Thingiverse is a website dedicated to the sharing of user-created digital design files. Providing primarily free, open source hardware designs licensed under the GNU General Public License or Creative Commons licenses, users choose the type of user license they wish to attach to the designs they share. 3D printers, laser cutters, milling machines and many other technologies can be used to physically create the files shared by the users on Thingiverse.

Type of site
Available inEnglish
OwnerMakerBot Industries
Created byZach "Hoeken" Smith, Bre Pettis
Alexa rank76,775
LaunchedOctober 18, 2008; 11 years ago (2008-10-18)
Current statusActive

Thingiverse is widely used in the DIY technology and Maker communities, by the RepRap Project, and by 3D Printer and MakerBot operators. Numerous technical projects use Thingiverse as a repository for shared innovation and dissemination of source materials to the public. Many of the object files are for purposes of repair, decoration, or organization.[1]


Thingiverse was started in November 2008[2] by Zach Smith as a companion site to MakerBot Industries, a DIY 3D printer kit making company. In 2013, Makerbot and Thingiverse were acquired by Stratasys.

Thingiverse received an Honorable Mention in the Digital Communities category of the 2010 ARS Electronica | Prix Ars Electronica international competition for cyber-arts.[3]

There were 25,000 designs uploaded to Thingiverse as of November 2012[4] and more than 100,000 in June 2013.[5] The 400,000th Thing was published on the July 19, 2014.[6]


The site is owned by MakerBot. Originally, it was owned by MakerBot Industries and run by one of its founders, Bre Pettis in Brooklyn, New York.

In its terms of use, Thingiverse stipulates that users must not include content that "contributes to the creation of weapons, illegal materials, or is otherwise objectionable". In 2012, Thingiverse removed an uploaded design for an entirely 3D-printed gun. In response, the gun's designers launched the site DEFCAD, designed to host Thingiverse's "censored" files.[7]

Open source hardwareEdit

Whereas many open source hardware projects focus on project-specific materials, Thingiverse provides a common ground from which derivatives[8] and mashups[9] can form. These derivatives typically involve a user modifying or improving an existing design and re-uploading it. Because all models on the site are open source, this behavior is actively encouraged by the site and community. Designs that promote illegal activities or contribute to the creation of weapons are prohibited.[10]

Many 3D printers can be upgraded with 3D printed parts. Thingiverse users produce many improvements and modifications for a variety of platforms. Popular examples of community-based 3D printer projects include the RepRap project and the Contraptor project. Some 3D printers can be almost entirely 3D printed themselves.[11]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Make and Mend: Thingiverse fixit roundup, by John Baichtal, 16 August 2010". 2010-08-16. Archived from the original on 20 August 2010. Retrieved 2011-09-16.
  2. ^ Previous post Next post (2008-11-20). " Launches A Library of Printable Objects, Wired; GeekDad by John Baichtal, November 20, 2008". Retrieved 2011-09-16.
  3. ^ Austria. "2010 ARS Electronica | Prix Ars Electronica | Digital Communities | ANERKENNUNGEN". Retrieved 2011-09-16.
  4. ^ Andrew. "Introducing MakerBot Thingiverse Dashboard And Follow Features". Makerbot blog.
  5. ^ JHoward. "The 100,000th Thing on Thingiverse!". Makerbot blog.
  6. ^ 400 000th thing on Thingiverse
  7. ^ "Daily Dot".
  8. ^ "Prusa simplified mendel by prusajr". 2010-09-18. Retrieved 2011-09-16.
  9. ^ "Duplo Brick to Brio Track adapter with snap-lock by Zydac". Retrieved 2011-09-16.
  10. ^ Maly, Tim. "Thingiverse Removes (Most) Printable Gun Parts". WIRED. Retrieved 2018-06-22.
  11. ^ "Snappy: Most 3D Printable 3D printer yet". Retrieved 2018-02-28.

External linksEdit