Exploring the Best STL Files of 2023


As we look back on a year of impressive, helpful, wacky, and fun 3D printing experiences, we can’t help but pick out some of our favorite 2023 STLs and highlight them in our end-of-year retrospective. From giant 3D printed constructions to tiny creations, the 3D printing makers have been putting in the work to bring unique designs and reimagined 3D printed classics into reality with the help of some filament and elbow grease. We’ve made sure to stop by some of the big names in STL databases like Cults, Thingiverse, Printables, and even MakerWorld, who made their debut this year, to gather some of the most popular, most striking, and most helpful STL files of 2023 to share with you!

3D Print This Remote-Controlled Airliner

We start this year’s ranking off with a high-flyer – a fully functional CRJ Series drone! This incredible two-meter-long (6’5″) aircraft is fully 3D printed! As if the fact that it is capable of flying were not enough, it has retractable landing gear and moving flaps to improve the aircraft’s maneuverability and realism. The model we chose as part of our top STL files of 2023 is the CRJ 900, although it is possible to print the CRJ 700 with this same file simply by removing a piece of the design. That’s two drones in a single STL file! Going into more detail about the printing process, it takes a little more than 120 hours to print all the parts. Assembly is relatively straightforward and it uses about 3.3 kg (7.3 lbs) of PLA material or 2.3 kg (4.4 lbs) of LW-PLA to make the entire kit. If you want to know more about this printable jetliner or to download it for yourself, click HERE.

Customize Your Phone With This 3D Printed LEGO Case

We continue with a 2023 STL file that is equally practical and original. Take a look at this mobile phone case that can be customized in the most unconventional manner. This 3D printed LEGO mobile case replicates the appearance of the traditional toy, with studs sticking out on its surface that align perfectly with LEGO blocks. This allows users to unleash their creativity and attach LEGO parts to the case, creating unique designs. This specific case is designed for the iPhone 13, 13 Pro, the iPhone 14, and 14 Pro. The case gets printed in three separate parts, eliminating the need for supports. This simplifies the printing process and makes the case easy to create, assemble, and use. Printing this iPhone case with TPU is advised, however, TPE can also be used, giving the case a pleasant, soft feel. Access the STL file and 3D print your case at home by clicking HERE!

An Outstanding Oni Mask STL

The next STL file for 2023 will take you back to ancient Japan as user PIPE_COX from cults3D presents a highly detailed Oni mask! These masks were used to depict demons (Oni) in Japan, but today they have become an international fashion trend for several brands, appearing on T-shirts, in video games, and at art exhibits. With this STL file, you’re able to print your own Oni mask at home, suitable for decoration or a costume. The file includes two different versions of the mask, so you can customize it to your liking. The full-scale mask perfectly fits a 165mm (6.5in) wide head, with options to scale down the print to fit any head size. The creator advises using tree supports during the printing process to maintain the quality of the print. Besides its detail, what’s great about this mask is the short printing time and the file’s availability in both STL and multicolor 3MF formats. Don’t miss out on your very own and download it HERE.

Photo Credits: PIPE_COX / Cults

No More Tangles With A 3D Printed USB Cable Reel

It has happened to all of us at one time or another: your wires get twisted together and it is impossible to untangle them. Or maybe you can’t properly coil a cable without it being an arduous task to uncoil it later. Well, today is your lucky day because we have the solution with this STL file. This 3D printed cable reel proves that function and practicality are still great reasons to be included in the top STL files of 2023! This file allows you to print a cable reel in three different sizes designed to fit all USB cable lengths and thicknesses. Once printed and set up, stowing your USB cables is as simple as the twist of a dial. It allows the use of different colors for you to customize it to match your desk surroundings or color coordinate with your specific cable management needs. With over 8,000 downloads, this STL file is proving very popular, so don’t wait any longer and print yours now by downloading the file HERE!

