3D Model Marketplaces

With the huge number of personal 3D printers being sold, one wonders where 3D models will be found to print on them. 

Cubify’s 3D New Content

Up to now Cubify’s 3D model content has been somewhat simplistic. Toys, simple personalized items and the like have been the staple of online 3D content within 3D Systems’s Cubify operation. But now they’re taking a different and far more serious direction.    If you hit the Cubify site now, (dubbed “2.0” by 3D Systems),… Continue reading Cubify’s 3D New Content

Fabulous Cosmo 3D Scans Released

Fabbaloo friend Cosmo Wenman, the fellow who produces incredibly detailed 3D models from scanned museum pieces, has released new sculptures. The two new releases are among the most famous statues in the world: the Venus de Milo and Winged Victory of Samothrace.    Wenman did not actually scan the actual pieces, but instead scanned highly… Continue reading Fabulous Cosmo 3D Scans Released

The Smithsonian Releases 3D Scans

We’ve written about the Smithsonian’s forays into 3D scanning previously, but now you can access some of the 3D scans they’ve been collecting. Last week the institution released the first batch of 3D scans, all of which can be viewed online and several are suitable for 3D printing.     As of this writing, some 17… Continue reading The Smithsonian Releases 3D Scans

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We Found a 3D Zinjanthropus!

There are a great many exhibits among the booths at this year’s 3D Printshow in London, but one caught our eye. In spite of perhaps the least adorned booth in the entire hall, African Fossils provides something we’ve been seeking for quite some time: 3D models of our ancient ancestors.    We’ve searched high and… Continue reading We Found a 3D Zinjanthropus!

World Heritage Sites Digitally Captured

CyArk, a non-profit initiative, proposes to digitally capture 500 key culturally relevant heritage sites across the world. They are building a repository of 3D information to protect the sites against damage from the environment, terrorism, vandals and any other threats.    Their process is to use state-of-the-art laser scanning equipment to capture the physical structure… Continue reading World Heritage Sites Digitally Captured

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3D Printing for Math Professors and You, Too

We’re looking at a PDF, strangely stored on Thingiverse, where one normally finds 3D models. The PDF is an academic document entitled, “3D Printing for Math Professors and Their Students”.    It’s exactly that: a paper taking the reader through the process of linking mathematics and 3D printing. Yes, this means generating intricate 3D models… Continue reading 3D Printing for Math Professors and You, Too

Through a Scanner Fails, Then Succeeds

You might recall the Kickstarter project of one Cosmo Wenman of San Diego, who attempted to raise funds for a project to produce freely downloadable printable 3D scans of famous sculptures. Wenman required funds to arrange for travel and working expenses, but the fundraising campaign failed, having raised only USD$8,174 of the target USD$35,000. Sigh,… Continue reading Through a Scanner Fails, Then Succeeds

MyMiniFactory’s Free 3D Printable Objects

While Thingiverse has long been the go-to place for free printable 3D models, there’s another option as of last month: MyMiniFactory. A branch of iMakr, the site offers a number of interesting 3D models – all specifically designed for 3D printing on typical personal 3D printers.    During our check, MyMiniFactory offered well over 100… Continue reading MyMiniFactory’s Free 3D Printable Objects


You may have seen those fascinating 3D models that seem to have replaced the normal shape with a strange, smooth skeletal networked form. The complex structures seem impossibly difficult to design with conventional 3D modeling tools, and indeed they are. Perhaps they’ve been made with mathematical 3D model generation tools operated by a PhD? Sometimes… Continue reading Voronoization

Michigan Tech’s Open Source Optics

Doing science can be an expensive affair, but a new project from Michigan Technological University is trying to make science more affordable and more accessible.   In a recently published paper, professors and researchers at the university outlined their plans for creating an online, open-source library of 3D printable optics hardware. According to one of… Continue reading Michigan Tech’s Open Source Optics

The Most Dangerous Person in 3D Printing

Wired has named their list of the “15 Most Dangerous People In The World”. The list includes some certainly dangerous types, such as Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, Mexican drug kingpin of Ciudad Juarez, but also includes some persons of questionable dangerousness, such as the scandalous former Army intelligence officer Paula Broadwell.    One name we… Continue reading The Most Dangerous Person in 3D Printing

MediaGoblin Shares 3D Models

MediaGoblin, the open source project that enables easy sharing of media, has added the ability to share 3D models.     Not familiar with MediaGoblin? Here’s their own explanation:    MediaGoblin is a free software media publishing platform that anyone can run. You can think of it as a decentralized alternative to Flickr, YouTube, SoundCloud,… Continue reading MediaGoblin Shares 3D Models

