We launched our community hub PrusaPrinters.org three years ago in April 2019 and it quickly became more than just a popular source of high-quality 3D models. There’s ongoing active development of new features (largely based on user feedback), that has led to the introduction of community contests, user groups, events, rewards, and many other activities and tools.
However, there was a bit of confusion among users about whether they are “allowed” to use PrusaPrinters when they don’t have one of our 3D printers. So we started looking for a new name. Say hello to Printables.com!
Printables.com replaces PrusaPrinters.org and keeps its ever-growing library of high-quality 3D models, while some features move over to Prusa3D.com. Our intention is to make the website more open and welcoming to all 3D printer owners and also introduce new features.
Say hello to Printables!
So, the reason for renaming is pretty obvious. By the way, the reason why we originally chose PrusaPrinters.org as a name was because there was an older project (from 2015) made with similar intentions – it featured a blog, various guides, forums, and so on. Back then, it made sense to use an active domain and evolve the concept. And what an evolution it was – check out the infographic below! 🙂
Our goal remains the same, though: We want Printables to be your go-to site for high-quality and useful 3D-printable models, no matter what machine you have. This, of course, requires more than just changing the name – that’s just the first step. For example, the website always required you to sign in with your Prusa Account, however, in the upcoming weeks, we’ll add the option to sign in with your Google or Facebook accounts. There’s already a much wider range of 3D printers you can select in your profile, not just our machines.
Database of high-quality free 3D models
While there are online libraries of 3D models with hundreds of thousands of models, you will usually quickly realize they offer tons of duplicate objects, slightly altered versions of the same model, etc. We’re taking a different approach. We take our time to curate uploaded objects, support individual designers, organize community contests with valuable prizes that motivate creators to come up with something new, fun, and useful. With the website renamed to Printables.com, we’re expecting an influx of new members and models, so the library will grow even faster.
This is why it’s also important to give you the necessary tools and resources to quickly find and organize projects, models, and groups. You can easily create private and public collections of models, upload “Makes” (photos of finished prints) and you can also use the built-in 3D model viewer not just for STL and 3MF files but for G-Codes as well. The viewer is quite powerful and features several different view modes, so you can inspect the model even before you download it. Comments and ratings will also help you decide whether the model is exactly what you’re looking for. Our goal is to provide you with the best database of 3D models.
We’re also finishing a large overhaul of the front page (scheduled for release in the upcoming weeks) and actually a lot more.
An active community is key
While it’s perfectly fine to visit the site just for a couple of quick downloads, if you actually decide to stay a bit longer, you can discover all sorts of additional activities. Active community members can receive both digital and physical rewards – including free spools of Prusament! There are awards for both designers and makers. So even if you can’t design new models, you can simply help others, e.g. by publishing photos of finished prints (Makes) and you can still collect enough points. These can be exchanged for spools of filament or our merch. Sharing Makes is useful for everyone – you’ll let the designer know that you like their model, and other users see how the object looks in the real world and that it is, in fact, printable.
You can learn more about the reward system, badges and points by clicking the spool next to your profile icon in the top right corner of Printables.com or you can read our previous article covering all the changes.
Community members are the most important part of Printables.com, so we want to give creators the motivation and tools to share their awesome creations and also give everyone else the tools to discover new models. The planned social feed overhaul is one of the planned upgrades, so you’ll always have a handy overview of the latest things happening around your favorite designers and creators. We’ll also add detailed statistics for your models and more. These changes are literally around the corner with more stuff coming later this year, e.g., we would love to give designers the option to monetize their models.
Printables.com is being continuously developed by a dedicated team within Prusa Research. One of the key elements was to have everything running on reliable and powerful server infrastructure, so using the web, and searching and downloading models is quick and convenient at all times.
Just getting started
So far, the three years with PrusaPrinters.org have been a great ride! We watched the community grow, share awesome design ideas, participate in all sorts of contests and endeavors – the “Groups” feature allowed people to quickly organize the production of protective face shields during the Covid-19 pandemic. We received tons of feedback and adjusted both key systems along with various bits and pieces to make the website easier to navigate and use. We hope you’ll like it!
We’re looking forward to your feedback and as always: Happy printing!