Selling Prints Ethics


So i’ve been asked to print a part from thingiverse, I told the client i was unable as it specifically says do not print and sale (fair enough as i design content myself and know how frustrating others making money from a design that took you hours or days to do).

My general question here is where the license is just non commercial and nothing has been stated about selling is it legal to print and sell if your only charging for the materials used, electric, and printer depreciation? If you add say 10-20% profit (for your time) onto this are you then breaking the licensing agreement? How to large sites get around this such as 3dhubs & shape ways as im sure customers upload parts from thingiverse all the time and they are purely printing for profit.


always try and ask the author, if they wont answer withing reasonable time they a: dont care or b: have forgotten about it

so in case that happens ill usually print it at my usual rates 1.5€ an hour to cover all my costs and thats about it :slight_smile: and if someone gives more then ill tip the creator 25/50% of whatever extra i make if they have that option enabled :slight_smile:


Your 3dprinter needs electricity, filament, maintenance and time.
These factors are mine to calculate the price of a 3dprint.
And if I got asked to 3dprint something from thingiverse, a tip to the creator always helps to stay a bit more save.
As long as you don’t sell these prints, everything is fine. If you printed stuff once and want to give it away for material costs, it isn’t selling from my point of view.


Are you looking for an ethical answer, or a legal answer? The latter is probably easier to address. By setting “do not print for sale”, the designer shares the design with the world at no cost, under the agreement that you not sell the product. I look at it as, if there were a local print shop where you could rent time and buy filament to print that model for yourself, did the shop violate the license? I would say no. In this case, you’re the shop, and if someone hands you money to cover the filament, time/electricity, maintenance of the printing procedure, and the net profit to you is zero, you’re not selling that printed model. You’re renting your printer, selling your filament and electricity.