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If you’ve just bought a 3D printer, you’re likely looking for places to find cool stuff to print, right? Sure, there are sites that mostly provide free models, but what if you want something a little more exciting? TurboSquid caters to professionals – even the New York Times uses it.

Now, the first thing to note is that the majority of TurboSquid’s models aren’t intended for 3D printing. Instead, they’re used in graphics, game design, and video creation. However, there is an easy way to find exactly what you need, and we’ll show you how below.

Step One: Deciding If TurboSquid Is Right For You

In comparison to some other sites, TurboSquid has fewer free models on offer. As we mentioned, it’s generally intended for people who want the highest quality instead of just the novelty factor of 3D printing. This does mean that there are hundreds of exemplary things you could print, but be if you’re not prepared to spend money, consider looking elsewhere.

how to print on turbosquid

Look at it this way: if you’ve just bought an expensive set of pens, you won’t want to use them for doodling. The same principle applies to 3D printing – the more you put in, the more you’ll get out.

Step Two: Finding Models That Can Be 3D Printed

This step is pretty straightforward. When you go to TurboSquid, you’ll see a search bar at the top of the screen. Try using search terms like “printer”, “printable”, or “3D print”. You’ll see a large selection of models to choose from, but before you get excited, look at the price directly below each image.

One thing becomes immediately obvious: the price doesn’t always correspond to model quality. For instance, a strange cub shape can cost almost $40 while a highly detailed, printable lion currently sells for less than $10.

turbosquid

You can use the “Price” drop-down menu to select a specific price range or enter your own. There’s also a “Free” option, although these models are often less detailed. When you find one you like, click it, then click the “Download” button on the right-hand side of the following page.

If you haven’t already registered, you’ll be asked to now. Once you’re all set up, try again and the model should download. Make sure you save it to a memorable location since you’ll need to find it shortly.

Step Three: Using The Model With Your 3D Printing Software

The following steps will vary based on the software that you use. In most cases, importing a model is as simple as clicking File, then Import. Browse to the place where you saved the TurboSquid model and click it to import. You should see the model appear onscreen.

turbo squid

If you’re experienced enough with 3D modeling, this is the stage where you can make changes to it. Want to smooth out those edges, change the model’s orientation, or add supports to prevent it tipping? No problem, take as much time as you need.

If you’d like to upload your model to TurboSquid, this is when you want to export it. Usually, this option is just below Import in the File menu. Export your model, upload it and enter its details. Otherwise, you’re ready to send your file to the printer.

Conclusion

TurboSquid is an excellent site for those tired of low-quality 3D models. It’s easy to use, easy to add to, and takes very little time to get used to. Once you’re comfortable with editing models, there’s really no limit as to how far you can go!

Justin Evans

Head Editor

After spending his youth hanging out at his local hardware shop, it was no wonder Justin decided to become a computer engineer. When he’s not working, he enjoys riding his Honda across the picturesque Montana farmlands.

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