Introducing Printables: The Online 3D Printing Database by Prusa Research


In the field of desktop FDM 3D printing, one considerable asset is the facility to seek printable 3D files like STLs. At present, platforms offering STL file-sharing flourish within the industry, encompassing early platforms like Thingiverse and the emerging MakerWorld. Several of these sites evolved as more than mere repositories for 3D printing STL files, transforming into keystones of maker communities by way of their supported brand names or the quantity and quality of accessible content. Likewise, Printables, devised by 3D printer manufacturer Prusa Research, is an experienced adversary in this domain. With a multitude of options for 3D printing enthusiasts, let’s delve into Prusa‘s offering and discern Printables’ uniqueness and why it warrants a visit.

The original name for was, which was launched in 2019 as a community hub for the Prusa 3D printing community. It served as an ideal ground for storing and sharing STL files and 3D models. The site’s thrust wasn’t merely to store assets; soon, it began executing additional projects based on community feedback and implementing new features as the community expanded. STL files are versatile and can be used across various 3D printers and slicing programs, and the communities revolving around them often comprise users with different printer brands and models. Acknowledging this critical aspect led the team behind PrusaPrinters to revamp the site as in 2022. It better reflected that despite its origin within the Prusa realm, the content was universally available and beneficial to makers worldwide, independent of the brands employed.

What makes Printables noteworthy? Post the name switch and update of new features, the site essentially becomes a comprehensive resource for 3D models and much more. A cursory glance at the Printables home page reveals easier access, abundant information, and ample engagement opportunities than other leading 3D print platforms. Significantly, 3D models are prominently displayed, featuring popular files, featured creators, and an extensive list of filters, including sorting by G-code, the type of filament utilized, and printing duration. Printables takes pride in the quality of the files accessible for downloads on its platform. The site is meticulously curated, eliminating prospects for duplicates or minor variations of the same design. Hence, both creators uploading their works and printers downloading files have access to a unique variety.

In addition to the files uploaded by users at will, Printables features several community design competitions each month which allows users to flex their creative and design potential with a specific theme or topic in mind. In addition to the added content that this brings to the site, it also rewards active community members with digital and physical prizes ranging from profile badges and rewards to filament giveaways and even opportunities to win Prusa 3D printers. Part of the reason for such an active, driving force in the Printables community is the role of a dedicated support team within Prusa Research who can keep the community fresh with new challenges and prizes. The collection of 3D models and STL files, the community contests, and featured items may not be exclusive to Printables, but the active participation and involvement from the 3D printer manufacturer do make it enticing. However, the community does not end here – because one of the innovations that Printables brings to the table is a community that extends beyond the limits of the website. Social media plays a large role across the site. Not only can users log in with Google, Facebook, or Apple accounts, but the website also features an easily accessible database of 3D printing partners from 3D printing tools, electronics, games, and charities. Community groups also feature region and language-specific maker communities, 3D printer brand and model groups, down to the hobbies and pastimes that users make objects for.

All in all, while the volume of content may not be as large as that on Thingiverse or Cults, Printables features a satisfying variety of quality 3D models, community content, access to Prusa-backed partners, education opportunities, news blogs, and of course, 3D printing merchandise. While many competing sites feature aspects of the same things, none have put everything together in such a neat package. Regardless of your 3D printer of choice, Printables and the community built around it both externally and within Prusa are certainly continuing to shape the site into an important player in the greater 3D printing world. Learn more about the site by visiting it HERE.

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