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. You can also use our Maker Toolbox which lists all the necessary software for 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. You can find out the different 3D printable files formats in this article here.
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. You can also use our Maker Toolbox which lists all the necessary software for 3D printing.
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! You can also browse our Maker Toolbox which lists all the essential software for 3D printing.
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 https://cults3d.com/en/users/sign-in 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 the upload page. You can then 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 the upload 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 the “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 “Proceed to download” button. And choose your favorite payment method, You can choose to pay with your credit card or you can pay by PayPal. Finally, click the “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: https://cults3d.com/en/orders. Click on the purple “Download” button on each line, at the right of the page and download your ZIP files by clicking on the “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 “Add to” button under the Download button. Then you can click on the “Collection” you want or create a “New Collection”. Then, you will be able to find all your saved files in your collection in your personal account. To unsave a creation, you can simply click again on "Add to" button and uncheck on the collection where the design is already saved.
How can I create a collection on the site from my designs or my favorite designs?
- To create a collection, simply click on the “New Collection” button found on this page and then click on the “Add To” button located under the “Download” button on each designs page you wish to add to a collection. You can also create one directly from the options provided after clicking the “Add To” button by choosing “New Collection” option
- To remove a design from a collection you can uncheck the collection from the dropdown menu after clicking the “Add to” button
- By clicking on the three small dots of each collection you made, you can choose to:
- switch your collection into “private” mode: it will only be visible to you in your personal account
- or share it in “public” mode: it will then be visible to everyone and accessible in the “Community Collections” section and on your Cults profile in the “Collections” tab
- If you’re a designer and want to organize your many designs on your profile, it's very simple. Just create a public collection but select only your own designs. Thus, your themed “Featured” designs will be displayed directly above your designs on your profile, in the “3D Models” tab. They will also appear in the “Community Collections” section, on your Cults profile in the “Collections” tab and of course in your personal account
- Collections are displayed in chronological order of creation there is no possibility (yet) to change the display order
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.
You can also check out our list of online 3D printing services here to choose the right 3D printer for you.
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 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 US$11 (€10). 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 email@example.com This payment request must coincide with the exact amount of your non-transferred threshold, otherwise it will be rejected. The minimum threshold before being able to make a Payoneer “payment request” is 300 euros.
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 Stripe 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: https://cults3d.com/en/orders, 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: https://cults3d.com/en/orders. Then unzip the files downloaded online through this website: https://unzip-online.com/en 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.
You can also consult our Maker Toolbox which lists all the essential softwares for 3D printing, it might be useful for you!
How to use a RAR file?
When you have unzipped your ZIP file it mays contain also a file with a RAR extension inside. It is also an archive file (like a ZIP file) that you will need to unzip. In order to do this, you will need to use a suitable program able of decompressing RAR files. Visit the Maker Toolbox, under the “Unzip / Unrar" section you will find free software which can be used to decompress these type of archives.
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 they give 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. You can also check out our list of online 3D printing services here to choose the right 3D printer for you.
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. If it doesn't work, you will probably have to revise your image. To do so, you can use the utilities listed in our Maker Toolbox that will allow you to optimize the weight of your images.
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 their profile, by clicking on their avatar for example. When you are on their public profile page, you can 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 the “Downloads” section of your personal account and click on the “Download” button next to the order in question. You will then be able to download the latest version.
Why the selling price of my file is higher than the one I set?
Cults is a French company subject to VAT (Value Added Tax). For legal reasons, VAT must therefore be added to the sales price of your creation. Cults is a transparent intermediary, so the VAT is only calculated on the platform's commission. This VAT is only applied for residents of the European Union. If you live outside of the European Union, prices will be displayed exclusive of VAT. This tax is collected by Cults and paid in full to the public authorities. Cults does not receive any commission on this tax. For more information, you can consult the Wikipedia page.
What currencies does Cults accept?
On the platform we can display prices in 24 types of currencies. You can choose them in the top right corner of the site on the purple bar next to the language selection. Here is the list of currencies available on Cults:
- ARS: the Argentine Peso
- AUD: the Australian dollar
- BGN: the Bulgarian lev
- BRL: the Brazilian Real
- CAD: the Canadian dollar
- CHF: the Swiss franc
- CNY: the Chinese yuan
- CZK: the Czech crown
- DKK: the Danish crown
- EUR: the Euro
- GBP: the British Pound
- HRK: the Croatian kuna
- HUF: the Hungarian forint
- INR: the Indian rupee
- JPY: the Japanese yen
- KRW: the Korean Won
- MXN: the Mexican Peso
- NOK: the Norwegian crown
- NZD: the New Zealand Dollar
- PLN: the Polish zloty
- RON: the Romanian leu
- RUB: the Russian rouble
- SEK: the Swedish krona
- USD: the American dollar
What’s the “dark mode”?
The “dark mode” is a specific display that offers you a darker interface of Cults. What is it used for? There are potentially several benefits to this type of apparence: reduce eye fatigue, reduce power consumption and thus save battery power to do something for the planet (technically, dark pixels usually consume less energy) and finally improve readability (ergonomically speaking, some colors are better seen on a black background). You can configure this display from your personal account. Note that the “Automatic” mode defaults to the appearance mode you have chosen for your computer, tablet or phone.
Why do I just see a shadow on my 3D slicer plate?
You just see a shadow because the model was not correctly centered by the designer. The design is out of alignment with the printing plate. So you need to zoom out completely and put the design back on the print plate. You can set all the XYZ location measurements to 0 so that the file appears on the plate correctly centered.
How do I get a refund for my order?
To get a refund you must first contact the seller on his Cults profile via his messaging page or as a comment on the purchased 3D file page. If the designer agrees to refund you, he will have to go to his “Sales” part and click on the “Refund” button corresponding to your order. Then the refund will be credited directly to the bank account you used to pay for your order, within 1 to 2 business days. You will receive a confirmation email that will validate the refund.
What is Cults refund policy?
Our refund policy is as follows:
- The customer can dispute a purchase up to 30 days after the download
- The customer must first contact the seller by sending a message on their Cults profile or by leaving a message in the “Comments” section of the 3D file page
- If within 7 days, the customer does not receive a response or if the seller has not been able to resolve the problem, the customer is invited to contact Cults
- Cults will then take in hand the file and will make the refund if indeed the problem is proven and has not been solved by the seller
Under Article L 121-20 of the Consumer Code applicable to digital goods, customers do not have a right of withdrawal if the digital creation is perfectly consistent with its description and functional.
The refund policy is available on the refund policy page.
How do I download an invoice related to my order?
You can download your invoice from your personal account in the Downloads tab or directly on the order confirmation page through the “Invoice” button. First, please fill in your various information related to your Identity from the Account tab. This information will remain private and will be visible only to you but is essential for the invoices generation.
How do I publish a design in secret mode?
Secret designs are hidden but visible to anyone you share the link with. This can be useful if, for example, you want to share your design with a specific group of people so that only they can access and download this exclusive design.
To change the visibility of your design:
- Choose “Make secret” from the three-dot menus on the current page or your template page.
- Choose “Make Public” to return to a public mode.
- On the “Edit Price/License” page, you can also choose the visibility mode: public, secret or disabled.