One of the more popular uses for a CNC machine is the carving of free 3D relief files. The details that quality CNC and router bits can bring out are unique.

Carving 3D relief files is relatively easy. However, designing and creating 3D reliefs yourself takes some time and practice to learn. That's why many home hobbyist CNC owners look for free 3D files to get started.

This way, they can learn how to create tool paths, generate g-code, and operate the machine correctly for the best results.

There is plenty of free relief models on the internet. Like most everything, though, websites use free ones to attract visitors so that they can also see better quality paid-for models. So most sites offer a mixture of free and paid CNC 3D models.

When you're not creating something yourself, check the license terms for your downloading files. Most 3D relief models that are free to download are for private use only. You cannot create products with them to sell commercially. There are exceptions to this; check first.

Once you learn more about modeling yourself, you'll find a need to combine different 3D models into a scene. Check the license to see how you can use the designs in your projects. Unfortunately, many sites forbid any digital download of their 3d models by anyone else.

I work with the Vectric Aspire CAD/CAM software for CNC machines. I mostly download the STL and OBJ file types when looking for 3D relief files. Make sure you know which type to download for your software.

A Guide to Using 3D Relief Files

3D relief files serve as blueprints. They guide CNC (Computer Numerical Control) machines in carving materials. These files are essential in the world of digital manufacturing.

What Are 3D Relief Files?

3d CNC files are digital models that represent a design in three dimensions. These files contain data on depth, texture, and form. Standard formats include STL and OBJ, which are compatible with most CNC machines.

Role in CNC Machining

CNC machines carve materials like wood, metal, or plastic. They need instructions to do this, which 3D relief files provide. The files tell the machine where to carve and how deep, creating intricate designs.

Creating 3D Relief Files

Designers use software to create 3D relief files. Programs like AutoCAD or Blender are common. Designers craft the desired shape in the software. They then save it as an STL or OBJ file.

Using 3D Relief Files

To use these files, one must:

  • Choose a Design: Select the correct 3D relief file. Download it per the website's licensing requirements of the file.
  • Software Setup: Import the file into CNC software.
  • Machine Setup: Prepare the CNC machine with the right tools.
  • Carving Process: Start the machine. It carves according to the file.


3D relief files are the backbone of CNC carving. They ensure accuracy and detail. Without them, modern CNC machining would be less efficient. These files make complex designs possible.

List of Websites with Free 3D CNC Files to Download

  1. Free 3D Relief Models | TurboSquid by shutterstock

    TurboSquid offers a variety of free 3D relief models on their site for download in various formats. Most designs are not free, however. As of this writing, seven designs are $300 or more. Forty-six designs are $200 top $300. 86 plans are $100 to $200. Three thousand three hundred fifty-seven designs are $1 to $100. Forty-five plans are free to download.

    Check Out TurboSquid
  2. Relief 3D Files for Download - Cults

    Cults is a popular website for people with 3D printers to find models to download. They have a large selection of 3D models. They also have a selection of relief models for CNC carving. Some are free, but many require payment. Prices look reasonable.

    Check Out Cults
  3. Free Relief 3D Models | CGTrader

    CGTrader is another with primarily 3D content for AR/VR, gaming, advertising, entertainment, and 3D printing. They also have an excellent selection of relief models for 3D carving. There is a mixture of free 3D relief models that are paid to select from.

    Check Out CGTrader 3D Relief Models
  4. Relief 3D Models download - Free3D

    Free3D has many 3D models for free. However, with relief models for 3D carving, I could not find any free ones. Many of the prices are reasonable. If you can turn a 3D model into relief using your CAD software, there are plenty of models on this site to choose from.

    Check Out Free3D
  5. "Free CNC Relief" 3D Models - Yeggi

    Yeggi is another famous site for downloading 3D models with a 3D printer. They boast of having almost four million models for download. A quick search of CNC Relief models results in more than two thousand models. I could not find many of them to be free.

    Check Out Yeggi
  6. Free 3D Relief Models For CNC - CNC Clipart by Carveco

    CNC Clipart is a site with 3D clipart explicitly designed for CNC projects. Carveco owns the site, a popular CAD/CAM software maker to use with CNC machining. CNC Clipart uses a subscription model for payment. Depending on your recurring monthly subscription, you get some credits each month. The relief models themselves are priced in credits.

