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Beginner Level

Enroll to get:

  • 17 lessons accessible anytime, anywhere
  • Learn by doing with hours of project focused instruction
  • Complete material lists and downloadable project resources
  • One-on-One help with your questions

Welcome to the world of 3D printing! In this class, you will learn everything you need to know to design and 3D print your own creations. It's really three-classes-in-one. We'll learn Fusion 360, an awesome (free) 3D modeling program that will let you design just about anything. We'll learn the ins-and-outs of desktop 3D-printing, and we'll learn how to sketch by hand so we can generate solid ideas. With this class and enough practice, you'll be a pro in no time. If you want a more lightweight introduction to 3D printing, check out our free Easy 3D Printing Class!

Join My Webinar Series!

Want to dig deeper into 3D modeling? I'm hosting a Webinar series with hundreds of students worldwide, and you are invited. First, I'll teach the Wax Stamp lesson from this class in real time, then I'll teach you how to use the Sculpt Tools to make organic forms (not covered in the 3D printing class), then finally, I'll teach the Bottle Lock lesson to cover working with multiple parts and mechanical joints. Also, all webinar attendees get a 20% discount at Shapeways!

All you have to do is download and install Fusion 360, then follow the links below to register for free.

Lesson 1 is over, thanks to everyone who joined us. Here's a link to the lesson on Youtube: https://youtu.be/RtKdGo-_YQ4

Lesson 2 is over, thanks to everyone who joined us. Here's a link to the lesson on Youtube: https://youtu.be/V126jQK7Urg

Lesson 3 is over, thanks to everyone who joined us. Here's a link to the lesson on Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w4XnonJ55Ag

Win your own 3D printer!

If you've created an Instructable that uses your 3D modeling or 3D printing skills, enter it in our Design Now: In Motion Contest for a chance to win a Zortax M200 Printer and a lot of other great prizes!

About the Teacher

Jonathan Odom is a full-time Designer at the Instructables Design Studio (best job ever). His background is in residential architecture, film set design, film animatronics, media arts, exhibit design, and electronics. He's been 3D printing and 3D modeling for over 10 years, and he applies these skills to making toys, lamps, art, furniture, and a lot of other things. 


Lesson 1: Class Overview

In this lesson, you'll get an overview of how this class will teach you to design and 3D print your own creations.

Lesson 2: Tools + Materials for 3D Printing

This is a list of tools, materials, and services that will help you make your projects.

Lesson 3: Fusion 360 Orientation

Forget downloading a model someone else made and printing it because you can. Design your own stuff! In this lesson, we'll get acquainted with the Fusion 360 interface.

Lesson 4: Stamp Project

In this lesson, we will design, model, and 3D print our first project: a wax seal stamp. We'll learn some basic modeling in Fusion 360, and prepare our first 3D print.

Lesson 5: Setup and Print

In this lesson, we'll learn how to set up a desktop FDM 3D printer to get the best prints possible. We'll print the wax stamp and try it out.

Lesson 6: Fit Tests

In this lesson, we'll prep and 3D print a handy tool for checking fitting tolerances between parts.

Lesson 7: Bottle Lock Part 1: Base Model

For our second project, we're going to design and model a bottle lock. For Part 1, we'll learn how to translate hand measurements into 3D models.

Lesson 8: Bottle Lock Part 2: Mechanical Assembly

In Part 2, we're going to work with joints to turn our two halves into to working, connected moving parts. We'll also learn how to smooth out edges to make things more ergonomical.

Lesson 9: Bottle Lock Part 3: 3D Printing With Support Structures

In Part 3, we'll learn how to 3D-print complex parts without distortion.

Lesson 10: Design With Hand Sketching

Hand sketching as important as thinking for a designer. In this lesson, we'll learn some useful techniques that will help you get your work to the next level before you even start 3D modeling.

Lesson 11: Bike Fender Part 1: Bike Saddle

For our final project, we'll learn some advanced 3D modeling techniques by designing and printing a multi-part bike fender. In Part 1, we'll make a 3D model of a bike saddle based on measurements and imported photos.

Lesson 12: Bike Fender Part 2: Using Parameters

In Part 2, we'll learn to use global properties that will help us quickly change our overall design without having to start over.

Lesson 13: Bike Fender Part 3: Integrating Hardware

In Part 3, we'll learn how to download and integrate screws and nuts so our printed parts can have rigid construction in the real world.

Lesson 14: Bike Fender Part 4: Multi-Part Design

In Part 4, we'll refine the design to make it smoother and more elegant. We'll also learn to design features that will make for easy adhesive assemblies when the parts are printed.

Lesson 15: Assembly and Finishing

In this lesson, we'll learn some useful techniques for finishing 3D printed parts.

Lesson 16: Start Making

This lesson has a bunch of projects that will inspire you to use your new skills and keep making awesome stuff.

Lesson 17: Glossary

The glossary is your own personal 3D Printing Encyclopedia!