Computers & Mobile
Shapeways adds free 3D parts database






Shapeways now offers free, Creative Commons licensed mechanical parts models that we can use in our projects. I’m sure they’d love it if we used these CAD models to build the contraptions of our dreams on the computer and then printed them through Shapeways, but even if we don’t, the virtual models are ours to keep.

I haven’t built any 3D printed mechanical models yet, but I’ve been impressed by the results of other designers. Check out this functioning roll-back racer. This is science fiction, right?! Unlike the excellent Thingiverse, this is not a community-driven database, but Shapeways says they plan to allow user-contributions in the future.

The files are in the STL format, which most 3D modeling packages I’ve dealt with can import.

Shapeways 3D parts database

6 thoughts on “Shapeways adds free 3D parts database

  1. They have a strange privacy agreement…
    “You should know that these service providers may be located around the world, therefore by ticking the box at the time of registration you agree that your personal information may be transferred from your home country to third parties located around the world.”

    makes it sound like once it’s out of the country they offer no guarantees.

    Good info though, perhaps I’m just being too paranoid.

    1. Agreed, that is a freaky statement. What does it mean? It’s like “You should know that the internet has servers all over the planet, by sending an email you agree that electrons will do a happy dance across the globe.” I did notice that they have a pretty excellent 404 error page.

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John Edgar Park likes to make things and tell people about it. He builds project for Adafruit Industries. You can find him at and twitter/IG @johnedgarpark

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