Growing in Stature and Range: Sketchfab Launches a Download Option & Tips 200k 3D Files

As Sketchfab continues to extend its reach and impress with its vision of providing a comprehensive platform for publishing 3D content, today the company is making two announcements to further support its goals.

The first is an important new feature that is both original and entirely functional and useful — the option to make your files available for download. According to the company, and we tend to agree here at 3DPI, this makes Sketchfab not only the easiest way to publish and embed a 3D file, but it is also a great way to grow its user base of people looking for 3D content for 3D printing (of course). However, the utility also extends to building video games and Virtual Reality (VR) experiments – or – in a digital world increasingly gathering in online communites, simply for sharing and collaborating privately (or publicly) on 3D designs. Any Sketchfab user can now choose to publish 3D content for display only, or for display and download under Creative Commons licenses.

The following is a nice example, it’s a granite head of Amenemhat III, by the British Museum on Sketchfab:

Sketchfab’s repository has grown significantly in recent months and the site features some high quality content — all available for free download — from 3D scanned dinosaurs to Minecraft cathedrals. The company tells us they are delighted (and rather excited) to be expanding its capabilities and hosting the first downloadable 3D collection of The British Museum, as well as heritage sites from CyArk.

According to Chris Michaels, Head of Digital Media & Publishing, The British Museum Sketchfab is not alone in its excitement, he said: “The British Museum is fascinated by the potential of 3D to unlock new ways for people to interact with our collection – and love what Sketchfab are doing to power this market. So today we’re making available a set of 3D models produced by one of our team for download from Sketchfab. We’re fascinated to see what people do with them, and can’t wait to experiment more in this exciting new area … so watch this space!” 

And that’s not all on the download front, either. HTC is releasing its first ever 3D printable phone case, for the HTC One M8 and it will be exclusively available on Sketchfab, downloadable straight from any Sketchfab 3D embed (below), and also printable locally, wherever you are, via 3D Hubs.

These organizations join other big names that are recognizing and appreciating the utility of Sketchfab. Microsoft has published a collection of downloadable models on Sketchfab that can be printed via its 3D Builder app, available in the Windows Store. Formlabs now has a dedicated Sketchfab gallery, with content crowdsourced from its users. And, of course, you can also find works from Fashion designer Francis Bitonti – who designed the first 3D printed dress for Dita Von Teese, as we covered here previously.

If you want some numbers to back up the claims of growth and reach, Sketchfab also notes today that it has reached an important number milestone: and now hosts more than 200,000 3D files that have been uploaded onto the platform so far. This makes Sketchfab one of the largest repositories of 3D content and certainly the leading platform to publish and embed interactive 3D models.

And, the guys tell us, there is still more to come, much more!