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3D Printing Guide: Software and Training

How to utilize the Library's 3D printers.

Designing 3D Models

Say you have an idea for a great new bottle opener, or you just sketched a new character for your diorama of the Civil War, or a part broke on your model train and you can't find a replacement. By using 3D design software, you can render your idea into a 3D model on the computer. If you want to design chess pieces with your family on them, or if you want to custom-build a case for your cell phone, you can do that too!

There are a number of different programs out there and they each offer unique features that may be helpful for you. Some programs are geared towards beginners, while others are more difficult to use, but offer more advanced features. Programs can also differ in their purpose. Some are CAD software that focus on creating precise mechanical drawings, while others are more for creative 3D drawing such as designing action figures.


We currently offer Classes in:


1) Printing Preparation: 

  • Learn how to properly prepare your file to print exactly how you want it. We will go over the entire printing process (design, checks, gcodes, etc) and the limitations of 3d printing. We will be using the software, Meshmixer.

2) Autodesk Fusion 360:

  • Learn basic CAD (Computer Aided Design) skills to create a 3D drawing.  In this class, we will create real life objects with this easy to use software. We will go over basic tools such as sketches, dimensioning, extrudes, revolutions, lofts, sweeps, fillets, patterns, and assembly. 

Freeware 3D Design Programs

Here is a list of some FREE common software used in 3D design:

Software for Purchase

Here is a list of common software used in 3D design available for purchase:

Print Preparation Programs

To ensure a quality print, it is a good idea to check your model for any errors.  These programs will help you find and fix them before you bring it to us. These are especially helpful for anything you find online, since many contain errors. If you need help learning how to use these programs to repair errors, come see us at the Makerspace Help Desk!

Free Classes

Class Files

3D Modeling for Printing Class Survey