8 Best Places to Sell 3D Models for 3D Printing

Marcello De Lio

Last Updated:

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A man and a woman testing a 3d model on their 3d printer. They have a laptop and a Ender 3 S1 printing an object

If you’ve got design skills, you can make money selling your 3D models online. Finding the right platform to sell their 3D models is a challenge. With numerous options, choosing which platform offers the best visibility, fair compensation, and a supportive community for sellers is overwhelming.

As the demand for 3D printing grows, sellers will continue to profit from creating original designs.

We’ve scoured the internet, compared platforms, and used our own insights from selling online to bring you a curated list of the 8 best places to sell your 3D models for 3D printing.

8 Best Places to Sell 3D Models

If you’re passionate about creating 3D models and want to monetize your work, several online platforms can help you reach potential buyers. Here are the eight best places to sell 3D models.

MyMiniFactory

Screenshot of myminifactory homepage the Best Places to Sell 3D Models
Pros

A large community of 3D printing enthusiasts

Dedicated to models for 3D printing

You can directly communicate with buyers

Cons

High competition

High fees

Only supports STL file formats

  • Platform Fee: 8%
  • Payment Fee:
    • Sales of $3 or More: 2.9% + $0.30
    • Sales Under $3: 5% + $0.10
  • Non-US Customers: 1% Surcharge

MyMiniFactory has been a beacon for 3D creators and makers since 2013. The platform focuses on commerce and community, creating a safe and respected platform for makers.

Founded in 2013, MyMiniFactory is a community and marketplace for buying and selling 3D printable models. The specific focus on 3D printing makes MiMiniFactory our favorite choice for selling 3D models.

MyMiniFactory offers a user-friendly interface, wide category selection, and commitment to ensuring every model on the platform is printable.

One core feature that positions MyMiniFactory as a leading platform is its stringent vetting process. Each model submitted to the site undergoes a thorough review by an actual person to confirm its printability.

The vetting process enhances the buyer’s experience by guaranteeing that all of the models on the website are of high quality. Their commitment to quality and user features builds trust with users and makes it easier for buyers to purchase models.

MyMiniFactory empowers artists by offering them control over their pricing and intellectual property. MyMiniFactory provides a transparent and artist-friendly revenue model. Artists have the freedom to set their own prices and can earn up to 90% of the sales revenue, one of the highest rates in the industry.

MyMiniFactory stands out because it offers a well-chosen collection of models to print, good ways for 3D printing artists to make money, a lively community, and lots of support and learning materials. It’s a great place for artists to sell their 3D models for printing. Artists can sell their work and grow in the 3D printing world.

Cults3D

Screenshot of the Cults3D homepage
Pros

Low fees

Large community

Easy-to-use tools

The site gets a lot of traffic from people in the 3D printing community

Cons

Poor customer support

Strict content guidelines

Only supports Paypal

  • Platform Fee: 20%

Cults3D launched in 2014 and has quickly become one of the leading marketplaces for 3D printing enthusiasts. The platform connects talented designers with buyers from around the globe.

Cults3D distinguishes itself through its dedication to fostering a vibrant ecosystem where artists can sell their 3D models, engage with users, and be part of an ever-growing community passionate about 3D printing.

Cults3D prides itself on being more than just a marketplace; it’s a hub for creativity and innovation.

The platform hosts various 3D models spanning categories such as art, fashion, jewelry, and home decor, catering to various interests and needs. What makes Cults3D stand out is its commitment to democratizing access to 3D printing, allowing both professional designers and hobbyists to share their creations with the world.

As an artist, you can set your own prices for models, and Cults3D takes a modest commission, ensuring that creators are fairly compensated for their talent and effort.

The essence of Cults3D lies in its community. The platform facilitates user interaction and engagement, enabling designers to receive feedback, gather insights, and directly connect with their audience. Cults3D also organizes contests and themed events, offering artists opportunities to showcase their creativity, gain visibility, and win awards. These community-focused initiatives create a supportive environment that encourages growth and collaboration among members.

Cults3D has a user-friendly interface and easy navigation. The platform offers powerful search and filter tools, allowing users to easily discover new models and designers.

For artists, uploading and managing their designs is straightforward, with clear guidelines and support to ensure their models reach the right audience. Cults3D’s commitment to accessibility extends to its educational resources, offering guides, tutorials, and articles to help users stay informed about the latest trends and techniques in 3D printing.

Shapeways

Screenshot of the Shapeways 3D models page
Pros

Flexible fee structure

User-friendly website and seller tools

Cons

Lot’s of competition

Only supports STL files

  • Markup: Shapeways sets a base price, and you choose the markup you’d like to receive.
  • Payment Processing Fee: 3.5%

Shapeways is a pioneering platform that connects artists with a global audience and revolutionizes how you sell 3D models. Founded in 2007, Shapeways has been at the forefront of the 3D printing industry. They offer a unique comprehensive set of services including their design marketplace, printing, manufacturing, and shipping of 3D models.

