What’s Next for YouMagine After UltiMaker Merger?

By on May 10th, 2023 in news, Service

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YouMagine is still operating [Source: Fabbaloo]

What has become of YouMagine?

A Look Back at YouMagine’s Origins

We haven’t heard much about YouMagine lately, so we did a bit of digging and found out a bit of a surprise. YouMagine is one of the oldest dedicated 3D printable model repositories, sponsored by Ultimaker way back in 2011. At the time, it was launched as a competitor to Thingiverse.

Back then, it was thought that desktop 3D printer manufacturers needed a corresponding repository of content for their customers. If that doesn’t make sense now, it’s because back then, if you purchased a 3D printer, you literally had nothing to print on it unless you were a CAD expert.

MakerBot broke the concept first with their launch of Thingiverse, which was — and continues to be — quite successful. Other 3D printer manufacturers created (or acquired) repositories for their own ecosystems. YouMagine was Ultimaker’s.

YouMagine vs. Thingiverse

The site provides access to thousands of good quality 3D models, and in particular, designs for upgrades to early Ultimaker 3D printers. However, YouMagine never caught up to Thingiverse in terms of the quantity of content available.

Last year, MakerBot and Ultimaker merged to form the new UltiMaker (note the “M”). One of my key questions was the fate of Thingiverse, which now seems to be resolved.

My question related to the need for a manufacturer of professional 3D printer equipment to have a public repository of not-necessarily professional 3D models. Evidently, UltiMaker has decided it is required, at least for Thingiverse.

What’s Next for YouMagine?

I asked UltiMaker representatives about YouMagine, and was told it is no longer part of UltiMaker! Apparently, its ownership went to the original owners of Ultimaker at the time of the merger. Going forward, it would thus appear that Thingiverse will be UltiMaker’s go-to repository.

Meanwhile, YouMagine is still operating and boasts 19,000 printable 3D models. That’s not much compared to Thingiverse, MyMiniFactory, and even Printables, which is the other large repository these days. However, it seems there is still a YouMagine community.

Looking forward, I cannot see that YouMagine will be able to catch the other players, especially without the backing of UltiMaker or other major industry players. It’s even possible someone may decide to shut it down in the future, although there is no indication of that at this time.

The good news here is that there are plenty of online repositories of printable 3D models, and YouMagine is still one of them.

Via YouMagine

By Kerry Stevenson

Kerry Stevenson, aka "General Fabb" has written over 8,000 stories on 3D printing at Fabbaloo since he launched the venture in 2007, with an intention to promote and grow the incredible technology of 3D printing across the world. So far, it seems to be working!

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