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How to Upload Models to Thingiverse

Hello! We hope this semester is going well and that you are enjoying creating a fun project for the GUBMES CAD competition. In this article, we are going to provide a short introduction to the Thingiverse platform so that you are all set to upload and submit your project when it is complete. So, let's get started!

Step 1: Create an account

Create a free account at

It doesn't matter whether this account is created with your university email or personal email address, either way is just alright.

Step 2: Upload media

Press Create >> Upload a Thing! at the top of the screen.

This will lead you to a page that looks like this:

Now you can upload files from your computer. You can upload your CAD models as many different file types, including STL, OBJ, DAE, and 3DS - if you hover over the link that says many more, you should be able to see a full list of supported 2D and 3D file types. You can also upload images, such as PNGs and JPEGs, and this is how you can add the realistic renders of your model. One thing you cannot upload here is video files. If you want to add a video file, such as an animation or other video of your model, you first need to upload that file to a platform like YouTube and then add the Youtube link into the Summary box further down on the page (example shown later in this blog post).

Suggested media types to include in your submission:

  1. Your CAD model, exported as something like an STL or OBJ file type so that an interactive preview is available on the project's Thingiverse page.

  2. One or two realistic renders. From different angles may be helpful.

  3. If you created the file with Fusion 360, a cool thing to include would be an F3D file, aka Autodesk Fusion 360 Archive File. While this will not be visible in the Thingiverse viewer, it will be included in the ZIP archive if someone viewing the page presses "Download All Files".

  4. An animation or video of your model could be nice, especially if it is meant to have moving parts. Even a screen-capture video of orbiting around the model with an appearance/material/colour added to it can be helpful, so that we can see what it looks like with the colour/appearance added. This should be uploaded to youtube and added to the Summary box as a youtube link. However, including a video is optional, not a mandatory requirement for the submission.

After uploading the media, do not worry about rearranging things, you can do that later once the project is Saved and/or Published.

Step 3: Fill in information

Once you've uploaded your media, you can scroll down to other sections, such as the Basic Information section as shown in the screenshot below:

Make sure to include a descriptive name for your project (called a Thing), choose an appropriate Category, and then decide what kind of license you want it to have. To me personally, a Creative Commons - Attribution license is pretty good.

You can find out more about Creative Commons licenses here.

Tags are optional, but feel free to add them if you'd like. Otherwise, scroll down to the next section.

Step 4: Summary and Thing Information

The next section, Thing Information, should look something like this, with a required Summary section and options to add other sections:

If you'd like, you can feel free to add other sections, however, the only section that is required is a Summary of your model. For the Summary, you can do a short 1-2 sentences about what your model is and what it does.

(The summary in the screenshot above is quite a bit longer than required, however, you are welcome to have a longer summary if you feel it necessary for explaining your model.)

A better example summary template:

This model is a ___________ and its purpose is ____________. It is useful/helpful/cool because _______________.

And then, of course, you can copy/paste the link to your videos in the Summary as shown above. The video will automatically show up in the gallery on the Thing's page, and it will probably be placed at the end of the gallery after all of the other media.

Step 5: Finish up

If you scroll down, the final section that we care about is this one:

Make sure to select the CAD program you used under Design Tools Used. Other than that, you can scroll back up to the top of the page and press the Save & View button:

(Please note that Save & View may effectively publish your Thing or at least make it visible on your profile, even though I don't think it's supposed to. Thingiverse is sometimes a bit of a buggy platform and not everything always works as it's supposed to. So just make sure you are alright with the project being published!)

Now you will see essentially a preview of what the Thing's page will look like:

If you press on Edit Thing, you end up on the editing page, where you should now see most of the media - excluding the videos but including the CAD - visible as thumbnails:

You can now rearrange the thumbnails by dragging them around, and you can also scroll down on the page to edit other sections such as the Summary.

Whenever you are fully done with the editing and feel ready to publish your project, press Publish Thing at the top of the page.

Your project should now be published and it should now have a special URL as shown in the address bar at the top of the page:

This is the permanent link to your project. Even if you don't note it down, you should still be able to find your project again from your Thingiverse profile page. However, this is the link we would like you to submit for this competition.

When you are ready to submit your project, copy/paste the Thingiverse link into this Google Form, fill out the rest of the form, then submit - and celebrate! 🎉🎊


"File should be less than 500KB" alert in browser.

Make sure that the file is less than 500KB

Thingiverse images/videos/media not showing up or showing up as broken image links once published.

Open a Private or Incognito window, copy/paste the Thingiverse URL, and visit that page. If the media shows up there in the private window, it means you just need to clear the cache on your browser. If you are using Google Chrome, go to History >> Clear Browsing Data, then only select "Cached images and files" so that only cached images and files are cleared.

How to use the interactive model viewer on the Thing's page?

Make sure to press this button first (circled in red):

Now you should be able to rotate the model around and look at it from different angles using your mouse.

How to create realistic renders and animations in Fusion 360?

We will be providing some more resources about this in the coming weeks, for right now here are a few guides that may be helpful, however, some are a little more in-depth than necessary:

How to Draw, Render, and Animate with Fusion 360:

Part 4: Beginners Guide to Fusion 360 - Rendering Techniques:

Render Models in Fusion 360:

Fusion 360 Rendering: How to Get Started

Advanced Rendering in Fusion 360: Photorealistic Visual Storytelling:

Fusion 360 Animation Deep-dive:

Why is exporting an F3D file useful and how do you export it?

If someone uploads this file into Fusion 360, they will be able to edit the model easily as well as see its Design History, Parameters, and other data. To be able to create the F3D file and download it to your computer, go to File >> Export... and set the type to Autodesk Fusion 360 Archive Files (*.f3d), then change the file name and location and press Export.

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