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3D Printing

What is 3D printing?

It is a 3 dimensional printing process that creates a real object from a 3D digital file. There are several ways to achieve this object, they all rely on the deposition and solidification of material layer by layer.

How to 3D print?

To print in 3D is very simple. Just download a 3D printable digital model (on Cults for example). In general, the format of the 3D file is in .STL or .OBJ. When you have recovered the file on your computer, you must import it into your 3D printer software called a slicer. You make all the necessary adjustments in your slicer to prepare your print (size, temperature, infill, etc.). When your 3D model is ready, you just need to convert it to a gCode from your slicer. Then you will put the gCode on an SD card or USB key to connect it to your 3D printer and start 3D printing.

What is a STL file?

The STL file is the common file format for 3D printing. It means Stereolithography and was invented in the 1980s by one of 3D System founders. A STL file for 3D printer allows you to create a mosaic of triangles. These triangles have common edges, which means that the machine is able to know their location and orientation. This format does not include information about the color, texture or other usual parameters of a CAD model. You can also use the OBJ format to 3D print.

How to create a 3D model?

To model an object in 3D, you will need to use special 3D software. The software will also have to allow you to export your creation in 3D printable format, such as STL or OBJ. There are several solutions for creating 3D files, but the software we recommend if you are a beginner is the free online 3D software Tinkercad. Depending on your level, you could use more professional software such as ZBrush, Solidworks or Blender. For a complete list of 3D software, you can go to this article which lists the best 3D modeling software.

Can I print in color?

Some 3D printers can print in color. In this case, the information must be informed in the 3D file. The cheapest printers only print in one color for now.

What material can I print?

It depends on your 3D printer, the most common material is plastic (ABS or PLA), but it is possible to print metal, silver or wood. For more information, you can read our article 3D printing: an introduction to the different technologies.

What is the maximum size for an object?

Again it depends on your 3D printer. More precisely it depends on the size of its printing plate.

What is 3D streaming?

This is a process that sends directly the models to a 3D printer without having to download them beforehand. It is a solution offering the possibility to secure and control 3D file sharing.

How to fix 3D printing problems?

Personal 3D printers are still at a stage where not all 3D printed objects come out well the first time. You will have to do it several times and start printing again and again by changing some parameters. It is a learning and knowledge that will be done over time. The more you 3D, the more you will know your 3D printer and produce more and more successful objects. We have listed a whole guide here on Cults that will allow you to identify and fix 3D printing problems. A very good document for all beginners!

How to recycle your 3D prints?

As we all know from now on, 3D printing can take a long time and quickly invade all your drawers and cupboards! This is a very good sign because it means that you have full use of your 3D printer. To make the most of it, we have listed a few tips that will allow you to reuse equipment. For example, on this article, we explain how to recycle or reuse your empty filament spools and on this article we explain how to recycle or reuse your fail prints. Useful and original advices to make sure you enjoy your hobby at 100%!

Is 3D printing compatible with food contact?

This is a concern often expressed in the makers' community. Indeed, some filaments are not recommended for food-related use. But today there are many materials that are harmless and can be used to eat or drink. For example, PLA filament, RepRap PP plastic or PETG.


How to join the community and register on Cults?

Create an account by clicking on "Community". After filling out a short form, you will be officially a Cults user. Alternatively you can also go to this page and fill in your email, username and password or use one of the social network login buttons.

How do I upload my 3D models on Cults?

To upload one or more of your 3D files, simply click on the "Upload" button at the top left of the horizontal menu. You will then arrive on this page: You will then have to click on the "Add a 3D model" block. If you are not yet registered on the platform, you will need to create an account, otherwise you will just have to login to your Cults account. Then, you only have to fill in the form with the title of your creation, its description, 3D files, images, etc. Then, on the second page, you will have to choose the price and license applied to your 3D model. When all these steps are completed, your creation will be online!

How do I share my Makes (photos of 3D printed objects) on Cults?

To share photos of your 3D prints made from files downloaded on Cults, simply click on the "Upload" button at the top left of the horizontal menu. You will then arrive on this page: You will then have to click on the "Add a make" block. If you are not yet registered on the platform, you will need to create an account, otherwise you will just have to login to your Cults account. Then, you only have to fill in the form by first choosing the 3D file concerned from the drop-down menu, the description of your 3D printing, the settings used, the photos, etc. When all these steps are completed, your make will be online!

How can I download 3D files?

To download some STL files, it’s very easy. You just have to click on the purple "Download" button on the top right of each creations page. Then click on "Download your files" button on the final page. Your downloads will then start after clicking on "Download your files" and will appear in the dedicated folder for downloads defined by your Internet browser. Note that before you need to log in to your Cults account or to register if you are a new member.

How to buy 3D files for 3D printing?

To buy some 3D files, you just have to click on the purple Download button on the top right of each creations page. Then you have to go to your cart and validate it by clicking on the purple button "Proceed to download". And choose your favorite payment method, You can choose to pay with your credit card or you can pay by PayPal. Finally, "Download your files" button on the final page. Note that first, you need to log in to your Cults account or to register if you are a new member.

How do I find my files already downloaded?

To download a file you have already downloaded it’s really easy. Connect on Cults with your logins, go to your personal account to see all your orders: Click on the purple button "View" on each lines, at the right of the page and download your ZIP files by clicking on « Get your models » button.

How can I save creations on the site?

To save a 3D file for later, it's very simple. Just click on the "Save" button above the images. Then you can click on the link that appears above "Your saved files". Then, you will be able to find all your saved files in your personal account, at this address: To unsave a creation, you can simply click on the grey button "Unsave".

What if I do not have any 3D printer?

