How much can you make in tips on Thingiverse? If your experience is anything like mine, here is what you can expect:
I have been regularly posting my 3D print designs for the last 42 days. To date I have posted 12 designs. I have had 1,403 views and 248 people have downloaded my designs. I have had 60 people like my designs and 78 people have added them to their collection. Now here is the interesting (and may I add discouraging) part. I have received a grand total of $0 dollars and 0 cents in tips. Not one person has posted a “make” of any design and I have had only 1 person thank me in a comment (actually that has been the only posted comment). By the way, that “thank you” was from my own brother who started an account on Thingiverse. About a week ago I posted my best design to date, and branded it “The Incredible Piece of Missing Equipment” because it would have been wonderful if it came with the printer. I listed the design by its acronym which is T.I.P. M.E. Okay so I was half joking, yet also lashing out in frustration…but even going to such extremes had no effect. *Crickets*.
Now that I have vented, I should explain that I never actually expected any gratuities for designs that I posted on Thingiverse. It wasn’t until 2 weeks in to using the service that I even figured out there was such a thing as tipping the designer. All I ever wanted was to make the world better by helping out myself and others. To show my sincerity, I will continue to post new designs, and I surely won’t be expecting a single penny or a thank you…but hey, it sure would be nice.
So that is it. Thingiverse is a free marketplace where everything is FREE. It is also apparently free from the “golden rule” and gratitude. I was curious how it worked and now I know. I however, have tipped and I encourage people to do that if you really benefit from something you download on Thingiverse or anywhere that provides free amazing things to make the world better. At the very least, post a comment saying “thanks” to the designer or post a photo of the print after you make it, letting the designer know that someone is actually using the thing they designed. Doing so fuels makers to make more incredible things in the future and we should all also remember “that which you send out shall return to you again”.