Legends of Kalidasia Pioneers A New Approach

Jason Rutherford of Kalidesia contacted us to talk about a new approach he’s taken in his gaming business. Rutherford makes the Legends of Kalidasia game, played with traditional resin and pewter figures. His company manufactures and markets these figures, but he’s concerned about the future. You know, the future where people print out their own… Continue reading Legends of Kalidasia Pioneers A New Approach

Cubify’s Robots

3D Systems now has robots! Well, not actual robots, but instead a system of 3D models that can be assembled into a huge variety of robot shapes. The robot pieces include arms, legs, torsos, etc., but also accessories such as ray guns and backpacks.   The pieces are intended to be assembled and fit together… Continue reading Cubify’s Robots

Pondering Highly Detailed 3D Models

Today’s personal 3D printers can produce many types of objects, but the fine details are often obscured due to resolution limitations on the printers. A typical home 3D printer today slices models into 0.2-0.5 mm layers, meaning you’ll not only see layering, but also not see any fine details. Eventually we’ll see the capabilities of… Continue reading Pondering Highly Detailed 3D Models

Mcor’s Surprising Prints

During our visit to Rapid 2012 we were able to examine Mcor’s printed object quality directly. What we found was interesting.    First, you must know that Mcor’s process is unique in that the objects are printed not in plastic, but instead with common, everyday paper. This is very noticeable when you pick up and… Continue reading Mcor’s Surprising Prints

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Tutorial: Fix Your Messed Up 3D Scan

If you ever try to do 3D scanning at home using the rudimentary tools now available, you’ll quickly realize it isn’t particularly easy. Sure, the capture part of the job is relatively straightforward, but the clean up phase is often quite difficult.    Typical raw scans contain not only stray data points and somewhat inaccurately… Continue reading Tutorial: Fix Your Messed Up 3D Scan

Rome, Digitized

Rome Reborn is a breathtaking project at the University of Virginia in which historians and 3D modelers are attempting the impossible: build a highly detailed, massively comprehensive 3D model of the city of Ancient Rome. It’s not just a single model, either. They’re intending on building several models representing the state of the Eternal City… Continue reading Rome, Digitized

3D Printing Movie Props At Home

We just finished reviewing a rather interesting Instructable detailing the steps you’d take to produce a complete, wearable Iron Man mask with your 3D printer (with some red and gold paint, of course).    Maker samohtep takes you through the process of developing the model, printing the pieces, painting, finishing and assembly. The result is… Continue reading 3D Printing Movie Props At Home

Astronomical Themed Prints

Sister site Mallyable has released a couple of interesting printable 3D models that have an astronomical theme.    The Big Dipper Pendant and Constellation Pegasus Pendant both have pinholes in the same configuration as the actual stellar patterns. Adding simple string or chain of your choice makes the pendant wearable.    These are not the… Continue reading Astronomical Themed Prints

More on Cubify

As we mentioned the other day, 3D Systems was set to announce something big at CES and they did: plenty of details on the new Cubify system are now available. Cubify is a very comprehensive 3D printing “system” involving a new personal printer, 3D print services, an online community, a model repository, an API and… Continue reading More on Cubify

A Robot at Mallyable

Our sister site and 3D model shop Mallyable just announced a very cool new 3D model: the Sitting Robot. It’s an exclusive digital 3D model of a particularly lazy robot that is conveniently sitting to permit easy 3D printing.  If you haven’t yet heard of Mallyable, it’s our very own source for 3D models –… Continue reading A Robot at Mallyable

3D Printed Fractal Cube Originated in Second Life

In December 2007 Henry Segerman, a.k.a. Second Life avatar Seifert Surface, designed a “Hilbert Cube” using Second Life’s then simplistic 3D model creation tools and some tricky Python software. While this interesting object was for years used only within Second Life’s virtual world, there’s been a recent change: you can now 3D print this item… Continue reading 3D Printed Fractal Cube Originated in Second Life

Christmas at Bits From Bytes

The folks at Bits From Bytes have an interesting giveaway taking place this holiday season: their Advent Calendar 2011. According to Wikipedia, an Advent Calendar is “a special calendar which is used to count or celebrate the days of Advent in anticipation of Christmas”. Typically it involves a surprise each day, and BFB is doing… Continue reading Christmas at Bits From Bytes

SimCity or RealCity?

Yet another surprise source for 3D models has emerged: the game SimCity. SimCity, for those of you who have somehow never encountered it, is a simulation of a city. By tweaking various civic parameters, your city may thrive and grow – or die. It’s a great tool for learning some of the basics of city… Continue reading SimCity or RealCity?

Get a Free Car From Objet!

Objet, one of the major manufacturers of commercial 3D printers, is offering a complete car at no charge. Well, it’s not a *real* car, it’s only a 3D model of one. You can find it at the link below.   Objet produced this model to demonstrate the capabilities of their 3D printer line. What are… Continue reading Get a Free Car From Objet!