    However, they have a few of their high-quality models free to download each month. So you will need to create an account and check back each month.

    Check Out CNC Clipart by Carveco
  7. Free 3D Relief - STLFinder

    STLFinder is a search engine for free 3D models. The link I've provided searches for "free 3D relief". The results returned are more than fifty-two thousand pages. I checked a few exciting models, and they take you back to the website where the 3D model was found to download. Once there, I discovered that there was indeed a cost to download.

    Check Out STLFinder
  8. Art for CNC – has an excellent selection of free 3D relief models for download. I selected a few, and after waiting for the download to prepare, it did allow for a free download. The download speed can vary greatly. At one point, it said 8 minutes for an 11.4 MB to download. It then finished within a minute.

    Check Out Ameede
  9. Door Trims 3D Relief Models -

    While searching the Dezin site for free relief models, the page at the first link returns various door trims that can be downloaded. I then checked out the second link and found free downloads of different door designs. All the designs appear free but are also door designs, albeit some fairly attractive ones.

    Check Out Dezin Dezin 3D Relief Models
  10. Free 3D CNC Router Files for Beginners | STYLECNC

    StyleCNC is a manufacturer of industrial CNC machines. They offer a limited number of 3D router files for beginners. It's worth checking out.

    Check Out StyleCNC
  11. 3d Relief Stl Files - Etsy

    Etsy is another popular option for downloading 3D relief models. While not free, many of them are very affordable. Most of the sellers are also very responsive.

    Check Out Etsy for 3D Relief Models

    We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

  12. 3D STL Reliefs Animals - DXFDownloads

    There are quite a few STL relief models you can download for free on this site. The link takes you to their 3D STL Reliefs Animals page. The categories menu on the right shows STL relief downloads for Construction, Decorations, Emblems, Flowers, Panels, people, and more. They do ask for attribution, but not required for the download. The files are downloaded in a RAR compressed file. Some of the models with years are dated, so keep a watch for this.

    Check Out DXFDownloads
  13. Bas Relief Free - Sketchfab

    Sketchfab is the leading platform for 3D & AR on the web. They have a massive selection of quality 3D models. A quick search for Bas Relief Free yielded some results, but not many.

    Check Out Sketchfab
  14. CNC Bas-Relief STL Files - STLbase

    STLbase is another STL Search Engine site. I left off the word Free from my search engine query link as the results were only two files. Like STLFinder, this site takes you to the source site for the actual download files.

    Check Out STLbase
  15. Download free DXF files and STL files, by DeskProto

    DeskProto is a 3D CAM program. It can import 2D vector files (DXF, EPS, AI, SVG), 3D geometry files (STL), and bitmap image files. It then calculates CNC tool paths and writes out the NC program files for any brand of CNC machine.

    They don't have a lot of 3D model files for download, but they're free, and they're excellent. 3D models are a Picture Frame, Coat-Of-Arms relief, a Cellphone front, and a ring.

    DXF patterns include a beer tray and a stool.

    Check Out DeskProto
  16. Relief 3D Models - 3d Model Database

    You can find many free 3D relief models on this site. Of course, not all of them are free, but a combined total of over thirteen thousand relief models were found. Their prices look very reasonable.

    Check Out 3d Mdb
  17. STLFiles Free Relief- STLCNC

    You can find a large selection of STL files on this site. Many have a cost, but as of this writing, seventy-four of them are free. They are excellent designs.

    Check Out STLCNC
  18. 3d Relief for sale | eBay

    There are no free 3D relief files, but they look good quality and have a wide variety. The prices also look very affordable.

    Check Out Ebay for 3D Relief Models

    We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

  19. CNC Mela

    You will find many pages of free 3D door designs on this site. They are downloadable in STL file format. There is also a page with several different bed headboard designs.

    Check Out CNC Mela
  20. – Free download

    There are a lot of excellent STL designs on this site. You will find Animals, Bed Headboards, Doors, Frames, Borders, and many more. All of them are listed as free on their site. They ask to contact them using the WhatsApp app to get access.

