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HelpTutorials3D Modeling for 3D Printing Tutorial for Beginners

3D Modeling for 3D Printing Tutorial for Beginners

This beginner's class on 3D modeling and 3D printing is series of six tutorials that will help you turn your idea into reality. You'll start with a hand drawing, extrude into a 3D model, and modify and prepare your 3D model to 3D print.

Taught by Lauren Slowik, Designer Evangelist for Education at Shapeways, all the tools used are free and easily accessible. The course will teach you the basics of 3D modeling and printing, converting images to 3D models, and critical basic concepts in computer aided design (CAD), including extrusion, scaling, mesh, water tight, and even interlocking parts.

What You'll Learn

The course will uncover the core processes behind 3D printing and reveal one of the most powerful capabilities of the 3D printing revolution—that it’s accessible to anyone, and that companies like Shapeways make the process easier than ever through online 3D printing. The course will cover:

  • Part 1: Intro to 3D Modeling and 3D Printing
  • Part 2: Digitizing your Design in Photoshop CC
  • Part 3: Preparing and Exporting a 3D Model from Photoshop
  • Part 4: Design Tips for Tinkercad
  • Part 5: Designing your 3D Model in Tinkercad
  • Part 6: Uploading Your Design to Shapeways

What You'll Make

  • You'll draw your own design that can be turned into a 3D design - you can design anything, from prototype to final product
  • Customize your object (think monograms, colors) and finish the class, ready to print

Course Requirements

Chapter 1: Intro to 3D Modeling and 3D Printing

  • Brief introduction to the history and applications of 3D printing
  • Overview of how 3D printing works
  • Review of design file types and formats

Chapter 2: Digitizing your Design Using Photoshop

  • Draw or sketch your design with pen and paper
  • Photograph your design and import to Photoshop
  • Digitize your design in Photoshop by creating an outline

Chapter 3: Preparing and Exporting a 3D Model from Photoshop

  • Extrude a 3D model from a 2D file
  • Prepare your model using basic 3D modeling tools
  • Export your 3D model from Photoshop for use in Tinkercad

Chapter 4: Design Tips for Tinkercad

  • Navigate and getting oriented in Tinkercad
  • Basics of controlling and modifying 3D objects
  • Rotate 3D models in your workplane

Chapter 5: Designing your 3D Model in Tinkercad

  • Import your 3D model as an STL file
  • Scale and adjust your design
  • Combine two shapes to create an articulated/interlocking design
  • Design with the 3D printing material in mind (SLS nylon)
  • Download 3D model for 3D printing

Chapter 6: Uploading Your Design to Shapeways

  • Understand the basics of how 3D printing service such as Shapeways works
  • Review design guidelines of h3 & Flexible Plastic
  • Upload & order your design


Now that you can 3D model your drawings using Photoshop and Tinkercad, be sure to upload your 3D models to check their printability in 40+ materials. If you're looking to learn more, you can learn how to 3D model in 123D with Lauren as well!




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