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What Is Thingiverse?

Brinck Slattery • Jan 3 2019

It seems like a new digital marketplace pops up every day, and it can get hard to keep track of all the new projects for all your favorite kinds of content. Markets like Bandcamp allow bands and musicians to sell their music directly to listeners, photo clearinghouses like BigStock let photographers earn cash from sales of their photos and videos, and labor markets like Seamless, Uber, and Postmates let people turn their free time and underused vehicles into a second source of income.

But not every marketplace is so transparently commercial - as digital design and 3D printing have exploded in popularity over the past five years, thousands of designers have been experimenting, perfecting their craft, and sharing their work with the world through the popular 3D file marketplace, Thingiverse.

Another Marketplace? What Exactly Is Thingiverse?

Thingiverse is a digital marketplace devoted to hosting and sharing 3D printable files that can be printed as real world objects. Founded long before home 3D printing was viable, Thingiverse was years ahead of its time, and the payoff is one of the largest collections of objects, artworks, and utility designs found anywhere in the world.

Just as LBRY is open source software that people can remix and re-shape as they see fit, Thingiverse makes open source hardware a possibility. As hundreds of designers tweak and perfect designs on the site, the designs get better and better over time.


What’s on Thingiverse?

Almost anything you can imagine. There are designs for 3D printers of all sizes and types, from open source cars that can be printed with a sufficiently high quality printer to little figurines of Yoda to adorn your desk.

One thing you won’t find on Thingiverse is any designs for weapons or firearms of any kind - the site banned Cody Wilson’s Liberator Pistol design in 2015, and they maintain a strict policy that bans posting those sorts of designs.

Are There Other Options For 3D Printing Enthusiasts?

If Thingiverse’s policies rub you the wrong way, you can always post and find 3D printable files on the world’s only truly decentralized digital marketplace, LBRY! Download the app now and give it a try.

Photo of Brinck Slattery
Brinck Slattery · · ·

Brinck’s range of experience includes national political campaigns, crisis PR, SEO writing and optimization, digital marketing, RV sales, construction labor, and a variety of other strange and interesting pursuits (feel free to ask).

An inveterate music and media lover, Brinck remembers the pain of Kazaa and Limewire, and is seriously psyched about living in the future where it’s easy to compensate artists directly for their work.

He lives in Manchester, NH and can be regularly found lurking wherever the latest music is blaring.