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= sharing your digital designs with the world



"Thingiverse is a place for you to share your digital designs with the world. We believe that just as computing shifted away from the mainframe into the personal computer that you use today, digital fabrication will share the same path. Infact, it is already happening: laser cutters, cnc machines, 3D printers, and even automated paper cutters are all getting cheaper by the day. These machines are useful for a huge variety of things, but you need to supply them with a digital design in order to get anything useful out of them. We're hoping that together we can create a community of people who create and share designs freely, so that all can benefit from them." (


"Thingiverse is an “object sharing” site that enables anyone to upload the schematics, designs, and images for their projects. Users can then download and reuse the work in their projects using their own laser cutters, 3D printers, and analog tools. Think of it as a Flickr for the Maker set.

Besides implementing our licenses, Bre and Zach [Thingiverse's creators] have also gone the distance and allowed users to license works under the GNU GPL, LGPL, and BSD licenses, as well as allowing them to release works into the public domain." (


Thingiverse and the Long Tail of Manufacturing

Hod Lipson & Melba Kurman:

"the long tail of manufacturing is gradually taking shape on web sites such as which describes itself as “a place for friends to share digital designs for physical objects” (reminiscent of Napster). A quick browse of reveals an online flea market of electronic blueprints for objects anyone can make if they have access to a personal fabricator.

For example, in the online catalog, a plastic model of the Notre Dame cathedral (“Cathedral Play Set”) is offered alongside a Filament Guide Bracket (a part for a 3D printer) and a pair of black plastic nerd glasses.

Each design is featured on its own web page, complete with user reviews about the product, information about the designer, license information and pictures of people using or wearing the technology.

Enterprising users, if they see a design they like, can download the electronic blueprint, and further customize it if they want using free software design tools such as Google Sketchup or Blender. If they like, users can discuss their design innovations design online, share tips on the best materials to use and how the product worked once it was finally manufactured at home.

Right now, most contributors and consumers on are students and hobbyists, but the underlying buy/design/sell paradigm could easily scale into industrial manufacturing services." (

More Information

Profile of Bre Pettis in Wired, at