What sets Shapeways apart is its full-service approach to 3D printing and sales.

You can upload their digital models to the platform, making them available for sale to consumers worldwide. Unlike other marketplaces where the artist’s involvement ends at the sale of a digital file, Shapeways takes care of the entire production process.

When a customer purchases a design, Shapeways handles the printing, quality assurance, packaging, and shipping. Shapeways’ business model reduces the logistical burden on artists and opens up 3D design sales to those who may not have access to their own 3D printers.

Shapeways boasts a vast, global customer base, allowing designers to showcase their work to an international audience. This exposure is invaluable for artists as they build their own and establish themselves in the competitive world of 3D design. Furthermore, Shapeways offers tools and support for artists to promote their designs within the platform, including customizable shopfronts and analytics tools to track sales and customer engagement.

CGTrader

Screenshot of the CGTrader Homepage
Pros

A large community of 3D creators

Easy-to-use tools for sellers

Competitive fees for sellers

Cons

Slow customer service

Hefty commission

Bans firearm models

  • Your Commission:
    • 100 points for a 71% royalty rate
    • 500 points for a 72% royalty rate
    • 2,000 points for a 73% royalty rate
    • 4,000 points for a 74% royalty rate
    • 7,000 points for a 75% royalty rate
    • 11,000 points for a 76% royalty rate
    • 15,000 points for a 77% royalty rate
    • 20,000 points for a 78% royalty rate
    • 30,000 points for a 79% royalty rate
    • 40,000 points for a 80% royalty rate
  • Payment Processing Fee:
    • PayPal/Venmo: $0.3 / €0.25
    • Local Bank: Basic $0.8 / €0.7 / International $4.1 / €3.75
    • Wire Transfer: 2% (min $7.7 / €7 / max $23 / €21)
    • Foreign Exchange Fees: 1.9%-3.75%

CGTrader launched in 2011 and boasts a community of over 2.2 million users. The platform offers an expansive platform for artists to sell their 3D models beyond the 3D printing community. Their global audience includes individual enthusiasts, professional designers, and large corporations.

Its unique approach to connecting creators with buyers and a suite of tools designed to facilitate the sale and distribution of 3D models position CGTrader as a premier choice for artists in the 3D printing and design industry.

The platform supports both royalty-free and exclusive sales, allowing you to choose the best strategy for your work.

The platform offers one of the most competitive royalty rates in the industry, allowing artists to keep up to 80% of the revenue from their sales. Additionally, CGTrader allows you to set your own prices for their models, giving you control over their earnings and the value of their creations.

Etsy

Screenshot of a search for 3d models on Etsy
Pros

Large customer base

Set your own prices

Opportunity to bundle digital design and print-on-demand services

Opportunity to earn more through the referral program

Advertising tools

Cons

Listing fees and transaction fees

Lots of competition

One bad review can really hurt your business

  • Listing Fee: $0.20
  • Transaction Fee: 6.5%
  • Payment Processing Fee: 3% + $0.25 (varies by country)

Etsy is renowned for its focus on handmade items. While it might not be the first platform that comes to mind for 3D printed goods, Etsy has increasingly become a popular choice for artists and designers specializing in 3D models.

Etsy launched in 2005 and has evolved into a vibrant community of over 81 million active buyers. Their large customer base makes it an attractive platform for 3D artists looking to reach a diverse and engaged audience.

Etsy’s broad appeal lies in its eclectic mix of products, from jewelry and clothing to home decor and art. This diversity attracts a wide range of customers, many of whom are looking for unique, personalized items that can’t be found anywhere else.

For 3D artists, Etsy offers a unique opportunity to tap into this market. You can sell the digital files and offer to print and ship your creations.

Etsy set of seller tools allows you to provide customization services. Whether it’s custom figurines, personalized gifts, or intricate home decor, Etsy provides a platform for artists to connect with buyers seeking one-of-a-kind items that reflect their personal style and interests.

Etsy provides you with comprehensive analytics to track shop performance, advertising and promotional tools to reach a wider audience, and a robust support system offering advice on everything from shop setup to SEO optimization. Unfortunately, Etsy’s fee structure is complicated, with a listing fee, transaction fee, and payment processing fee. The listing fee is an upfront cost for new artists to get started.

Etsy is particularly well-suited for artists specializing in niche or customizable 3D printed items. The platform’s audience appreciates the value of customization and is willing to pay a premium for products that are tailored to their specific needs and tastes.

