3D Lab Online Course

3D Lab Online Course

1. How to start an adventure with 3D design and 3D printing – theoretical introduction

Although 3D design became more and more popular over the last years, 3D printing techniques are still something relatively new. Therefore usually it is necessary to start 3D modelling and printing workshops with at least a short theoretical introduction to the process. 

We enter a very wide field and it is not easy to estimate the exact time needed for this part. It depends on how wide and how deeply you want to enter the topic. This, in turn, depends on your or your group’s needs. Nevertheless, before you take the next, more practical steps, you need to get familiar with some theoretical information or, what is even more important, present them to your workshop group. Here we present it only once, but this lesson or its part can be used as an introduction to each of the following ones, where practical exercises are presented.

The optimal piece of information should contain:

  1. 1. General introduction to 3D Modeling and 3D Printing, where the main issues are:
  • – the purposes and the main fields of using 3D technologies
  • – differences between 2D and 3D design
  • – the exact meaning of the phrase “print in 3D”
  • – origins and future of the 3D technologies

however, you can always go broader and deeper, if it useful for you or your workshops.

  1. 2. Different types of 3D printers and the most popular models

Both are in a constant change – the 3D printing techniques and materials, as well as the most popular and effective models of 3D printers, are constantly changing and developing, so try to search for the latest news if you want to stay updated or if you include this part in your lesson.

  1. 3. More detailed description of the 3D printer type which you are going to use by yourself or during the workshops with your group.

When the background is prepared, it is time to focus on the available resources. Therefore you should devote more time to this particular 3D printing technique, which you will implement later. During the next lessons we present the FDM technique, as the most popular and the most accessible for individuals, schools, makerspaces and youth centres.

  1. 4. The most popular 3D modeling and 3D printing software useful for beginners

Some people may feel a little insecure starting designing models in 3D but there are programmes which make this experience quite easy. It is good to present them shortly and provide a detailed description of the one which you are going to use by yourself or with your group.

  1. 5. 3D printer setup and software needed

Read the instruction! This is a piece of advice applicable in case of advanced devices, not only a 3D printer. However, in this case it is strongly recommended. Learn as much as possible about your printer and attached or recommended software. It will make your later work much easier. If you already know all the important information, share it with your students.

You will find detailed information on all of the above-mentioned subjects in Module I of this course and in our blog on this website. Most of the lessons of Module I but especially the last one contain also links to the other sources, which you can use for further research.