Thingiverse: A Thriving Community for 3D Printable Designs

by Matthew Wellington on May 2, 2014

ThingiverseThingiverse is the largest 3D printing community in the world.

Basically it is an online community made up of 3D enthusiasts that gives you access to thousands of 3D printable designs.

If you like MakerBot 3D printers and devices, you probably will find MakerBot’s Thingiverse community to be a cool and fun place where you can meet with thousands of other designers and novices.

For many greenhorns who are just being introduced into the world of additive manufacturing, Thingiverse can provide you with the best learning atmosphere so that you can quickly expand your knowledge of the technology.

There are currently over 100,000 3D models and designs that have been uploaded on Thingiverse. Checking through the photos and descriptions of some of the designs, you can be left utterly dismayed to see some of the things additive manufacturing can do. Thingiverse enables you to discover 3D models that you never knew existed and can therefore help you come up with creative and interesting ideas of your own.

The good thing with the community is that you don’t really have to be an expert designer to join.  Thingiverse is a platform to learn from other designers, build your skill and teach others what you know by sharing your own designs and models.

So you can learn new things about additive manufacturing from the models you discover on Thingiverse, stretch your creativity by making your own and finally share your models to the rest of the 3D printing world.

Remixing on Thingiverse

The fastest way to become an expert designer in 3D printing (even if you don’t have pro skills), is to check out other peoples designs. The more different designs you come across, the greater your chances of slowly starting to make equally impressive designs of your own.

This is why it is important to sometimes just get online and start going through the models other designers have fabricated over time. It sort of jump starts your own creativity and sooner or later you will find yourself creating more unique three-dimensional models.

Now this is the interesting factor about Thingiverse. It gives you access to thousands of designs fabricated by other people on one place. What’s more the site encourages all members to remix any 3D designs you like as much as you wish.

Remixing designs can be a great way of coming up with some cool new ones for yourself. And the best part is that all the designs are licensed under the Creative Commons Licensing to ensure that the models uploaded can be accessed or remixed by everyone.

Thingiverse on Android Devices

The MakerBot Thingiverse app was launched on the Android Operating System at the beginning of 2014. Thanks to this app, all Android devices (including most smartphones) can have direct access to Thingiverse. It will consequently be possible to make any necessary changes on your Thingiverse profile through any device using Android OS.

The thrill here is while in the past you had to use your PC to visit Thingiverse and make changes to your profile; with this new app you will be able to discover, make and share 3D printed models from the comfort and convenience of your own smartphone.

This new app will transform your experience on Thingiverse because for example, you will be able to learn of any updates on the site instantly through your phone. If you come across any design that you think looks really awesome on Thingiverse, it will also be much easier to pass on such designs to your friends and fellow 3D connoisseurs provided they have a smartphone with an Android OS.

The Android Thingiverse app will particularly be beneficial when it comes to social media sharing. Most of us now days visit our social media accounts through our smartphones, right? Now imagine how thrilling it will be if you can share as many thingiverse designs as you please on social media through your phone! The new Android OS app makes sharing designs to be as simple as making a tap on your smartphone screen.

On top of that, the app presents a stress free way of updating your thingiverse profile with new photos and images because you can do so with your phone. It’s fast, effective and super convenient.

Not to mention, considering the fact that Additive Manufacturing Still Isn’t Mainstream; the thingiverse Android app will come handy in popularizing the technology. The app is a giant step towards turning 3D printing into a mainstream technology because it makes additive manufacturing a lot more social than ever before.

Thingiverse Customizer

There are countless designs and models that you will find on Thingiverse. Depending on what excites you, chances are you will find many of them to be appealing and worthy of claiming as your own. But how do you do that?

Well, if you are conversant with the use of the Thingiverse Customizer, then you can easily alter any design that attracts you on the site according to your own specific tastes and preferences. Thingiverse Customizer is a feature on Thingiverse that simply allows you to customize any of the models uploaded on the site.

It is usually not enough to just check through the 3D designs on Thingiverse and leave them at that. To avoid boredom and ensure you have total fun every time you visit the site, make a point of owning the designs you desire or find attractive on the site by customizing them as you wish.

This is often a great exercise and a smart way of challenging your own creativity. You can customize designs by changing some colors or modifying structures here and there until when you are fully satisfied that the model is totally customized. Customizing designs is part of remixing models, which is highly encouraged by the Thingiverse community.

Actually the Thingiverse Customizer was recently upgraded to a more excellent version of OpenSCAD, which bears superior features. For instance, the new version allows one to freely make recursions, which essentially means repeating similar shapes will become possible.

As a result, designers or members of Thingiverse are now able to come up with whatever recursion design they had previously been unable to due to the limitation of the old customizer version.

Check out some of the Amazing 3D Printable Objects available nowadays. Please leave a comment below or share this article with your colleagues.

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