    Check Out ArtCAMRelief3DFree
  21. Bas Relief  | MyMiniFactory

    MyMiniFactory is a popular website with a large selection of high-quality 3D models. Some are free, but many are Premium. The link provided here brings you to a small but excellent selection of free 3D relief files for CNC.

    Check Out MyMiniFactory
  22. Free 3D Models - 3DModel

    This site has a good selection of free STL models for download. To get a download link you must enter your name, email, and telephone number.

    Check Out 3DModel
  23. Free 3D Relief Files - Pinshape

    Pinshape is another famous site for high-quality 3D STL files. They have a large selection of files. This link takes you to their Bas Relief models, which they have a small amount of. A couple of them are free, and the rest are affordable.

    Check Out Pinshape
  24. Free models - 2d3D - CNC Art

    This site's primary business is designing CNC Vectors, Reliefs, or 3D Models from a picture.

    They have a small selection of free 3D relief files to download. There are also some free vector files and LEGO vector files.

    Check Out 2D3D
  25. Free CNC Relief Models in STL File format – CNCVectorArt

    CNC Vector Art offers six different CNC Relief Models in STL format for free download at this linked website page. The rest of their site has STL models available at modest costs.

    Check Out CNCVectorArt
  26. Bas Relief's - Thingiverse

    Thingiverse is a popular site for all kinds of maker projects. This link will take you to their Bas Relief models, which you can freely download. There are only four pages of Bas Relief models, while the site boasts more than two million 3D models. It's worth spending some time on this site for inspiration.

    Check Out Thingiverse
  27. Relief 3D Models - 3DExport

    This site has a small selection of free 3D relief files. However, there are many more you can pay for at an affordable cost.

    Check Out 3DExport
  28. Fraiser bits - Art | Low relief carving files

    Fraiser bits is the number one supplier of router bits for wood in Europe. While not free, they offer a small but excellent collection of low-relief carving files you can download at an affordable cost.

    Check Out Fraiser
  29. Max Artistic Designs-Cnc-3d STL-Embroidery Artistic Files Store

    I could not download any free 3D relief files on this site. But they have an excellent selection of paid content at a very reasonable cost especially since the price includes a collection of STL files in the download.

    Check Out Max Artistic Designs
  30. Design & Make Store – CNC Clipart by Vectric

    Design and Make is owned by Vectric software and offers a large quality selection of 3D Clipart, models, and Vector drawings.

    The models come in three formats - V3M, STL, and RLF. The projects come in 3 formats - V3M, STL, and PNG. V3M models are specially designed to work with Vectric's Aspire, VCarve Pro V8+, and VCarve Desktop. Also, Design and Make Machinist (our free 3D carving software).

    Hacks of the Week have been a massive hit, with customers giving them inspiration for their next project. In addition, special pricing is often offered on multiple models included in the weekly hack.

    You can download some of these collections for free if you purchase one of the Vectric software products. Otherwise, almost everything on their Design and Make website has a price.

    Check Out Design and Make by Vectric
  31. Artstation

    ArtStation is a community that was shaped to empower artists and create opportunities for success. It's the place for artists to connect and showcase their work with others.

    There are some fantastic Bas-Relief designs on this site. You have to dig around a bit, though. As an example, search for Dang Briarena. I found him initially, as he has some quality free downloads available. He has some images which show his process of converting images to 3D STL files for CNC routers. It's an excellent collection of CNC artwork.

    It appears to be up to the artist to purchase items on Artstation. Some art offers a direct purchase link. Others have embedded links to an external site. Many others require you to contact them directly; I assume to do custom work.

    Check Out Artstation Dang Briarena
  32. 3D STL Models for CNC Router -

    3DWave is a reasonably new site offering a wide variety of 3D STL files. None of them are free, but they are of excellent quality. I've purchased some myself and can confirm this, even though the prices are a little high. However, I keep coming back to buy more. I noticed this in the footer: "You can sell the physical items you carve/engrave/make." Please confirm this yourself. This may explain the slightly higher pricing.

    Check Out
  33. Transform Your Machining with SpeTool CNC Plans

    You can find some excellent Bit Tray Storage plans on their site. They also have a small number of 3D Carving file downloads. They're not all free, but they are inexpensive. SpeTool is a manufacturer of CNC Router bits.

    Check Out SpeTool

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