click Here
My shop at Etsy: Click Here
In Conclusion, my favourite websites are PrusaPrinters & Cults3D, for the record. I find both to be user friendly, equally for both makers and designers. In addition, to offering other areas to connect and engage with others as well. Without a doubt, watching the websites grow in front of your eyes means that their owners genuinely care about their platform. Of course, If you are a new designer or maker, I would tell you to start with PrusaPrinters & Cults3D. Similarly, they offer very different areas and should fully cover your needs.
Accordingly, my advice to you is to go and review all of the websites, maybe upload your first design to each and see how you get on, ultimately find the one you like the most. But start with Prusa and Cults3D.
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Freelance designer & Mechanical Engineer.
Over Engineering Prop Designer.