Turbosquid

Screenshot of the Turbosquid homepage where designers sell 3d models
Pros

Large 3D model marketplace

High profile clients

Specialized tools for visualization and marketing

Lots of payment options

Turbosquid certification program can help you get higher sales marking your designs as certified

Cons

High fees

Extremely competitive

High-quality standards

3D models of firearms are not allowed on the platform

3D models with copyrighted names are banned from the site

  • Platform Commission: 20% – 60% based on your SquidGuild Level

TurboSquid is a colossus in the realm of digital marketplaces for 3D models. The platform caters primarily to professional artists, designers, and businesses needing high-quality, ready-to-use 3D assets.

Since its inception in 2000, TurboSquid has been at the forefront of providing a vast and varied catalog of 3D models, ranging from simple household items to intricate architectural wonders and detailed characters. Its reputation for quality, reliability, and broad selection has made it an industry go-to resource. It’s popular in film, animation, video game development, and architectural visualization.

TurboSquid distinguishes itself through its extensive collection of premium 3D models that meet rigorous standards for quality and usability. The platform ensures that models are visually appealing and technically sound, with clean topology, accurate textures, and compatibility with various rendering engines and 3D software.

This commitment to quality attracts a clientele that demands the best, including major film studios, game developers, and advertising agencies, allowing artists to feature their work in high-profile projects and productions.

One of TurboSquid’s strongest appeals for 3D artists is its competitive compensation model and steadfast commitment to protecting intellectual property. Artists selling on TurboSquid can earn some of the highest commission rates in the industry, with the potential to increase their earnings based on exclusivity agreements and the popularity of their models.

Furthermore, TurboSquid’s strict enforcement of copyright and licensing terms ensures that artists’ work is protected and properly compensated, providing peace of mind and financial incentives for creators to share their best work.

Patreon

A screen shot of the pricing for Lord of the Flies Patreon account who sells designs for 3D printed D&D figures
Pros

Recurring revenue

Excellent community tools to build and grow your following

Tiered pricing model

Provides flexibility with pricing

Cons

You need to drive your own sales

  • Commerce Digital Sales: 5%
  • Membership Payments:
    • Founders: 5% (plus payment processing, currency conversion, payout fees, and applicable taxes.)
    • Pro: 8% (plus payment processing, currency conversion, payout fees, and applicable taxes.)
    • Premium: 12% (plus payment processing, currency conversion, payout fees, and applicable taxes.)

If you’re a 3D model designer looking to monetize your work, consider creating a Patreon. Patreon allows creators like you to earn a monthly income by providing exclusive access to your designs to paying members.

Unlike traditional marketplaces or commission-based platforms, Patreon enables you to receive funding through a subscription model. The subscription model provides you with recurring revenue and allows fans and supporters to become patrons of your work.

Patreon presents a unique opportunity to monetize their skills, share exclusive content, and interact with their audience more personally.

The flexible subscription platform allows artists to set up various membership tiers. Each tier has its own set of rewards and exclusive content, such as early access to new models, behind-the-scenes looks at the design process, or personalized 3D models.

One of the most significant advantages of Patreon for 3D artists is the ability to cultivate a community of dedicated supporters. The platform encourages direct communication between creators and their patrons, fostering a sense of connection and mutual appreciation.

You can share updates, gather feedback, and involve your patrons in the creative process. The community features create a collaborative environment that enriches your work and enhances your patrons’ experience. This close-knit community aspect strengthens the bond between artists and their audience and provides creators invaluable insights and motivation.

The biggest downside is that you must direct people to your business.

Unlike marketplaces that have existing customers, you’ll need to market your business and direct people to purchase your Patreon subscriptions. Patreon does have a search tool for users to find creators, but most of your business comes from your marketing efforts.

If you have an existing audience, Patreon is perfect, as it provides you with recurring revenues, flexible monetization, and the ability to interact with your patrons.

Creality Cloud

Screenshot of 3D models for sale on Creality Cloud
Pros

User-friendly tools for sellers and buyers

Tutorials and educational tools for sellers

Fast growing platform

Dedicated platform for 3D models for 3D printing

Cons

Limited payment options

Most users are dedicated to the Creality ecosystem, which limits your reach

  • Platform Fee: 10% + PayPal Fees

Creality, a renowned manufacturer of 3D printers, has developed the Creality Cloud. Creality Cloud goes beyond being a repository of 3D models. It integrates social networking, cloud-based slicing, model sharing, and a marketplace into a single platform.

The Creality Cloud platform provides a holistic experience for the 3D printing community. For 3D artists looking to dive into the 3D printing world, Creality Cloud offers various features designed to showcase their work, collaborate with others, and even monetize it.

Creality Cloud stands out with its focus on the 3D printing ecosystem.

Creality Cloud distinguishes itself by offering a suite of tools and services tailored to the needs of the 3D printing community. Artists can upload and share their 3D models. Users can purchase slice, and print models using the cloud tools.

