GitHub 3D

Social coding company GitHub announced today a new, free feature for 3D Printer owners and modelers, an STL file viewer. Now you can view your files right in the browser, in beautiful 3D, like this.

GitHub’s been doing cool things with their MakerBot for awhile now (which I’ve written about), and I’m particularly happy to see that they’re creating tools for people interested in hardware. In comparison to the iterative, collaborative environments for working on software, hardware has a lot of ground to make up, and they’re doing great work to push things along.

There are more STL files on GitHub than you might think, and now you can seamlessly zoom and rotate around each one. Since GitHub allows you to track each version of a file, you can see the model in various stages of development. One of the two developers leading the charge, Mike Skalnik, says “I think 3D printing is exciting because it’s a cool blend of software and hardware. I really want to make it easier for people to work on things like this together.”

Are you going to start hosting your STL files on GitHub as well as Thingiverse? What features would you like them to add next? Let us know what you think with a comment below.

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Eric Weinhoffer

Eric Weinhoffer

Eric is a Manufacturing Engineer at Other Machine Co., where he uses large machines to make smaller machines. When not building things, Eric enjoys skiing, cycling, and climbing.

  • Jake Spurlock

    We should build some tools so that you can view STL files on MAKE. #amirite?

    • Eric Weinhoffer

      Yes, definitely! Sketchfab is perfect for non-STL files, but it would be awesome if we could embed the GitHub viewer :)

  • bonooobong

    Awesome! Such a good news! Github’s new .stl viewer and MakerBot’s customizer app features make 3D printing much more fun, these are really user-friendly and easy ways of customization of 3D models without any deep 3D modeling skills. I’ve already uploaded my designs on Thingiverse, I think it’s time for me to give Github a try as well:) thanks for the inspiraiton;)

    • Eric Weinhoffer

      I’m glad you’re going to try GitHub! I only recently started using it to host and share things other than code, and have been very pleased with how easy it is to use, once you get used to it.

  • aloon

    github will eat Thingiverse

    • jstults

      Probably so, especially if they host things that Makerbot won’t.

  • Phil

    If you want to not only view, but also cost, orientate, estimate build time, view surface roughness and save oriented STL files, you should also have a look at This is also browser based running HTML5/WebGL

  • Marcos Scriven

    I’ve made a website which hopefully makes viewing and searching for GitHub models a little easier. Also, you can generate STL from OpenSCAD files right in the browser (in Javascript, not a backend service)

  • Marcos is the website – seemed to disappear from previous comment