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Free desktop application that allows you to prepare, manage, and monitor 3D prints. Get it here.
Important Note - You must download and install the "Legacy" version of the software, not the latest version.
Newer versions of the app have removed support for our Makerbot Replicator 2 printers. To get the legacy software, scroll all the way down to the bottom of the Makerbot Print download page and click either Mac or Windows to get the appropriate version for your operating system.
The Makerbot Replicator 2 ships with various easy-to-print, successful designs pre-loaded on an SD card. If you are brand new to 3D printing and just want to print something quick and easy, these designs might be what you want to start with. From chain links, to a stretchy bracelet, to a nut-and-bolt and mr. jaws, these designs do a great job of demonstrating the potential of 3D printing, while taking less than an hour (most are under 30 minutes) to complete!
Check out 3D Printing @ Gerstein + MADLab's smart collection of easy first-time prints on Thingiverse for more inspiration!
Download a Pre-Existing 3D Design!
It's like a thing. 3D designers and printers like to share their work. Check out the links below and search for or browse for a design that suits your fancy. If you're a beginner, we recommend going with designs that have a picture of the finished product. That way, you might be able to tell if it'll work!
Thingiverse Education provides over a hundred free lessons that make teaching with a 3D printer easier and more effective for a variety of grade levels and subjects. It also provides a community where educators can exchange best practices or remix projects.
Few scientific 3D-printable models are available online, and the expertise required to generate and validate such models remains a barrier. The NIH 3D Print Exchange eliminates this gap with an open, comprehensive, and interactive website for searching, browsing, downloading, and sharing biomedical 3D print files, modeling tutorials, and educational material.
The NIH 3D Print Exchange is a collaborative effort led by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases in collaboration with the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute for Child Health and Human Development and the National Library of Medicine.
Smithsonian X 3D launches a set of use cases which apply various 3D capture methods to iconic collection objects, as well as scientific missions. All of these uses cases are accessible through the Beta Smithsonian X 3D Explorer, as well as videos documenting the project. For many of the 3D models, raw data can be downloaded to support further inquiry and 3D printing.
Gear Generator is a tool for creating involute spur gears and downloading them in SVG format. In addition, it lets you compose full gear layouts with connected gears to design multiple gear systems with control of the input/output ratio and rotation speed. Opera and Firefox are the most compatible browsers.
Meshmixer is state-of-the-art software for working with triangle meshes. Within this software, you can clean up a 3D scan, design parts of an object to fit within other objects, and edit models to smooth out rough surfaces or fix holes.
Sculptris provides an excellent gateway into the exciting world of 3D. It's features are easy to learn, even for someone with no experience in digital art, yet robust enough for creating base models that can then be refined in other applications.
Start with a sphere of virtual clay and shape it into whatever you want it to be. This is made possible in Sculptris by its amazing ability to locally redefine the internal structure of the model.
You can use SketchUp to explore design ideas and experiment with 3D. You can draw your home or famous buildings, use it for projects at home or school, or create fun stuff like cars, space ships, barns, or your dream house. You can share your models with others via the 3D Warehouse. And if your model has a location (you built it on a Google Earth image), you can also view it in Google Earth.
OpenSCAD is a software for creating solid 3D CAD models. It is free software and available for Linux/UNIX, Windows and Mac OS X. Unlike most free software for creating 3D models (such as Blender) it does not focus on the artistic aspects of 3D modelling but instead on the CAD aspects. Thus it might be the application you are looking for when you are planning to create 3D models of machine parts but pretty sure is not what you are looking for when you are more interested in creating computer-animated movies.
OpenSCAD is not an interactive modeller. Instead it is something like a 3D-compiler that reads in a script file that describes the object and renders the 3D model from this script file. This gives you (the designer) full control over the modelling process and enables you to easily change any step in the modelling process or make designs that are defined by configurable parameters.
Blender is a free and open source 3D animation suite. It supports the entirety of the 3D pipeline—modeling, rigging, animation, simulation, rendering, compositing and motion tracking, even video editing and game creation. Advanced users employ Blender’s API for Python scripting to customize the application and write specialized tools; often these are included in Blender’s future releases. Blender is well suited to individuals and small studios who benefit from its unified pipeline and responsive development process.