Thingiverse has become the thing to turn to for the making of…millions of things, literally. With yes, a staggering one million uploads being counted now– and more than 200 million total user downloads, the team at MakerBot has something to cheer about. And now, they are now celebrating their landmark one mil by giving away ten large popular prints from Thingiverse.
Thingiverse is amazing because it brings together so many positive elements–all centered around sharing. It’s free, open, and designers can share with each other and the public. Everyone can comment, people can enjoy a scientific and technical feel or a more arts and craftsy feel–and get input on their designs as well as allowing for others to download them and often make customizations or improvements to designs as well.
“We believe that the impact Thingiverse has had on 3D printing and 3D design in its seven years is tremendous,” said Nadav Goshen, president of MakerBot. “Thingiverse has helped popularize 3D printing by creating a vibrant community and making it easy to discover, make and share 3D designs. It has become the go-to place on the Internet for anyone interested in 3D design and 3D printing. We are excited to see what people come up with next.”
Certainly, everyone all around is surprised at quite the level of success this making and sharing platform has attained. Beginning with a narrow focus of makers, tinkerers, and hackers, now Thingiverse is a beloved go-to place for many hobbyists, educators, professional engineers, and designers.
“When Thingiverse launched, 3D printing was very primitive, but you can see how the technology has advanced by comparing old uploads to new uploads,” said Tony Buser, a long time user of Thingiverse and current director of web, mobile, and desktop at MakerBot. “Now people are prototyping engines, prosthetics, and many other things that will eventually be created and used in the physical world. We’re also seeing students and teachers take advantage of Thingiverse as 3D printing and design become integral to curricula across the country.”
“It’s a place where designers love sharing their work, because it’s where they can get the biggest audience,” says Buser.
According to information from MakerBot, during the first six months Thingiverse was active, the site averaged between 30 and 40 uploads per week. Today, they boast:
- Over 2 million active monthly users
- 1.7 million downloads per month
- Over 200 million total user downloads
Also home to numerous competitions, challenges, and hackathons, Thingiverse has become an ongoing and dynamic machine.
“We’re constantly working to improve things on Thingiverse,” says Buser. “We’re making it easier to upload, easier to search. We’re making it easier to get people engaged.”
Upon introduction of the Customizer in 2013, users were suddenly able to customize designs easily, gaining access to tools they’d never had before, as well as allowing the chance for more collaboration. The team points out that one of their most significant creations has been that of the Robohand USA, which we’ve followed extensively. They’ve gone from their beginning startup creating a prosthetic hand through Thingiverse to a highly acclaimed organization that creates 3D printed prosthetic devices for individuals all over the world who are in need.
Thingiverse is used widely in the classroom, in the library, and many different educational settings, and it only takes one exercise in navigating around the platform to see why. We’ve also lately reported a great deal lately on MakerBot’s educational promotions and incentives overall, and it’s inspiring to learn about so many MakerBot Innovation Centers opening as well as many different educational programs geared at offering 3D printing accessibility to schools.
A wide variety of categories serve as favorites on Thingiverse, such as the well known IKEA hacks, toys and games, fashion, and art.
A subsidiary of Stratasys, MakerBot was founded in 2009. Their primary focus is in selling desktop 3D printers to industry customers worldwide, to include engineers, architects, designers, educators, and consumers. Despite recent news of major layoffs and subpar performance, MakerBot and parent Stratasys are continuing forward with impressive contributions to the maker community. Are you a member of the Thingiverse community? What are your thoughts on this recent milestone? Let us know in the Thingiverse 1 Million Upload forum thread on 3DPB.com.