Think you need to be a 3D modeling pro to use a 3D printer? Think again. Consumers and the hobbyists among us can buy the equipment and start pumping out piles of plastic within the hour. We can even take local classes or find an online course, many free. Ah, what a time to be alive… But, software developer Bill Tran thinks these courses, well, they’re just too limiting. So, he’s making his own–3D Design for 3D Printing.

Tran wants to help you make your ideas a reality and, joy of joys, he also want to show THE PROCESS, going from 3D design to 3D printing, so you understand everything that goes into creating prototypes and products, from learning the 3D software to building, calibrating and using a 3D printer. Chances are, as readers of SOlidSmack, you know a thing or 200 about 3D modeling and 3D printing. So he’s built the course to be beneficial for novice and expert alike. You start off learning Blender and Autodesk Fusion 360 with design projects including home hardware you’ll print via Shapeways, toy modeling, character sculpting, plus modeling a box cutter, a soap dispenser and more. The entire course is project-based so you can immediately apply what you’ve learned and he’s designed it with “mini-challenges” to help extend the concepts in each lesson, with access included to all project files, references and resources you need.


You can expect to learn sculpting in Blender and part/assembly creation in Fusion 360, preparing 3D models for printing, along with constructing a Delta 3D printer of your very own, and how to make money off your 3D designs. All together, it’s easily over 20 hours of content, designed as an ongoing course, with more content planned over the duration and accessible whenever you need it.

The Kickstarter campaign was funded in under 24 hours with a stretch goal of $12,000 reached to include a reverse engineering project and the complete delta 3D printer build.

The course is now available at a $40 pre-sale price (20% off the $50 price) with assets coming online November 2016. Tran assures that students will get full lifetime access, including videos on iOS and Android, for the one-time cost. Considering all he’s teaching, continued content being pushed out and a fixed price, it’s not a bad deal at all. If someone is generally interested in learning 3D printing and creating their own projects may find that it’s worth the cost. But, if you just have a passing interest, then it’s best to stick with free programs.


The one-man ace engineering wrecking crew - If you have a problem, if no one else can help, and if you can find me, maybe you can hire... the Cabe-team.