3D printers are rapidly become a required prop making accessory, thanks in large part to Bre Pettis over at MakerBot who made them incredibly affordable. Now you can not only design and print your own props and gear yourself, but you can also take files to a local 3D (via 3DHub) printer proprietor and have them printed for a nominal fee. But where do you get files if you don’t know how to design a 3D model? Well, that’s where Thingiverse comes in.
What is Thingiverse? MakerBot’s Thingiverse is a thriving design community for discovering, making, and sharing 3D printable things. As the world’s largest 3D printing community, we believe that everyone should be encouraged to create and remix 3D things, no matter their technical expertise or previous experience.
If you recall, we talked about 3D printed model sites before, with GoPro accessories, and Thingiverse certainly has their share of those (including a cool spherical mount that you put 4 Heros in for complete coverage). Thingverse has over 100,000 3D models ready to print and that number grows practically exponentially every day. Users can search by keyword or category and find page upon page of “things” to download and print.
But GoPro gear isn’t the only thing they can offer 3D models of to print. They also offer lens adapters, camera cages, tripod mounts, follow focus rails, replacement quick release shoes, battery covers, gimbal parts, sliders, even tripods and quadcopters! There’s DSLR gear, iPhone gear, GoPro Gear. Gear for lights (like a 3D printed barn door assembly). The fact is, if you can design it, you can print it.
You not only download the models to print, but you can also upload your own models to share with the class. Thingiverse thrives because it encourages everyone puts their models on the site with the open platform Creative Commons license, meaning that anyone can use or alter any design. And the more you interact with the Thingverse community, the more “street cred” you build.
If you want to build or modify a 3D model to print, you’re going to want to download the Thingiverse app, known as “Customizer,” the first software that uses Thingiverse’s API. So the next time you get ready to spend your hard earned money for a device that you may only use once or twice, or if you’re cringing about the high cost of movie gear, check out Thingverse for a model that you can print up to do the same job. I’m betting you can find it.
For more information, visit Thingiverse.com.