It is possible to get a 3D printed object with Cults even if you don't have a 3D printer. It is very simple to do this. Choose the 3D model of your choice, download it and at the end of the downloading process you will be able to select the option "Compare prices for 3D printing with Craftcloud". This will give you the opportunity to get several quotes based on the materials you choose ; then order professional 3D printing and have it delivered to your home.

How do I edit my profile?

To change your username or profile picture or to edit your entire profile, you can go to your personal account at this address: and change the corresponding fields.

How to change the URL of my account?

Your URL has been selected based on your nickname, it is unfortunately not possible to change it for now.

What if I lost my password?

In the login form, you can request a new one by email. If you have lost your email, we cannot do anything for you.

How to become a seller?

By default your account is set as a member. When you upload your first creation, you officially become a seller on Cults. To do this, you just have to click on "Upload" (yes, we've thought of everything).

How to get the money from my sales?

To withdraw your money, please go to your personal account in the Sales section. The payment threshold is %{transfer_minimum}. Transfers are made manually via PayPal after you have activated the "Payment Request" button located in your personal account.

What if I don't have access to PayPal to get the money from my sales?

In some countries, the use of PayPal is limited. Also, in exceptional cases, we can use an alternative payment method to send you the money from your sales. We use the solution Payoneer as an alternative. To recover the money from your sales via Payoneer, you must register on Payoneer and make a "Payment request" via Payoneer sent to This payment request must coincide with the exact amount of your non-transferred threshold, otherwise it will be rejected. Be careful, it can happen that Payoneer requires a minimum threshold before being able to make a "Payment request".

How can I increase the notoriety of my 3D models?

You want to increase the visibility of your creations? Check out our Cults tips to boost your downloads and sales of your 3D files. By following these tips you will be sure to reach out to the maximum number of people who would be interested by your creations. In order to allow you to take full advantage of our platform.

What are the payment solutions to buy 3D files?

On Cults you have the possibility to pay with PayPal or with your credit card. Your purchases are 100% secure. For PayPal you can pay with your PayPal balance or use your credit card via PayPal. Otherwise, our Braintree online payment system allows you to use your credit card directly. We accept Visa, Mastercard, Maestro, JCB, Discover, American Express, Diners Club International and UnionPay. If you are unable to pay for your purchases online, please contact us via our contact form.

My download didn't work!

Don't worry, you've also received the download link by email. You can download your files later. All purchased files are also available in your personal account here:, you can download it whenever you want.

Why do I receive a message which says that the 3D file is corrupt when I unZIP the file?

The problem is probably that you have not installed any 3D software to open the STL file on your computer. When you unzip the downloaded ZIP file on your computer (you need a program to uncompress the files as well), we recommend installing the free software Meshmixer to then open the STL file. You can download Meshmixer here, it's a very good software and it's free. This will allows you to edit and modify the STL later. Or, you can simply open the STL files in your 3D slicer and it will work without any problem.
Otherwise, the problem comes from your unzip software. We recommend that you download your order again (free of charge) here: Then unzip the files downloaded online through this website: or use another software such as The Unarchiver.
Finally, the other source of problem may be a connection problem at the time of your download. Which means that the file was not downloaded correctly. This can happen if the files are heavy and contain several 3D models. So make sure you have a good connection and no interruption during the new trial of your downloads.

What is the meaning of this symbol © next to the creations? Can I sell the prints of the 3D files?

It means “Copyright”. Except contraindication, all creations published on CULTS are exclusively reserved for private and personal use. It means not selling the model or any derivative of the model for economic or financial gain. For example, you cannot sell the digital model, a derivative or adaptation of that model, nor can you sell prints of the model or make trade of it, unless the designer has given you formally his approval.
Thus, only free 3D models with a Creative Common license that allow commercial use are allowed for sale. If you want to sell a printed version of a 3D file, the best thing to do is to ask the designer directly to see if he gives you permission. You can use the comment section under each 3D model to notify the designer or click on "Message" when you are the designer's Cults profile.

Can you print and deliver the items?

Cults is a platform specialized in 3D modeling, we do not make 3D printing. You can download digital 3D files only. To order a 3D print, simply download the STL files of your choice and send these STL files to 3D printers such as Sculptéo, iMaterialise or Shapeways for example. You send them the 3D file and they will give you a quotation for 3D printing and delivery to your home.

Why are my images purple?

You have just uploaded a creation and your images are not displayed immediately? Don't worry, this means that Cults is analyzing the image and saving it before publishing it. It may take some time (depending on the traffic at the same time, disk space, image weight, etc.) but it will be online soon.

Why are my images misdirected?

The problem is most likely due to the fact that you locked the automatic rotation of your phone when you took a picture. To fix the problem, open the image on your computer and rotate it completely then, save it again. Then all you have to do is upload it again to your page and delete the old photo.

I downloaded a 3D file but I can't find it on my computer...

Maybe the files are in another folder on your computer. You can check in the advanced settings of your browser where the default location of your downloads is located.

How do I contact a designer or maker?

Sending a message to a community member is very simple. All you have to do is going to his profile, by clicking on his / her avatar for example. When you are on his / her public profile page, you will just have to click on the "Message" tab located on the far right in the navigation submenu. Messaging on Cults is not a private messaging but a public discussion thread. It is a place of exchange, thank you for being courteous and respectful. Any commercial or malicious solicitations will be removed. Have a good discussion!

A 3D file has been updated, do I have to buy the model again to access this new version?

When a 3D file is updated by its designer, all those who have purchased or downloaded it for free have access to the new version directly from their Cults personal space. There is therefore no need to re-purchase it to get the new version. Simply go to "My Orders" section of your personal account ( and click on the "View" button next to the order in question. You will then be able to download the latest version.