World’s Largest 3D Design Community Has Grown into a Robust Gateway
to 3D Printing and 3D Design for Hundreds of Thousands of People
BROOKLYN, N.Y.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–MakerBot Thingiverse, the world’s largest 3D design community, reached a
million uploads and 200 million downloads on its platform. What
began in 2008 as a website exclusively for the burgeoning maker
community has grown into a robust gateway to 3D printing and 3D design
for hundreds of thousands of people worldwide including educators,
professional engineers and designers.
“We believe that the impact Thingiverse has had on 3D printing and 3D
design in its seven years is tremendous,” said Nadav Goshen, president
of MakerBot. “Thingiverse has helped popularize 3D printing by creating
a vibrant community and making it easy to discover, make and share 3D
designs. It has become the go-to place on the Internet for anyone
interested in 3D design and 3D printing. We are excited to see what
people come up with next.”
MakerBot founded Thingiverse in a Brooklyn-based hacker space because
they wanted a place on the Internet where they could share physical
objects. At the time, such a site didn’t exist. When Thingiverse was
created, most of its users were small-scale manufacturers, engineers, or
people who owned a 3D printer. During its first six months, the site
averaged between 30 and 40 uploads per week. Today, Thingiverse boasts
more than 2 million active monthly users and 1.7 million downloads per
month. It is also the home to a number of competitions like the Assistive
Technology and Fall
STEAM Challenges, which invite community members to collaborate and
create across the globe.
“When Thingiverse launched, 3D printing was very primitive, but you can
see how the technology has advanced by comparing old uploads to new
uploads,” said Tony Buser, a long time user of Thingiverse and current
director of web, mobile, and desktop at MakerBot. “Now people are
prototyping engines, prosthetics, and many other things that will
eventually be created and used in the physical world. We’re also seeing
students and teachers take advantage of Thingiverse as 3D printing and
design become integral to curricula across the country.”
MakerBot Thingiverse has evolved from a community geared around simply
sharing 3D designs on the web into a broad community of collaborators.
One of many milestones in the site’s history was the 2013 introduction
Customizer, which allows Thingiverse users to easily customize
existing 3D designs. Customizer not only made 3D design more accessible
for those who aren’t familiar with professional 3D design software but
also opened the door for more collaboration among its users.
One example of the collaborations on Thingiverse is the creation of the Robohand.
Through Thingiverse, a woodworker from Johannesburg, South Africa, and a
theatrical prop designer from Seattle, Washington, were able to work
together across 10,000 miles to create a prosthetic hand that has been
used to better the lives of hundreds of people across the globe. Now, a
larger community of doctors, hobbyists, educators and engineers on
Thingiverse continue to improve upon the original Robohand design, with
the goal of enabling low cost prosthetics for people who otherwise
wouldn’t get them.
Thingiverse also offers a glimpse into the use of 3D printing today.
Popular Thingiverse categories include Ikea
and games, and art.
Some of the most popular uploads of all time are the Low
Poly Mask, the Amazing
Gyroscopic Cube Gears! and practical items like the fully
assembled 3D printable wrench and an earbud
holder. To celebrate one million uploads, MakerBot is giving away 10
large popular prints from Thingiverse. To enter the giveaway, simply
fill out this
Educators across the country are using Thingiverse to teach their
students problem solving and collaboration to encourage them to apply
ideas and designs to real-world problems. According to MakerBot’s market
research, 79 percent of teachers who use MakerBot 3D printers use
Thingiverse in the classroom1. MakerBot also offers dedicated
resources for educators on Thingiverse, such as design challenges and Jumpstart,
which serves as an introduction to a number of free design programs that
can help people bring their ideas to the physical world.
As the world’s largest 3D printing community, Thingiverse encourages
everyone to create and remix 3D things, no matter their technical
expertise or previous experience. In the spirit of maintaining an open
platform, all designs are encouraged to use a Creative
Commons license that lets others use and remix designs.
MakerBot, a subsidiary of Stratasys
Ltd. (Nasdaq: SSYS), is leading the Next Industrial Revolution by
setting the standards in reliable and affordable desktop 3D
printing. Founded in 2009, MakerBot sells desktop 3D printers to
innovative and industry-leading customers worldwide, including
engineers, architects, designers, educators, and consumers. MakerBot has
one of the largest installed bases and market shares in the desktop 3D
printing industry, with more than 80,000 MakerBot Replicator 3D Printers
in the world. The robust MakerBot 3D Ecosystem makes 3D printing easy
and accessible for everyone. To learn more about MakerBot, visit makerbot.com.
1 Online surveys were
conducted over a period of four months with 1300+ respondents using
MakerBot 3D printers in an educational institution.