Pay attention to the design you're choosing! Some designs may require additional assembly after being printed
Not all designs are intended for printing with the same material. The only material we print with is PLA plastic.
PLA plastic is generally food safe, but we cannot guarantee the printer will not add any unsafe elements. Most of our PLA plastic also contains dyes to make the plastic different colors. It is best to stay away from printing items that will come into contact with food.
If you have any questions about whether a design is printable with our equipment or want an estimate of how much it might cost, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
CGTrader is another search engine that shows you a mix of models for 3D printing and other uses (like VR). After searching, check off the box that says "Free" near the top of the page to see only free models.
TinkerCAD is probably the simplest software available to design 3D models. It is a web-based software that utilizes mostly pre designed shapes to build simple models. One can also edit their existing objects to add holes or other shapes by uploading it to the TinkerCAD modeler and adding onto it. Other features include being able to add pre designed numbers, letters and symbols, general geometric shapes, design shapes and adjust workplane features. TinkerCAD has an optional tutorial as soon as you begin designing a shape for the first time after account creation on the website itself. Another useful resource that could help in working with TinkerCAD is a free downloadable PDF project written by a member of 3DVinci, which is a great way for those new to CAD to learn the basics. It can be accessed through the following link: http://www.3dvinci.net/PDFs/GettingStartedInTinkercad.pdf
Platform: Web-based or download for Mac, Windows, and Linux Account required: No, but you need an account to save your work Find it here: https://www.3dslash.net
3D Slash takes a unique approach to design by letting you start with a shape, then "chisel" and cut it down to form your model. You can also add blocks and lines to build up your model. It's a design method that may work well for those familiar with sculpting or Minecraft. In terms of simplicity, it is about at the level of Tinkercad, simply with a different approach.
Makerbot Printshop is an iPad app with a number of design features. The most unique is the Shape Maker, which allows you to take a photo of a 2D image and convert it into a 3D image. This has its limitations, but can be a fun, low barrier way to create a model for 3D printing. Once saved, the model exists in your Makerbot account's library. You can access it from within Makerbot's desktop software, either to print or to save as an STL to print elsewhere.
Platform: download for Windows and Mac Account required: No, but you must fill in some information about yourself to download, including your email address Find it here: http://www.sketchup.com/download
SketchUp is an advanced 3D modelling software mostly used for complex architectural and engineering project designs. However, you can use the software to generate simple to complex 3D models for printing. On startup, the program offers you a choice of templates and once you scroll down and select the 3D Printing template, you can design objects on a simpler, real-scale size. SketchUp is currently the second most widely used program for 3D modelling and is preferred by a lot of people for its user-friendly interface, wide variety of possible options, and easy-to-use features that make designing complex models possible for even beginners to 3D modelling. With countless tutorials available online for efficient and proper use of the software, this is one of the best available applications on the market if one desires to design advanced models that are out of reach with software like TinkerCAD and 123D Design. SketchUp can be downloaded from the following link: http://www.sketchup.com/download
Although Fusion 360 has a paid version, it's available to students for free for three years, and is free for startups, hobbyists, makers, and enthusiasts (you must download the free trial and then select this option when registering). The software is very cloud-based and there is a definite learning curve, but will give you more advanced control over your design than many of the simpler options.