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The World’s Smallest Stop Motion Video

Nokia Cellscope: a very simple combination of a Nokia phone and a microscope, capable of seeing very small things at low cost. The idea is to enable those in third world countries to perform basic microscopy – and then instantly transmit results for expert analysis elsewhere.     To celebrate the development of the Cellscope,… Continue reading The World’s Smallest Stop Motion Video

Posable 3D Models From CADHuman

SolidSmack reports on CADHuman’s new posable 3D models, which are highly detailed 3D models that can be adjusted into various positions. This differs from the more common experience of non-posable models that invariably are not in the specific pose you need. The models currently include:   Male & female figures Human male head Posable hands… Continue reading Posable 3D Models From CADHuman

3D Scanning by UAV

You may have guessed we’re fascinated with new ways of capturing 3D models for printing, and this week we’ve found a rather unusual method: UAV images. Researchers at Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne’s Computer Vision Laboratory have developed software to combine thousands of images gathered by UAVs into very usable 3D models.    The software,… Continue reading 3D Scanning by UAV

3D City Models Made By Missiles

Technology originally used for targeting missiles has been adapted to provide incredibly detailed 3D models of cities. Saab’s spin-off company C3 Technologies is gathering up a library of 20 city models suitable for licensing for mapping applications. We’re hoping they’ll make this data available for 3D printing, too.    While we’re always watching for new… Continue reading 3D City Models Made By Missiles

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Probing Knut’s 3D Brain

Berlin Zoo’s most famous resident, the polar bear banned Knut, died suddenly this past March. Apparently the bear, famous for controversy surrounding the practice of humans raising bear cubs, had an infection that led to encephalitis and accidental drowning.    While Knut is gone, his brain lives on. It’s been captured in 3D by “some… Continue reading Probing Knut’s 3D Brain

Capture That Dinosaur!

Or at least capture their footprints. Most dinosaur species are now extinct, save for those that fly, but the large extinct versions occasionally left behind amazing fossil footprints. We’ve been reading a report of how palaeontologists have been using 3D scanning techniques to capture detailed 3D models of these fossilized prints for later analysis. According… Continue reading Capture That Dinosaur!

Microscopic 3D Models

We’re always looking for new sources of 3D models to print, and we found another potential source: microscopic imaging. Scientists at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute Janelia Farm Research Campus are using a special microscopic high-speed imaging (e.g. video) system to capture moving images of teeny things in action, like a single cell dividing, for… Continue reading Microscopic 3D Models

Who Needs 3D Printing Rules?

After reading Shapeways’ recent post discussing their new design rules for stainless steel prints, we thought we should weigh in. Shapeways has gone as far as developing a dedicated “Design Rule Repository. What’s in it? According to their post:    This is a subsection of the website dedicated to design rules. Going forward, the blog… Continue reading Who Needs 3D Printing Rules?

The Zoybar 3D Printed Guitar

It seems there is growing interest in 3D printed musical instruments. After the amazing 3D printed flute  we now see another 3D printed guitar: The Zoybar TOR. This funky item is composed of a small number of parts (three) printed by Shapeways.   Designed by Bård S D, this item is not available for sale… Continue reading The Zoybar 3D Printed Guitar

More Great Printable Buildings

One of the easiest items to 3D print are models of buildings. Their shapes are often straightforward for successful printing and yet quite recognizable. It’s a great feeling when you print a building, give it to someone and they immediately recognize what it is without being told.    But the question is, where do you… Continue reading More Great Printable Buildings

Print A 3D Printer Today!

A surprising item showed up in Thingiverse the other day: an entire 3D printer! Thingiverse is one of the most widely used open source repositories for 3D models suitable for 3D printing, and you’ll see all kinds of interesting items appear. But today’s item was worth a post: user wacko posted a 3D model of… Continue reading Print A 3D Printer Today!

3D Marvels

We ran across an unusual 3D model service: 3D Marvels. The site operates as a clearinghouse for 3D artist works. In other words, you can shop there for STL and COLLADA format 3D models that you can print on your 3D printer.    3DMarvels is a companion site to the very successful Wood Marvels site, which currently… Continue reading 3D Marvels

A Whole Lot of Meshes

Looking for some 3D models? We stumbled into a rather large pile of them, located at the INRIA Gamma team research database. Researchers there evidently required a lot of models and collected many. Well, 90,000+ of them – that’s many! The models are mostly stored in .mesh format, but quite a few appear to be… Continue reading A Whole Lot of Meshes

The Tribulations of Printing 3D Models

You’ve read yesterday’s post about where you might find amazing 3D models for printing, but you’re wondering what to do next. Is it as simple as downloading the model and printing it? Not exactly. Here’s some considerations:   Are you legally permitted to print this model? What license was it distributed under? Best to check… Continue reading The Tribulations of Printing 3D Models