8 digital warehouse platforms for 3D models

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Noé Vincent

An engaging, interactive design experience requires a variety of assets to support and enhance the designers’ concepts. Assets include 3D models, textures, infographics, animations, and movies to assist users in developing concept narratives. These assets are available on various community platforms known as digital warehouses (sometimes called virtual warehouses); however, they are only stored on the cloud. They are digital archives containing 3D models, which designers must constantly update to create visualizations. These digital libraries have changed the way architects and designers visualize their concepts. Fortunately, a variety of digital warehousing platforms exist that offer a wide range of 3D models.

We have compiled a list of eight digital warehouse portals that allow designers to access a wide range of high-quality, professional 3D models.


TatianaDevos via Sketchfab

The Sketchfab is an online community platform where users may explore, buy, and sell 3D models for 3D modelling. Sketchfab accepts 3D models on their website or through plugins for 3D software such as SketchUp, 3ds Max, and Blender. Sketchfab’s primary product is a 3D model viewer that works with both virtual and augmented reality.

It allows users to freely move around the 3D scene using a mouse, touch, virtual reality (VR), or augmented reality (AR). In addition to 3D objects, the user may download the 3D models for free using creative commons licencing or sell them through the Sketchfab store. The users create profiles, and premium users can update and share their models privately.


Cliche Studio via TurboSquid

TurboSquid has been a 3D industry pioneer for more than 20 years, offering a unified 3D workflow, a marketplace with over a million 3D models, a marketplace specialised in 3D items, and a digital asset management system. The high-quality, professional 3D models for designers are available on the website, and the library includes models for computer games, architecture, vehicles, product design, and interactive training.

TurboSquid has a checkmate certification program that validates models to a common 3D modeling standard and lists them as certified in their catalog. The creation, optimisation, and publishing of 3D models reduces time and development costs.

3D Warehouse

Adolfo A. via 3D Warehouse

3D Warehouse is an open library where SketchUp users can upload and download 3D models for sharing. According to Trimble, 3D Warehouse is the most used 3D model platform on the internet. SketchUp creators can visit 3D Warehouse to learn about new goods and get ideas for their designs.

All models in 3D Warehouse are free to download, and anybody can create, alter, and re-upload 3D models for use in SketchUp or other similar tools like AutoCAD, Revit, and ArchiCAD, all of which support the models from 3D Warehouse. One of the most useful aspect of the 3D warehouse is that the models can be downloaded directly into the software, eliminating the need to save anything to your computer’s storage.


sMoKi via CGTrader

CGTrader, which launched in 2011, is a 3D model marketplace for virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR) and computer graphics (CG) applications, as well as a community of professional 3D artists. The company runs an online 3D model platform for designers. The digital files for the purchased models can be downloaded straight from the system or via the link provided in the email.

Freelance designers and design companies upload their work, which includes model descriptions, image and video previews, pricing, and technical specs. Buyers can choose from several file types and communicate directly with the authors. Buyers looking for 3D models can also bid and negotiate with designers.


A startup called GrabCAD developed a free cloud-based collaboration platform that lets groups arrange, examine, and distribute 3D models and CAD files. Millions of free CAD drawings, files, and 3D models are available at the GrabCAD library. The global creative platform provides top-notch content for 2D and 3D files along with full-service solutions. The essential element of cooperation makes knowledge exchange and design iteration easier.

The website is a unique substitute because it is user-friendly and interactive. It is also free to use. In April 2013, GrabCAD introduced Workbench, a feature that lets many professionals work on the same projects at the same time without encountering conflicts. Engineers can communicate with files externally using Workbench.

Unity Asset Store

NatureManufacture via Unity Asset Store

In November 2010, the Unity Asset Store launched as an online marketplace where users of Unity may sell project components (such as 3D models, artwork, music, etc.). An expanding collection of both free and paid components, contributed by Unity technologies and community users, can be found at the platform.

There are many different components available, such as textures, 3D models, and animations, in addition to tutorials, extension assets, and finished project. Designers can save time and effort by using these models from the store to enhance their projects, games, or applications instead of having to start from scratch when creating tools or models. The assets are added to the projects using the package manager in the editor after being purchased from the store online.



Though its main focus is on 3D printing, Cults also provides a large collection of free 3D models for use in a variety of industries, such as animation, architecture, and automotive. Cults divide 3D models into categories such as fashion, art, jewellery, home, architecture, and electronics after evaluating each one for printability.

The site is easy to use, even for beginners, and it allows them to exchange both paid and free 3D models. Professional-caliber designs appropriate for augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) platforms can be found in the collection of 3D model files. When it comes to designers on a tight budget, Cult is a great alternative.


McGybeer via Thingiverse

Thingiverse is a large repository of 3D models that are useful across various industries, even if its main purpose is to serve as a platform for 3D printing ideas. The platform primarily offers open-source, free hardware designs licenced under general public or creative commons licences. On this collaborative platform, designers may work together and make changes to designs. Thingiverse was among the first websites where users could modify parametric OpenSCAD drawings. Using scripting, OpenSCAD is a free and open-source tool that builds 3D models.

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