Did you know that you have access to 3D printers at the Frisco Public Library?
When I first saw a 3D printer in action, it seemed like I had a THOUSAND ideas of how I could use a 3D printer to create things that would just make my life better. Instantly I wanted to 3D print a way to organize all those memory cards for my camera which Actually fit in this little place on my desk. However, I just didn’t know how to create the 3D models of the objects I was considering.
Step 0: Inspire me
Need a little inspiration to see what others have done with a 3D printer? Visit the website thing.com. Users share their 3D designs and you can download them for free. You’ll find everything from items that solve household problems to fun items that will make you smile.
I found a few examples similar to what I wanted to achieve. I used some of the ideas I saw here
Step 1: Absolute beginner
Tinkercad.com [free]: This web design software is simple enough for elementary students to successfully create their own 3D models to 3D print. Best of all, this is an Autodesk product, so the skills you learn here will transfer to more advanced design software. It contains basic guided tutorials and projects for beginners (you will go from total noob to creating a personalized keychain in 30 minutes).
Tip: You can further customize a design you discovered on Thingiverse.com to make it a little more perfect for you. Simply import this STL / OBJ file into Tinkercad.com and start polishing the design with your newfound skills!
With Tinkercad.com I was able to design a solution to organize all the memory cards in my camera and I had just the right size to fit the space I wanted!
Step 2: upgrade
Fusion360 [free for individuals/hobbyists]: Ultimately, you’re going to want to add more refined elements to your design. This means that you need more advanced design software. Fusion 360 is another Autodesk CAD software that will put very powerful design tools in your hands that will allow you to achieve professional level results. It includes built-in tutorials to get you started. However, you might also be interested in video on demand tutorials created by experts. With your Frisco Public Library card, you have access to on-demand video tutorials created by experts from LinkedIn Learning (formerly Lynda.com).
After using my memory card organizer for a while, I wanted a few more refinements to the design that would make it better. These improvements were a few design elements that I couldn’t achieve with Tinkercad.com. So I started to learn how to use Fusion 360.
Step 3: Go pro
Now you have an idea of what you like to do with your 3D modeling skills and you are ready to invest in your skills and buy software to achieve some career goals. Maybe you want to delve more into digital animation and art and want to learn Blender or Autodesk Maya software. Maybe you want to get more familiar with project management with 3D modeling and learn Revit. Or maybe you are interested in 3D modeling CAD (computer aided design) software like Solidworks or AutoCad from Autodesk. The best news is that you can get extensive expert training for any of these library software products. Your Frisco Public Library membership gives you free access to an extensive collection of essential on-demand training videos from Linked learning (formerly Lynda.com) to stream to your favorite device. So, get ready to improve your skills!
This press release was produced by Frisco Public Library. The opinions expressed here are those of the author.