The platform’s cloud-based slicing tool enables users to prepare models for printing directly within the browser, streamlining the process from model selection to printing. The all in one approach quickly gained traction in the 3D printing community. Creality Cloud is becoming a go-to place for makers to purchase and download 3D models.

Creality Cloud provides 3D artists with opportunities to monetize their creations through its marketplace. You can offer your designs for sale or free download, reaching a wide audience of 3D printing enthusiasts. The platform’s integration with Creality’s range of 3D printers ensures a seamless user experience, from discovering models to printing them, thereby increasing creators’ visibility and potential revenue.

By setting up a storefront on Creality Cloud, you can tap into the expansive and growing Creality user base.

Creality Cloud provides 3D you with opportunities to monetize your creations through its marketplace. You can offer your designs for sale or free download, reaching a wide audience of 3D printing enthusiasts. The platform’s integration with Creality’s range of 3D printers ensures a seamless user experience, from discovering models to printing them, thereby increasing creators’ visibility and potential revenue.

By setting up a storefront on Creality Cloud, artists can tap into the expansive and growing Creality user base, offering their unique designs to a community eager for new and innovative 3D printable models.

Can I Make Money Selling 3D Models?

Cad engineer workstation

Yes, you can make money by selling 3D models. If you have design skills, selling 3D models for 3D printing can be a profitable 3D printing business idea.

With the growth of 3D printing technology, there’s a significant demand for high-quality 3D models. Fortune Business Insights predicts that the 3D printing market size will grow at an annual rate of 24.9% reaching $105.99 billion by 2030.

With the fast growth of the 3D printing industry, demand for 3D models will continue to grow.

There are many designers making money selling 3D models.

One of the most successful 3D designers is Lord of the Print. His Patreon has 9,669 at the time of this writing. With a minimum subscription of $10.75, the 3D print designer makes more than $100,000 of recurring monthly revenue.

Can you expect to make that much money? Maybe but it will take a lot of work.

Lord of the Print has been around for several years. And is one of the most popular designers of 3D-printed miniatures.

While you might not make $100,000 monthly, thousands of people make $1,000+ monthly.

A great side income if you have a passion for design.

Your success relies on the quality and uniqueness of your models. Higher-quality models that appeal to buyers’ needs sell better.

Creating models that meet market demands and using the right platforms can turn your 3D modeling skills into a profitable venture.

Legal Considerations and Best Practices

A 3d designer creates a model for 3d printing on a desktop computer

When you’re stepping into the world of selling 3D models, staying informed about the legal landscape is important. Copyright concerns encompass digital asset sails.

It’s best to inform yourself about intellectual property laws and establish best practices to protect your work and reputation. Additionally, you want to ensure that your work doesn’t infringe on existing trademarks and copyrights.

Here’s a friendly guide to help you navigate. The following should be seen as general tips and not legal advice. Always consult with a lawyer for legal advice. :

Licensing

Almost every platform provides a license type with downloadable files. The license is set by the original creator or designer of the file and outlines permissions associated with the file, such as if you can remix, sell, distribute, or if credit is required for sharing.

Thingiverse promotes using Creative Commons licenses for models uploaded to its site. Creative Commons licenses are part of a group of public copyright licenses that allow copyrighted works to be freely distributed.

The table below outlines the various Creative Commons copyright licenses, providing an overview of each license’s key characteristics and permissions. This classification helps creators decide how they wish to share their work, balancing protection with accessibility and reuse.

License TypePermissions
CC BY (Attribution)Others can distribute, remix, adapt, and build upon the work, even commercially, as long as the original creator is credited.
CC BY-SA (Attribution-ShareAlike)Others can remix, adapt, and build upon the work for any purpose, even commercially, as long as the original creator is credited and new creations are licensed under identical terms.
CC BY-ND (Attribution-NoDerivs)Others can use the work for any purpose, including commercially, but it cannot be shared with alterations, and the original creator must be credited.
CC BY-NC (Attribution-NonCommercial)Others can remix, adapt, and build upon the work non-commercially, and although new works must also acknowledge the creator and be non-commercial, they don’t have to be licensed on the same terms.
CC BY-NC-SA (Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike)Others can remix, adapt, and build upon the work non-commercially, as long as the creator is credited and new creations are licensed under the identical terms.
CC BY-NC-ND (Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs)Others can download the works and share them with others as long as they credit the creator, but they can’t change them in any way or use them commercially.
CC0 (Public Domain Dedication)Allows creators to waive all their copyright and related rights in their works, essentially placing them in the public domain, where they can be used for any purpose without restriction.

This table helps you decide which license you want to pursue for your work. If you sell your work through Patreon, you can choose different licensing for different tier Patrons.

Copyright

Be sure that the models you sell do not infringe on anyone else’s copyrights. Always create original work or have permission to use existing designs.

Modifying existing designs may be subject to the original creators’ copyright.

Article by

Marcello De Lio

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