Photo Credits: manabun / Thingiverse

Prize Winning 3D Printed Hex Grid Storage Wall

The first prize winner of the “Wall Hooks” 2023 STL file contest on Printables, this practical creation will help you keep your tools, study, or work objects perfectly organized. It is a wall-mounted design that can be 3D printed to maximize your storage space, with a honeycomb structure that makes it firm and resistant. The designer, user RostaP, has made the best use of this structure’s design by creating small hexagonal-shaped molds to fit inside the cells of the honeycomb. In this way, they have managed to create various forms of support that allow you to attach almost any object to the wall – it even has an attachment for microSD cards! It is also quick to print, so that in just under 4 hours you can have all the pieces printed and begin assembly. So, do you need some more space? Download this STL file HERE!

Printables’ 3D Printed Practical Planters STL Contest Winner

In our world of 3D printing, with plastic filaments, polymer resins, and other artificial materials, it’s good to add a little greenery back into our lives. But where can I put a plant? I hear you ask. Well, why not 3D print one? This design comes to us from designer SchulteGeileTechnik over on Printables. These pots feature a beautiful spiraling, textured pattern on the outside which is the perfect accompaniment to any small succulent or green plant to be housed inside. The design files include drainage holes at the bottom of the pots and a tray that can hold up to three at once and catch any overflow. This original creation won first prize in Printables’ June plant pots design competition, so definitely check out this winning piece HERE.

A 2023 STL for All Your Star Wars Needs

Whether you’re a fan of the show, into cosplay, or just like the letter ‘T’, the Star Wars Mandalorian helmet is the perfect piece of kit for any true fan of the Star Wars universe. This particular model, coming to us from user m.cody.sims on the fledgling Bambu Lab STL site, MakerWorld, is interesting for several reasons. Despite the relatively young age of MakerWorld, which is still in beta at the time of writing, this Mando design has shot to the top of the list of most popular designs, sparking a collaborative conversation in the comments as users show off their prints and give tips and tricks where needed to new users who are interested in printing their own. Able to be printed in a variety of colors and assorted filaments, this is one design that allows for a great deal of customization and personalization. We may not be able to print with Beskar in our universe, but regardless of the material used, this is the way.

Photo Credits: m.cody.sims / MakerWorld

Stunning Wall Art with Light and 3D Printing

Let’s say you need something new for that empty spot on your wall at home. Yes, there is always a framed picture, poster, or splash of paint that can liven up a room, but if you really want to wow your guests the next time you have visitors, why not decorate your wall with light and shadows? This impressive collection from designer STLFLIX on Cults features lion’s manes, eagles, owls, fairies, pegasi and elk. Along with the STL files, after purchase, you receive all the step-by-step instructions necessary to complete the project and make a unique piece for any hallway, gaming room, bedroom, or studio. Learn more from the creator HERE.

Photo Credits: STLFLIX / Cults

A Highly-Detailed, Miniature RC Tugboat STL for The Perfect 2023 Project

For those who like building models, working machines, or assembling a complex project from scratch, look no further than this meticulously crafted 3D creation from user HALLER3D. This 1:75 scale model of a tugboat is not only surprisingly detailed and well-designed, but also is capable of being remote control operated to give trips to the park or lake a much more exciting twist as you get to see your very own creation take to the water. One thing to note is that the designer themselves has warned that the design is for experienced modelers only, a point backed up by the price tag of the files themselves. However, for those who are prepared to invest time and money into such a project, the results would certainly be worth it. Learn more about the boat HERE.

3D Print Your Own Ring Toss Game

When diplomacy fails, when arguments are inconclusive, when all hope seems lost, fret not, because user MAGGUSLAND has given us the means to solve the problems that we face in our daily lives with one simple solution. Whose turn is it to do the dishes? Ring toss. Laundry day? Ring toss. Who’s getting up to grab drinks? Ring toss! The ultimate party game is now ready to be 3D printed in the comfort of your own home. Included with this 2023 STL file are all recommendations for printing, such as how to reinforce various parts with infill and tips on reprinting if there are ever any broken pieces. Check out the game for yourself HERE!

Photo Credits: MAGGUSLAND / Cults

Original source


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Meet the mastermind behind NozzleNerds.com: GCode-Guru, a 3D printing wizard whose filament collection rivals their sock drawer. Here to demystify 3D tech with a mix of expert advice, epic fails, and espresso-fueled rants. If you've ever wondered how to print your way out of a paper bag (or into a new coffee cup), you're in the right place. Dive into the world of 3D printing with us—where the only thing more abundant than our prints is our sarcasm.


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