3D Printing Online Courses: Best To Choose

Did you know that in 2018, the world’s first bridge was constructed solely by the principle of additive manufacturing, which is another name for 3D printing? For Dutch company MX3D, it took months of engineering, designing, testing, and final production to bring this 12.5 meters long and 6.5 meters wide masterpiece to life, as strong as stainless steel it is made of.

However, it is not the world’s largest 3D printed object ever made. According to the list regularly updated by Sculpteo, the leadership now belongs to the aircraft construction industry’s supportive tool. This tool serves to hold Boeing’s wing stable when it is constructed, and it is now in the Guinness World Records. 

Read on for more inspiring insights.

3D-printed stainless steel bridge by MX3D Source

Why Is It a Profession of the Future?

As we have proved above, 3D printing is not only for tiny objects – in fact, it is one of the most widespread misconceptions better to be dispelled sooner than later. Why would you bother? Because there is an ample opportunity to make a whole new career in this field in a few years from now! 

With all those emerging technologies of today, including artificial intelligence and machine learning, the Internet of things, blockchain, 3D printing, etc., there are growing fears of certain professions becoming obsolete. Does this mean the threat of losing one’s job? Probably yes – just like it once happened with coachmen or typewriters who were replaced by taxi drivers and secretaries, respectively. But where one sees a problem, others see opportunities!

Additive manufacturing isn’t even that new as it sounds because the first objects were made that way back in the 80s. However, the widespread global trend was formed much later, somewhere at the beginning of the 2010s. Opposite to the way things were made previously (by subtracting excess layers of the workpiece until an object of the desired form is lathed), with additive manufacturing, layers are added one to another.    

If it is the way to make objects in the new world, it is better to adapt and become a part of it. Upon careful examination of expert opinions on professions most likely to emerge in the future, the Russian business media holding RBC composed its list of 100 future jobs. 

On the 17th place there, we see a very intriguing “3D Printing Engineer in the food industry”. Imagine meat and other products being replicated with identical taste, smell, and nutrition properties, the possibility which may solve the famine problem completely! 

On the 34th place, they put “3D Printing Designer in construction” – this one is a bit easier to comprehend because it is becoming a reality today. A bit further, there is even a “tailor” in 3D printing – someone capable of making clothes and shoes, but without a thread or needle. 

This already demonstrates a sea of potential future professions solely dealing with additive manufacturing. How about 3D Printing in the field of organ transplantation? In the article titled “12 Jobs You’ll Be Recruiting for in 2030,” Bruce Anderson puts “organ creator” on top of the list. 

If it isn’t about cloning (which may be the case due to moral issues), it is definitely about 3D printing those organs. It may save thousands of lives. Impossible at the moment, but may become achievable in a decade from now.

Next level of organ transplantation

Source: Shutterstock

How to Get Yourself Ready?

With the global pandemic situation still in place, the answer comes naturally: 3D printing online courses may be found in great abundance. Even if you don’t become a certified 3D engineer, the knowledge you will get there will already be enough for informed writing in technology blogs where you will submit your guest posts and earn money. Let us check some which we’ve discovered and see as worthy of your attention.

  1. A bestselling online course on Domestika by designer and maker Agustín Arroyo is suitable for beginners because it offers a step-by-step introduction to 3D design and printing (hence the name). Nineteen lessons for a total duration of slightly more than 3 hours are now offered for a reasonable price of about 12 dollars after a considerable discount.

Agustín Arroyo specializes in 3D modeling, so it is genuinely his field. Probably because of that, most of the reviews are positive: more than 300 in total out of more than 8 thousand of those who have already purchased the course. What may be seen as a big minus is the Spanish language for those who don’t speak it, although English subtitles are included.

2.    Similar introductory courses on 3D printing are available on SkillShare for those who want to learn from scratch. A beginner-level Introduction to a 3D design by Lauren Slowik, a contributor to such organizations as Apple and the United Nations, is available for everyone interested. And she is even a part-time member of the Design and Technology faculty at Parsons School of Design.

Eight lessons in total last 1 hour and 5 minutes but are enough to take you from the basics to an almost complete understanding of how to make a printed product out of the original model. 13.7 thousand students and more than 320 reviews may be seen as a sign of quality.

3.    If you feel yourself more a designer, a great solution is the Beginner’s course for fused deposition modeling, the most common type of 3D printing. The description says that completion of the course is enough to make you a confident Autodesk Inventor user.

      The course is short (1 hour and 22 minutes). It was written by  Grayson Galinsky, an undergraduate student at California State University Long Beach. It is mostly for beginners, but the good thing is that it is possible to get the fundamental insight into the course with a free overview provided for it.

4.    Probably a more serious option for designers is a more prolonged course on Udemy, which lasts more than 5 hours. Similar to the previous case, it provides knowledge to make you a capable user of a certain software – Blender 2.9x in this case. Not only will you learn how to create 3D models, but you will also export them confidently to Shapeways for 3D printing!

The course is now provided with a colossal discount, although it won’t last forever. You will receive a certificate upon completion. 4 out of 5 stars with 289 rates and 3 683 students who have taken the course made us think that time and money spent on learning with this online course by Irish designer Thomas McDonald would be worthy investments.

As some of the reviews indicate, this one is not a beginner’s course at all. Indeed, it is tailored for the needs of those who already know what they are looking for in the field of 3D modeling and printing.

Which One to Choose Then?

With such a wide variety of online course options to choose from, it is recommended to look at factors that may affect your choice. If we were the ones to make a choice…

  1. First of all, we would check the author’s biography: the place of work, as well as their field of specialization.
  2. Then goes the course description. You should be able to match the proposed subjects with what you think you want to learn for the money you are giving. If you are new to 3D modeling and printing, an introductory course for beginners will do just fine. If, on the other hand, you are already considering a career, it would be better to learn tiny nuances of how to model in specialized software and how to export those models for printing.  
  3. Reviews are great for a quick insight into how other listeners of the course see it. If there is a rating system, it will also work well as an indicator.
  4. Finally, whether additional bonuses like free trials, certificates granted, money-back guarantees are provided.  

 Final Words

Notwithstanding the diversity of 3D printing learning opportunities online, in this article, we highlighted the leading courses as well as the main principles and requirements to look for when choosing any online courses.