The recent post on the Universal Connector Kit reminded me of the value of free downloadable files for 3D printing. It gives those with no 3D modeling experience a chance to experience the thrill of seeing a digital file translated into a physical object and gives 3D modelers the chance to give a little something back to the community.
The Downloadable section is currently one of the most popular search queries on Shapeways and there is some great content from the 1st Gen. iPad Smartcover Spine to the Electric Guitar for Minifigs, the Repair Part for a Bugaboo stroller and even a DIY Dremelfuge…
We know you spend a lot of time, energy and expertise making awesome 3D models that hold great value both personal and financial. If you have some 3D models that are not selling or are a previous iteration of a current design, why not share the love and make the item downloadable to others. All you need to do is tick the Allow Downloads in the product edit window and others can then access your file and print your designs.
There are of course other repositories on the web for 3D files but many do not take into account the materials and processes available at Shapeways and are therefore either unprintable due to wall thickness, mesh, normals and countless other issues or they are files suitable for DIY machines that currently have less resolution and cannot handle the complexities of overhangs and interlocking parts that Shapeways 3D printing can achieve..