Introduction to 3D Printing (Online) | Cleveland State University Professional Development Center in Cleveland


Introduction to 3D Printing (Online)

Course Description

3D printing has been hailed as a solution to all manufacturing problems. Obviously, that is exaggerated, but what is it good for, and when is traditional manufacturing still the better choice? In this course, you will learn how to separate the real promise of the technology from the hype and understand the workflow for a consumer-level 3D printer. You will become familiar with some typical online databases of objects available to print, and get a bit of experience with free or open-source software for all stages of the process. This class will be primarily focused to introduce you to the tools of the open 3D printer ecosystem, but the principles will apply to consumer 3D printers in general.

Recommended optional e-book: Horvath, Mastering 3D Printing (Apress: 2014) [discount code for students will be available]

Course Objectives

Upon successful completion of the course, students will be able to:

  • - Learn about the realistic limitations of consumer 3D printers - Discover the three stages of a 3D print: modeling, slicing and printing - Find out how to locate and evaluate printable files in free online libraries - See case studies of real-world applications - Learn how to navigate the free and open source software options available for each part of the printing workflow - Know the workflow process of a consumer-level 3D printer - Understand the design issues for a 3D printable file - Be able to navigate typical 3D model databases - Be aware of the different materials available for consumer 3D printing - Know about real-world 3D printing case studies -Know how to find out more

Course Content

What is a 3D Printer?

  • Understanding additive manufacturing and how it is different from traditional subtractive manufacturing
  • How 3D printers work – different types
  • The 3D printing workflow: modeling, slicing, printing
  • The state of the art in consumer printers

Getting a 3D Model

  • Free and/or open source modeling software (Tinkercad, OpenSCAD)
  • Scanning in a model -The model databases (Thingiverse, YouMagine)

Slicing Your Model

  • Design rules for consumer 3D printers
  • What is slicing? -Infill, overhangs, rafts, skirts
  • Finding and using free and open source slicing software (MatterControl, Cura)
  • Materials choices for consumer 3D printing

Using Your Printer

  • Classroom application examples: learning by making
  • Applications for teaching the visually impaired
  • Using a 3D printer for home tinkering
  • Bigger picture and the future: medicine, construction, more.



CEUs: 1.6

Fee: $195