3D Printing Group

Created by Abe Gladstone on 15 February, 2018

Finding 3D prints for a profit.

I am new to the 3D printing game but getting obsessed fast. I read about 3D printers 7 or 8 years ago and never thought I would own one, but Santa was good to me this year and brought me a Creality Ender 3!!=) I love it and have not stopped learning or printing since Christmas. I am not really good at modeling my own work YET, but have been learning to model in Blender a little bit. In the mean time I have been slicing .STL files that I find on grabcad. I've had good successful prints and would like to maybe paint and sell these on a website that I would create. My wife has MS and I thought this might be a good part time at home work for her. I absolutely would not want to break the law or offend any of the artist. How could I put this plan into action legally? Is there a site to buy .STL files for commercial use? Or am I approaching this completely wrong?

Thanks so much for you time and thoughts.

Accepted answer

So using GrabCAD models and selling those breaks our terms of service and community rules.

However I love the enthusiasm and excitement around 3D printing. I would look at maybe running your own tiny service bureau. People would send you their parts they would like to be made. You then 3D print the part, post process it, and send it to the customer.

This is a viable business that many people use today. Until you get better at your own design skills, you will most likely just be a service provider.

But keep working at your skills and look out for a new blender tutorial we are working on for 3D printing! :D


1 Other answer

One safe way is to buy the STL file rights for printing, which is not provided in Grab CAD since this is sort of a LinkedIn for CAD nuts like me, and LinkedIn is sort of a Facebook for professionals, you got the idea.

I do sell my work on


where you can find anything for sale with rights to print as many as you see fit.
There are things easy to design for like 1 buck, things more work intensive for a few bucks, things well done for 10 or 20 bucks, and it goes up to things that really took months of work and it might cost you hundreds of bucks to buy a STL file.

Also there is thingiverse.com, but I have no clue of their license agreements.

Apart those there are many other sites, but again, you need to read their licensing agreement.

One advice thou, make sure you can print dual nozzle so you have soluble supports printed to your prints through a separate nozzle, or cleaning them is going to be so labor intensive you soon will give up.
Note, if you print something that has no supports enclosed in a rather nard to reach internal system, than you can simply print with incompatible filaments as support, see here: