Introduction to 3D Printing and Design

In this class, you will learn the essentials for producing your first 3D-printed project.  You do not need your own 3D printer.  The class will focus on using third parties, such as Shapeways.com, as a service provider for your prints.  You will practice choosing the best material for the product you want to create and you will practice iterative refinement to improve your product.

In this class, we will create a wine aerator as an example product.

View the introductory video and leave comments below.

Tentative outline:


  • Tradeoffs Associated with 3D Printing
  • Examples of 3D Printing

Picking a Project

  • Example of a Personal Project
  • Introduction to the Class Project
  • Conducting Research

Selecting a Material for your Project

  • Understanding the Material Properties
  • Understanding the Printing Method
  • Examples of Good and Bad Material Choices

Developing your Design

  • Identifying Features
  • Identifying Constraints
  • Refining Iteratively

Selecting Modeling Software

  • Identifying your Aptitudes
  • Readily Available Software Options
  • Practicing with your Software

Uploading your Design for Printing

  • Exporting to a Supported File Format
  • Reviewing Properties of your Model
  • Making your Model Available to Others

Closing Thoughts


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