While the consumer 3D printing space continues to grow, so do online repositories of 3D printable files such as Thingiverse, Pinshape, GrabCad, and others....
As desktop 3D printing got it's rolling start, the online repositories of 3D printable files weren't as plentiful, nor the files that they had available. Over years the current websites grew and new websites emerged, all with a slightly different twist. Thingiverse, being free files only Pinshape then allowing designers the option to charge for their file downloads and Grabcad always having been geared specifically for engineering type project needs. Even with a few subtle differences, all of these services shared one thing in common. They had all but limited their visitor traffic and possible serviceable customers.
This year, Thingiverse along with 3D Hubs have changed this by adding the 'Order This Printed' button to nearly all of the hundreds of thousands of free designs on Thingiverse. While in the past, visitors to sites like Thingiverse typically were those whom already owned a 3D printer and could just print up their new downloaded files. Now with the 3D Hubs integration, anyone can now visit the Thingiverse website and get a 3D printed copy of nearly anything that you can think of. With over 100,000 designs and customizable options for many of them, you're bound to find plenty of Things you'll want to have custom printed in the color of your choice!
With 3D printer accessibility growing for so many users, it's nice to see how services like 3D Hubs continue to make 3D printing available to everyone, including those who don't have or don't intend to buy a 3D printer of their own.