Makerbot is celebrating the 10th anniversary of its 3D model sharing platform Thingiverse. The online platform, which now includes over two million users, is the largest free and open 3D printing community in the world.
Looking back over the past ten years of Thingiverse, its transformation and growth is nothing short of impressive. The platform, which is still supported by the maker movement and hobbyists who were its initial users, also hosts a range of other users, including educators, designers and even manufacturers.
The 3D model sharing website has somewhat followed the trajectory of the desktop 3D printer market, in this way, moving from experimental use to an often reliable source for 3D models and a resource for educators and commercial customers. Notably, even with 10 years under its belt, Makerbot Thingiverse still sees the 3D modeling industry as one that will change and grow even more.
“We’ve been at the forefront of 3D printing for a decade, but the industry of 3D modeling and printing is still in its infancy,” elaborated MakerBot CEO, Nadav Goshen. “A deep connection to customer needs drives our view of the market, and Thingiverse serves as a central conduit in that regard.
“The feedback from our customers is a core part of our mission to deliver more than just a great 3D printer. From cloud-based software to the lesson plans found on Thingiverse Education, we continue to push adoption and innovation to new bounds. We’ve maintained a consistent approach, and we will continue helping educators to advance learning and make 3D printing a part of every student’s toolbox. On the other end of the spectrum, we will continue to democratize 3D printing for professionals by making it accessible and affordable without compromising quality or performance.”
In terms of recorded growth, Makerbot reported that Thingiverse has had an average organic growth of 149% year-over-year for registered users since its founding in October 2008. Presently, the website hosts over 2.3 million registered users, who have collectively uploaded nearly 3 million 3D printable things. From hardware parts, to figurines, to robotic devices, these 3D printable files have reportedly been downloaded over 340 million times.
Well, here’s to another 10 years of Thingiverse!