Websites with STL files. Source: Varijanta/Shutterstock.com
Websites with STL files. Source: Varijanta/Shutterstock.com

Finding files to print with the Afinia 3D printer is relatively easy. The difficulty comes when deciding which model to print first. There are many web-based file depositories from which to download files and thousands of files available for download. Three of the most popular 3D file depositories with user-generated STL files are the following:

Autodesk 123D Content

Autodesk offers a FREE membership that will give access to FREE downloads. You will need to create an account and sign in. After signing in you will be able to save and download models in STL file format without downloading any plugins or utilities. 

To download a file, go to the Gallery and find the model you wish to download.  Then, click on the photo of the model.  Next, click on the Save/Download button, and finally, click on Fabrication. The file will be sent to your computer. 

Thingiverse

It is possible to download files from Thingiverse without becoming a member. However, a member has the options of watching, collecting, and liking user-generated files. Also, a member can upload 3D files they personally created. To become a member, click on Dashboard and fill out the simple form. 

To download a file, click on the Download This Thing button and then either click on Download All Files, or scroll down the file list and download the STL file.

Tinkercad

Tinkercad also offers user-generated content ready for immediate download in the STL format. As of this writing, Summer 2013, they are offering a FREE account. However, this may change in the future. After signing up a member can view video tutorials to learn how to create their own personal models with Tinkercad’s web-based computer-aided design software. Or click on Discover and view the creations of other members. After choosing a file to download, click on the photo and then click on Download for 3D Printing. You are then given the option to download in several file formats. For the Afinia 3D printer you will need to choose the STL format. An option to Copy & Tinker is also available if you would like to make changes to the file.